#168 From Nun to Fortune 500 Founder: How One Woman Overcame Her Fear of Reinvention (Ellen Snee) * CoveyClub

Reading: #168 From Nun to Fortune 500 Founder: How One Woman Overcame Her Fear of Reinvention (Ellen Snee)

#168 From Nun to Fortune 500 Founder: How One Woman Overcame Her Fear of Reinvention (Ellen Snee)

April 8 2022

Ellen Snee grew up in New Jersey, the oldest of five children in an Irish Catholic family. When she was 12 years old, a priest friend came to the house for dinner and gave everyone a blessing. Young Ellen then announced to her family that she wanted to become a priest when she grew up, for the opportunity to bring peace and joy to others. When her elders enlightened her to the fact that women are not allowed to become priests in the Catholic church, a young rebel was born. Snee decided instead to become a nun, discovering the Sacred Heart community while attending Fordham and going on to teach for Sacred Heart University. One of many reinventions caused her to transition to a career in women’s development, and after 18 years she left her convent. In this conversation with CoveyClub founder Lesley Jane Seymour, Snee recounts the reinventions of her life, including launching a Fortune 500 business, moving to California and meeting her husband, helping women claim leadership roles in the business world, and writing her book, “Lead: How Women in Charge Claim their Authority”. Learn Snee’s steps for dealing with fear of transition and how to take the leap to follow your passions.


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Ellen Snee has been at the forefront of women’s leadership for more than 25 years. Dr. Snee brings strategy, research and executive experience to global companies and their top female talent. Her original research at Harvard University on women’s experience in roles of authority formed the foundation of her consulting and coaching work with Fortune 500 companies such as Cisco, Goodyear, Marriott, Pfizer and Schwab.  Later, as the Global VP of Leadership Development at VMware, she launched the company’s groundbreaking business initiative, VMwomen, designed to attract, develop, advance and retain talented women. Her new book Lead: How Women in Charge Claim Their Authority makes her wisdom and experience accessible to all women seeking to accelerate their careers. Dr. Snee lives in the San Francisco Bay Area where she continues to coach and advise women leaders and executives worldwide, and frequently speaks to companies and conferences.


Time Stamps:

3:19 – Catholic family and childhood dreams

6:32 – Life changing books and female empowerment 

8:52 – Starting coaching business 

13:02 – Writing her book 

19:20 – What the younger generations are doing right 

22:28 – What you can do to get ahead

25:20 – How to lead effectively 

32:50 – Coaching stories


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