Kicking off 2021 on the Inspiring Women Blog with the outstanding Audrey McGuckin, who is truly uplifting women in all industries by paving the way for women to pursue executive leadership positions through her diversity and inclusion efforts. She spearheaded the Boosting Women Leaders Program during times of social distancing, in addition to hosting her Leadership Podcast where she discusses topics that highlight women's advancement in the workplace, such as the importance of women being in leadership roles for businesses, how we can be more effective allies for women in the professional setting, and why women diversity efforts tend to fall short. As a speaker on multiple women's-leadership panels, Audrey has made it her mission to share defining moments as a young manager in the professional setting, from working in a factory, to making coffee, and now leading as the CEO of the McGuckin Group.
Before beginning her consulting career, Audrey was Chief Talent Officer with a leading, global technology company. She currently serves on the Board of Directors for St Petersburg Police Athletic League in St Petersburg, FL, where she lives with her husband and two daughters. For the past 25+ years, Audrey has lived and worked across the globe in dynamic markets including Singapore, China, Taiwan, Japan, Florida, California, Boston, Germany, France and Spain. She’s consults with top CEO’s and CHROs to solve their toughest and most complex business challenges through innovative talent and people solutions.
Read more about Audrey's perspective below! You can also connect with her on LinkedIn HERE.
1. Rarely is someone's journey linear. Can you explain what you wanted to be when you grew up, and
how your career landed where you are right now?
I really didn’t know what I wanted to be when I grew up, yet I had a really curious and possibility thinking mentality. Nothing had landed in my mind which allowed me to experiment and not be bound by any constraints. I also had the opportunity to not have pressure from others which gave some level of freedom. My career transitioned from being a shop floor factory worker building semiconductors to being a C Level executive of a Fortune 150 company with a quarter of a million employees spanning across 52 countries.
2. Which single word do you most identify with?
3. What moment/experience in your life was the most formative in your development as a woman in
the professional world?
It wasn’t one single event yet it was many small cumulative events; things I remember are; strong belief in myself from a very young single digit age, parents and grandparents always believing in me and never giving any signals that anything was impossible, male leaders in my career that opened my mind to possibilities, a strong family unit that allowed me to travel the world at that same time as raising two independent twin girls.
4. What do you think holds women back from fulfilling their greatest potential and going for their
Sometimes it can be about self efficiency and believing in oneself, sometimes it can be experiences that create fear, sometimes it can be environmental – it’s deeply personal.
5. Tell us about your greatest "ah ha moment" and how you encourage others to
embrace that moment?
This is my favorite question. The work we do at our company when designing solutions is grounded in creating ‘aha moments’ for leaders. You’ll even find us reference “ah ha moments” in our firm’s purpose statement. We exist to orchestrate “Aha Moments” that fuel* leadership transformation.
One of my greatest ‘aha moments’ was when my daughter and I were having a conversation about what might be my next steps in my career and she said ‘mom, just do what makes your heart sing’. It was out of this conversation that I decided to start the firm. This was such a powerful moment for me. I realized how important it is to be a mirror for others.
6. Favorite ice cream flavor?!
7. Describe a time when you were underestimated in your career. How did you react? What did you
Early on in my career I was always underestimated. No one (except for me) would have expected me, as a shop floor worker, to become a C-Level Executive. My ‘secret weapon’ is to manifest dreams within, affirm them, and passionately chase my goals - allowing results to follow.
8. What leadership characteristics do you utilize most to best lead your team to success?
My strengths are in strategic thinking, big picture thinking yet at the same time figuring out how to implement.
9. Who is your female icon?
Kim Kardashian – and for the haters out there – well……
10. How do you think men can best play their part to help advance and advocate for women in the
I would call upon the men, who hold most of the seats at the executive tables, as they are making decisions. I would ask them to be intentional around things like succession planning, hiring, developing women leaders – every step takes us to a destination.