SHU to Launch ‘Women Can Have It All’ Series Hosted by Linda McMahon

News Story: April 2, 2014

Linda McMahon, co-founder and former CEO of World Wrestling Entertainment, will host a series at Sacred Heart University on women in leadership titled “Women Can Have it All.”

The program, sponsored by the John F. Welch College of Business, will feature guest speakers who have had an impact in business. It will kick off with Stephanie McMahon, chief brand officer of WWE and Linda’s daughter.

The series will examine what it means to “have it all” and how women can balance career, family, friendship and personal time. It will feature conversations with women leaders across a variety of sectors and will be moderated by Linda McMahon, who is also a Sacred Heart University trustee.

“As an entrepreneur with a storied legacy for building an international enterprise, Linda McMahon brings tremendous knowledge and experience to impart to young women preparing for their professional lives and those who have begun their careers,” said John J. Petillo, president of Sacred Heart University.

The “Women Can Have It All” interviews will focus on topics relevant to women in the workplace, such as management, entrepreneurship and the challenges facing them in corporate America.

“As a former CEO, I want to show women that there are no limits to what they can achieve, whether through entrepreneurship, government, science or any path they choose,” McMahon said. “And there is plenty of room for women at the top.”

John Chalykoff, dean of the John F. Welch College of Business, said, “We are thrilled to host this series, which is designed to provide guidance and inspiration to women. Women continue to face many challenges, including perceptions in the workplace, their career trajectories, societal expectations and work-life balance.”

Stephanie McMahon was named chief brand officer of WWE in December 2013 and is responsible for leading efforts to further enhance its brand reputation. She works with WWE’s business units to support growth initiatives. She is the primary spokesperson for WWE’s key community initiatives, such as “Be a STAR,” WWE’s anti-bullying program.

She previously served as executive vice president, Creative, and was responsible for overseeing the creative development of all WWE television, pay-per-view programming, print, digital and social media content.

She began her career with WWE in 1998 as an account executive for the sales office in New York City, while also developing her television personality on WWE programming. Her career growth spans multiple business areas, including directing and producing some of WWE’s televised events. She has also managed WWE’s talent relations, talent brand management and live events businesses.

Linda McMahon stepped down as CEO of WWE in 2009 to run for the U.S. Senate. She was the Republican nominee to represent Connecticut in 2010 and 2012.

As a business executive, Linda McMahon helped grow WWE from a 13-person operation to a publicly traded global enterprise with more than 800 employees in offices worldwide. She has been widely recognized as one of the country’s top female executives.

In the past three decades, women have overcome hurdles to achieve unprecedented progress in business, government and education; however, an obvious leadership gap remains. Only 23 women currently serve as CEOs among the Fortune 500 companies, while the share of women on corporate boards lags below 20 percent. As a result, only a small pool of woman in senior executive positions are available to advise and advocate for young women entering the workforce.