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Corporate Culture | Diversity | Leadership
Jean Otte is founder and president of WOMEN Unlimited in Manhattan, a firm that creates women's leadership and mentoring programs for large companies. Her concern is that "professional women are not going to be effective leaders if they keep running like hamsters on a wheel: they're either going to the kids' soccer matches, sending their bosses e-mails at midnight, or thinking about doing one or the other. Women need to understand what men appreciate in leadership and then try to incorporate that into their particular styles."
During her more than 40 years in the corporate world, Jean Otte has drawn a parallel between gardening and human development: the same principles utilized to develop gardens apply to the development of people. Her 2004 book, Changing the Corporate Landscape: A Woman's Guide to Cultivating Leadership Excellence, champions women who are developing their own leadership skills and facilitating the development of others. It is also a useful tool for men who are responsible for developing women's leadership skills.
Jean Otte is frequently requested to give keynote presentations for organizations and governmental agencies worldwide. She has been featured in Barron's, Business Week, Bloomberg News, CBS, CNN, CNBC, NBC, The Chicago Tribune, Fortune, Fast Company Magazine, The New York Post, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Working Woman, and CIO Magazine, among others.
Before founding WOMEN Unlimited, Inc. in 1994, Jean Otte was an officer and corporate vice president for National Car Rental System, Inc. Previously, Ms. Otte held management positions with McDonald's, Gillette, and The Bell. As a past president of the Society of Consumer Affairs Professionals (SOCAP), she led an international organization designed to foster and maintain the integrity of business in consumer dealings. Jean Otte received certification as an examiner for the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award in 1992.
Lifetime Television, the Committee for 2000, and the Y.W.C.A. have honored Jean Otte in recognition of her efforts on behalf of achieving parity in the workplace. She currently serves on the board of the Esteemed Woman Foundation. A native of Great Britain, Jean Otte immigrated to the U.S. after graduating from St. Julian's College in Newport, Wales, with a degree in elementary education.
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