An independent Catholic school for young women in grades 7-12

Women in Leadership

March 6, 2020
23rd Annual Women in Leadership Event:
A Visit with Shirley Leung

On Friday March 6, Ursuline students had an opportunity to converse with Shirley Leung, Boston Globe business columnist and associate editor, at the school’s annual Women In Leadership event.  Ms. Leung, a frequent writer on the intersection of business, ethics, and gender balance in the workplace, carried messages that meshed perfectly with International Women’s Day, celebrated on March 8.  Leung kicked off the session by speaking about how she got started in journalism and how her career evolved, using the analogy of a jungle-gym rather than a ladder to describe the path she took.  Leung also described the difference between a columnist and a reporter, saying that as a columnist, “you get to write the things that people are too afraid to say out loud,” and discussed the dramatic impact that the digital age has had on the newspaper industry. 

After her introduction, Leung engaged in a fireside chat-style conversation with students Carly Carte ’20 and Madison Chin ’21.  The students posed questions about careers in writing and journalism, the writing process, and work-life balance.  During the conversation, Leung delivered several empowering messages to the students.  For one, she told them that despite continuing gender inequality on corporate boards, companies want to keep women in the workplace because they cannot afford to lose female talent at the rate they historically have; companies have also learned that more diversity in the workplace is linked to higher profits.  She adamantly encouraged students to “raise your hands,” in reference to the inclination for women to hold back from pursuing opportunities due to a lack of confidence or a perception that they are not qualified.