Bold & Fearless: Linda calhoun
Linda Calhoun is an entrepreneur, activist, and community leader based in San Francisco, California. A graduate of Boston University with a B.S. in Mass Communication, Linda's career path led her to work in international policy coordination, media, technology, and data management. Her work has met the unique and increasingly important intersections of STEM and Social Justice.
Linda is the Founder and Executive Producer of Career Girls, a nonprofit that was created as a response to the inequality of opportunity that Linda encountered in her story.
Linda is the President of the Career Girls board and additionally sits on the board for various other organizations, such as Alliance for Girls and Friends of the Commission on the Status of Women.
Who inspires you today and why?
I’m inspired every single day by the 500+ Career Girls role models who I’ve had the pleasure of interviewing since Career Girls got its start in 1996. These real, inspiring women are successful in their careers and through their personal stories and accomplishments, are proving to girls everywhere that the sky's the limit when it comes to their futures. This community of women Career Girls has created inspires me to be better, do better and reach my full potential too.
What is the boldest thing you’ve ever done?
I followed my dream. Career Girls was just the dream of one girl many years ago. I made that dream a reality for myself, and for girls around the world. I came from an under-resourced family, and with the help of a scholarship and my intelligence, I was the first of my family to go to college. Career Girls is founded on the dream that every girl around the world should have access to diverse and accomplished women role models to learn from and have the tools and support so that they can discover their own path to empowerment.
What is your superpower?
My superpower is being a woman, but not just any woman, a focused, driven and empowered woman. Finding my empowerment was what led me to be able to empower other girls to find the path that leads to their dream career that would position them to change the world.
Define a great leader. What are some traits you think great leaders possess?
I think a great leader is someone who inspires, connects and empathizes with others. A great leader is not afraid to be authentic. To be a team leader, you have to be an engaged member of that team. These qualities are what make a great mentor too.
What advice do you have for women aiming for leadership positions?
Careergirls.org has a fantastic video that we’ve created that shows our diverse, women role models speaking to this very question. Check it out here - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VVLz4jDOxZg!
What advice do you have for women considering going back to school in order to advance their career?
You have the power and the right to take agency over your life and path. Education is power. Deciding to go back to school means that you’re proactively putting yourself on the path that will allow you to take charge of your own life.
It is never too late to find your path, even if you’ve strayed. We often joke around at the office that the videos we’re creating for young girls speak to us and give us messages that we all need to hear. It’s never too late to find inspiration, to become educated, to be empowered.