Mary’s Story

The inspiration for Building Brave came from businesswoman and our founder, Mary Burke and her unlikely run for governor of Wisconsin against a strong incumbent. The race was tightly contested and notoriously nasty. In the end, Mary lost the race but discovered something important. She had underestimated her own abilities and potential. The campaign forced her out of the comfortable and into the terrifying. Through the experience, she overcame self-doubt, fear of failure and letting what others thought hold her back. She learned how to build her brave, and now she is supporting other women in doing the same.

Interested in booking Mary as a keynote speaker at your next event?

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Why Building Brave Works

Research shows that most women receive messages for much of their lives that encourage them to play smaller than their abilities - "Act like a lady", "Don't be bossy" are just a few. By age 6, girls start to believe that boys are smarter than girls and by age 13, girls start dropping out of the STEM fields believing that they don't belong. Teenage girls believe that they are valued for their appearance over their abilities. Whether it is from the media, our peers, or in the workplace, our behaviors and beliefs are impacted. As women, it takes real bravery to be bold and be YOU rather than someone else's version of who you should be.