Unlock Your Potential

Inspiring Women to Live Their Bravest Lives

In this powerful keynote speech, Mary Burke shares what it was like to be in a David vs. Goliath battle that she was totally unprepared for but in which she discovers that she has played small most of her life, underestimating her own abilities and potential. The experience taught her to overcome self-doubt, fear of failure and letting what others think hold her back. She learned how to unlock her potential, and now she shares those lessons with other women.


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Whether it is speaking about women in leadership, closing the confidence gap or her personal journey to unlocking her potential, Mary is passionate about creating environments in which women thrive. She is an inspirational keynote and motivational speaker for women’s affinity groups and women’s leadership conferences. Audiences connect because of her willingness to be vulnerable and her deep understanding of the challenges women face every day to be their best selves. Research-backed like Amy Cuddy, vulnerable like Brené Brown, and a true leader like Reshma Saujani, Mary Burke brings a story that is relatable, inspiring, and important for women today.

Mary is amazing and BRAVE. Hearing her journey will inspire any woman who has ever allowed fear, self-doubt or negative thoughts prevent them from pursuing their deepest ambitions.

—Suzanne Kelly, Waukesha Business Alliance

Mary tailors each speech to her audience: women in STEM, women entrepreneurs, women in manufacturing, women leaders, businesswomen, women in higher education, CEOs, college women and young professional women will all be inspired and empowered.

Her message resonates and inspires: get out of your comfort zone, take risks, believe in yourself, build your support squad, invest in your strengths, and if you get knocked down — no big deal.  Come back even stronger. Be bold. Be brave. And most important of all, be you!

Mary’s Story

Mary founded Building Brave to inspire and empower women to unlock their potential. Her vision is a global online community of 10 million women who are connecting, inspiring and empowering each other.  She grew up wanting to be a business person just like her dad, Dick Burke, founder of Trek Bicycles. After a successful career in the private sector and an unlikely campaign that almost made her governor of Wisconsin, she found her passion and path in empowering women.

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I can’t tell you what a unanimously enthusiastic response we received from all attendees – and these were women who all have impressive achievements of their own.

—Kara Kaiser, BMO Harris Bank