BB21-37 Ellen M. Snee, EdD, Claiming our Authority

Building Your Business with Sara Troy and her guest Ellen M. See, on air from September 14th

Ellen M. Snee, EdD, a former Catholic nun and author of LEAD: How Women in Charge Claim Their Authority. From the C-suite to the Senate floor, women in leadership positions are at historic highs. And research now shows that women are more effective than men in 84% of competencies associated with leadership. Yet many accomplished and capable women continue to struggle with issues related to ambition, power, and authority. What explains this disconnect? Dr. Snee, who has been at the forefront of women’s leadership development for more than 25 years, is available to share her unique perspective on women leaders in roles of authority. 

Informative, uplifting, and empowering, LEAD is a leadership book for our times. It has received advance praise from business leaders, academics, and experts on women’s leadership including Sally Helgesen, best-selling author of How Women Rise, The Female Vision, The Female Advantage.

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Snee’s earlier experience as a Catholic nun affords her a unique perspective on women leaders in roles of authority. She lived and worked with women who ran large educational and non-profit institutions. There she learned how:

  • women can collaborate with other women while navigating the male hierarchies
  • to mobilize individuals, teams, and organizations toward a shared mission
  • to assert her authority when necessary without harming relationships with others
  • to gain critical—and transferable—skills that apply to all women who want to exercise power and authority as a leader

Possible Topics that Dr. Snee speaks to include:

Claim Your Desires, Communicate With Purpose, and Lead With Authority
In this inspiring, actionable talk, she lays out her proven coaching model for leading from the inside out. Rooted in psychology and real-world experience, she shares illuminating stories and practical tips that audience members can immediately put to use.

Performance vs. Promotability: The Key to Career Advancement 

Women often see merit as the best way to get ahead: Keep your head down, get the work done, cultivate good relationships with your team or staff. But there is a difference between performance and promotability and it’s key to advancing in your career.

Holding Power and Embracing Discomfort 

Leading with authority means embracing power, not just “influence.” Power means you are in control, including the ability to hire, fire, manage assets, and impact lives. This includes the unique challenges — and opportunities — inherent when women have authority including over other women.

Networking With Authority 

The power of a network is not “who you know,” but “who knows you.” It’s vital to build webs of connection with individuals and organizations outside and beyond your own company. These relationships become increasingly important over the course of a career. 


ELLEN SNEE, EdD, has been at the forefront of women’s leadership development for more than 25 years. Her original research at Harvard University on women’s experience in roles of authority formed the foundation of her company’s work with Fortune 500 companies such as Cisco, Goodyear, Marriott, Pfizer, and Schwab. Later, as Global VP of Leadership Development at VMware, she launched its business initiative, VMwomen, to attract, develop, advance, and retain talented women. Ellen lives in the San Francisco Bay Area.For more information, please visit:

Ellen Snee EdD – Executive Coach to High Potential and Senior Level Women – Catalyst Coaching | LinkedIn


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