Magda Boulet

3 Questions for our President on Women-Led Wednesday

In celebration of Women-Led Wednesday, we're sharing a brief interview with our company President, Magda Boulet, who first started with GU in 1999. Back then, she was seeking advice for fueling her post-college running goals, and knocking on GU's door was the first step in a long and winding path to her current role.

We asked Magda 3 questions about the positive impact of gender-diversity at the executive level.

1. You’ve had a career of impressive accomplishments, both athletically and professionally. How do your experiences as an elite female runner inform your day-to-day leadership at GU?

A lifetime of sports and especially being on teams taught me many invaluable skills, such as accountability, goal setting and teamwork. To be an effective business leader means to be very intentional in how to build collaborative & cohesive teams because success is never attained alone. I believe that leading, just like coaching, is one part science and one part heart. Business and athletic teams produce their best work when they’re in a flow while working towards a common goal. There are many ways to get to the same outcome, but the first thing first…cultivate meaningful relationships by getting to know your people as humans first. I lead with curiosity and always want to know what motivates & inspires the people I work with and what they value most. I love to bring out the best in people, which means focusing on their individual strengths and connect their valuable contributions to a common goal. I have learned from my athletic career that building effective teams takes intentionality, time, and adaptability. You can have the best strategy in place, but it is navigating the power of a team that makes it bring to life is ways that’s meaningful for everyone. Sometime that means stepping back and empowering others to lead, other times it means being clear in articulating expectation and long term vision. Deliberate investment in people yields consistent, steady evolution which beats occasional & random extraordinary performances in the long run (no pun intended).

2. Back in 2015, McKinsey & Company found businesses that were more gender-diverse were likely to perform approximately 15 percent above the industry median. Years later in 2020, they found that the percentage had increased to 25 percent. Why do you think business that are more gender-diverse perform so much better?

Gender-diverse organizations not only perform better, but their engagement is also higher, retention is higher and so is their overall wellbeing. These collective benefits are what leads to more creativities, best in class ideas, and more innovation across disciplines and only happen when leaders deliberately invest in creating inclusive environments where individuals feel valued for their unique strengths and talents, and feel respected and safe sharing their points of views.

3. What advice would you give to people who feel frustrated by the low level of gender diversity in executive roles?

• Commit to being a lifetime learner
• Stay curious, humble, and authentic
• Invest in building trust by learning what motivates & inspires the people you lead and leading by example. Remember “seeing is believing”
• Communicate a positive and optimistic vision
• Drive towards a common purpose driven goal

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