The Shriver Report – Series – Breaking the Mold

Special Edition

Breaking the Mold
Wife, Mother, Soldier
One woman, Lt. Col. Chris Cieslak is an Active Drilling Reservist (serving in Troop Program Unit status) and has over 22 years of services in the Army Reserves. She was commissioned in 1991 has served two terms of deployment, and is a wife and mother of two. While she is oversees, her husband is the primary caregiver for their two children, and they continue to maintain those roles even when she returns to the states.
She shares her experience as a woman in the military, and explains how she manages being a soldier and a mother, as well describing her struggles with returning to the realities of civilian life.  → Read More
Breaking the Mold
Fatigues & Femininity: Documentary Profiles Women’s Return from War
JulieHera DeStefano never expected watching a mother make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich for her child would change her life. One afternoon, while watching the Oprah Winfrey Show, DeStefano watched as a daughter asked her mom – a veteran – to make her the sandwich. What had once been a simple, mundane task was now a challenge: She had to learn to make it with one arm.  → Read More
Breaking the Mold
Sometimes the Best Man for the Job is a Woman: A Retired Army Colonel’s Tales
In 1972, with the military draft ending but the nation still at war, few men were choosing to volunteer for service. The Army, Air Force and Navy decided to experiment by desegregating officer training and letting women train equally with men. Women have always served in the military but in segregated units without the training men received. Separate but not equal.  → Read More
Breaking the Mold
GoldieBlox: Disrupting the Pink Aisle With Toys for Future Engineers
As a girl growing up in a small town in Rhode Island, I never actually heard the word, “engineering” until I was a senior in high school. At the time, my math teacher suggested I pursue it as a college major. I couldn’t understand why she thought I would want to be a train driver! Luckily, I heeded her advice and tried Mechanical Engineering 101 my freshman year at Stanford. To my surprise, I loved the class and declared it as my major. Unfortunately, I was one of very few women to follow this path. The statistics are dire: only 11% of engineers in the US are women.  → Read More
Breaking the Mold
Making it in the Meat Business: A Step Back Does Not Always Mean Backwards
Today, I run my own company, Range, Inc., a meat marketing and education firm located in Chicago, Illinois. I am the author of the James Beard nominated book, The Art of Beef Cutting. I’ve been on the Today Show, featured in Better Homes and Gardens Magazine, Martha Stewart Radio, and many other local and national media outlets. I get calls from companies and individuals all over the world, asking for help with their meat related challenges. How did I get here? It all started with my desire to get an education.  → Read More
Breaking the Mold
How I Opened a Woman-owned Motorcycle Dealership and Became “Mama ROAR”
Ten years ago, if you had told me I would be answering to “Mama Roar” at a motorcycle dealership that I owned – while dealing with techs, painters, air brush artists, custom seat designers and a variety of other vendors and staff – I would have thought you had lost your mind. But here I am, storming one of the last male bastions we have in America, the motorcycle industry. How did it happen? Here’s my story.  → Read More
Breaking the Mold
Women in Engineering: Thriving in a Man’s World
When a male enrolls in college and selects a major such as engineering, the reactions from family and friends alike range from “Congratulations,” “What area is most interesting to you?” to “That’s impressive, good luck.  → Read More
Breaking the Mold
How to Achieve Success in a Few Easy Steps
I’m kidding, of course.
There is no set roadmap to success, especially in easy steps. When my 17-year-old niece Chloe, soon-to-be a high school senior, declared she wanted to follow in my footsteps and become a television director, I couldn’t have been more proud. I love what I do, so how could I not encourage her to follow her dream? I started thinking of what advice I’d give her on navigating the waters of a career in a male-dominated field, a path that can pose more than the usual challenges.  → Read More
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