Drawing upon many years of practiced experience, Susan Bulkeley Butler serves as the founder and the chief executive officer of the Susan Bulkeley Butler Institute for the Development of Women Leaders in Tucson, Arizona. Additionally, she excels as the first female partner with Accenture, with which she has remained committed to helping aspiring leaders in realizing their full potential. At the time she started at Accenture, there were not many women working in that field, but she knew some of the other partners working there. Even though her career has been filled with highlights, Ms. Butler is especially proud of participating in Fortune’s Most Powerful Women in Business Summits.
Ms. Butler was constantly in a role where she wanted to bring more women into the ranks, having been the first woman in many capacities. Her main objective was trying to change those numbers. Her sister, who was eight years older than she was and a University of Arizona graduate, went into business after college and Ms. Butler always aspired to be like her. She strived to make things happen for her rather than let things happen to her; she could have waited around for a promotion, but she knew she had to find a way to move up on her own.
In pursuit of her career, Ms. Butler earned a Bachelor of Science in management from Purdue University in 1965. She subsequently accepted an honorary doctorate in the same discipline through her alma mater in 1999. She knew she did not want to go to a public university and remain close to home. Ms. Butler retains her professional alignment with Purdue’s president’s council, of which she was previously active as the president. Additionally, she works on the board of directors for the Purdue Research Foundation, the dean’s advisory council at Purdue’s Krannert School of Management and the national board of advisors for the Eller College of Management at the University of Arizona.
An accomplished coach and business executive, Ms. Butler authored “Become the CEO of You, Inc: A Pioneering Executive Shares Her Secrets for Career Success” in 2008, as well as “Women Count: A Guide to Changing the World,” which she hopes will inspire women and girls across the globe. A champion of her community, she contributes to those in need as a member of the national board of directors for the Girl Scouts of the USA and a member of the worldwide board of Junior Achievement. For her professional accomplishments, she was recognized in Upside Magazine’s list of the 50 Most Remarkable Women in Technology in 2001 and honored with the Sagamore of the Wabash Award from the Governor of Indiana in 1965 for distinguished service to the state. Looking toward the future, Ms. Butler intends to mentor women all over the world.
Ms. Butler’s favorite part of her profession has been working with the staff to make sure they receive skills and opportunities they need. She always assumed people did that for her, but realized later on that that was not the case. Thus, she reached out to important people to get where she is today. Now in retirement, Ms. Butler continues to write and speak publicly, attaining further exposure and spreading her message. She would like those looking to pursue a career in her field to know that we all need sponsors and mentors, but also encourages them to reach out and find them. Coming from a business background, she understands most people are not used to that level of confrontation, but pushes them to try nonetheless.