Ora Shtull | No Country for Young Women

What is your name, age, and location?


My name is Ora Shtull. I’m 51 and live in the best city on earth – New York.

What is your profession?


I’m an Executive Coach. I help senior executives enhance their Leadership Presence – the ability to engage, connect, and influence – so that they thrive professionally, get promoted, and make successful transitions. I’m also the author of The Glass Elevator: A Guide to Leadership Presence for Women on the Rise, a book that helps women master the skills that will propel them upward.

What did you study in school and what degrees do you have?


I have a B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania, an M.B.A. from Columbia Business School, and professional coaching certification from iCoach NY.

What was your first job?


In high school, I checked inventory in a dancewear factory and mostly what I remember is counting the minutes until I could clock out.

Who or what inspired you to break into your current line of work?


When I was a young professional in my first job in marketing, I had very little interest in the product, price, placement, or promotion, but I was fascinated by the people. I focused not on the numbers, much to the dismay of my boss, but on how people communicated and led successfully in the workplace. Four hours after my boss fired me, I landed my first position in professional development, which remains my passion and calling years later.
Ora's Book: The Glass Elevator | No Country for Young Women

Name/describe what has been your most rewarding project so far?


Being an Executive Coach, I get continually rewarded by my executive clients. When I first meet them, they are often overwhelmed, confused, stretched, frustrated, and even depressed. I witness how the power of spirit, focus, and support can transform a person into someone who’s soaring with a smile.

Name/describe one incident when being a woman has helped your career?


Working with both men and women, being a female coach often feels like a blessing. A man instinctually welcomes the attentiveness and attractiveness of a woman. A woman cherishes the deep understanding of her unique challenges that another woman offers.

Name/describe one incident when being a woman has hindered your career?


Being a young professional woman was often challenging. I worked mighty hard to establish my credibility and expertise with older men. I’ve actually become grateful for my wrinkles and grey strands (well, on some days, anyway!).

Please say a few words about your experience with the work-life balance.


I have a husband and 3 kids. I have never viewed work and life as two discrete things that needed to be evenly balanced. Rather, work has always been one wonderful facet of my life. In making choices, I focused on what made me happy because happy people make happy wives, mothers, and professionals. I also always reflected on what messages my choices would send to my children, which was an awesome guide.

Who is your role model or mentor (alive or dead)?


I come from a line of strong American women. My Grandma Flora, born in Brooklyn at the turn of the century, was the belle of many a twenties’ ball. And she always worked as a statistical stenographer in a bank, making more money than my Grandpa Nat, who was a gas station attendant. My mother Rita chose a career in education and moved her way up from teacher to administrator. She too made more money than my father, a clergyman. I feel blessed by both my environment and my legacy.

If you could give one piece of advice to a woman starting out in your field, what would it be?


Discover your gifts and be generous with them.

Links:

Ora’s website: oracoaching.com

Ora’s book: The Glass Elevator: A Guide to Leadership Presence for Women on the Rise

Follow Ora on Twitter: @CoachOra

– Interview by Elena Rossini

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