Raising children is challenging enough, but what about raising four daughters in the 1960s, and guiding them towards successful business careers? Dennis and Connie Sullivan found a way to do just that. All four of their daughters have reached top executive positions, each having achieved a top management position in their respective lines of work. It is rare for four brothers to achieve that level of success, let alone four sisters. Half of all managers in the U.S. are female, but most are stuck in mid-level staff jobs. In senior posts, men outnumber women by almost six to one.
So how did they do it? From an early age, they instilled a goal-oriented sense of responsibility and a strong work ethic in the home. When one of the girls wanted a new bike, Dennis required a written business plan to convince him why. Early morning exercise routines were the norm. Connie taught her daughters that ambition is an integral part of their femininity, and not independent from it. Negotiating among each other to swap chore duties was acceptable, as long as fair tactics were used and everyone still ended up with work to do.