Great Dames

Great Dames

Great Dames
Great Dames
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Marks 10th Anniversary

Great Dames find voice and much more as group
During a 30-year career at DuPont that included traveling globally and living overseas, Sharon Kelly Hake had noticed a common thread when talking to women leaders.

“Women did not feel valued and they struggled to find their voice. These women were smart, experienced, and credentialed, yet they did not believe their ideas or contributions were valued. So, I began to think about what I could do differently to help women discover their value, find their voice and implement their ideas successfully,” Hake said.

Justifying your existence

She also remembered growing up as one of seven children, with each being asked by their father at the dinner table – “Children, what did you do today to justify your existence?”

Hake took the plunge and left DuPont to start Great Dames in the depths of the 2009 recession.

“My colleagues were surprised that I was leaving a great job at DuPont at a very difficult time during the recession. But we decided it was actually a very good time to launch Great Dames because so many women were looking for ways to transition their careers and find new opportunities. We attracted many women who wanted to make a change and find more purposeful work,” Hake remembered.

Key elements of Great Dames include its fall powerful conversations series, a competitive event with the winner having the most powerful idea getting $25,000 in cash and services, and peer groups that meet regularly.

“We know that women thrive when they are surrounded by other supportive women, so we designed a community that fostered supportive relationships based on trust,” Hake says. “We have so many stories of powerful outcomes that arose from a Great Dames relationship. Dames help each other discover their power and purpose; they listen and help clarify each other’s ideas; they hold each other accountable; they forge meaningful friendships that matter.”
Category: Advocacy, Education, & Support
Our mission is to connect and mobilize the kindred spirits of women with purpose. We are a community of women who engage our individual and collective power to enhance leadership effectiveness while helping others.

We believe there is a Great Dame in every woman.

We help women activate their ‘Great Dameness’ at work, in communities and in our personal lives. We know how powerful it is when women inspire each other by coming together to share our stories and wisdom.

Created Through Passion and Collaboration.
While a global marketing leader at DuPont, Sharon Kelly Hake had a vision of an organization that would bring remarkable women together with the purpose of activating the “Great Dame” in each of them.

With the help of her daughter and co-founder, Heather Cassey, her family, and a steadfast group of supporters, she has taken that vision and created a vibrant community that has impacted the lives of thousands of women.

All Great Dames programs and events provide the following benefits:
  • Valuable, authentic relationships
  • Synergy with others who are changing the world for women and girls
  • Personal growth and leadership development
  • Cross-generational inspiration
  • Friendship
"It's been life-changing what Great Dames has brought to our community of women, and more importantly for me, our community of girls." ~ Chandra G. Pitts