Marsha Clark has helped develop thousands of women in their careers, and she's looking to expand – Dallas Business Journal – Dallas Business Journal

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Marsha Clark is a 2021 Women in Business honoree and was honored at an event on Aug. 24. For more information on this year’s honorees, click here.
For years, Marsha Clark has been guiding women on the path to professional leadership. And this year, it’s all about accessibility and expanding the reach of her impact, she said.
Through programming via her executive development and professional services firm Marsha Clark and Associates, she has provided programming focused on empowering women and making them successful in the workplace, based on their definition of the word. Over the past 20 years, around 500 women across 60 different countries have taken part in the firm’s Power of Self programming. 
“It helps them build skills. It also gives them the courage to speak up, to stand up and have confidence doing,” Clark said. “Along with all of the typical impact things like promotions, job and career changes, it’s really about being happier with their lives.” 
Clark said she started the program based on her own experiences of being one of the only women at the leadership table. After finding that other female leadership programming at the time, her firm launched focused more on conformity.
Clark said that though she misses the energy of in-person events, Marsha Clark and Associates have continued to reach women locally and beyond with virtual programming. The pandemic has also given her time to complete the first part of an expansion. Clark is releasing the first book in a three-part series focused on women and leadership in the fall. She is also releasing a podcast on the same topic in September. 
We talked to Clark about what makes her program unique, what has changed in the ecosystem since she started and where things are heading.
Can you talk about your Power of Self program and its impact?
I’ve been delivering the Power of Self program for 20 plus years. The objective of the program is to help women achieve success based on their definition, rather than pleasing someone else or conforming to what someone else thinks they should do or be. And it has been women from a wide variety of industries and backgrounds. That was by design so that women could really understand what it meant to be women, no matter what our career choices and walks of life. The women speak about how they have greater clarity about who they are and how they want to show up in the world.
How have women’s positions in the workplace changed over the years? 
One other thing that is really important and big is that women were often viewed as not being risk-takers. Once we studied it and got beyond the stereotype of women playing it safe, women are risk takers just as much as men are. We often have a Plan B or a contingency plan that allows us to have that fallback position and pivot pretty quickly. Therefore, it hasn’t looked like it’s been as risky because it worked out. But it was Plan B that worked out, not Plan A. I’m really happy that women are not being pigeon-holed into some narrow view of being risk-takers. 
What is something people aren’t thinking about that’ll change your industry in the future?
The more women that have influence and are at the table, it’s going to change priorities. It’s going to change the allocation of resources. It’s going to change decision-making. It’s going to change the agenda if you will. One of the questions I asked in my programs is what would be different if women have more influence in the world. No matter who I’m talking to, there are three themes that come through very strongly. We would put more emphasis on healthcare. We would put more emphasis on education. And there would be less war, in the sense of thinking, because women are often so relationship-oriented that they would manage that relationship as carefully and thoughtfully as we try to manage to get results. 
This interview has been edited for clarity and grammar.
Recognize an individual for their remarkable work as a diversity and inclusion advocate in their workplace and throughout the community.
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