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Ep. 105: From Girl Scouts CEO to Chief Growth Officer at the National Council on Aging, Anna Maria Chávez Advocates for Women At Every Stage of Life

“My grandmother taught me something which didn’t really resonate until I was much older… ‘Anna Maria, you have only a few seats in the front row of your life. Why are you allowing your biggest critics to take up one of those seats?'”

In this episode of the Women Killing It! podcast, host Sally Hubbard introduces us to Anna Maria Chávez, the former CEO of Girl Scouts of the USA and current Chief Growth Officer at the National Council on Aging, an organization at the intersection of public policy, programmatic initiatives, and thought leadership around the right to live and age well. Anna Maria has been named one of Fortune’s World’s Greatest Leaders and honored as one of the Most Creative People in business by Fast Company.

With 25 years of public service and nonprofit leadership experience, Chávez is passionate about teaching the value of teamwork, inclusion and diversity, and strong leadership. In this episode, Anna and Sally talk about why aging is a women’s issue, and how Anna’s career has served the needs of women throughout their life cycle – from youth leadership at the Girl Scouts to aging well at the National Council on Aging.

“Aging disproportionally impacts women and women of color.”

Anna also shares how the lessons learned from her upbringing – including handing out flyers for her mother’s political campaign – helped her become the leader she is today.

“If you don’t have [gender balanced leadership] then certain issues aren’t at the forefront because again, you don’t have that perspective at the table.”

Anna and Sally discuss the importance of having more women at the table, celebrating milestones, staying connected with mentors and former bosses, and approaching leadership from a space of wanting to learn.

“Sometimes there’s power in knowing what you know and what you don’t know.”