Local Profile’s 2023 Women in Business: Linda Silver

dfwnewsa | September 2, 2023 | 0 | Collin County

Local Profile’s 2023 Women in Business: Linda Silver

Women in Business brings together over 600 influential women from various sectors such as global enterprises, non-profit organizations, small businesses and government agencies within the North Texas community. It serves as a platform to celebrate, unite and empower the leading ladies of the DFW area.

On September 8, 2023, women across North Texas have the opportunity to connect with notable guest speakers, participate in enlightening panel discussions and meet like-minded professionals.

Meet one of our speakers:

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Linda Silver, Ed.D., joined the Perot Museum of Nature and Science in July 2017 as the Eugene McDermott Chief Executive Officer. Under her leadership, the museum launched several successful new initiatives including the complete redesign of the museum’s Being Human Hall; innovative programs for guest engagement; the installation of a new Paleo Lab that provides visitors real-time views of the museum’s field research and discoveries and much more. Silver previously worked for the government of Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates where she served as associate director of the Technology Development Committee. She holds degrees from the University of California, Los Angeles – Bachelor of Arts; Pepperdine University – Master of Business Administration; the University of Southern California — Doctorate of Education and Harvard Business School – Executive Education Program.

What is the biggest challenge women face in the workforce? How can they overcome it?
The biggest challenge women face is not seeing consistent representation within fields traditionally filled by men. This is particularly true in the world of STEM where many young women don’t perceive that STEM careers are “for them” since they’ve always seen those roles primarily occupied by men. Seeing women in leadership roles in STEM is critical to reaching and inspiring others. The Lyda Hill Foundation’s IF/THEN initiative is a perfect example of how to inspire women to overcome this challenge.

What’s your biggest motivation?
Impact. It’s exciting to be in a position where your decisions can have real-world positive impact on thousands of lives. It’s a tremendous responsibility, and I wake up every morning thinking, “How do we reach more people, and how do we create a more meaningful impact.” It’s easy to be motivated, too, when you can see the impact we have on a daily basis. Just walking around the Perot Museum you can see young faces light up as something new is discovered or learned.

How do you change a company’s culture to promote inclusivity and diversity? What are you leaving for future women now that wasn’t there before?
There are many ways to do this, but one specific action I’ve taken as a CEO at two different science museums was to add LGBTQIA+ language to our non-discrimination policy when it was not required by the law. Being an inclusive organization means not taking the people who comprise it for granted, no matter what the prevailing politics may be.

What was the most difficult decision you’ve made in your career so far? 
Anytime I’ve been faced with the opportunity to leave one organization for another it’s a difficult decision. It’s a balance between moving somewhere else to achieve greater impact vs. continuing with something that you enjoy and have seen success with.

What was your breakthrough moment?
Being named CEO of the Great Lakes Science Center at the age of 34.

How do you promote a healthy environment for yourself and your employees? 
Hire the right people and let them do their jobs (the first part is the hardest). Talented people working with a high degree of autonomy are the perfect formula for a successful and healthy environment.

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How long should you be willing to fail before you succeed?
I’d first question why I’m failing! Doing the same thing over again and getting the same failing result is not a recipe for success. However, if each time you fail you’ve failed in a different way, you’re learning and growing and establishing a foundation for future success. The key is not to be stubborn — a stubborn mind has little room to grow.

If you had to start all over again, what would you do differently? What would you keep the same?
Worked abroad earlier. It’s life experience you can’t replicate or read about — you just need to do it.

What’s the best advice you’ve received in your career? Who gave it to you?
It may sound a bit dated now, but an early boss of mine told me to not learn how to type, or else you’ll be assigned the role of minutes-take in meetings as opposed to having a voice in the room. She was right — defying traditional expectations is a good way to be seen and heard.

Who is your biggest role model? How can you be a role model to others?
Joan Grasty, my first boss. She was the only woman in the C-Suite of my institution when I started working in museums, and she drove decisions that made a bigger impact than her peers.  

What is your motto?
No margin, no mission.

What book do you recommend every professional woman read?
Leadership and Self Deception from The Arbinger Institute. 


The 2023 Women in Business Summit is currently sold out, but you can still email rebecca@communityprofile.us to join the waitlist. For more information about the upcoming event click the link here

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