Women: The O’Donnell Origin Story

Published by Carrie O'Donnell
on Mar 11, 2022

One of my goals for founding O’Donnell Learn was to create an engaging, inclusive career opportunity for women who were Moms. Yesterday, on International Women’s Day, I reflected on that goal and am very proud that we have created a career path for 100s of women in the past 30 years!!

At the start of our company, in 1990, I had been a marketing manager in a publishing company, traveling 30% of the year and when in office, commuting 1.5 hours each way to embark on a 10 hour day. And, our VP of marketing was so rigid that he required me to take a 6:30am train because the 7am train got me into the office five minutes after our 8:30 start time. Can you imagine??

As my husband and I began thinking about having a family, I realized that this career choice was completely misaligned with my personal goals. I also saw a huge need in the educational content market that I will talk about another day.

So, I hired a handful of smart young mothers that wanted to freelance rather than work in an office and launched O’Donnell Learn. We were a little gig economy before gig was cool. Of course, in our spirit of inclusivity, we have had the pleasure of working with many, many men too!

What a journey it has been!

I have found that mothers are the most organized people out there. They are also (by and large) slavish about keeping their word and their deadlines. As generals in their home armies, they manage their time and are great at managing people and projects. They are also flexible, and over the years we have coached and trained dozens of former editor/writers and marketing professionals to become learning designers or market researchers or strategic advisers.

So, I’d like to raise a cup of coffee to all the women who have been part of my journey, and to those who will be joining us as O’Donnell Learn, combined with ISG, continues its huge upward trajectory.

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