Danise DiStasi is the founder and CEO of Unleash Love. Unleash Love’s mission is to eradicate bullying from the classroom to the boardroom. Danise is an author and speaker with twenty years of experience in professional writing. In addition to being an author, Danise currently assists others in writing their stories.
Describe your moment or story (personal or professional) of getting mad and wanting to incite change:
Throughout the 1980s and 90’s I was in the midst of a very hectic career in the medical industry. I sold Nuclear Medicine equipment, which was very male-dominated. I wanted to get on a career track for promotions and advancements. And while my bosses talked about helping, nothing was ever done to develop me for leadership. I had a conversation once with a boss and said that perhaps we could think about developing coaches or mentors to help develop employees for things they are passionate about, for career paths, etc. (this was long before that concept was ever developed in the business world). His response was, “Danise, we don’t need a bunch of cheerleaders running around.”
How did you use that experience to bring about change? What was the outcome?
I got mad and was shocked at his response. But then after being passed over for two promotions that I qualified for, I decided it was time to leave that organization. I was hired as a Director of Marketing for another medical company and within six months, was promoted to VP. of Sales and Marketing. I had the opportunity to work with many professionals who were interested in developing others and valued each other’s opinions. With an awesome team, we completely re-engineered marketing, sales, and operations to work with each other and not be siloed.
Name a female role model (past or present) you’ve found inspiring and empowering and why?
Definitely Sue Wideman, one of my professors in the Radiologic Technology program at Xavier University. She challenged me to do better. She worked with me on a complicated theory in radiology physics and stuck with me when I was ready to give up. She helped me to believe I was smarter than what I gave myself credit for and challenged me to not doubt myself. She went on to become Director then Dean of the Center for Adult and Part-time Students.
What is your favorite accomplishment of women getting mad?
Rosa Parks is one of the greatest examples of women getting mad. She was quiet yet stood her ground and started a movement.
Personally, I think my accomplishment is raising a strong woman in my daughter who is raising two strong women in her children. They are all loving and kind and compassionate yet fierce when it comes to standing for what they believe in.
What is something you wish schools would teach to kids in history class?
More about women who are strong yet loving and kind, though I know sometimes it takes brute force to get anyone to listen.
What advice would you give the younger version of yourself?
Believe in yourself, stop doubting, trust God, and then take the next step!
What do you think is the next step of women empowerment?
I think we will see more and more women in leadership roles, who are great role models who can show the world we can be loving and kind, and fierce. I think women are the only ones who can truly balance those characteristics.
What is something you wish more women would do to empower each other?
I think women celebrating other women would be a huge accomplishment. We say we do, but oh so many times, women just tear down others.
If you would like to learn more about Unleash Love, you can visit Danise’s website at https://unleash-love.com