Ana Shapiro Queenan, GMR Marketing
Ana Shapiro Queenan’s job would be daunting even without gender stereotypes.
At GMR Marketing, her job is to start and lead the company’s in-market operations for years leading up to the Olympics and World Cup. She’s built local operations from nothing in Brazil, Russia, China, South Korea and now Japan — all places where women still aren’t seen very often in boardrooms.
“It motivates me just to continue to do it, and set an example, and to be present and show that there is a place for women in these types of situations, even if it’s not something very prominent in the culture and the country,” said Queenan from her Tokyo office.
In 2017, her life changed. While six months pregnant on a trip to GMR headquarters in Milwaukee, she went into early labor. Her daughter lived for two weeks. GMR rallied behind her and her husband, she said, and she returned to work a few months later.
At first, Queenan didn’t want to talk about it, fearing pity. Now, it’s a part of who she is, and she sees professional improvement as a way to honor her daughter’s memory.
“I think I became a more compassionate person,” she said. “I used to get caught up with the drama and the politics, now I’m able to step away from that because I have more perspective.” — Ben Fischer