UMass Boston Emerging Leaders Program Alumna Helps Women Navigate Transition

Andrea Wight, Center for Collaborative Leadership | November 19, 2015
Linda Rossetti's book Women and Transition

Linda Rossetti's book Women and Transition

I wanted to capture what was happening to me and other women. I decided to dig into that feeling.

The Center for Collaborative Leadership is in the business of developing future leaders. Naturally, when one of our emerging leaders “makes it” there is a sense of pride for their accomplishment. With that, for some, the “making it” experience leads them in unconventional directions. Case in point, Linda Rossetti, author of the newly released book Women and Transition: Reinventing Work and Life.

Rossetti is a 2002 alumna of the Emerging Leaders Program – a leadership development program for emergent executives in the Greater Boston area. Around that time, Rossetti had launched and was running a successful business, so while already a leader in her own right, she liked the concept of the program. She states, “I saw that it was social justice focused, and being a life-long Bostonian, that part of the program resonated with me.” Shortly after becoming a fellow in the program, her company was bought out by a major corporation based in Texas. She decided to work for that company – based in Texas – which, you guessed it, meant a lot of travel. Add to that the birth of her two children 16 months apart in age. It was hard, but Rossetti was not about to give up her career. All she needed was a change – number one priority, a job with less travel.

In 2006, the center was thrilled to learn that our illustrious alumna took a C-suite job at a Fortune 500 company as executive vice president of human resources and administration at Iron Mountain. And Rossetti was excited about the job as well. In her book she writes, “I did…believe that I was off on a new beginning. I fully believed that my problems were solved.” However, this change turned out to be termed as her “false start.” All was going well --- very busy --- but going well thanks to an incredible support system that included having a super star nanny. It all started to unravel when the nanny left. Rossetti explains, “with most transitions, there is a trigger,” and Rossetti’s trigger was a moment involving one of her children not being picked up after school while she was away on business in London.

She came to realize that she spent 20 years building a career trajectory towards a path that for her, didn’t hold depth. Rossetti knew another change was not the answer, and Rossetti embarked on the process of transition. She left her job, much to the chagrin of friends, family and co-workers, and decided to write a book about transition. 

The book is a combination of her story coupled with extensive research and interviews with hundreds of women on the subject. “I started to talk with other women and there was a strong message – there were lots of people who were feeling unresolved. I wanted to capture what was happening to me and other women. I decided to dig into that feeling.” Thus began her real process of transition, which she notes is sometimes perceived by society as failure. Women and Transition addresses the misconceptions about transition, and helps readers view transition as opening a door to opportunity.

I’m sure many of you have had those moments where you wonder if your career path is right for you. Women and Transition can offer not just advice, but actual tools to help you decide if you need to transition, and if so, provides resources on how to do it.  We are grateful to Rossetti for finding her voice and sharing her wisdom.

For more information about Linda Rossetti and Women and Transition, please visit

Tags: change , leadership , opportunity , transition , women

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