Mary Shapiro

Professor of Practice
  • School of Business
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(617) 521-3860

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  • M.B.A. Wright State University
  • M.S. Wright State University

About Me

For more than 25 years, Ms. Shapiro has served as an Organization Behavior faculty at Simmons School of Business, teaching undergraduates, MBA students, and executives. She teaches in the areas of leadership, team building, compelling communication, and strategic career management with the critical lens of multiple social identities. In 2014 she was appointed to the inaugural endowed position of the Diane K. Trust Professorship on Leadership Development. In that position she is guiding the College in developing a leadership platform to be infused throughout the undergraduate program.

Ms. Shapiro researches and publishes in the areas of women, their careers, risk-taking, confidence, and use of power. In addition to contributing to scholarly literature, her most recent popular publication is Leading Teams with Harvard Business School Press (2014). Previously she co-authored two books on interviewing and career management with Simmons colleague, Dr. Cynthia Ingols, Take Charge of Your Career (2005), and A Smart, Easy Guide to Interviewing (2003) which extend an understanding of interviewing and work strategies to include the nuances of gender and many dimensions of diversity. She also developed "The Communication Styles Diagnostic," an online tool that has been used by thousands of managers to improve their effectiveness with individuals and teams.   

Throughout her career, Ms. Shapiro has consulted with Fortune 500 companies, private institutions, and non-profits, including organizations such as CVS Caremark, Harvard University, WebMD, and Liberty Mutual Insurance, to create vision, mission and strategic plans; launch teams with process infrastructure; and intervene in teams in crises. She works with numerous Boards of Directors, as a consultant guiding strategic planning efforts, and as a member of the Executive Committee of the Girl Scouts of Eastern Massachusetts (GSEM) where she serves as First Vice Chair. In addition to her dedication to Girl Scouts, for 20 years she has raised funds for the Dana Farber Cancer Institute through the Pan Mass Challenge, a 200-mile bike ride. Ms. Shapiro received her M.B.A. and M.S. Economics from Wright State University, Dayton, Ohio.

What I Teach

Undergraduate Classes

  • LDR 100 Leading Quietly: Introverts Leading in an Extroverted World (PLAN First Year course)
  • MGMT 100 Introduction to Management and Principled Leadership
  • MGMT 234 Organization Communication and Behavior
  • IDS 150 Simmons World Challenge

Global Leadership Programs

  • Department of State's "Women Changing the Face of Leadership" 
  • Women in Public Service Policy Institute 
  • Fulbright's Leadership and Re-Entry Program

Executive Education Teaching and Coaching 

Exploring your Leadership Potential; Leading Teams; Politics, power and influence; Communication and building strategic relationships; A strategic path to leadership; Creating credibility and authority; Women and the “Vision Thing”; Women accepting leadership; Executive Presence; Reflected Best Self; Influence without authority; History of the Future; Your Leadership Story; Leadership through the gender lens.

Research/Creative Activities

Creating Case Studies of Women in Business

School of Business Professor of Practice Cynthia Ingols was guest editor for a special issue of Case Research Journal. The issue, focused on women’s leadership, is part of an effort to provide teaching cases focused on women leaders. The Harvard Business School, the major producer of business school teaching cases with approximately 500 generated per year, produced about 10% of their cases with female protagonists in 2010-2014. The Dean of Harvard Business School set a goal to have 20% of their cases feature women protagonists by 2020.

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Articles in Journals

Grossman, D., Gao, L., Shapiro, M., Van Dam, E., & Hammer, D. (2017) Professional Women and Confidence: A New Understanding of the ‘Gap’. CGO Insight #42, Center for Gender in Organizations. 

Shapiro, M. (2016). Katie Conboy: Leading change at Simmons University (2016), Case Research Journal, 36(4).

Nitkin, M., White, S., & Shapiro, M. (2015).  Professional cornerstones of Liberal Arts Education: An intensive, interdisciplinary action-based curriculum. College Teaching.

Shapiro, M., Grossman, D., Carter, S., Martin, K., Deyton, P., Diane Hammer (2015). Middle school girls and the 'leaky pipeline' to leadership: Is 'Legally Blonde' the best we can do? Middle School Journal, 46(5), 3-11.

Shapiro, M., Martin, K., Grossman, D., Deyton, P., Hammer, D., Lauren Walleser (2014). Dreaming big: Examining the career aspirations of girls of color. CGO Insights #40

Ingols, C., Shapiro, M., & Tyson, J. (2015). Throwing like a girl: How traits for women business leaders are shifting in 2015. CGO Insight #41


Shapiro, M. (2014). Leading high performing teams. Harvard Business School Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts

Chapters, Cases, Readings, Supplements

Shapiro, M. (2018). Got introverts? Get CAE (Collaborative Auto-ethnography). In Herman, J. & Nilson, L. Creating Engaging Discussions: Strategies for "Avoiding Crickets" in Any Size Classroom and Online. Sterling, VA: Stylus.

Shapiro, M., Devnew, L. et al. (2017). Women and Leadership Aspirations, in Susan Madsen (Ed.) Handbook of Research on Gender and Leadership, Edward Elgen Publishers.

Shapiro, M., Hass, S., & Maxfield, S. (2015). Risk aversion among women: Reality, or simply 'doing gender'? in Adelina Broadbridge and Sandra Fielden (Eds.), Handbook on Gendered Carees in Management: Getting in, getting on, getting out (pp. 30). Edward Elgar Publishing, Cheltenham, UK.

Nitkin, M. & Shapiro, M. (2014). Action Learning Models for Poverty Alleviation. In Milenko Gudic, Carole Parkes, Al Rosenbloom (Ed.), Fighting Poverty as a Challenge for Business and Management Education (pp. 20).

Paper Presentations

Shapiro, M. (2017). "Women and leadership aspirations.” International Leadership Association, Women’s Affinity Conference, New York.

Shapiro, M., (2017). "Collaborative Auto-Ethnography: Leader identity work with first year college students." International Leadership Association, Women’s Affinity conference in New York. 

Shapiro, M., Martin, K., Grossman, D., & Hammer, D. (2017). "Confidence and career aspirations: Middle school through high school," Massachusetts Statewide Conference on Girls, Worcester, MA.

Shapiro, M. (2016). "Including introverts as leaders: Course design for first year college students." International Leadership Association Global Conference, Atlanta, Georgia.

Shapiro, M., Grossman, D., & Martin, K. (2014-2015, June). Keeping girls in the pipeline to leadership. International Leadership Association, Monterey Bay, California.

Shapiro, M. (2014). Leading high performing teams. Harvard Business School Webinar, Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Shapiro, M., Grossman, D., & Martin, K. (2014-2015). Are we keeping girls in the leadership pipeline? Association of Middle Level Educators National Conference, Nashville, Tennessee.

Shapiro, M., Martin, K., Grossman, D., Deyton, P., & Hammer, D. (2014-2015). Dreaming big: Making the case for girls.Simmons University, Boston, Massachusetts.