Meet Our Sheroes- Catherine

Meet Our Sheroes

“Trailblazing in Male-Dominated Industries: The Career of Catherine Fitzgerald”

Welcome to Global Women Power! In this vibrant community, Dr. Alka Chopra Madan extends a warm invitation to explore the transformative work being done to empower women worldwide.

As we delve into the mission of Our Global Women Power, it’s evident that our commitment to empowering women goes beyond mere rhetoric—it’s a tangible force for positive change. Our designation as a 501(c) organization speaks volumes about our dedication to fostering gender equality and supporting women in various spheres of life. The emphasis on building a supportive network underscores our recognition of the power of solidarity among women.

The “Meet Our Sheroes” series adds a personal touch to our mission, allowing us to connect with the stories of remarkable women who have overcome challenges and made a lasting impact. Through these narratives, Our Global Women Power not only celebrates individual achievements but also highlights the collective strength and resilience of women worldwide.

As we explore the pages of our organization, we’re invited to join a community driven by empowerment, solidarity, and the belief in the potential of every woman to effect positive change. It’s a call to action that resonates deeply in a world where gender inequality persists, reminding us that together, we can build a more equitable and inclusive future for all.

At the heart of our mission lies the ‘Meet Our Sheroes’ series, a testament to the resilience and determination of women who inspire change. Through this flagship initiative, Global Women Power has had the privilege of spotlighting countless extraordinary individuals. 

In today’s installment of our “Meet Our Sheroes” series, we are thrilled to sit down with Catherine, a remarkable individual whose journey exemplifies the strength, resilience, and empowerment we strive to promote at Global Women Power.

Catherine’s story is one of incredible resilience and determination, overcoming challenges with grace and unwavering resolve. From humble beginnings, Catherine has charted her own path, breaking barriers and inspiring others along the way.

Each story shared within this series serves as a powerful testament to the strength and determination of women everywhere. Catherine, like many others featured, embodies the ethos of empowerment and resilience.

Allow us to introduce Catherine Fitzgerald, a dynamic force hailing from California and a woman of many accomplishments. Catherine’s journey is as diverse as it is inspiring, marked by resilience, determination, and a relentless pursuit of excellence.

First and foremost, Catherine is the proud mother of three grown men, a testament to her nurturing spirit and dedication to family. With all three sons successfully navigating their educational journeys—emerging as a doctor, a historian, and a philosopher—Catherine considers her role as a mother a profound success.

In her professional life, Catherine’s trajectory has been nothing short of remarkable. Currently serving as an executive coach and the owner of her own company, Brass Tacks with Heart Executive Coaching, Catherine works tirelessly to support businesses in scaling and achieving sustainable growth. Her focus lies in empowering CEOs and founders to transition from being the hub of operations to becoming visionary leaders, fostering a culture of collaboration and innovation within their teams.

Catherine’s career path has been marked by diversity and resilience. From her early days in finance to her tenure in the health insurance industry, Catherine has always embraced challenges head-on, rising above obstacles and breaking barriers along the way. Her experience as one of the few women in a male-dominated industry in the late ’80s and ’90s shaped her into a trailblazer, challenging societal norms and paving the way for future generations of female leaders.

In addition to her professional endeavors, Catherine has also dedicated her time and energy to nonprofit work, serving as the executive director and CEO of Catholic Charities for the Diocese of Fresno. Despite facing considerable challenges upon assuming the role, Catherine’s leadership and unwavering commitment to excellence helped steer the organization through turbulent times, ensuring its continued success and impact within the community.

Dr. Alka expressed her gratitude and remarked on the reflective nature of interviewing others, stating that she often sees parts of herself in them. She discussed the scripted nature of reflecting on one’s life and the importance of coaching in her journey, emphasizing its significance despite the tendency for many individuals to overlook it.

In response, Catherine acknowledged the transformative impact of coaching, considering it a step beyond mentoring. She noted the unpredictability of finding mentors and contrasted it with the more structured support provided by coaching. Catherine highlighted the value of having a coach who walks a similar path, offering constructive feedback and accountability.

She shared her own experience of coaching, describing it as invaluable in providing support and guidance, particularly in challenging situations. Catherine emphasized the importance of having someone who speaks the truth, even when it may be difficult to hear, and who offers perspective and direction during times of uncertainty. She expressed appreciation for the role of coaching in her life, recognizing its ability to provide clarity and direction in navigating obstacles.

Dr. Alka inquired whether Catherine’s story would have been different if she had a coach throughout her journey. Catherine responded affirmatively, recalling an epiphany she had while working with a group. She recounted a conversation with a teammate who sought guidance on developing her career path. Reflecting on her own experiences, Catherine admitted that her career choices had not been very strategic and shared a humorous anecdote about her father’s persistent inquiries about her job search after college. She acknowledged that coaching was not as prevalent back then and speculated that her life might have been different with the guidance of a coach.

Dr. Alka acknowledged Catherine’s response, suggesting that Catherine’s experiences had likely contributed to her effectiveness as a coach. She remarked that learning from failures and challenges had shaped Catherine into the person she is today.

Catherine transitioned to work for a bank, specifically Fresno First and then Community Bank. There, she spearheaded the establishment of the electronic payments department from scratch, showcasing her ability to build departments from the ground up. Notably, the bank operated under the Great Game of Business model, which emphasizes open-book management. This approach empowers employees by providing them with insight into the company’s financials and encouraging them to contribute to its success, fostering a sense of security and alignment between individual and organizational goals.

Alka asked Catherine to elaborate on the concept of open-book management, expressing interest in learning more about it. Catherine proceeded to explain the origins of open-book management, recounting the story of Jack Stack, the author of “The Great Game of Business,” and his experience as a plant manager facing financial difficulties. She described how Stack and his team decided to buy the struggling plant and transform it into an employee-owned company.

Catherine detailed the process of teaching employees about financial literacy and involving them in decision-making processes to improve the company’s profitability. She provided examples of cost-saving measures implemented by the employees, highlighting their newfound understanding of how their actions impacted the company’s bottom line.

Catherine further explained how the company paid off its substantial loan within three years through collective effort and strategic financial management. Catherine concluded by mentioning the significant increase in the company’s stock value and the positive impact on employees’ retirement funds.

Catherine expressed admiration for the organization and explained the concept of open-book management, highlighting its emphasis on empowering employees to understand the financial aspects of the business and set their own targets. She cited examples of companies practicing this approach, including Southwest Airlines and Netflix.

In response, Alka likened the principles of open-book management to a guiding resource, suggesting its potential to address challenges like employee turnover and unrest. Catherine agreed, noting that companies don’t necessarily need to be employee-owned to adopt the great game of business principles. She mentioned three books on the topic: The Original Story of the Great Game of Business, “Get in the Game,” and “Changing the Game,” each offering insights into implementing financial literacy and collective decision-making within organizations.

Dr. Alka mentioned that she wanted to highlight an important point: many women, like most of the population in the United States, lack financial literacy. She expressed her belief that the education system has failed in this regard. Alka shared her personal experience of growing up with grandparents who discussed financial matters but still didn’t fully understand business financials herself. As part of her work with Brass Tacks with Heart, she focuses on financial literacy, acknowledging that not every business owner may want to open their books but emphasizing the importance of employees understanding how money flows through the business and how they impact it. She used her background as an English major at UCLA to illustrate that financial literacy is not solely about math but also about logic.

As Catherine explained, in “Changing the Game,” the concept is elucidated whereby individuals begin to perceive their paycheck as revenue, viewing expenses such as rent, car payments, and insurance as overhead costs. This understanding extends to daily expenditures like going to the movies or shopping, where individuals realize they are directly impacting their bottom line by controlling their spending. The book emphasizes that mistakes in business aren’t a simple one-to-one exchange; instead, they affect the net profit required to generate that dollar. For instance, if a company has a profit margin of 10 cents on the dollar, losing $1 actually equates to $10 of revenue needed to make up for it. Consequently, saving money directly contributes to the bottom line, promoting financial prudence both at work and in personal life.

Reflecting on her experiences, Catherine shared a poignant anecdote about adopting a family during Christmas to provide for their less fortunate circumstances. Despite their initial generosity, she discovered that material possessions didn’t necessarily equate to financial security. Witnessing the family’s abundance in toys juxtaposed with their empty refrigerator, Catherine’s children learned a valuable lesson about the importance of financial literacy and long-term planning. She highlighted the stark contrast between their living situations, underscoring the need for foresight and financial education to achieve stability and prosperity.

Catherine responded to Nancy’s inquiry about the industries of her coaching clients by stating that she serves businesses across various sectors. She then listed a diverse range of industries she has worked with, including construction, property management, automotive, marketing, startups, and energy, specifically wind and solar solutions, water regeneration, and homecare services for seniors. This diverse clientele over the past five years illustrates the breadth of her experience and expertise.

Catherine explained that her coaching program is highly personalized and begins by identifying two or three key areas for improvement in the client’s business. She emphasized that she remains committed to her clients until they achieve their goals, adapting the plan as needed along the way. Communication is encouraged via text or regular meetings, depending on the urgency and timeline of the goals. Catherine also focuses on analyzing financial metrics to make informed, factual decisions, aiming to reduce stress and uncertainty for business owners. She mentioned the importance of understanding profitability, pricing accuracy, and other relevant metrics, often working on developing a comprehensive chart of accounts. While clients may not necessarily open their books to their team, Catherine helps them communicate in a way that motivates their team members to contribute to improving the business. Regarding accessing further details about her program, Catherine directed potential clients to visit her website,, where they could find more information or decide on the specifics after an initial conversation.

Dr. Alka inquired about finding pricing details and other information on the website or if decisions would be made later after discussing with clients.

Catherine responded by explaining that she offers three different pricing models tailored to the specific needs of her clients. The first model is a surgical approach, where the pricing is based on addressing a specific problem. The second model involves a subscription-based arrangement where clients receive ongoing support and guidance over a period of time. The third model is for clients with multiple objectives, where they collaboratively determine the duration and criteria for the coaching contract, typically spanning six months to a year.

She further elaborated that her coaching often extends to providing financial literacy training workshops, which serve as a foundation for understanding how money flows through a business. This training aims to foster a culture of informed decision-making among employees, ultimately helping them contribute more effectively to the company’s success. Additionally, Catherine emphasized the importance of improving communication to facilitate better decision-making within the organization.

Dr. Alka then mentioned a program called Digi Woman, run by Global Women Power, which trains women worldwide in digital technology to become virtual assistants. She suggested Catherine could share this opportunity with the people she coaches, mentioning that assistants from countries like India might be more affordable. Catherine acknowledged the idea, mentioning her involvement in a coaching sisterhood that also utilizes virtual assistants for administrative tasks. She expressed interest in learning more about how to connect her clients with assistants affiliated with Dr. Alka’s organization.

Alka further discussed the potential of hosting a seminar to attract more women to the program, as her focus is on empowering women. Catherine expressed enthusiasm for the idea, mentioning her past presentations tailored to women business owners and expressing interest in providing valuable insights to attendees.

At Global Women Power, we were thrilled to learn about Catherine’s comprehensive approach to coaching, which extends far beyond traditional methodologies. Her commitment to providing financial literacy training workshops resonated deeply with our mission to empower women worldwide. We believe that financial literacy is a cornerstone of empowerment, enabling individuals to make informed decisions and take control of their financial futures.

As we look forward to future collaborations with Catherine and her coaching network, we are grateful for the chance to work alongside like-minded individuals dedicated to empowering women and fostering a culture of growth and support in the professional realm. Together, we can make a meaningful difference in the lives of women around the world.

Catherine’s story is a testament to the power of resilience, determination, and unwavering dedication. Her journey serves as an inspiration to women everywhere, a reminder that with passion, perseverance, and a steadfast belief in oneself, anything is possible. We are honored to have Catherine as part of our “Meet Our Sheroes” series, and we look forward to delving deeper into her remarkable journey of triumph and transformation.

Global Women Power is honored to provide a platform for women like Catherine to share their journey—from humble beginnings to lofty aspirations. The goal is simple: to amplify voices and showcase the profound impact women are making within their communities and beyond.

For a deeper insight into Catherine’s coaching philosophy and her potential collaboration with Global Women Power’s Digi Woman program, we encourage you to watch the entire interview. In this discussion, Catherine shares valuable perspectives on financial literacy training, empowering women in business, and the potential impact of collaborations like the one proposed with Digi Woman.

By watching the full interview, you’ll gain a comprehensive understanding of Catherine’s approach to coaching and her enthusiasm for supporting women in their professional journeys. 

Also, if you’re interested in discovering more about the opportunities offered by Digi Woman and how they can empower women looking to enhance their skills in digital technology and entrepreneurship, we invite you to visit our Global Women Power website. There, you’ll find detailed information about the program, including training modules, success stories, and ways to get involved. Don’t miss out on this chance to explore how Digi Woman can support your professional growth and aspirations. Visit our website today to learn more!

Don’t miss out on this enlightening conversation! Watch the complete interview to discover how Catherine and Global Women Power are working together to empower women worldwide.


YouTube Channel Name: Global Women Power

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