Mary Anne Gale’s direct and actionable approach to navigating corporate politics was some of the best advice I have ever been given. Using her approach to relationship building and seeking out career advocates has helped me advance in my career at a faster pace than my peers.


– Justin McDowell
  Enterprise Architect – Sun Chemical Corporation

Author Bios

Mary Anne GayleAs Procter & Gamble’s first female plant manager, and subsequently the first female vice president in P&G’s manufacturing organization, Mary Anne Gale became a role model and mentor for women across the U.S. After meeting thousands of women who consistently delivered excellent results – yet failed to gain commensurate promotions – she developed a set of career advancement strategies.

Then, in 2003, after 30 years in North America, she transferred to P&G’s Asian headquarters, where she worked with people from countries and cultures from around the globe. She quickly realized that “woman’s issues” in the U.S. and Western Europe, are issues faced by men as well as women in the rest of the world.

Running for Office: Getting Yourself Elected to the Career You Really Want is based on the notion that many professionals fail to achieve the success they believe they deserve because they don’t understand the dynamics of the workplace. They cling to the false belief that it is a meritocracy, where good work is sufficient for success.

Running for Office explains that the workplace is like a democracy, where top performers get ‘elected’ to roles, based on their relationships with decision-makers who advocate for them and ‘vote’ on their behalf.

Running for Office refutes the idea that building relationships in order to advance is disingenuous; arguing that relationship building requires the same level of strategic focus as developing skills and experiences, and delivering great results. By deconstructing the dynamics of Western corporate culture, Ms. Gale explains why beliefs and traditions at the core of many of the world’s cultures make relationship building especially difficult for women and non-westerners – men and women alike.

The text is supported by dozens of anecdotes by professionals from corporations, non-profit organizations and academic institutions. Each chapter also includes tips, exercises and self-assessment guides.

Mary Anne Gale’s 35-year career with Procter & Gamble began in Cheboygan, Michigan as an employee relation’s specialist. She moved to various locations in the U.S. before becoming P&G’s first female plant manager in 1987, and the Company’s first female vice president in the Product Supply (manufacturing) organization in 1999. In 2004 Mary Anne moved to Guangzhou, China where she served as Vice President, Product Supply Asia until her retirement in 2008.

Mary Anne Gale was born in Lansing, Michigan in 1948, and graduated from Michigan State University in 1971 with a B.A. in Retailing. She and her husband, Robert Gale, are the parents of three children and reside in Cheboygan, Michigan. She is now a career management public speaker and coach.


Shelley Cowan

Shelley CowanShelley Cowan is a writer and communications consultant. She helps business leaders inspire change by designing messages that get to the root of audience perceptions, concerns and needs.

Shelley uses her training as a cultural anthropologist to evaluate and analyze organizational dynamics Combines interviewing, analytical and storytelling expertise to develop compelling messages.  She creates audience-focused communications for face-to-face, electronic, and written delivery; solutions include speeches and presentations, video documentaries, podcasts and case studies.