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Nell Merlino
Nell Merlino has mobilized more than 20 million people in movements to promote women’s economic independence. Nell created Take Our Daughters to Work Day, started Count Me In for Women’s Economic Independence and launched Make Mine a Million with Hillary Clinton. She also helped developed Walmart’s Women’s Economic Empowerment program and served as Pathways Envoy for the U.S. State Department promoting entrepreneurship. Nell is the author of “Stepping Out of Line: Lessons for Women Who Want it Their Way in Life, in Love, and at Work” from Broadway Books, available on Amazon, and “Cracking the Glass Ceiling and Raising the Roof” in MIT Innovations Journal, Winter/Spring 2013.

Nell is the Founding Chairwoman of the PBB Trust and serves on the PBB Board of Directors where she drives data independence and protection.

Nell lives in Manhattan with her husband, Gary Conger.

Entries by Nell Merlino

We Want You! We Need You!

(0) Comments | Posted March 4, 2016 | 11:05 AM


Media pundits and candidates think they know what women want from our next President, but they don't. Rather than wait for them to ask us, we created WE Decide 2016 so that thousands of women in business can join, give their...

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Who Decides 2016? Women Do. Really.

(0) Comments | Posted February 3, 2016 | 10:00 PM

You may find it surprising that women have cast the deciding votes in presidential elections for nearly four decades. What may not be surprising is that female voices rarely dominate the discussions leading up to Election Day. Women are not always given their fair share-of-voice to shape the issues that...

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Finding Our Way Out of the Woods

(0) Comments | Posted May 6, 2014 | 4:23 PM

What happened when a world-renowned designer (Bruce Mau) and an equally well know activist and champion of women entrepreneurs (Nell Merlino) got lost in the woods together?

Nell freaked out because she wasn't sure where this was leading and how to get out of the forest.

Bruce got...

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Continuing the Legacy of Lindy Boggs

(0) Comments | Posted July 30, 2013 | 5:55 PM

Business women across America need to take a moment of exuberant and respectful appreciation for the life of Congresswoman Lindy Boggs. She passed away at 97 on Saturday according to The New York Times, her daughter Cokie Roberts, an ABC News commentator, made the announcement. Lindy Boggs helped...

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Confidence Helps Women Business Owners Take Flight

(0) Comments | Posted May 6, 2013 | 5:14 PM

A female friend of mine who teaches people how to fly told me years ago about the big difference between her male and female students. The male students almost always need to get their skill level up to their confidence level, while the female students inevitably need to get their...

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The "B" Word

(1) Comments | Posted April 19, 2013 | 4:48 PM

As I approached my 60th Birthday this week, I was reflecting on how little people change their basic nature over a lifetime. I've been called the "B" word for as long as I can remember, but it is not the one you might be thinking right now that rhymes with...

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SHE Is Responsible for the President's Safety

(1) Comments | Posted April 5, 2013 | 6:35 PM

Once again, President Obama has demonstrated his clear confidence in women leaders. He has entrusted the physical safety of his family to a woman. Last week, Julia A. Pierson became the first woman to lead the Secret Service.

With over 30 years of experience in a still...

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Marissa the Mogul Mobilizes Parents

(1) Comments | Posted March 5, 2013 | 3:02 PM

After agreeing that we want both the youngest-ever female CEO of a Fortune 500 company to succeed in turning Yahoo! around, Christine Romans and I had a fascinating conversation this past Saturday before, during and after our segment on her CNN show "Your Bottom Line." We...

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Pull Up and Lean In, Ladies!

(1) Comments | Posted February 28, 2013 | 2:16 PM

As we roll into Women's History Month each year, I like to take stock of how we're doing and it appears that our ability to do pull-ups and to "lean in" to our careers are part of the next phase of the working women's movement.

Already in the first quarter...

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No Such Thing as a Snow Day for Entrepreneurs -- And That's a Good Thing!

(0) Comments | Posted February 12, 2013 | 12:56 PM

As much as I love what I do, I have to admit that I was hoping for a snow day last Friday in the wake of all the Nemo hype. No such luck. I awoke to emails from both of my early appointments saying game on.

First stop was...

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Ladies, Start Your Start-up Engines

(0) Comments | Posted November 14, 2012 | 11:13 AM

Another Veterans Day has come and gone but it's time for us to realize that honoring all veterans should be something we are doing on a regular basis. This includes the important role women in uniform play in protecting our country. Although it's a page missing from a lot of...

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Supporting an Urban Rebound in Detroit and Michigan

(0) Comments | Posted September 17, 2012 | 7:05 PM

An economic recovery is happening. Slowly, but it's happening. Depending on which side of the aisle you're on, there are a number of different theories about what can make this turn around move faster. Regardless, there is one area that everyone agrees on: women business owners and the need for...

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Having Babies and Doing Business: We Got This!

(1) Comments | Posted July 25, 2012 | 7:01 PM

Kimberlie Cerrone has a lot of start up experience, on the business front and otherwise. She's managed two IPOs and been involved at the C-Level with no less than eight start ups. More than twenty years ago, Kimberlie was in law school and raising two kids and her...

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Feeling Overwhelmed? A One Page Plan Puts You in Control

(0) Comments | Posted July 17, 2012 | 6:12 PM

What do women have who are leaders in their own life?

They have a plan. You can have a plan too.

2012-07-17-adelantevegas20123.jpgLast week in Las Vegas at the launch of The Adelante Movement, led by my...

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With a Little Help From Their Friends

(3) Comments | Posted July 17, 2012 | 5:16 PM

At some point, every entrepreneur comes to a crossroads, the point where she must take stock of her business and decide if they want to just be in business and remain in survival mode or if they want to take it to the next level. It's a daunting task --...

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An Open Invitation to Jack Welch

(0) Comments | Posted June 4, 2012 | 3:03 PM

Heard the one about Jack Welch at The Wall Street Journal "Women In the Economy" forum? In case you haven't, here's a brief recap: On May 2, 2012, former General Electric CEO Jack Welch (and his wife and writing partner, Suzy Welch) spoke to a gathering of women...

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On Being Your Own CEO

(1) Comments | Posted May 8, 2012 | 6:19 PM

Fantastic news from The Wall Street Journal: More companies are grooming more women for the CEO's chair. Finally!

According to a recent study they conducted with McKinsey & Company, nearly 73 percent of Fortune 500 companies have at least one female executive officer....

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Wise Words From Grandmother

(3) Comments | Posted May 4, 2012 | 5:41 PM

Recently, I had the great pleasure of meeting Jeff Unger, founder of the innovative legal services firm eMinutes, through a mutual friend, Romy Taormina, a Count Me In Awardee and the co-founder and "Nausea Relief Chief" of Psi Health Solutions. Jeff and I got to talking...

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What I Wish I Knew Then

(4) Comments | Posted April 24, 2012 | 2:10 PM

Back in 1992, I was approached by the Ms. Foundation for Women to help create a program to enhance girls' self-esteem. They'd seen a campaign I'd done a year earlier around the 10-year anniversary of the AIDS epidemic, where, among other things, we distributed 100,000 condoms on the...

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Women Changing The World

(1) Comments | Posted March 26, 2012 | 4:40 PM

We are smack in the middle of Women's History Month, and there's tons of happy news to report from the XX chromosome contingency! Now is a fantastic time to be a business leader, because so many of us are in positions where we can employ and help other women.

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