Noreen Beaman on Creating a Family-Oriented Workplace as a CEO

Noreen Beaman had been working in the asset management industry for years before her daughter radically changed her view of family, women and the workplace.

Beaman, who works as the CEO of Brinker Capital, an asset management firm with $21 billion under management, says she was inspired when her 26-year-old daughter told her that workplaces are still far from equal.

So she decided to become a mentor and an advocate for flexible family leave policies at her office. Luckily, she was in a perfect position to do so. Beaman has worked as the CEO at Brinker for more than five years, which gives her the opportunity to make cultural changes from a high level.

Beaman began making herself more available as a mentor and as a person willing to discuss family issues within her office, located in Berwyn, Pa. She often takes her employees for coffee, which she says opens up conversations on family issues like kindergarten drop-off, child care or parenting strategies. 

These conversations make employees more comfortable, she says, noting, “Who would want to work at a place like The Wolf of Wall Street?”

Beaman also recognizes that not all families look the same. “Family is defined by how you define it,” she says. “It could be a pet, a parent, a friend.”

She says she works to offer support like meetings, paid time off and parental leave for employees. 

But it’s not just the CEO who has the power to make things easier for her coworkers.

“Culture is a movement, not a mandate,” Beaman says. “A CEO can say we’re going to be the best company, but that may not happen. It has to be more of a movement.”

- Alicia McElhaney / She Spends Issue #35