Earlier in her career, entrepreneur Maggie Hallahan was a photo journalist who traveled the globe covering significant events such as the decline of the Soviet Union for German magazine Focus. But she did so under the byline “M. Hallahan” to conceal her gender from colleagues and avoid assumptions regarding the types of assignments she could handle as a woman. “Everyone thought I was Mark, instead of Maggie,” she says.
Today, Hallahan runs visual marketing firm MHPV, which she founded in 2004. And she did so using her full name — no more “M.” She also had her firm certified as woman-owned, and proudly displays a certification badge on her website. However, as she says in her 1,000 Stories profile, she often sees examples of gender bias against female employees in the marketing industry. She’s trying to effect change from the inside by frequently hiring women and showcasing a diverse range of people in her campaigns.
It’s an uphill battle, but after building a successful venture from the ground up, and taking back her name in the process, Hallahan says she feels the self confidence and empowerment she needs accomplish her goals and meet such challenges head-on. “It’s your money, your time, your life — you don’t need to wait for anyone.”