Breaking the Glass Ceiling

Sharon Mock Gregory, BS 66

VP, Iredale Mineral Cosmetics, Great Barrington, Mass


Sharon Mock Gregory never set out to be a trailblazer for women in business.


Coming from a traditional Chinese-American family, Gregory entered Cal to study medicine, like her revered grandfather.


But Gregory was elected ASUC vice president and experienced her first taste of political activism and the free speech movement. She changed her major to business, becoming one of two women enrolled in Berkeley Haas. "I just followed my instincts," Gregory says.


Those instincts led Gregory to become the first woman in "higher finance" at IBM and first female VP at PaineWebber. High-ranking positions at Lehman, Citibank, and financial technology firms followed.


"It didn't seem right or logical that women were not allowed the same professional opportunities as men, so I pursued them anyway," she says.


Gregory had just cofounded a marketing company when a change of plans meant she narrowly missed being in the World Trade Center on Sept. 11. In 2003, still "possibly affected by shock" from 9/11 and recovering from surgery, Gregory decided to spend more time at her house in the Berkshires. There she met Jane Iredale, founder of Iredale Mineral Cosmetics, who hired Gregory as VP, corporate development and planning.


"While much progress has been made for women." Gregory says, "being part of a company that is led by a woman, that values women at all levels of the organization, and for which women are the consumers of our high-quality products is especially rewarding."


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