Cherilyn Murerhas spent a lifetime cracking glass ceilings. In the mid 80s, she received a law degree (one of the few women to attend law school at the time). She then launched a consulting firm which became recognized as one first, legal-based healthcare consulting firms in the country. When Cherilyn sold Murer Consultants in 2017, the firm had more than 500 clients in 42 states, Europe and the Middle East, employing 40 people, 28 of whom were lawyers.
But retirement wasn’t in the cards: she started CGM Advisory Group a few months later. The pursuit of intellectual stimulation and the desire to solve problems and affect changewas has always beenher driving force.
Today, Cherilyn’s life portfolio still includes healthcare but also higher education and the arts. In addition to a board membership of private equity-owned company Surgical Solutions, she is on the boards of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Union League Club of Chicago, Northern Illinois University Foundation and Luminarts Cultural Foundation where she was just reelected for a second term as President.She cracked the ceiling once again when inshe becamethe first female officer of the 24-member board of directors at Lebanese American University. Subsequently, she was elected Vice Chairman of the board, a position she presently holds.
Cherilyn has written seven healthcare text books and over 200 articles and is a frequent speaker on healthcare, higher education, the arts, and women’s leadership. She has won over a dozen awards for her business success and philanthropic accomplishments, including the Chicago Area Entrepreneurship Hall of Fame, the “Top Women in Healthcare Legacy Award” from PR News, and the 2018 “Women of Influence” award from Chicago Business Journal.
In addition to empowering nonprofits, supporting women in business isher key focus. Gender equality, she says,is reachable only when both men and women, and society believe that everyone deserves an equal chance at success.
Q. You launched your first company shortly after graduating from school when your children were still pre-schoolers. With so few women entrepreneurs at the time, you lacked role models to serve as an inspiration.And,you realized there were also biases against women in leadership positions. In this environment, what made you feel you could succeed?
Q: A recent study published in the Harvard Business Review revealed that women are reluctant to advocate for career advancement, raises or other perks out of fear the requests might end poorly. How important IS self-advocacy to get ahead, and is it a skill that can be learned?
Q.You’ve been quoted saying you believe that women have an obligation to help other women.Do you feel this is true, and if so, how does that manifest itself in the real world?
Q. In Illinois (where you live) and my home state of California, state legislatures recently enacted laws mandating that the boards of publicly traded companies elect at least one femaleboard member.How necessary are laws as a ways to get more women on corporate boards?
Q. Over the years, you’ve served on many nonprofit boards, usually in leadership positions. Why is this service and experience so important?
Q. Our country is in the midst of a pandemic which has cost thousands of lives and countless jobs. As our nation slowly edges towards what has been called a “new normal,” what advice do you have for women in business to help their companies and communities recover?
Q. On a somewhat lighter note, this is a decades-old question: Can women really have it all?
Q: Will you share a fact about you that would surprise the people you know?