Season 3, Episode 4: Catherine Beldotti Donlan, Executive Leader and Champion of Women’s Sports

Catherine Beldotti Donlan

Having held a long-time passion for sports and fitness, Catherine Beldotti Donlan set aside her destined conventional career path within international relations, opting to pursue a career within the athletic industry. Since switching career paths, Catherine has become a leader for some of the world’s most prolific athletic brands such as Reebok, Ryka, Puma, and Converse. Her ability to strategically plan and understand consumer demands tied together with her visionary creativity led Catherine into reaching the highest executive levels within the athletics industry.

In this episode: Catherine Beldotti Donlan shares her story of working in the athletic industry for prominent brands such as Reebok, Ryka, Puma, and Converse. She has been a champion for the emergence of women’s sports in the industry and a role model for other female leaders. Catherine also talks about her transition away from the athletic industry into working with Venture Capital lead companies. We wrap up by discussing how Catherine’s passions will shape what lies ahead.

Episode notes

2:00 – Entering the athletic industry
5:00 – A strong passion for sports, fitness, health, and wellness
6:30 – Change within the athletic industry and breaking glass ceilings
9:30 – Being authentic
11:30 – A female leader and mother in a male-dominated industry
17:30 – The importance of deep active listening
22:15 – Understanding critical feedback, self-reflection, and self-awareness
27:30 – Learning from the consumer
30:30 – Creating strategic directions and strategic visions in leadership
35:00 – From the athletic industry to venture capital lead companies
38:15 – Strategic planning in private equity
39:00 – Leaving the venture capital world and starting a new chapter


Catherine Beldotti Donlan on LinkedIn


Produced by Emma Holmstrom

Music by Isaac Chambers – ‘Change’

Comments (2)

Loved your talk and the way your energy comes through in your voice!
So interesting to hear you reflect on the changes in our culture around women in the workplace, in sports, and as leaders in both.
Just that brief allusion to the fact that women’s feet are different and you had to convince people of that says so much! Thanks

Hi Eloise,

Thank you so much for your comment, I passed it on to Catherine.


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