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September 24th, 2010 - Christina Nihira

A new book co-authored by Lou Kerr spotlights several Oklahoma female entrepreneurs

The book features dozens of inspirational narratives from a sundry of women of all ages across the globe, including five Oklahomans.

LouKerrwithbook-A_CupofCappuccino53mh_7-06x10-55cmLou Kerr. Photo/Mark Hancock
irst woman to hold a seat on the New York Stock Exchange," she says. "These are the ladies who helped break and shatter the glass ceiling."

One woman featured is former Oklahoma City University professor Ruth Leebron, who knows all about discrimination. In 1945, she graduated from the University of Oklahoma with an accounting degree at a time when most women typically became nurses, teachers or secretaries. She returned to the classroom to pursue a Ph.D., where she was told a woman had never been accepted for doctoral studies and they weren't starting then.

"My husband was in the Army," says Leebron. "We traveled all over the world. I discovered I could live anywhere and do anything."

Leebron later became dean of international programs at OCU and oversaw the development of a business program with a partner school in China. Today, she is retired, but still enjoys advising younger women.

A disagreement with a business partner forced Nancy Hyde to quickly sever ties and start anew. In 2002, she began Hyde & Company CPAs PC with four employees; today, she has 17. She's learned it is important to take risks and be ready for change.

"You need to take the path that will stretch you," says Hyde, also featured, "so you aren't afraid to challenge yourself."
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