The List: 10 C-Suite Moms of Color

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Yashima is an International speaker, master communicator, and branding expert. Dr. Yashima ministers in the marketplace - coaching executives into their highest levels of potential. Yashima is a history maker, serving as the first Vice President, Corporate Communications Officer for Radio One, Inc. A busy executive and loving daughter, wife and mother of an 11-year old boy, Yashima strives for excellence in both her professional and personal life. She credits her intense love for her son with challenging her to leave a legacy. “The birth of my son and daily living as this boy’s mother has taught me the essence of love in a way I’d never contemplated before him. Everything I do in this life is somehow connected to my intense LOVE for him. Perhaps it sounds cliché, but I really want to make the world a better place because of him. He’s my vested interest. Every seed I sow will produce a harvest and legacy that he can reap and benefit from.”
The List: 10 C-Suite Moms of Color
Dr. Yashima White AziLove*

Yashima is an International speaker, master communicator, and branding expert. Dr. Yashima ministers in the marketplace - coaching executives into their highest levels of potential. Yashima is a history maker, serving as the first Vice President, Corporate Communications Officer for Radio One, Inc. A busy executive and loving daughter, wife and mother of an 11-year old boy, Yashima strives for excellence in both her professional and personal life. She credits her intense love for her son with challenging her to leave a legacy. “The birth of my son and daily living as this boy’s mother has taught me the essence of love in a way I’d never contemplated before him. Everything I do in this life is somehow connected to my intense LOVE for him. Perhaps it sounds cliché, but I really want to make the world a better place because of him. He’s my vested interest. Every seed I sow will produce a harvest and legacy that he can reap and benefit from.”

A trained chemist, Rosalind Brewer worked at Kimberly-Clark for over 20 years before she moved in and up the ranks to lead Sam’s Club as President and CEO. Rosalind believes you should “Seek people who are willing to act and inspire others to do the same.” The mother of two, Rosalind is often described as approachable and ‘real.’ It is this authenticity that guides her as she serves as the Chair for the Board of Trustees at Spelman College, her alma mater. Rosalind explains her decision to serve, “ I chose to serve as a trustee because of the genuine love I have for my alma mater and my personal interest in investing in the education of African-American women.”
The List: 10 C-Suite Moms of Color
Rosalind Brewer

A trained chemist, Rosalind Brewer worked at Kimberly-Clark for over 20 years before she moved in and up the ranks to lead Sam’s Club as President and CEO. Rosalind believes you should “Seek people who are willing to act and inspire others to do the same.” The mother of two, Rosalind is often described as approachable and ‘real.’ It is this authenticity that guides her as she serves as the Chair for the Board of Trustees at Spelman College, her alma mater. Rosalind explains her decision to serve, “ I chose to serve as a trustee because of the genuine love I have for my alma mater and my personal interest in investing in the education of African-American women.”

Radiah Rhodes is a mom, Entrepreneur, Core Energy Coach, Life Design Strategist, and Expression + Impact Expert. She is CEO and Life Designer at Evók Life by Design and Global Innovation Leader at Cover Girl & Max Factor Cosmetics, Procter & Gamble. Radiah has led and coached many executives and organizations to deliver exceptional business results and launch numerous multi-million dollar products and services around the globe. Radiah declares the source of her success is “One word...Grace.  For me, grace shows up in the form of people that love, nurture, and guide me to and through each step of my journey. They have been my parents, family, friends, and teachers who have grabbed my hand through many struggles as well as triumphs and showed me to the next level.”
The List: 10 C-Suite Moms of Color
Radiah Rhodes*

Radiah Rhodes is a mom, Entrepreneur, Core Energy Coach, Life Design Strategist, and Expression + Impact Expert. She is CEO and Life Designer at Evók Life by Design and Global Innovation Leader at Cover Girl & Max Factor Cosmetics, Procter & Gamble. Radiah has led and coached many executives and organizations to deliver exceptional business results and launch numerous multi-million dollar products and services around the globe. Radiah declares the source of her success is “One word...Grace. For me, grace shows up in the form of people that love, nurture, and guide me to and through each step of my journey. They have been my parents, family, friends, and teachers who have grabbed my hand through many struggles as well as triumphs and showed me to the next level.”

Ursula Burns made history as the first black-American woman CEO of a Fortune 500 company. The former Xerox CEO once said, “Kids ‘are the great equalizer.’ "If your kids are okay, it erases all bad days, all bad things." Working her way up from Xerox intern to CEO, Ursula knows a thing or two about balance. Now serving as Chairman for Xerox, she is a founding board director of Change the Equation, which focuses on improving the U.S.'s education system in science, technology, engineering and math.
The List: 10 C-Suite Moms of Color
Ursula Burns

Ursula Burns made history as the first black-American woman CEO of a Fortune 500 company. The former Xerox CEO once said, “Kids ‘are the great equalizer.’ "If your kids are okay, it erases all bad days, all bad things." Working her way up from Xerox intern to CEO, Ursula knows a thing or two about balance. Now serving as Chairman for Xerox, she is a founding board director of Change the Equation, which focuses on improving the U.S.'s education system in science, technology, engineering and math.

Sheila Robinson is founder and publisher of Diversity Woman Media an integrated print, event, and online business focused on business and leadership development, mentoring, skill enhancement, and empowerment.  Dr. Robinson earned her Doctorate in Education from the University of Pennsylvania. Her dissertation, “Leadership Perspectives on Advancing Women to the C-Suite,” results point to a dynamic set of factors that play a primary role in propelling aspiring women into the C-Suite. Her research and experiences in her roles as mother and executive propel her to bring women together to support and encourage one another up the ladder and beyond.
The List: 10 C-Suite Moms of Color
Dr. Sheila Robinson

Sheila Robinson is founder and publisher of Diversity Woman Media an integrated print, event, and online business focused on business and leadership development, mentoring, skill enhancement, and empowerment. Dr. Robinson earned her Doctorate in Education from the University of Pennsylvania. Her dissertation, “Leadership Perspectives on Advancing Women to the C-Suite,” results point to a dynamic set of factors that play a primary role in propelling aspiring women into the C-Suite. Her research and experiences in her roles as mother and executive propel her to bring women together to support and encourage one another up the ladder and beyond.

Gemma Holmes specifically titles herself the owner of Holmes Pest Control, an environmental pest control company that serves commercial and residential customers in Tennessee. When asked why she prefers owner to CEO, Gemma retorts, “When I look at the organizational charts of NFL, NBA, and NHL franchises, the CEOs come and go, but never the owner. I learned years ago, being the owner comes with bumps and bruises but you stay put!” This mother of three is also producer a weekly radio show called Living Your Best Life with Genma Holmes, an uplifting program bringing real people sharing real stories about the lives they lead.
The List: 10 C-Suite Moms of Color
Gemma Holmes*

Gemma Holmes specifically titles herself the owner of Holmes Pest Control, an environmental pest control company that serves commercial and residential customers in Tennessee. When asked why she prefers owner to CEO, Gemma retorts, “When I look at the organizational charts of NFL, NBA, and NHL franchises, the CEOs come and go, but never the owner. I learned years ago, being the owner comes with bumps and bruises but you stay put!” This mother of three is also producer a weekly radio show called Living Your Best Life with Genma Holmes, an uplifting program bringing real people sharing real stories about the lives they lead.

Noramay Cadena is the Cofounder and Managing Director of Make in LA, LA’s only hardware-focused accelerator in the San Fernando Valley. At Make in LA, she’s focused on developing principled leaders with solid product and business foundations and on developing partnerships that support Los Angeles’ entrepreneurship ecosystem. She also serves as an advisor to the Latinas in STEM Foundation, an organization Noramay co-founded in 2013 to inspire and empower Latinas to pursue and thrive in STEM fields. Noramay graduated from Massachusetts Institute of Technology with her daughter and for her daughter. She often shares the challenge of leaving home to attend MIT with her toddler. Noramay explains that leaving Boeing for a foray into entrepreneurship was personal, “I realized that at my level, career growth was hindered by forces I couldn't mitigate; I was trying to balance a career and a full time non-profit and was running out of time for my family and most importantly, for myself; and, I recognized I could do more and that it was time to do something for me.”
The List: 10 C-Suite Moms of Color
Noramay Cadena

Noramay Cadena is the Cofounder and Managing Director of Make in LA, LA’s only hardware-focused accelerator in the San Fernando Valley. At Make in LA, she’s focused on developing principled leaders with solid product and business foundations and on developing partnerships that support Los Angeles’ entrepreneurship ecosystem. She also serves as an advisor to the Latinas in STEM Foundation, an organization Noramay co-founded in 2013 to inspire and empower Latinas to pursue and thrive in STEM fields. Noramay graduated from Massachusetts Institute of Technology with her daughter and for her daughter. She often shares the challenge of leaving home to attend MIT with her toddler. Noramay explains that leaving Boeing for a foray into entrepreneurship was personal, “I realized that at my level, career growth was hindered by forces I couldn't mitigate; I was trying to balance a career and a full time non-profit and was running out of time for my family and most importantly, for myself; and, I recognized I could do more and that it was time to do something for me.”

For 15 years, Margot Copeland has served as the Executive Vice President of Corporate Philanthropy and Civic Engagement for KeyBank, one of the nation’s largest, multi-state banks. In that role, Margot is the chair and CEO of the KeyBank Foundation and leads all the philanthropic and investment efforts for the organization.  She is also the immediate past national President of the Links, Inc. Amidst a truly successful corporate journey, Margot declares that the center of her life, “the center of my joy are my three children, Kimberley, Gary and Michael.  They are my life and each one makes me very proud. I’m so fortunate to have seen them grow in their own right as loving, engaged and contributing adults.”
The List: 10 C-Suite Moms of Color
Margot Copeland*

For 15 years, Margot Copeland has served as the Executive Vice President of Corporate Philanthropy and Civic Engagement for KeyBank, one of the nation’s largest, multi-state banks. In that role, Margot is the chair and CEO of the KeyBank Foundation and leads all the philanthropic and investment efforts for the organization. She is also the immediate past national President of the Links, Inc. Amidst a truly successful corporate journey, Margot declares that the center of her life, “the center of my joy are my three children, Kimberley, Gary and Michael. They are my life and each one makes me very proud. I’m so fortunate to have seen them grow in their own right as loving, engaged and contributing adults.”

Karen Patricia Williams is a Distinguished Professor of Women's Health and the Director of the Research Center for Women, Children, and Youth at The Ohio State University College of Nursing. In her role, Karen is charged with thought leadership within and outside of the Center. This includes faculty recruitment, development and management, education, research, and expanding the Center's footprint throughout the community. Karen started her career as a journalist. In the late 80s a book by Brian Lanker, I Dream A World: Portraits of Black Women Who Changed America inspired her to rethink her career. One of Karen’s guiding mantras is, “To much is given, much is required.” She believes it is her responsibility to pay it forward. Karen says, “I have my own daughters who I have invested in and made sacrifices for like my mother and others did for me. This is part of my continuing journey to having a seat at the table, to expand the voices of women and our community in the boardroom. We need representation in various sectors to help drive corporate decisions that will empower us in leadership roles at the C-Suite level.”
The List: 10 C-Suite Moms of Color
Karen Williams, PhD*

Karen Patricia Williams is a Distinguished Professor of Women's Health and the Director of the Research Center for Women, Children, and Youth at The Ohio State University College of Nursing. In her role, Karen is charged with thought leadership within and outside of the Center. This includes faculty recruitment, development and management, education, research, and expanding the Center's footprint throughout the community. Karen started her career as a journalist. In the late 80s a book by Brian Lanker, I Dream A World: Portraits of Black Women Who Changed America inspired her to rethink her career. One of Karen’s guiding mantras is, “To much is given, much is required.” She believes it is her responsibility to pay it forward. Karen says, “I have my own daughters who I have invested in and made sacrifices for like my mother and others did for me. This is part of my continuing journey to having a seat at the table, to expand the voices of women and our community in the boardroom. We need representation in various sectors to help drive corporate decisions that will empower us in leadership roles at the C-Suite level.”

Lisa is the founder, president and CEO of Nonprofit HR Nonprofit HR, the country’s leading talent management firm working exclusively with the nonprofit sector. Lisa’s company is partnering with many of the world’s most prominent nonprofit organizations to get ahead through smart people strategies that build and strengthen their talent capacity. Lisa is leading a multimillion dollar firm and simultaneously leading her home and family with 3 sons. Lisa encourages professionals to consider career opportunities in the nonprofit sector, “When you're working with a mission in mind and are able to see the impact of your organization's work on the community, your job is more than a paycheck. It allows you to tap into your passion and purpose.”
The List: 10 C-Suite Moms of Color
Lisa Brown Alexander

Lisa is the founder, president and CEO of Nonprofit HR Nonprofit HR, the country’s leading talent management firm working exclusively with the nonprofit sector. Lisa’s company is partnering with many of the world’s most prominent nonprofit organizations to get ahead through smart people strategies that build and strengthen their talent capacity. Lisa is leading a multimillion dollar firm and simultaneously leading her home and family with 3 sons. Lisa encourages professionals to consider career opportunities in the nonprofit sector, “When you're working with a mission in mind and are able to see the impact of your organization's work on the community, your job is more than a paycheck. It allows you to tap into your passion and purpose.”

Written and Compiled by Dr. Joynicle Martinez and Dr. Lydia Carlis


Recent research indicates that women whose mothers worked outside the home are more likely to have jobs, hold supervisory responsibility at those jobs, and earn higher wages. Men raised by working mothers are more likely to contribute to household chores and spend more time caring for family members.

Walker’s Legacy presents 10 powerhouse moms who continue the example of America’s first self-made female millionaire, Madam C.J. Walker, raising families and building companies.

**Images by Lydia Kearney Carlis, PhD of Eyemagination Imaging | C-Suite Pics

Walker's Legacy

Walker's Legacy

Walker's Legacy is a growing global women in business collective founded to establish networks of empowerment and access for women of color in business.

 

Walker's Legacy is a growing global women in business collective founded to establish networks of empowerment and access for women of color in business.

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