The National Black MBAAssociation Holds Women’s Leadership Summit
By: Sabryna Crutchfield
On Tuesday evening April 26, 2022, the National Black MBAAssociation Atlanta Chapter held their fifth annual NBMBAA – Women’s Leadership Summit. The summit was held at the Hyatt Regency in downtown Atlanta. This year’s theme was connecting, elevating, and empowering the next generation.
The evening began with appetizers and a few moments for those attending to mingle amongst themselves to get to know one another. This audience was full of impressive women and men that held master’s degrees from varying fields such as education, technology, medicine, and so on. The audience also included students who were considering obtaining a master’s degree themselves – the perfect arena for networking and inspiring.
As everyone began to find their seats, Dr. Darryl Holloman, SVP of Student Affairs at Spelman College gathered everyone’s attention as the moderator of the summit. He introduced the remarkable women who were sitting on the panel: Asha Hope the Global Head of DEI for DoorDash; Cathleen Richardson Senior Leadership Executive at Apple; Jean Johnson Senior VP and GM at Fiserv, and Tasha Smith Executive director and COO at Morgan Stanley. The night was full of nuggets of wisdom as these women discussed topics such as preparing for your next opportunity, new rules of engagement, building your professional values, and ways to empower the next generation.
When asked to discuss new rules of engagement as things pivot because of the pandemic Cathleen Richardson voiced the importance of good leaders. “A great leader has vision, but an even better leader takes time to cultivate a shared vision for their team.” She went on to discuss how every person has a ‘special genius’ and it’s the job of the leader to tap into that special genius, and in turn, your team becomes that much stronger.
Another takeaway moment was when Asha Hope compared building professional value to building a home. She compared the foundation of a home to a person’s education, the basement as one’s experience and transferable skills, the first level as expertise and becoming an expert in your role, the second level being self-evaluation and creating new goals, finally the attic being where one would store learning moments that they can pull from.
Travis Townsend, the president of the NBMBAAAtlanta chapter, said the mission of the night was to establish an environment of support among women, and more importantly to inspire. Townsend discussed the panelist being authentic, sharing their journeys as well as struggles, and how he hoped individuals would leave the summit feeling better about their chances, and their ability to be successful in their careers.
The NBMAA will be holding its 44th Annual Conference and Exposition from Sept. 27 through Oct. 1 in Atlanta this year. The event has an attendance of around eight to ten thousand people, with over two hundred corporate sponsors looking for black excellence to hire. Registration begins in May on the NBMAA official website.
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