Charter Global Attends Women Leadership Summit hosted by the NBMBAA (National Black MBA Association)

Representatives from Charter Global went to the Women Leadership Summit, hosted by the NBMBAA (National Black MBA Association) at Twelve Atlantic Station in Atlanta, GA. Among their speakers included Mary Stokes, a Bank of America regional executive, Diane Fanelli, President of Digital Enterprise Platforms at SAP, Wonya Lucas, President and CEO of Public Broadcasting Atlanta, and Michele Thornton Ghee, SVP of BET.

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The speakers inspired us and gave great advice for women in the workforce. Wonya told a story about her mother, Ruby Lucas, who was a teacher and eventually began working for Turner Broadcasting, brought up the idea to focus on TV for children. Ted Turner loved this idea, while other executives were not wanting to recognize how great the idea was, and because of Ted’s support, Cartoon Network was born. “My mother taught me to be fearless,” Wonya’s greatest inspiration was her mother, and inspired her down the path to eventually become the President and CEO of Public Broadcasting Atlanta. Similarly, Michele’s greatest inspiration was her grandmother, who firmly believed, “Leaders are all around us… [not just people] in a suit and tie.” She remarked, “We live in a time where we are still judged by how we look… majority of decisions are made about you when you’re not in the room.” “Until you’re in a seat of power, you have to do the dance, [and then] hire the authentic people [to promote diversity and gender equity].” Mary said, “Every promotional opportunity came from a man,” at first, “as a woman, I had self-doubt,” but then realized rising up the ladder was a very important step to make waves for future women in her industry.

 

When the topic of the book Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook, came up, the panelists had very different opinions. Michele replied, “I lean in every damn day, I’m fighting every day for everything I have.” Her advice is to “want and do more” to reach personal and professional goals. Although Sheryl’s situation is vastly different than others, Wonya believes, “Leaning in is being present in the moment.” The greatest takeaway from Wonya’s discussion points is to turn disadvantages into opportunities and take the power back from those that want to take advantage of your ingenuity and ideas.

 

What were your favorite moments and quotes from the Women Leadership Summit?