Pledge 1%’s #WomenWhoLead series celebrates female leaders who are paving the way for the next generation. While our featured leaders come from a variety of backgrounds and industries, they are united in their efforts to promote equality for all women in the workplace. We’ve asked them to share a bit about their journey to success, as well as lessons they’ve learned along the way.
What is your name and title?
CEO/Founder at Resilia.
Briefly (1-2 sentences) describe your current role.
I’m the CEO and Founder of Resilia where I set the vision and lead the strategic execution of the company.
How did you get here? Please share any quick stories from past work experiences.
I started my career working at a stakeholder developer at Louisiana CASA. It was there that I began to hone my skills working within the nonprofit sector. In 2009, I left CASA to start my first business Solid Ground Innovations, then a nonprofit management and consulting agency. Through my work with various clients from large private foundations to small nonprofits, I began to envision a world where technology could be used in our space in a way to put nonprofits back at the center of the work.
In your opinion, what’s the #1 decision or move you’ve made that has helped advance your career?
I believe that one of the top decisions I’ve made to help me advance my career is to think without limits. Over the course of my career, I’ve imagined the world I’d like to live in and the world I’d want children to live in and I have worked hard towards that goal.
What is the most important lesson you’ve learned this past year?
The most important lesson I’ve learned this past year is that we are all resilient. Resilient is defined as the ability to withstand and recover from difficult situations, and I believe we all have this in us. People came together in ways I couldn’t have imagined.
What’s the number one challenge you face as a woman in your industry?
I’m not just a woman in tech but I’m a Black woman in tech. One of the biggest challenges I face is double bias due to both race and gender. This in turn has created difficulties when it came to funding, potential partners, networking and representation.
Do you have any mentors? What does mentorship mean to you?
Yes, I do have mentors but I do not call them mentors I call them guides, because these individuals have been guiding force and light in my life. I can say it is because of the individuals who have taught me from their lessons, successes and failures that I’ve become the business leader and person that I am today.
What advice do you have for women who are just starting their career?
My advice to women who are just starting in their career is to be steadfast regarding what they want, be curious to learn and embrace change as it can women better leaders.
What is one thing companies can do, big or small, to help create an environment that advances women into leadership positions?
One thing that companies can do to help create an environment that advances women into leadership positions is ensuring that women have a voice and are being promoted and hired into roles where they can truly make decisions.
What is one thing you hope to accomplish in the next year?
I am always thinking about ways where I can serve more people through my work at Resilia and with our products, and even in my personal life. When I look to next year I hope this continues to manifest itself in even more innovative and scalable ways.
Is there a cause that is particularly close to you? If so, why this cause and how did you get involved?
Closing the income and wealth gap is a cause that is close to me. I actually talk about it in my book Resilient. This cause is very personal to me as I was raised as a first-generation college student and my mother brought home less than $30K a year raising a household of 4. When she was diagnosed with late-stage cancer in 2008 that she would eventually succumb from, I always knew had she had the ability to take off work and keep her doctor’s appointments then perhaps her fate would have been different.
When did your company join Pledge 1%? What does your impact program mean to you?
Resilia joined Pledge 1% in 2018 when I first heard about it at SXSW. I was compelled then by the effort that I believed really spoke to the current and particularly the next generation of business leaders. Those building companies while also trying to build a better world.
What do you like to do outside of the office? Any interesting (or unique) habits or interests?
When I am home in New Orleans and pre-Covid I would love to go to festivals. It’s a continuous celebration of music, culture and experience, and no one does them as we do in New Orleans. I look forward to the return of festivals.
Are you reading/listening to anything interesting at the moment? Please share your most recent favorite book or podcast!
The book I’m reading right now is Professional TroubleMaker by Luvvie Ajayi Jones. It’s a smart, witty and hilarious take on how to overcome fear.
What’s been the one (or two!) things that have helped you navigate this past year? Any tips or tricks to dealing with remote work?
I believe the one thing that has helped me navigate this past year is being flexible. The tip I have on dealing with remote work is to engage as much as possible with your team.