Faith, Family, and Fulfillment
I am humbled and extreme grateful to be recognized as Woman Worth Watching in Leadership for 2022. Thank you, Profiles in Diversity Journal, for this prestigious award.
When I reflect on the factors that have influenced my career choices, three things stand out to me: Faith, Family, and Fulfillment. Being raised by parents, and all four grandparents, with a critical focus on faith provided me with a strong foundation. Keeping faith first was instilled in me at a very early age, and I have been blessed to witness firsthand how faith enables my family to continue to persevere and achieve when faced with life’s challenges. Their altruistic acts, and the use of their time, talents, and treasures to help others, have guided my career choices. This became especially evident when I took on stretch assignments, where I learned to lead with empathy and the strategic thinking that guides my work in AARP’s Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. Having strong faith allays the fears that can be associated with taking on new and increasingly challenging roles.
As a wife and working mother of two, family has always been my central focus as I evaluate job opportunities. At times, I have taken roles that required less travel, and I even found a position that enabled me to telework when my husband had an international position. When my roles required increased travel and responsibilities, he was able to work remotely. Constant communication, the needs of the children at various ages, and being intentional about staying true to each other’s career goals is our balancing act. We focus on progress, not perfection, while also remembering the advice shared with me very early in my career: You’ll likely be presented with many job opportunities, but you only get one chance to be a parent. Putting my family at the center of everything I do brings great joy.
Having started my marketing career in consumer packaged goods (CPG), I quickly learned the building blocks of effectively promoting brands. While I saw my product designs on store shelves and promotional coupons in Sunday newspapers, I lacked the same level of personal fulfillment in my work that I previously experienced when working in the pharmaceutical industry on life-changing products. As an African American woman, I find great reward in knowing that my work in diversity, equity, and inclusion is helping in some small way to make a difference in bridging the disparities that exist in many communities. I’m excited to see what the future holds, as I continue to let Faith, Family, and Fulfillment lead my journey.