As a young girl in the early ‘00s, I noticed that white men in sharp suits were the bosses and CEOs that employees respected. Fast forward to 2022 I am now able to see a greater representation of women of color, of all ages holding CEO positions which has drastically altered the future I see for myself. According to the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor 2018/2019 Report on Women’s Entrepreneurship, 252 million entrepreneurs out of approximately 582 million in the world are women and it doesn’t appear to be slowing down.
Regardless of how far you have come in your career or how far you want to go, keep in mind that “you are not bossy, you are the boss.”
Check out the impactful advice that these CEOs want to impart for your career growth.
Phylicia Fant, Head of Music Industry Partnerships at Amazon Music, Founder & CEO of The Purple Agency
Phylicia Fant is a music executive with over 12 years of experience as the CEO of her own firm, The Purple Agency. In our interview, she discusses the current state of the music industry, attending Spelman in the 90s, and the power of pivoting. Head of Music Industry Partnerships at Amazon Music, Founder & CEO of The Purple Agency.
Melissa Butler, Founder & CEO of The Lip Bar
Melissa Butler is the Founder & CEO of The Lip Bar who started her company using the coffee grinder and space in her kitchen. Nine years later, her products can be found nationwide in retailers including Walmart and Target, as well as a flagship store in Detroit. In our interview, she discusses creating a community through her products and lessons in entrepreneurship.
Pamela Cholankeril, President at Proudly
Pamela Cholankeril spent 11 years at the Estee Lauder Companies across several roles prior to becoming the President at Proudly, a babycare brand uniquely developed for melanated babies and co-founded by Gabrielle Union and Dwyane Wade. In our interview, she discusses her role and how she hopes to shape the brand.
Alexis McGill Johnson, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood
Sitting at the helm of both the role of president and CEO of Planned Parenthood Federation of America and president of the Planned Parenthood Action Fund, Alexis’ dedication to a world of equity is unparalleled. In our interview, she discussed the reversal of Roe V. Wade, being the leader of Planned Parenthood, and how saying ‘yes’ is self-care.
Kim Myles, Executive Producer, Host
Kim Myles is an Executive Producer, Host, Designer, and Hairdresser. After winning Season 2 of HGTV’s Design Star, she starred in her own show Myles of Style, and her new project, High Design, is a cannabis dispensary renovation show on Discovery+. In our interview, she discussed television and the cannabis industry.
Suzi Weiss-Fischmann, Co-Founder & Brand Ambassador of OPI
Suzi Weiss-Fischmann, Co-founded the industry changing nail lacquer brand, OPI, in the late 80s. From her first job at Dairy Queen to being named ‘The 1st lady of Colors,’ Suzi’s self-worth remains frankly unpersuaded by accolades. In our interview, she discussed being a woman entrepreneur in the 80s, the current state of the beauty industry, and what every woman needs to conquer the world.
Tonya Lewis Lee, Filmmaker, Entrepreneur
Tonya Lewis Lee is a filmmaker and a multi-hyphenate entrepreneur with various projects under her belt. Her latest film, Aftershock, available on Hulu, delves into the heartbreaking Black maternal health crisis. In our interview with her, Tonya discussed her new film and her commitment to health and wellness.
Toni L. Bullock, Director of Development, Unscripted Originals at Vox Media Studios
Toni L. Bullock is the Director of Development, Unscripted Originals at Vox Media Studios, and Founder of Callsheets 2 Cocktails. As an award-winning producer, she believes that being a creator is nothing without also being a connector. In our interview with her, Toni spoke about what it’s like being a development executive, the importance of being strategic in your life, and why having a house in Malibu isn’t the only goal on her vision board.
Teri Williams, President and Chief Operating Officer of OneUnited Bank
Teri Williams is the President and Chief Operating Officer of OneUnited Bank, America’s largest Black bank. Teri shares a passion for the almighty Black dollar; creating wealth and educating others on doing the same. In our interview, Teri discussed Black ownership, the power of the Black dollar, and her daily responsibilities.
Justine Lucas, Executive Director of the Clara Lionel Foundation
Justine Lucas is the Executive Director of the Clara Lionel Foundation, founded by superstar and mogul Rihanna, and is actively challenging global inequality on a daily basis. Despite playing an integral role in today’s most influential, nonprofit initiatives including the Diamond Ball and Global Citizen Festival, Justine doesn’t sound strained with responsibility. In our interview with her, Justine discussed changing the world without money, finding peace, and pursuing a career in public service.
[Editor’s note: This article was originally published on August 22, 2022.]