The Inspiration Behind Her AgendaBy Rhonesha Byng
Apr. 2 2012, Published 2:16 p.m. ET
Decision-making positions are a key area where women fail to be represented. Among the Fortune 500 companies, women CEOs run only 18 of them, and before 1996 a woman CEO was nonexistent.
But as a 16-year-old girl, sitting in a NABFEME meeting, the picture that those numbers paint were not on my mind. I was blind to the reason why an organization called the National Association of Black Female Execs in Music and Entertainment was needed. I was just excited that there was no age limit and in awe of being in a room full of amazing women who had in my eyes conquered the world.
They were entrepreneurs, and executives at record labels representing clients I’d only dreamed of knowing. Hearing their stories made their path to success vivid and real. The intimate feeling of the room made it seem as though they were my big sisters telling me– this is how I did it, and you can do it too — but when you do it, make sure you take it to the next level.
Many young women lack exposure to examples of powerful women and lack the capacity to dream big. So, I created HerAgenda.com to highlight the stories of inspirational women who make moves behind the scenes. Each woman highlighted embodies the No one Ever Slows Her Agenda mentality in their industry.
Stemming from the acronym N.E.S.H.A.–No one Ever Slows Her Agenda started out as my personal motto but now it’s my mission to universalize that motto to young women across the world. Do not let anyone or anything stand in the way of your goals is the message of the motto. The resources are out there, and it’s up to you to find them and make your agenda a priority.
The presence of women in powerful positions continues to shock and awe, further solidifying women as the “other” when it comes to positions of power. The next generation of women can shift these attitudes. Just as second wave feminists used the tools they found most effective during their time (protests, petitions, boycotting); a new generation of women dubbed by academics as “cyberfeminists” are taking advantage of the tool they believe can serve as a catalyst for change in the years to come: the Internet.
Utilizing mentorship and personal empowerment, women are mobilizing and empowering themselves to ultimately break down the patriarchal structures of society and claim their power.
I want to translate the intimate feeling I experienced at that NABFEME event years ago into an online space. From this concept emerged the development of HerAgenda.com serving as a space to encourage young women to embrace the motto of No one Ever Slows Her Agenda and to utilize the inspirational real life journeys of power women to motivate and encourage users to not only dream big but do big.
Below, check out a video I produced last year during my embody the motto campaign to explain what HerAgenda is all about. Now, with this new design and new website we can carry out this mission fully.