The C Suite: Women On the Move
BossChix Network loves celebrating the accomplishments of women. It’s the most important part of our mission. So we have decided that from time to time, we will highlight BossChix that are on the move. Check out our first group of women now.
- Bozoma Saint John – Uber
You may not know her yet, but now you will. Bozoma Saint John is no stranger to being poached, and she’s always on the move. Her career path has included some big stops along the way, from Spike Lee’s Spike DDB to PepsiCo, Inc., to Apple Music. And while in her role as Head of Global Consumer Marketing at Apple Music Bozoma caught the eye of industry insiders and caused a stir on social media, with her sincere enthusiasm and unparalleled stage presence, when she had the audience sing along to “Rapper’s Delight” at Apple’s 2016 Worldwide Developers Conference. Her track record of pushing that proverbial envelope into unchartered territories was just what Apple needed for their debut of the redesigned Apple Music streaming service.
And as of June 2017, Bozoma has added Uber to her impressive list of career destinations, joining the C-suite sweet spot, in her new role as Chief Brand Officer. And Uber hired her for good reason. In her new role, she will be working to change the narrative around Uber and return it to the leading edge technology brand that it once was. It’s no secret that Uber has come off of several months of unwanted press on a myriad of issues including but not limited to their drivers, their response to Trump’s travel ban, and the problematic behavior of Uber’s Founder and former CEO Travis Kalanick. Uber sits exposed and vulnerable, and its workplace culture is said to be unhealthy to say the least. Bozoma certainly has her work cut out for her, but if anyone can push through with grit and finesse, it’s her. Losing her husband to cancer in 2013 did not stop her from stretching and growing, and she is an inspiration to us all.
2. Rosalind Brewer – Starbucks
Rosalind Brewer was appointed as the first woman and first African-American Chief Operating Officer (COO) at Starbucks in early September this year. Rosalind is on the move, with unprecedented momentum, after leaving her most recent role as the first woman and African-American CEO of Sam’s Club, a Walmart subsidiary, to join Starbucks. According to Fortune, a chance encounter in 2016 with Howard Schultz, then the Starbucks CEO, got the ball rolling. Schultz was originally scheduled to hold a panel discussion with Walmart CEO Doug McMillon, but instead he got Rosalind Brewer when McMillon was called away last-minute. Well, Rosalind got the attention of Starbucks leadership that fateful day and she eventually joined their board before ultimately being hired last month to blaze trails as their new group president and COO.
Fortune might call this something that happened “by chance”, but it’s popularly known that one of Rosalind’s personal and professional mantras is based on that of prioritizing relationship building. So it’s more likely that Rosalind Brewer is one talented and methodical woman who never wastes an opportunity, and the rest is history. Through the years, Rosalind has worn several hats at once, namely as a member of the board of directors at Lockheed Martin and chairing the board of trustees at Spelman College, her alma mater.
Rosalind’s story is a personal favorite to report for a couple of reasons – First, I love Starbucks. No seriously. I am a daily Skinny Cinnamon Dolce latte consumer, sometimes twice a day. Second, Rosalind “Roz” Brewer is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated. And as a proud member myself, I am always thrilled to see a fellow member making moves in the business world and community!
3. Sloane Stephens – US Tennis Player
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Sloane Stephens, the 24-year old right-handed tennis extraordinaire, most recently won her first major title at the 2017 U.S. Open. This is a spectacular feat considering she spent much of the last year recovering from a fracture in her foot requiring surgery. So not only is she beautiful, but she is resilient as hell. And this comes as no surprise as athletic prowess runs through her veins and family history. Her mother, Sybil Smith, remains to this day Boston University’s only All-American in women’s swimming Division 1, and the first African-American woman in the nation to hold that title since 1988.
Sloane’s U.S. Open win puts her in good company right there along with the Williams sisters, whom she holds in the highest regard and has only praise for. How very empowering. But Sloane hasn’t had the easiest road, aside from her injuries and setbacks, she lost her birth father and once NFL great John Stephens in 2009. She’d received the news of his death by car crash in the very same stadium she won in this year. His athleticism was passed on to Sloane for which she is eternally grateful. Her strength and feistiness and the fight built in her is truly inspiring. We salute her, for being another African-American woman making tennis great again, and for proving that perfection can come in imperfect packages.
4. Robin, Jasmine, and Jenae Harris – HuesBox Founders
Two generations of African-American women, Robin Harris and her two daughters, professor Jasmine and attorney Jenae, launched HuesBox in November 2016. Frustrated with the lack of product selection for women of color, in a booming but traditional subscription beauty box market, these ladies decided to tackle that problem and become the solution. And thus HuesBox was born, focusing on introducing new and innovative beauty and self-care products designed by minority-owned small businesses, for African-Americans, Asians, Native Americans, and Latinos. Just one year post-launch, they have made $20,000 in revenue, added a new product line devoted to men of color, and have been approached by several angel investors looking to help them take their business to the next level. Kudos to these groundbreaking trendsetters for tapping into a much-needed market!
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Note: There was no compensation provided for including HuesBox in this blog post
5. Patrice Andrews, Winifred Bowen, Cassandra Deck-Brown, CJ Davis, Gina Hawkins, and Catrina Thompson – North Carolina Police Chiefs Making History
Talk about the ultimate sister circle. Can you imagine being a woman of color and having 5 other women of color that you can turn to and relate to, and who have the exact same high profile job that you do? Now imagine that happening in a state that has had a long history of racial discrimination. Take it a step further and imagine this high profile job being in a profession where women don’t get promoted enough as it is. As Huffington Post notes, they’ve broken a glass ceiling!
Well, Catrina Amelia Thompson and Gina Hawkins, CJ Davis and Patrice Andrews, Winifred Bowen and Cassandra Deck-Brown don’t have to imagine it anymore. These African American women police chiefs have just that. We should all be grateful for their service. Because this is one for the history books, North Carolina’s to be exact.
Look out for these BossChix making moves!
Who did I miss? Are you a BossChix on the move? Share your BossChix moves to be featured in our next C Suite update!