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Speak Up and Step Up

In a world where women are always fighting to have their seat at the table, it’s easy to be overlooked or fall back on the comfort of lurking in the background.

Adena J. White decided it was time for a change and joined A Leader Like Me in the Summer of 2020. On the surface, Adena was making progress. Her new podcast, Blackbelt Voices, was recognized by O Magazine as one of the 15 most educational podcasts. She was the first black person to be appointed as President of the Arkansas Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America…Yet she, like many other women of color, knew that every achievement was a battle and was profoundly aware of the systemic barriers that played havoc with her confidence.

When Adena joined A Leader Like Me, she realized that although she had all these accomplishments under her belt, she felt there was always room for improvement and she signed up for the program to help boost her confidence, learn to pat herself on the back for even the smallest of accomplishments, and to step up and speak up in professional settings. The tools and techniques she acquired from A Leader Like Me really helped.

A Leader Like Me was born out of the need to build a community that provides confidence and courage to women of color who want to progress in their careers. The Flight program helped Adena build skills, plan strategy and gain a support community of women who faced similar barriers and challenges.

“I knew that I had accomplished a lot, yet there was always something holding me back from owning my achievements and acknowledging my power,” said Adena. “A Leader Like Me gave me the tools and techniques to help me move forward.”

Prior to joining the program, Adena struggled with holding herself accountable to the goals she had set for herself. She also struggled with completing tasks. A Leader Like Me not only helped her proactively create SMART goals for her professional life, but also helped her focus on what mattered personally. It helped her realize and identify her core values as the centre of her identity.

The truth is so many women of color feel like they bring one version of themselves to their workplace and another to their home environment. Living two parallel lives and not feeling comfortable bringing your whole self to the workplace can take a toll.

One of A Leader Like Me’s goals is to build and grow a community of women that uplift and cheer on one another. Since the program, Adena has made some connections that she knows she will meet in person one day.

The future is bright for Adena. Her boost in confidence means she will start the new business sooner than she planned and she already has her first client. She recommends the program to women who want to see and learn from leaders like themselves. Afterall, it really helped her step up and speak up.

A Leader Like Me is an empowering community for women of color who want the courage and confidence to progress in their careers.

Connect to Blackbelt Voices on and follow Adena on Twitter @AdenaJ and on LinkedIn, Adena White.

Join our conversations on Clubhouse by following Advita Patel and Priya Bates.

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