Twenty-six Black marketing executives at the world's largest corporations have launched the Black Executive CMO Alliance to amplify diverse voices at the leadership level. Members of BECA come from Adidas, Netflix, Amazon, PetSmart and a number of other large businesses. Leading the way, Jerri DeVard of Under Armour's Board of Director helped form BECA because she wanted to see more leaders of color recognized by their employers.
“I’ve been the lonely-only too many times and I’m personally aware of the isolation that comes along with it. It makes you keenly aware of just how different you are, not only because of your gender and race but because of what experiences come from being different, and those differences are not always valued or supported with the fervor given to others,” Jerri DeVard told Black Enterprise.
As of 2018, Black Americans occupied less than 5% of senior leadership positions at large corporations. BECA will work to provide networking opportunities for young marketing professionals and the organization will work to build career pipelines for the brightest Black leaders in marketing.
“At times it can feel lonely when you find yourself in the C-suite alone. But, one of the great things about an organization like BECA, is you learn to really lean into your network to help fill the gap within the company and outside,” Ukonwa Ojo of Amazon told Black Enterprise.
“While many of us are the first, we want to make sure that we are not the last. So, developing a really strong pipeline of incredible, business building, super smart, Black talent that can take amazing executive roles all over the world is important to all of us. We love that we can all band together and use our collective resources to mentor, train, and inspire the next generation so that even as we look to the future, we can ensure that its going to look very different than it does today."
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