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Jessica M. Taylor of Toyota explains what makes her a strong female leader

Why is it important for experienced Black women to reach back and help younger women of color?

Many women of color are the first in their families to graduate from college and have careers in corporate America, causing this group to be at least two to three generations behind their counterparts. Therefore, the additional experience and lessons needed to navigate politics [and] understanding the unspoken do’s and don’ts, can only come from seasoned leaders of color.

This mentorship and coaching, in many cases, can alleviate repeated mistakes and potential pitfalls for younger women of color entering the workspace. It is said that mentorship is vital to succession planning. Without effective succession planning, advocacy and sponsorship, we cannot ensure that we have a seat at the table to create and increase opportunities for women of color — women who have historically been locked out of the rooms where decisions were being made.

As a successful woman in business, what is your proudest achievement?

One of my proudest achievements has been witnessing five young women that I have mentored graduate from college, land an internship and then become a colleague through programming or scholarships that I worked to develop and implement in varying stages of my career.

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