This Sisters with Superpowers story is sponsored by Chevy.
Kedma Pognon Brown is the chief operating officer, Americas for Dentsu Media. She is a distinguished, passionate, and experienced executive who has led organizations globally through periods of change by applying innovation to elevate user experience and drive significant, sustainable value creation.
As a Black woman, what do you consider your superpowers to be?
I think our superpowers evolve with time and experience. In this current season of my life, my superpowers are grit and grace which is a unique balance. Grit because it requires an extraordinary level of endurance, tenacity, and focus. It helps me to keep pushing, improving, and pacing myself even during momentary setbacks and challenges. Grace because it makes room for acceptance, time, opportunity, compassion, and forgiveness during times when we are feeling overwhelmed or not feeling enough, or don’t have the answers. Grit and grace allow me to “accept the things that I can’t change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know better.”
What key skills or qualities make you unique as an African American female leader?
Empathy, passion, perseverance, resilience and persistence.
What thoughtful or encouraging piece of advice would you give to your younger self?
Lean into the opportunities that scare you or make you feel uncomfortable. It’s in those moments that you will see how far you can stretch, learn a new skill, pivot, and grow within your career and as a person.
Why is it important for women of color to work in leadership roles and decision-making capacities?
As women, we have a natural affinity to empathy and listening that allows us to have a unique perspective that allows us to create spaces of inclusivity that bring people together to collaborate and creatively solve problems based on diverse experiences and backgrounds. Being in a leadership role and having a seat at the table ensures that we can bring those perspectives to the decision-making process which results in more equitable outcomes.
Why should more experienced Black women reach back and help younger women of color?
For our generation, most of us didn’t see people who looked like us when we started out in corporate America. As a result, I feel a sense of responsibility and obligation to help bring others along, create opportunities and open all the doors and windows that I can. We should use our positions and platforms to be intentional in our efforts to create multiple pathways for the younger generation to reduce barriers and obstacles that they may and will encounter.