National Women’s History Month annually encourages us to honor the women who came before us and fought for equality among all races and genders. This month serves as a way to celebrate and honor the women who paved a way and the women who are making changes today. We all know there is still work to do and CommCorp strives to be apart of these changes. This WHM we wanted to accentuate the fact that our organization is predominately female ran by highlighting our senior leaders.
Our Human Resources Director, Deidra Leconte answered a few questions regarding women and the movement and here’s what she had to say:
WHAT HAS YOUR EXPERIENCE BEEN LIKE BEING ONE OF THE LEADERS OF THIS ORGANIZATION?
My experience at CommCorp has been inspirational. As a leader of the organization, I am honored to serve and lead such cause-driven leaders. The staff, board, partners, and communities we serve inspires me to be a leading contributor to our mission. As I work alongside staff and executives to implement positive and transformative change through sufficient diversity, Equity, and Inclusion efforts, In return, I see the revival of the employee experience at CommCorp become more meaningful, impactful, and memorable.
WHAT IS THE BIGGEST CHALLENGE YOU FACE AS A WOMAN IN THIS FIELD?
One of the biggest challenges I faced at the beginning of my career was to find the right sponsor and mentor. Being in my field of work as an HR professional, I was the only woman of color, which at times meant I was the only person of color at the organization. For nearly ten years, I was privileged to have a seat at the table early on ( given my career in HR), but that seat came with little / to no voice as I sat across from predominantly white male leaders. In retrospect, at times, I felt unwelcomed and undervalued. As I reflect to this time in my career, I firmly believe that having a mentor and sponsor that understood the daily challenges I faced culturally would have allowed me to cultivate greatness. The challenge I once faced where there were no women of color in leadership within the proximity to mentor me, so I leveraged the relationships I had as a stepping stone. This led me to lean in on all opportunities that presented themselves. In return, that allowed me to build my own personal board of directors who I can trust to continue coaching me, connecting me, cheering for me, and challenging me to reach my professional and personal goals. Today, I stand here as a woman of color in an occupied space to empower, advocate and influence change. I am profoundly honored and, most importantly, proud to pay it forward to all women, to mentor and sponsor by helping others reach their fullest potential.
WHAT ADVICE DO YOU HAVE FOR YOUNG GIRLS ENTERING THE WORKFORCE?
Being the first graduate of my Family, I learned true growth is a result of abandoning traditional habits. By shifting my priorities and cultivating a new way of thinking, I was able to break through barriers by reflecting on my experiences. Through my journey, I was very critical of myself, and at times I realized I; got in the way of my success. My advice to young women entering the workforce is to know it’s okay to be wrong to discover what is right, and failure with key learnings is the beginning of success. Young women should remember to nurture their values and character properly. Through the discovery of yourself, you will understand your self-worth, self-value and know, “you have so much to offer the world, so do not be afraid to use your voice; shine bright like a diamond.”