But she hasn’t always been the “first.” And her acknowledgement comes with gratitude.
“I grew up under the notion that you should always look back and pull someone along,” says Brown. Shawanna Turner, a Walgreens beauty consultant selected to speak with Brown for the Ladders: Lifting As We Climb series, agrees, noting that she hasn’t always had someone like Brown to look up to in her career. This comes at a time when it will take until 2074 for the number of board seats held by people of color at Fortune 500 companies will reach 40%. Progress has certainly been made—companies with over 40% diversity on their boards is almost four times higher than it was in 2010—but it has been slow, and will continue to take time.
Whether it’s a board seat or the next rung on a ladder, representation matters to inspire the next generation. It’s highlighted in the second installment of Ladders, a Black History Month series that gives WBA team members the opportunity to meet with leaders to discuss representation in the workplace and how they can all redefine what Black history means in the future.
Watch the conversation about how being the “first” may soon be a thing of the past for those who live courageously and lift others up along the way.