53 episodes

Podcast by I Choose the Ladder

I Choose the Ladder I Choose the Ladder

    • Business
    • 5.0, 37 Ratings

Podcast by I Choose the Ladder

    Ep 53 - Meet Chastity Lord, President and CEO, Jeremiah Program

    Ep 53 - Meet Chastity Lord, President and CEO, Jeremiah Program

    In this episode you meet Chastity Lord. Chastity has spent two decades dedicated to DISMANTLING systems of inequity for marginalized communities.

    Chastity is currently the President and CEO at Jeremiah Program (JP), a national organization committed to disrupting the cycle of poverty for single mothers and their children, two generations at a time.

    JP’s proven, holistic approach begins with establishing a supportive community for single mothers to pursue a career-track, college education. Through a combination of quality early childhood education, a safe and affordable place to live, and empowerment and life skills training, families find stability to respond to the proven systemic barriers that impede social and economic mobility. JP deeply believes that families are the best owners and narrators of their lives. History has proven time and again that building infrastructure, leadership, and power for marginalized communities creates a contagion of long-term change. When single women living in poverty THRIVE, their children and everyone living in the community THRIVES.

    Chastity also recently served as Chief Operating Officer at Color of Change (COC), a racial justice organization with over 2+ million members. Prior to joining COC, Chastity was the Chief External Officer of Achievement First, a nonprofit organization that operates 42 charter schools in Rhode Island, Connecticut and Brooklyn. Over five years, Chastity worked with community leaders to secure $200 million dollars, favorable expansion terms and progressive educational policy funding, helping level the playing field for poor and marginalized communities.

    Later Chastity spent eight years at The Posse Foundation, a nationally recognized and MacArthur Genius awarded college access program, devoted to public high school students who show academic and leadership potential but may be overlooked by the traditional college admissions process.

    Chastity’s professional north star and commitment to equity and social justice for the past two decades is influenced by her own personal experience as a first-generation college graduate. Chastity understands that education is not the panacea for inequity but unapologetically credits it to transforming how she dreams and disrupting the cycle of poverty for her own family.

    Chastity has a BA in organizational communication from University of Oklahoma and an MBA in strategy and marketing from Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. She is a 2012 Pahara-Aspen Fellow with the Aspen Global Leadership Network and serves on the board of Shriver National Center on Poverty and Law.

    During our conversation we discuss:

    - Getting from good to excellent
    - Creating Beyonce Coachella moments in your career
    - Building your network
    - Passion for the work


    • 48 min
    Ep 52 - Meet Ezinne (Kwubiri) Okoro, North America, Head of Inclusion & Diversity at H&M

    Ep 52 - Meet Ezinne (Kwubiri) Okoro, North America, Head of Inclusion & Diversity at H&M

    In this episode you meet Ezinne (Kwubiri) Okoro, North America, Head of Inclusion & Diversity at H&M. Ezinne is a global citizen, change agent, diversity leader, and ally. Her professional career began in the financial services industry, though she quickly set her sights to the media and entertainment industries. During her 11-year tenure at Viacom Media Networks (MTV), Ezinne served in various roles in auditing, compliance, project management, change management, diversity & inclusion and employee engagement. This thought leader is now using her talents in the fashion industry as H&M’s North America’s Head of Inclusion & Diversity. In this role, she is tasked with creating a strategic framework, facilitating, and leading the company’s mission to foster diversity, inclusion, democracy, and respect for all its employees. Ezinne’s proven track record for executing with excellence, driving innovative results, and championing for progressive change, speak for themselves. Recently named amongst 30 Black Stars by Face2Face Africa and ESSENCE Magazine’s Women to Watch; Ezinne uses her experience and network to support organizations that empower young girls and service underrepresented communities. Her world view is one that upholds the values that mandate equality, access, and opportunity for all humanity.

    During our conversation some of the things we discuss:

    - Impostor Syndrome
    - Inviting yourself into the room
    - Finding mentors
    - The importance of your network and how to leverage your network.


    • 57 min
    Ep 51 - Career Tools

    Ep 51 - Career Tools

    In this episode, we discuss the four must have career tools that make a difference in your career.

    • 13 min
    Ep 50 - Meet Judith Harrison, Senior Vice President, Diversity & Inclusion at Weber Shandwick

    Ep 50 - Meet Judith Harrison, Senior Vice President, Diversity & Inclusion at Weber Shandwick

    In this episode you meet Judith Harrison, Senior Vice President, Diversity & Inclusion at Weber Shandwick. ⁠ A tireless advocate for the advancement of women and people of color, Judith is one of the most influential, awarded executives in marketing communications.

    She is a visionary leader dedicated to changing the face of the business through industry collaboration and inclusion-focused organizational transformation. Throughout her high-profile career in top marketing services agencies and organizations, Judith has activated industry diversity and inclusion efforts through creation of the Diversity Distinction in PR Awards, initiating a partnership with the United Negro College Fund, and bringing together multiple professional and trade organizations in an unprecedented joint effort to attract, retain and develop diverse talent. Judith is an inspiring, authentic, powerful speaker who is passionate about motivating women and multicultural professionals to see the best in themselves, be the best they can be, and boldly face the future with the information, confidence and courage they need to fulfill their potential.

    Judith is president-elect of New York Women in Communications, the premier organization for the advancement of women at every career stage in a changing media landscape through scholarships, empowerment grants, educational and networking events, and mentoring. She is also president of the PRSA (Public Relations Society of America) Foundation, which works to increase racial diversity and inclusion in the public relations industry. Judith is the first woman of color to hold either position, and the first individual to hold both simultaneously.

    As Diversity & Inclusion leader at Weber Shandwick, Judith drives programs designed to build a multicultural workforce that leverages diverse backgrounds and perspectives to create innovative solutions for clients and an inspiring, high-performance workplace.

    Judith’s background includes public relations and marketing communications positions and projects at Burson-Marsteller, Ernst & Young, CBS, Media General, Random House, and the Italian Trade Commission.

    Since joining Weber Shandwick in 2006, Judith has guided the firm to recognition as a champion of diversity and inclusion, with honors including the PRWeek/PR Council Diversity Distinction in PR Awards in 2012, 2013, 2015 and 2016, and the 2016 PR News Diversity Heroes Award as an Organization of the Year. She brought the United Negro College Fund (UNCF) together with the PR industry to form the PRIME (Public Relations Internship, Mentoring and Education) Program, launched in 2015 with sponsorship from Fortune 500 companies as well as leading PR agencies.

    Judith is former president of New York Women in Communications Foundation, former chair of the HR Roundtable of the PR Council, and a former member of the Clinton Global Initiative Disabilities Working Group. She serves on advisory boards of ColorComm and the Ron Brown Scholar Program, as well as the 4A’s Diversity Steering Committee. She is also a member of the public relations industry Research Collaboration Group.

    During our conversation some of the things we discuss:⁠

    - The skillset required to be a great PR professional.

    - Going from working in PR to allow her to sign at night, to finding her purpose in the work.

    - The importance of having a senior management team that supports you and your strengths.

    - How having emotional intelligence can change the course of your career.

    - Why choosing the right partner is critical for career success.

    • 45 min
    Ep 49 - Preparing for a Negotiation

    Ep 49 - Preparing for a Negotiation

    It's often said that you don't get paid what you're worth, you get what you negotiate. While most women feel uncomfortable with negotiating, it is a skill that we all have to get better at. So, in this episode we spend get you prepared for your next negotiation.


    • 41 min
    Ep 48 - Meet Kimberly Cook, Partner at Schiller DuCanto & Fleck

    Ep 48 - Meet Kimberly Cook, Partner at Schiller DuCanto & Fleck

    In this episode you meet Kimberly Cook, the first Black partner at the largest divorce firm in the United States.⁠ Kimberly is a partner at Schiller DuCanto & Fleck, where she is the embodiment of “grace under pressure” as demonstrated by her distinguished legal career as an esteemed litigator known for guiding her clients through difficult and complex family law matters including prenuptial agreements, divorce, custody and child support, with grace and dignity.

    Disintegrating relationships are never easy. That’s why Kimberly works one-on-one with her clients to help them realize their own power to navigate to the next stage of their lives. She brings a personalized approach to every case and works diligently with her clients to develop a clear plan for everything from prenuptial agreements to post-Judgment issues. As a skilled litigator, Kimberly is always prepared to go to court if negotiation is not possible while demonstrating that kindness should never be mistaken as weakness. Kimberly navigates clients through a difficult time while giving them the tools to move forward into their best life.

    Kimberly’s legal work speaks for itself. She has been named a Rising Star by Super Lawyers Magazine since 2013, she was identified as a 40 Under 40 Illinois Lawyer to Watch, listed in Crain’s Chicago Notable Minority Lawyers and named in The Best Lawyers in America (2015-2017).

    Kimberly received her B.A. from Spelman College and her J.D. from the Catholic University of America - Columbus School of Law. While in law school, she served as a judicial intern for the Honorable Gerald B. Lee, U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, and the Honorable John Mott, Superior Court of the District of Columbia - Domestic Relations Division.

    Kimberly spends her free time sharing her legal experience with the community as a speaker, volunteer and mentor. She is a member of the Black Women Lawyer’s Association and American Bar Association. Her civic engagement includes her membership in Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., Jack and Jill of America, Inc. and the Economic Club of Chicago.

    During our conversation some of the things we discuss:⁠

    - How she thinks about being labeled an angry Black ⁠

    - Dealing with impostor syndrome.⁠

    - How COVID-19 has changed how she does her job.⁠

    - Finding job in a new city with a competitive job market.⁠

    - The first time she had to show up at work with braids and ⁠
    how that experience changed her.⁠

    • 59 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
37 Ratings

37 Ratings

Jonathan Norrel ,

Something for everyone

I understand that the focus of the podcast is on black professional women, but I’m a white gay man and there really is so much here for anyone interested in furthering their career and professional development. Highly recommend giving it a listen!

ShyBaby109 ,


I love this podcast. Trying to navigate the corporate world has been a daunting experience for me, but this podcast offers so much in the way of advice and inspiration, it makes me feel motivated and optimistic that I can’t get where I’m aiming to go.

ParissaE ,

Much Needed Voices!

Big fan of this podcast!! As a woman of color in the legal world, the woman here provide valuable advice and insight. What a beautiful way to bring each other up together! Such great work Watchen!!

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