Understanding the challenges of women in business isn’t just about the plight of working moms. Or only about microaggressions towards Women of Color. Or simply about covert discrimination towards people with different gender identities and expressions. The challenges we face are as multifaceted as our identities. The truth is women navigate a minefield of workplace hurdles when we show up as our authentic selves. The obstacles are even greater for women who exist at the intersection of many identities.
This panel of experts won’t shy away from brutal honesty. We will highlight the experiences of four women business owners. Each identifying as different races, ethnicities, parental statuses, disabilities, gender identities, and more. We’ll share our experiences, observations, and thoughts. And speak to how everyone regardless of identity can make business culture safer for women to exist and thrive in.
Our panelists include:
Orion Brown, Founder & CEO of BlackTravelBox®, a premium clean beauty brand targeting women of color. She is a brand strategy consultant by day with over fifteen years’ experience dynamically leading cross-functional teams across multiple industries. Her areas of deep expertise include consumer insights, brand strategy, product and packaging innovation, operations, and portfolio management.
Before becoming an entrepreneur, she led brand strategy for Oracle, led consumer brand marketing efforts for the Transformers and My Little Pony digital brands at Hasbro, and she spent the bulk of her brand career at Kraft Foods. There she led marketing, management, and operations initiatives across several beloved global brands. She received her Bachelor of Arts from The University of Chicago and holds an MBA from Duke University.
Ellen Lichtenstein, M.A. (she or they) is a word wizard and content creator with over 15 years of experience across radio, television, B2B marketing, SaaS, insurance, and public health communications – just to name a few of their niches. After graduating from NYU with a degree in communication studies, Ellen spent eight years in non-scripted TV production before making the logical leap to creating content within the insurance industry and earning a master’s degree from Johns Hopkins along the way. In 2020, Ellen left her tech marketing job to start two companies: Just Add Communications and Leg Up Learning Solutions. As if that weren’t enough, Ellen recently joined insurtech startup unicorn AgentSync as a staff writer.
Rocio Duran is a certified Life Coach (CTI Institute) with more than 10 years of experience helping people of different backgrounds, genders, and ages. Specialized in working with BIPOC entrepreneurs and businesswomen to take them to their next level.
Chelle Johnson is the CEO and Founder of her company, Best You Career Advantage, and the Denver-based networking group, Colorado Career Connectors. She has over 20 years of experience in executive leadership roles in Talent Acquisition and Human Resources at Fortune 50 companies including Comcast, Lockheed Martin, Quest Diagnostics and Honeywell. She has lived and worked in Asia and Latin America, acquired her MBA from Thunderbird Graduate School, and speaks Spanish and English. She is currently a part of the 2022 Denver Scale Up Network (DenSUN).
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