Shereese Floyd, CEO of Witness My Life, has launched Break the Glass: Thought Leadership Academy, a 12-week professional development curriculum teaching mid-career and senior-level black women to become thought leaders so they can get paid for their ideas and not their labor. The program starts on August 11.
Floyd, an award-winning speechwriter, storyteller, and consultant, has worked with thousands of women throughout her 20-year career to uncover profitable and marketable skills garnered through their lived experiences.
Encouraging Black women to be impossible to ignore
Black women earn the majority of bachelor’s and master’s degrees (American Association of University Women), yet are passed over for leadership positions and are more likely to have their competence and judgment questioned (Lean In, McKinsey, and Company Women in the Workplace Report 2022).
In her work, Floyd notices a pattern where no matter how accomplished Black women are, some believe obtaining one more credential will earn them the respect they seek. There is an internal voice that needs to be silenced.
Floyd’s insights coupled with the data inspired this program built for black women to stop auditioning for their value and to speak, write, teach, and brag. Break the Glass addresses oppressive narratives and societal norms black women face when external voices become internal barometers that limit their self-perception.
Since COVID, thought leadership has emerged as a proven path to professional advancement. 56% of recruiters said thought leaders can command a premium salary compared to non-thought leaders and 82% said thought leadership is more important to employers than before the pandemic. (Thought Leadership on Your Career)
“As a Black woman, to combat inequities, we have to be our own solution. With Break the Glass, my goal is to bridge the gap between aspiration, ambition, and achievement. In the program, you learn then implement so by the end, you’ll either command your seat at the table or create your own,” says Floyd.
Becoming the greatest story ever told
Break the Glass’ curriculum emphasizes the importance of Black women seeing their expertise and perspective as assets that transcend limitations and helps them transform their personal stories into profitable brand stories so they can take up space in their industries.
In 12 weeks, participants develop essential skills to be successful thought leaders such as ideation, storytelling, writing, public speaking, pitching, branding, and relationship building. Participants leave the program with a complete thought-leadership talk and action plan ready to execute. This experience is designed for black women to center themselves and take charge of their brand by building a platform that positions them for higher salaries and/or in-demand professional services.
Break the Glass: Thought Leadership Academy August cohort is open for enrollment.
Additionally, organizations can sponsor their employee’s participation in the program or license it for their own learning and development initiatives.
“Black women are uniquely positioned for thought leadership. Our stories are the one thing we really own. When we don’t know who we are, we live life like a mannequin behind glass with a memo: In case of emergency, break glass. We can break through a glass ceiling and still be in a box. Truly owning ourselves and telling our stories with full audacity breaks the glass. Forget about the glass ceiling, I want black women to shatter the whole damn box,” says Floyd.
To learn more about Shereese Floyd and Break the Glass: Thought Leadership Academy, visit ShereeseFloyd.com
About Shereese Floyd
Shereese Floyd is a speaker, author and CEO of Witness My Life, a people and culture firm that partners with corporations and universities to create and implement women’s leadership programs. She is on a mission to equip women with the tools to raise their voices and tell their stories so they are impossible to ignore. Shereese has developed and delivered leadership workshops for companies around the world.
She is an award-winning TEDx speaker and the organizer of TEDxMintStreet and an advocate for social change who believes telling our stories is the one true way to change the world. Her work has been featured in Chief Learning Officer, Essence, Blavity, Entrepreneur Magazine, and CEO World. She was recently named one of 100 Women to KNOW in America.
About Break the Glass: Thought Leadership Academy
Break the Glass: Thought Leadership Academy is a 12-week implementation incubator designed for black women leaders. Participants receive individual assessments identifying their strengths and credibility markers, engage in group learning, access on-demand training, and develop a customized action plan, thought-leadership strategy, and small talk for graduation. Break the Glass: Thought Leadership Academy was created by Witness My Life, LLC.
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