As a managing director at one of the world’s largest consulting technology firms, Accenture, Nedra Dickson is most proud of the work she is doing to build a name not only for herself, but also for other women across the globe.
In an empowering conversation with ESSENCE Global Beauty Director Julee Wilson and accomplished celebrity hairstylist and entrepreneur Kim Kimble at the ESSENCE + New Voices Entrepreneur Summit in Atlanta, Nedra spoke to the work she does in the corporate space of consulting and traveling around the world to help small, women-owned businesses. Specifically, her day to day involves putting businesses in a position to work with large corporations and receive funding to accelerate their business.
“If you think that you’re just a small business or just a woman-owned business, you hold so much power, ” she told the crowd. “Corporations need you.”
While the corporate world can seem easier to navigate, Nedra shared that her experience as a Black woman in a primarily white space, she faces the responsibility of having to code switch.
“I love that I get to wear my natural hair — as you can see it’s timed because if I were to wear it completely natural, it would be more of a fro. So, we’re still not there to be 100% ourselves yet”.
Another gem of advice she shared with the crowd was to always remind yourself that you belong in every space you occupy. She went on to note that working to build a brand as a Black woman in corporate America can be tiring, but credited the difference she’s making with other women and their businesses with keeping her pushing forward.
Before ending the conversation, Nedra shared this piece of advice that was given to her to succeed professionally:
“When you walk into a room, know that you belong in that room,” Nedra said, in closing. “It’s okay to be nervous but, know that you belong there — your hair and your color.”
Be sure to head back to ESSENCE.com for more of everything you missed at the ESSENCE + New Voices Entrepreneur Summit and Target Holiday Market.