The Atlanta Hawks held their latest “She LEADS” program at State Farm Arena. The program is the Hawks’ latest movement to inspire early-career women.
“The [program] is designed to inspire, celebrate, and empower early-career women to build legacies that last for multiple generations,” said Camye Mackey, EVP and Chief People, Diversity and Inclusion Officer for the Hawks and State Farm Arena. This month’s meeting theme was “You Miss 100% of the Shots You Don’t Take.”
ADW spoke with Alexis Roe, Hawks’ Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, to discuss the program and what’s to come for the “She LEADS” program.
“The ‘She LEADS’ program utilizes the brand to support women’s economic empowerment and to drive home that women need to own their seat at the table,” Roe said.
Launched in March, “She LEADS” is a yearlong program curated around studies of women in the workplace and the barriers they can overcome. Roe shared the philosophy that went into the program.
“We wanted to have a day focused on stepping out, taking chances and earning your seat at the table,” she said. This theme ties back into the overarching theme from their first program, which was focused on owning the room centered around confidence and networking.
The program combines mentorship and sponsorship into a cohesive program to provide women with practical tools for success. Roe shared, “We want to provide them with tools and insight and offer them a guide to help them navigate their careers.”
They kicked off the morning with LPGA Teaching Professionals Dr. Greta Anderson and Oneda Castillo giving the attendees lessons on the importance of golf and the type of impact it can have on their careers. The group then took to the range simulator at the Topgolf Swing Suites to practice how to handle their clubs properly and how to swing their clubs.
Dr. Anderson shared with ADW the beauty she found in the program and how it parallels to life. “If you don’t take the shot, you can’t make the shot,” Dr. Anderson said. “This is much more than just being at the table. This [program] is about owning the table and knowing we belong there…We can’t wait for permission to take the shot, we must empower ourselves. We can be the game-changers.”
Castillo also shared her thoughts by saying, “I love what’s going on here at ‘She LEADS’ because now I have the opportunity to say ‘here’s the baton, come on, you can do it.'”
She continued, “We have to reach back into the community early and let them know that they are capable, helping them to build their confidence.”
After the attendees finished their lessons, the program transitioned into a keynote panel covering the journeys of Nancy Lieberman, head coach of Team Power of BIG3 League and Basketball Hall of Famer; Michelle Marshall, Head of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, PUMA; and Imani Grant, Director and General Manager, Southeast Region, DoorDash.
The panels opened with Marshall, who shared her Four Ps that led to success: Passion, Perseverance, Purpose, and Preparation, before diving into her journey. Another interesting method that Marshall shared to get ahead was that she paid attention to the books and materials that the people who were promoted into positions she dreamed of used. She would read those books so that she would develop the skills needed to stand out as a candidate.
Grant shared the importance of being goal-oriented and how it drove her to achieve goals throughout her career.
“When you are thinking about shooting your shot, be sure to have a goal in mind,” Grant said.
The program concluded with Lieberman taking the stage via Zoom to share lessons she learned along her journey. Liberman was straightforward by saying, “If you don’t struggle in life, you will never get better. Life has struggles.”
Liberman encouraged the group to continue to work towards their goals. “When trying to climb a mountain, you must have the courage to take little steps to get closer to your goals,” she said.
The next “She LEADS” program theme is “The room is yours to strategize, not monopolize.” The philosophy behind this theme is to help women navigate these spaces and utilize their influence most effectively.