Black marketing executives from 26 of the world’s most influential brands and companies are uniting to form the Black Executive CMO Alliance (BECA)
BECA is designed to champion corporate diversity at the corporate leadership level. Jerri DeVard, the founder of BECA, said she started the alliance because she got tired of being the only Black executive in the room.
“I’ve been the lonely-only too many times and I’m personally aware of the isolation that comes along with it. It makes you keenly aware of just how different you are, not only because of your gender and race but because of what experiences come from being different, and those differences are not always valued or supported with the fervor given to others,” DeVard told BLACK ENTERPRISE.
BECA will provide a home for collaboration and networking while at the same time creating opportunity, access, and change through membership. BECA will also build a pipeline of talented Black executives to guide and provide the foundation for the next generation to stand on.
BECA will feature Black executives from Nationwide Insurance, Adidas, Netflix, Amazon Prime Video & Studios, NielsenIQ, Amway, Peloton, BCW, PetSmart, Eastern Bank, Prudential Financial, Ecolab, Stride Inc.. and others.
According to the think tank Coqual’s report, Being Black In Corporate America, which was released in 2018, just 3.2% of Black Americans have senior leadership roles at large corporations.
“We are a community of influential leaders who are using our power for the betterment of corporate America. I believe that DEI means diversity, equity, and IMPACT. We are squarely focusing our energies to have impact,” Ukonwa Ojo, CMO for Amazon Studios and a founding BECA member, told BLACK ENTERPRISE.
“The beauty of our community comes from proven leaders that have thrived despite the odds and are inspired by sharing their lessons of triumph…and failure….so that those who aspire to rise in their marketing careers know that you can stumble and get back up, that you have what it takes to succeed, and that despite the odds, you need to maintain the confidence in yourself because they will see dozens of people who look like them and are winning,” says DeVard.