The Power of Unity With Jerri DeVard, Founder, Black Executive CMO Alliance

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“Many of us lead a quiet life of helping others through mentorship, through advice, through guidance, [and] through championing their growth. And you can do that on an individual basis, but when you unite — when the scale of all vectors [are] pointing in one direction, [it] is very powerful.”


Despite so much diverse talent, a lack of Black representation in the C-suite has persisted in the marketing industry. This disparity is what led marketing leader Jerri DeVard to found BECA, the Black Executive CMO Alliance. Listen and learn how the organization is uniting, elevating, and opening doors for Black business leaders while inspiring a change in the marketing world that is long overdue.


Key Insights

What Sparked Jerri To Create BECA? 


“Going through the pandemic and… reading a lot more trade magazines than I normally had and looking at a lot more main stage speeches that were virtual that I couldn’t travel to, I saw a lot of great work on display from marketers. But [in] every kind of roundup of the best, many of the articles where they were quoting the top trends in marketing, many of the main stage presentations I saw, I didn’t see anyone that looked like me… I didn’t see the people that I knew, [and] I thought, ‘Well, something’s wrong here.’”

With BECA, Jerri sought to create a space for Black marketing leaders to empower one another and boost representation in the C-suite.

How Is the “BECA Playbook” Used To Empower Black Leaders? 

“We talk to our future leaders about how they leverage the power of being different, because it’s not about a cultural ‘fit.’ It’s about a cultural ‘add.’ How does your voice and your experience of being othered, of being the ‘lonely only,’ [and] of being in the minority help expose people to wider, better, bigger, broader thinking? Because I can guarantee you their customer and consumer base is just as wide and broad.”

Leaders at BECA are encouraged to bring their unique life experiences and perspectives to the table — not just for the sake of their own personal and professional growth but also to benefit those around them.

How Can Business Professionals Outside of BECA Support Its Cause? 

“You don’t have to be Black to ask the question. You don’t have to be BIPOC to ask the question. Ask the question, ‘Why?’ ‘Why don’t we have more Blacks in our C-suite?’ ‘Why don’t we have anybody Black on our board?’ ‘Why don’t we have representation in our communications and our advertising and not just in front of the camera but behind the camera.’ You may not have the power to change it, but everyone has the power to ask the question.”

About the Guest:

BIO: Accomplished Chief Marketing Officer/Business Executive and Independent Director with 30+ years experience in building diverse global brands and serving on corporate boards. Particularly adept at leveraging, digital marketing, branding, advertising and consumer insights to drive top and bottom line growth. Laser focus on building, motivating and inspiring great teams.”

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Episode 329