Atlanta Hawks host first women’s leadership empowerment summit

Credit: Jillian Price/AJC

Credit: Jillian Price/AJC

The Atlanta Hawks hosted their first annual She LEADS Women’s Empowerment Summit on Wednesday at the team’s practice facility — partnering 50 early-career women from the Atlanta area with more experienced women in their career fields.

A media, business and sports panel with three panelists — including Morgan Shaw Parker, President and CFO of the Atlanta Dream — speaking about their career paths, overcoming obstacles and how they grew in their fields.

Panelist Kimberly Blackwell, founder and CEO of the brand strategy firm PMM, told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution that she wants women at the event to remember their purpose.

“Just understanding your assignment, and what it is by way of your purpose, your superpowers, your why,” Blackwell said. “And understanding too, that while we do have these superpowers, we also are human.”

Camye Mackey, an executive vice president for the Atlanta Hawks and State Farm Arena helped plan the event and said organizations that have women in leadership roles run more smoothly.

“They run more effectively, because it’s a diverse workforce,” Mackey said.

Steve Koonin, CEO of the Atlanta Hawks, said the event is important so women can see examples of women in leadership and how they got there.

“As I’ve gotten older, I’ve learned that if you don’t see it, you can’t believe it. But if you can see it, and there’s people who look like you and sound like you and have similar experiences as you, you can believe it,” Koonin said.

Credit: Jillian Price/AJC

Credit: Jillian Price/AJC

Xernona Clayton, a civil rights leader and broadcast executive, was given the She Leads Award, recognizing a woman who paved the way for other women.

“I’m hoping that they can take an attitude that I have, because I’ve had the attitude a long time, that I’m self assured, that I can perform. I can do what anybody else can do,” Clayton told the AJC. “I like to think that all women should do the same thing. Don’t have timidity.”