A group of Nielsen’s employees attended the Black Enterprise Women of Power Summit (BEWOP), a professional leadership conference created first for women of color, but now includes allies and leaders. This event gives professional women the chance to network with and hear from some of the most influential women in the industry like renowned actress Issa Rae, and author/CEO Lisa Nichols.
Attendees engaged in speaking events that addressed topics such as financial stability, growing in your career, how to make a difference in your career, and the how-to behind networking. They not only heard anecdotes of perseverance in the workplace, but also stories of love, hope, faith, and acceptance within and outside of the professional setting. During the speaking segments, personal wellbeing was also addressed, encouraging attendees to stand, sing or even participate in yoga, as a reminder to take care of oneself, even during the seminars.
“Being at this event just felt like a hug. The ability for women of color, predominantly black women, to be able to look around and see themself, and feel a comfort that they don’t usually have, was incredible,” said VP of Internal Communications, Cassandra Hayes. “I felt every empathetic and emotional feeling you can imagine. There are elements from this event that I will employ throughout the rest of my career and life.”
Sandra Sims-Williams, Nielsen’s Chief Diversity Officer, also hosted smaller circle sessions to explore some of these topics further. Nielsen’s group met to unpack how to deliver on the company’s goals and further personalize the experience.
“I felt so connected to our Nielsen coworkers in a way that I didn’t expect from a professional conference,” said Dewi Paulino, VP of Growth Marketing. “The vulnerability and honesty in the discussions and with the entire event really stuck with me. We met with other executives who talked about standing strong in their truth and agency, and having these more intimate conversations brought us even closer together.”
In 2020, only women from Nielsen attended BEWOP, but this year men were included as well. And while the event is specialized for black women, hosting male speakers during the event demonstrated the importance of displaying allyship, and gave our allies something to strive for.
“This event was life-changing,” Hayes said. “I’ve been reminding my team to support each other as a small group, offer each other grace, and to give ourselves the opportunity to make a mistake and grow from it.”