March 9th

Name + title: Devon Brooks / Brand, Culture & Leadership Specialist, Co-Founder of Blo Blow Dry Bar, CYBF Mentor, Lover of Human Kind.

On supporting women: The coolest thing about women is most of us are hard wired to care, empathize and nurture — we have a distinct way of being that makes us uniquely different from men — but these qualities need to translate to action in real time. It's not enough to just think nice thoughts about helping other women; we need to get actionable about supporting each other on a daily basis.

If we want to see a healthier, more confident and successful world of women, there is a visible culture shift that needs to take place and the change starts with us.

It's not only pertinent that in the world of business, women guide, coach and mentor other women – but that in day to day life each of us get equipped with the information we need to understand the challenges that we, and our female peers, are faced with.  If one can't define the problem, one can't effect it.

After all, women still only make up less than 17% of leadership positions in Fortune 500 companies. I'm mean, come'on – there's so much work to be done.

How Devon is kicking ass: Communication, get people talking, public speaking

In terms of the business world, I make sure that I support the growth and awareness or organizations locally like FWE and YWIB. I also actively support a number of young women in the business community who reach out to me for guidance and support when it comes to navigating their careers, dreams and core values.

More recently, I have started to speak publicly on topics like depression and PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder), over-coming violence, and maintaining momentum when you can barely handle getting out of bed. I have a close relationship with the reality of the issues that impact women. I was assaulted in two entirely unrelated incidents at 18 and then again at 21, and went through the ensuing judicial process that eventually led to a guilty plea by both men. In both cases a had a personal relationship with the assailants — In other words I knew, and had trusted, them. I understand deeply, how violence effects women — and unfortunately violence, and it's effects, are a major issue for our gender.

  • 1 in 4 North American women will be sexually assaulted during their lifetime
  • Over 80% of sex crime victims are women
  • An estimated 1 out of 10 women develops PTSD as a result of trauma; women are about twice as likely as men
  • 1/5th of all sexual assaults involve a weapon of some sort
  • 80% of assailants are friends and family of the victim

My intention is to raise awareness, get people asking the right questions, and talking about some pretty brutal truths. I want to change the way we react to violence, and the way we react to those that have been effected by violence.

Words to live by: “Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It's not.” The Lorax, – Dr. Seuss

Tweet this fabulous woman: @devsdevelopment

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