Amanda Weeks Geveden and Mekesha Montgomery

Amanda Weeks-Geveden, Mekesha Montgomery and Advancing Women in Nashville

Helping Women Win in Leadership

During the first live audience episode of Lipstick Economy, Amanda Weeks-Geveden and Mekesha Montgomery tell how they brought a group of leading corporations together to advance and develop women as business and community leaders. Advancing Women in Nashville, known as AWIN, was launched in March 2019, and is already a force in leadership development for women in business.

Amanda Weeks Geveden and Mekesha Montgomery

What should we know about Amanda and Mekesha?

Both of these professionals have pretty impressive day jobs and also model community leadership through their efforts to found AWIN and participation in many community activities.  Amanda is Senior Vice President, Managing Director at U.S. Bank Private Wealth Management.  And Mekesha is Chair of the Manufacturing Industry Team at Frost Brown Todd, one the largest law firms in the South and Midwest United States.  They spend countless hours supporting women and our community through their participation in groups such as the YWCA of Middle Tennessee.

What makes AWIN different?

Amanda and Mekesha recognized corporate female leaders were not well represented across all categories of professions in Nashville. To make significant progress in growing female leaders, AWIN first recruited corporations as members who would select ten women in their organization to participate in AWIN programs.  Then AWIN created multi-faceted programming based on leadership, advocacy and community connection.

How many women have been impacted by AWIN? 

In one short year, AWIN has already impacted more than 500 women and their second cohort is launching in 2020.  The corporations represented include Allstate, Asurion, Bridgestone, Dell, Envision Healthcare, Fleetcor, Frost Brown Todd, PwC, Skanska, Tractor Supply Company, and U.S. Bank.

Has AWIN commissioned research on gender representation in the workplace? 

AWIN partnered with MTSU in 2019 to create a report on gender differences in managerial occupations in greater Nashville.  The report shows female workers occupy 41.8% of local managerial positions, compared to 41.5% statewide and 39.3% nationally.  Women lag in representation in specific managerial occupations such as architectural and engineering managers and construction managers.

Why do women seem to reach a plateau in their careers? 

The managerial plateau is a complex issue.  Some think it is a pipeline issue, meaning not enough women are being promoted to the first level of management.  Women need role models, mentors and specifically champions to help them move up in leadership.  They need to see women in leadership to know those roles are available to them.  And in today’s world, women need more flexibility in work schedules and workplace.

How does female leadership and diversity factor into marketing? 

Marketing is many times a reflection of our culture.  So men and women need to be portrayed in situations that show fewer stereotypes and more realistic shared roles.

Resources and Links

Advancing Women in Nashville

Gender Representation in Managerial Occupations in Greater Nashville

AWIN LinkedIn

Instagram: @AWINashville

Twitter: @AWINashville

Facebook: AWINashville