Lessons Learned On Intentionality From A DIB Executive

“Walk through that door”: What the power of community means for Capital One’s Theresita Richard

Theresita Richard, Capital One Managing Vice President and Head of Diversity Inclusion and Belonging at Capital One, reflected on her experience attending the Black Girl Magic Summit in August. Below are her reflections: 

“In one word, what does Black Girl Magic mean to you?” That was one of many prompts I received during my time in Los Angeles filming the 2022 Black Girl Magic Summit. But I don’t think there is a way to summarize what makes Black girls - and women - so special in just a single word. For me, Black Girl Magic means representation, empowerment, community and opening doors for the next generation of magical women who will come behind me. 

Many of us have heard the various sayings about what to do when opportunity knocks on your door. But life has taught me that passively waiting for opportunity to knock, will leave you doing just that…waiting. So what’s the alternative? Go after it. Be intentional about seeking out the opportunities you desire. Be intentional about cultivating a connected community. And be intentional about opening the door so that others can walk through behind you.  Know that you are not alone. Tap into the magic of community on purpose, believing that there is a whole world around you at the ready if you pursue it. 

For me the Black Girl Magic Summit was an opportunity to do just that. It was a shot in the arm of goodness. It was a much needed moment to experience the magic of sisterhood, community, and connection. It was about women of color - Black women in particular - having each other’s backs, leaning in, pulling up and sharing their personal stories. It was a space of pure renewal. It was literally magic and it was good. 

At the summit, I had the privilege to share my own story through my participation in the panel discussion,  “A Black Girl is Ambitious,” with my mentee, Miranda Scott. This was a mentoring relationship that was fully organic - she saw herself in me when I first joined Capital One and reached out. Today we are constantly sowing into one another and helping to make each other better.  It was a full circle moment because during the summit I was also able to spend time with someone who mentored me early in my career.

This mentor instilled in me lessons about owning your full self unapologetically and taking risks. She encouraged me to pursue and explore all that piqued my curiosity. Her presence at the summit was a demonstration of the lasting power of women supporting women, live and in full effect. I had no idea that our journeys would lead us to the same stage, but I am grateful for her guidance and lessons that I am passing on to women like Miranda and all who will come through that door behind me.

This year marked the third time Capital One partnered with Boss Women Media on the Black Girl Magic Summit. Through this program, not only is there an amazing source of future talent to pull in from, but it positions us to support Black women with the tools, resources and mentorship needed to help propel their careers, businesses, and communities. We understand that by investing in the overall well-being of women of color, we are one step closer to furthering our vision of a world where everyone can flourish.  Additionally, the partnership with Boss Women Media - and the incomparable CEO and Founder Marty McDonald - is an extension of Capital One's Impact Initiative, a multi-year commitment which invests in underserved communities and businesses, and supports organizations that expand economic opportunity. We’re proud to advocate for the financial well-being of women of color and to provide resources for Black women to cultivate their dream careers.

The stories and talents of these women were inspiring and filled me with so much joy and pride. Everyone has a desire to be seen, to have their voices heard and to feel that what they have to offer the world matters. Representation truly matters - and to be in the room with so much brilliance was an experience I will cherish.  

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