Arvetta Jideonwo is the Executive Director of Bosma Visionary Opportunities Foundation. Bosma’s mission is focused on helping adult Hoosiers who are blind or visually impaired gain the life skills they need to remain independent, and the job skills they need to stay self-sufficient.
In the latest episode of our Torch Talk podcast, Arvetta shared some of her experiences and advice as an African-American woman in executive leadership in the world of non-profits.
“When I joined Bosma, I was at a point in my career where I really wanted to see the results of my actions everyday,” Arvetta said. She values being able to work in the nonprofit sector and see how her work is helping people everyday.
When asked what lessons she has learned throughout her career in the non-profit sector, Arvetta said she prioritizes flexibility and resilience. In nonprofits, things change rapidly and no day is ever the same. So being able to be resilient and flexible are important parts of working in such a variable environment.
These are also important lessons for life in general. “From a personal perspective, throughout my career and adult life, I’ve had personal challenges and health challenges with my husband and my father passing away at a young age. That has really built a lot of resilience with me. And I bring that to my work.”
Arvetta also discussed her experience as a woman of color in a leadership role. Like many women, throughout her career she has had to walk the line of making sure her voice is heard while also not coming off as overly assertive.
“I think it comes down to time. Choose your battles in order to win the war. If you contradict everything, you’re not going to be as heard. But if you’re more strategic about certain things, it helps. And that’s not to say you should be silent.”
Speak up, but do it strategically. That way, you can be sure you’ll be heard.
Arvetta also offered advice for women who are at the beginning of their careers or are looking to move up in their company. It comes down to establishing your goals and holding yourself accountable.
“I think being really strategic in what you’re trying to accomplish overall is important. Not just professionally, but personally as well,” she said. “Every year I do this process of drafting a vision board for myself. I often have girlfriends over and we do it together, and they hold me accountable.”
One of the goals that’s often on her vision board? Continuing to build strong communication skills.
Listen to the full episode to hear all of Arvetta’s valuable advice HERE.