Adrienne Washington is the founder of The Rose Gold Academy. The Rose Gold Academy's mission is to equip young women of color with leadership training, networking opportunities and critical thinking skills to aid with their pursuit of success and creating leading innovators within their sphere of influence.
What was your inspiration to start such an awesome organization?
My inspiration to start The Rose Gold Academy was sparked from seeing the need for young women of color to be taught practical life skills. I realized the significance of the mentors I have had over the years and how they have played a role in my success thus far. I also recognized how many people do not have access to these amazing opportunities and mentors. I wanted to provide an opportunity for all young women of color to have the knowledge needed to be successful leaders.
Where did the name of your organization come from?
The name Rose Gold Academy was inspired by the different elements that are required in making Rose Gold. It requires 4% silver, 75% gold and 21% copper to make Rose Gold. Traditionally, in athletic competition winners receive a gold, silver or bronze i.e. copper to signify their win. I want all member of The Rose Gold Academy to be the first, second, and third place winner not only in their professional lives but also in their personal lives.
What is one characteristic you believe every leader should possess?
"The only person who is educated is the one who has learned how to learn and change”
- Carl Rodgers
I believe that the most important characteristic in a leader is being self-reflective. As humans we are not perfect, which indicates that as a leader mistakes will be made. Mistakes are acceptable but a leader, who cannot recognize their mistakes, will not move forward and will not have group members who are willing to follow their leadership.
What is one of the biggest challenges you believe women in leadership face?
I believe one of the biggest challenges that women face being in leadership roles is challenging traditional gender roles. Society expects women to act one way, and women who are in leadership roles are often shown as mean, rude and always trying to compete with men. However, I believe that women should be able to be leaders without having to be characterized as nasty. One of the goals of the academy is to create innovative leaders, which mean women who are able to handle their leadership roles in a creative, yet graceful manner.
Can you share a defining moment in your role as the founder of your organization?
A defining moment in my role as founder was overcoming my fears/ anxieties and began to verbalize my vision. I had so many concerns and worries about how I would start an organization while in my current phase of life. However, as I began to talk about my organization and vision I was able to find that I had more support than I realized. The more I work the more I am able to learn and overcome my fears.
Where can we find more information about your organization?