Giving Compass’ Take:
• Kiko Davis, the only female African American bank owner in the United States, talks to Rolling Out about her motivations and inspirations, as well as the importance of having more female minority leaders.
• Are we doing enough to make sure more people like Davis rise to the top in business and enterprise? Davis talks about her journey, but stresses the need to empower other women who may not feel like they have the opportunity to succeed.
• Investments in female entrepreneurs of color are on the rise, but more can be done. Here’s how to embed gender equality in business decisions.
Kiko Davis is the trustee of the Donald Davis Living Trust, the majority stockholder of First Independence Bank, the 10th largest African-American owned bank in the United States and she is the only African American, female bank owner in the United States. She’s also the founder and president of the Don Davis Legacy Foundation, established in 2016 to perpetuate the legacy building efforts and initiatives envisioned and developed by her late husband, Donald Davis. And Davis (Kiko) is also the managing director of Groovesville Productions & Publishing LLC, which controls the Grammy Award winning music catalog of her late husband. Rolling Out recently spoke with her.
ROLLING OUT: As a Black woman, what do you consider your superpower to be?
KIKO DAVIS: Courage is my superpower. I have the ability to take fear and use it as a tool to conquer adversity and challenges, no matter how insurmountable they may seem. The more substantial the obstacle, the stronger I become.
RO: What thoughtful or encouraging piece of advice would you give to your younger self?
KD: Do not be afraid to fail. In fact, fail as much as you can. With each failure will come a valuable lesson that will be impossible for someone to teach you. With each lesson, you will gain wisdom, perseverance and strength. You will rarely meet a successful person who has not failed many times.
RO: Why is it important for women of color to lead or work in leadership roles and decision-making capacities?
KD: We have an innate warrior spirit. It makes us inherently effective at leading [and] at winning. Strength, courage, intelligence and analytical ability are hallmarks of any great leader; however, a warrior spirit goes beyond just that. We possess a level of empathy for people in general with a higher level of sensitivity towards women and minorities.
Read the full interview with Kiko Davis about the importance of female minority leaders by Porsha Monique at Rolling Out.
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