The Power-filled Woman
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It’s no surprise that Kenya Dunn was a cheerleader throughout high school and college. Her energy and enthusiasm are contagious — not in an annoyingly chipper way, but in a way that makes you feel supported and inspired. She’s motivating.
It’s that cheerleader spirit that led Kenya to mentor hundreds of women throughout her career, even though coaching was never part of her job description. In 12 years, Kenya worked her way from a local supervisor role to holding a corporate VP title within a major telecom company. On her five-person executive team, she is the only woman.
“A lot of women gravitate to me because I’m the only person they can relate to,” she says. “I wanted to help more women move up the ladder like I did, so I started recommending books, having lunch with employees, or helping young women in the company create personal development plans.”
At the same time, event organizers began reaching out, requesting she speak on women’s issues or offer career motivation to teen girls. That’s when Kenya started wondering how she could impact more women beyond her corporate role. True to her go-getter spirit, she launched a coaching and speaking business earlier this year.
“This is my life’s work,” she says. “It was happening organically, but I finally decided I needed to dive in because it’s too meaningful not to pursue.”
Through her new entity, Kenya offers one-on-one coaching as well as a group Master Class. All of her work is fueled by a feeling of responsibility.
“Responsibility drives me,” she says. “Statistics say I shouldn’t be where I am, and because of that I feel a huge responsibility to give back and to effect change. I had champions who helped me, and now it’s my turn to help other people create lives that they didn’t know they could accomplish either.”
After every coaching engagement, Kenya tells her clients, “I chose you, now you choose two.”
“That’s the call to action that I have for everybody I coach,” she explains. “It multiplies this work and we all move up faster.”
In May, Kenya and her team will host the first Power Filled conference, a hands-on experience featuring panel discussions and keynote speakers. The event includes perspectives from women in government, corporate America and entrepreneurship.
“I still see a lot of women going it alone, but we’d be so much stronger if we came together,” she says. “I wanted to gather a diverse group, both culturally and professionally, to show how we can all stand in our power and effect change.”
As if this working mother of a teenage daughter and college-aged son isn’t busy enough, she is also in the process of writing a book, called “Growing Gracefully.”
“The book is also centered around this idea of ‘power-filled,’” she says. “Powerful is a state of being. Power-filled says that you have done the work to discover the power that lies within you.”
Despite her busy calendar, this natural-born cheerleader stays motivated by the people in her path.
“The most rewarding part,” she shares, “is when I see women being their most authentic, powerful selves.”
– By Allyson Sutton