Careers often follow a predictable path. However, there are those individuals who are exceptions to the norm and end up on a path that they never saw coming, redefining the standard along the way. Dr. Sheila Robinson is one of those extraordinary people whose dreams for her professional career were nowhere near the magnitude of where she is today.
Robinson recalls her aspirations when she entered the workforce saying, “I was always drawn to larger corporations, because they had bigger budgets which meant a bigger salary. All I wanted was a great job with a great company. And to get married, have a family, and have vacation. I didn’t have big dreams beyond them.”
So, how did Robinson go from a “Sex in the City career” to the owner of a leading, nationally recognized multi-platform professional and executive leadership development enterprise that advocates for diversity, equity, and inclusion?
Born and raised in North Carolina, Robinson began her professional career in the tobacco industry. After getting laid off, she took an entry-level job at DuPont, a global chemical company. Over the course of 14 years with the company, she made her way into the global branding and marketing division. From opportunities like working with designer Zac Posen and attending his fashion shows, to making a TV debut as the spokesperson for one of the company’s new products on E Entertainment, to placing ads in leading publications such as Glamour Magazine, Robinson was living the Carrie Bradshaw dream. And doing it all without having to relocate from North Carolina to New York.
Robinson shared, “My friends and family have always come to me for advice, asking, ‘How did you do that?’ or ‘How should I do this?’. I was watching so many women face challenges in their careers, and I love helping people, so I thought, ‘We need a magazine. There’s a magazine for fashion, one telling us what type of lipstick to wear, and business magazines, but we [women] don’t have a career magazine.’” She went on to say, “I was not thinking that I would do something like that, ever.”
A couple years after Robinson’s idea of The Career Magazine, DuPont closed Robinson’s division, leaving her without a job. This changed the trajectory of her entire career journey.
“I had a great resume, but looking for a new job like the one I had while being based out of North Carolina was extremely challenging. I got rejection after rejection after rejection. And I am confident that I was discriminated against for being a woman, and a woman of color,” said Robinson.
She was lost and didn’t know what to do. That’s when a friend of hers brought her magazine idea back up saying, “Maybe God is telling you to start that magazine.” Robinson recalls thinking, “You’re crazy. How in the world am I going to start a magazine without money? I need a job.”
But something her friend said sparked the decision to explore the idea of creating her magazine.
A Voice is Born
Everything was local at first. Robinson networked with and listened to everyone she could, trying to develop her skillset and learn. When asked when her publishing career became real, she points to the opportunity to attend Standford University’s Publishing program on scholarship to get her certification. At this point, she was three years in and started meeting big-wheel figures in the publication industry. Through these networking opportunities and her drive to learn as much as possible, Diversity Woman Media was established and Robinson’s voice in the publication industry was born.
February of 2024 will mark 19 years since Robinson’s leap of faith into print media.
About Diversity Woman Media
Diversity Woman Media is a media company designed for businesswomen of all races, cultures, and backgrounds. The company started out as a magazine but has evolved to include multiple publications (Diversity Woman Magazine and Inclusion Magazine), Leadership Development Academy Workshops, and National Conferences. These three sectors all work together to carry out the company’s overall mission, which is to serve as an external partner to corporations and help them deliver business results through their diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging initiatives.
“I’ve always been a problem-solver and wanted to be a part of the solution,” Robinson shared.
Through her platform as a business owner, publisher, speaker, author, mother, and the list goes on, Robinson is living out her passion to create solutions, to help others achieve on a higher level in ways she never thought possible.
The Diversity Women’s Business Leadership Conference
Meet the incredible Dr. Sheila Robinson, along with many other groundbreaking women across various industries at the Diversity Women’s Business Leadership Conference this year!
The conference will take place on November 9-10, 2023, at the Gaylord Resort in Maryland. As stated on the event page, the conference is “Recognized as the premier women’s leadership conference for gender diversity. Attendees hear and learn from some of the most influential thought leaders and executives across the nation and world.”
Robinson’s words to live by are, “Lead by example.” This is what the Diversity Women’s Business Leadership Conference, along with everything Diversity Woman Media does, is all about.