The Wisdom of Women Leading Women

SMITH BRAIN TRUST – BET Networks executive Donna Blackman applauds the courage of women who speak up about sexual harassment in the workplace. But she is cautious when it comes to giving advice to people who might face retaliation. "You don’t want to judge people as weak or strong," she told an overflow crowd at the Smith School’s seventh annual Women Leading Women event on March 1. “If I lose my job today, I would be OK. But not everyone has that experience.”

Blackman says targets of abuse should do what works best for them. “Handle it in a way that makes you feel whole, that enables you to look yourself in the mirror and say, ‘I’m OK with the decision that I’ve made,’” she said. “Be conscious about the decision that you make.” Blackman is Senior Vice President, Business Operations, at BET and a Smith School executive MBA alumna. Below are more insights she shared during an hourlong conversation moderated by Smith School professor Nicole Coomber. Full video (49:33) | Event summary...

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About the Expert(s)


Nicole Coomber is the Associate Director for the QUEST Honors Program and on the faculty in the Management & Organization area at the Robert H. Smith School of Business. As Associate Director, Dr. Coomber serves as Managing Director for the QUEST entrepreneurship program, QUESTgen, is one of the teaching team for BMGT/ENES 490H, and aids in QUEST's efforts in designing learning outcomes and assessments. Dr. Coomber completed her PhD in Education Policy and Leadership in May of 2012 at the University of Maryland's College of Education.

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