Power is defined as the ability to do something or act in a particular way, especially as a faculty or quality. It is further explained to be the capacity or ability to direct or influence the behavior of others or the course of events. Well, I believe we all create our unique definition of power within our own realms. The word itself holds so much weight and pressure - luckily, that's how diamonds are created.
Related: 5 Boss Women Redefine The Power Suit
No matter your field or area of expertise, you must be armoured with coverings that will keep you fly and liberated. For many powerful women, that armor is a power dress. As we continue to make remarkable strides in the workplace we are enabled to establish our authority in a professional environment traditionally dominated by men. As busy as our lives become, something happens when you slip on your favorite power dress. Time stands still and you feel like all is right in the world.
We found some badass women killing it in in their respective roles. They dished on how they define power, a defining moment of their career and how their favorite dress exudes power.
Attorney & Creator of Legally Brown and Co.
I am a powerful woman because I learned that I was larger than any negative emotion or experience. I harnessed the power within when I decided to stop obsessing over things out of my control and instead focus on areas in my life where I could be productive and make great things happen.
Unfavorable things happen to all of us but what matters most is the way that we respond and react to those things.
As an African-American woman in a career field that is dominated by white men, I have lost count of those moments. If I could choose the most monumental of those moments, it would be the day I decided to leave my first job as an attorney. I was underpaid from the start but I just assumed that this is something I had to go through in order to get to the next level. The women that looked like me who were similarly situated were underpaid too. I wanted to make it work so I worked hard for a year in hopes of being recognized for it. I waited to be "valued" but I quickly learned it would just be more of the same if I allowed that to be my story. Shortly after, I was offered a meager raise, [so] I quit!
It was the most scary yet empowering thing I've ever done.
I didn't know how it would pan out but I knew that it would. The obstacles I had overcome on my journey to becoming an attorney gave me the courage to believe in myself. I was literally forced to get my MIND right. The practice of positive thinking saved my life.
I always feel powerful in a dress that is conservative enough for work but feminine enough to make me feel good about what I'm wearing. Although the law is traditional, I love staying true my personal sense of style.
Power is about mental strength for me. The mental resilience I've developed over the years when faced with adversity has made me powerful. I've learned to stride in life and bounce back when life throws me curveballs. So, if I continue to put forth positive changes in my life, I'll be a fierce, unstoppable woman full of power.
As someone who was born with a chronic illness, I exert power on a daily basis.
When in pain, the slightest tasks can become very difficult. So, the ability to self-assess if I can push through the day is vital. Anytime I accomplish a task despite my circumstance, I feel more empowered.
Specifically, I think about the moment I completed a half-marathon. This is something that empowers me every day. I prepared my body to be physically capable for the long distance, but it was my mental strength that got me through those 13.1 miles. I know if I can do that, I can do anything I put my mind to.
CEO & Founder of Harlem's Fashion Row
Being a woman of faith makes me a powerful woman. Power comes from exercising your faith and risking your ego to do so.
There are so many moments when I've been forced to embrace my power. Starting Harlem's Fashion Row from scratch made me embrace my power because I never felt quite "qualified enough" to start it, but it was on my heart to do. Writing my book, Sponsored: How to Get Brands to Sponsor Your Next Event, made me embrace my power. I had to decide that I would take the process of writing a book and publishing it into my own hands.
Embracing your power always means that you're willing to overcome the fear that tries to hold us back.
This dress by Kimberly Goldson, that I absolutely love, makes me feel invincible.
I embody the strength of my ancestors who were brought to this country on slave ships.
Those who undoubtedly overcame the adversities of shackles and oppression, so now that I have the opportunity to assist in the progression of black people.
I'm powerful, because I'm a black woman. It's genetics.
Embracing my natural hair texture was an extremely powerful moment for me. I have worn hair weaves since the age of 13, because I didn't believe I was beautiful with my natural hair. I decided to let go of those insecurities, and go natural. I'm more confident than ever. I feel more beautiful everyday. Black hair is magical – it defies gravity.
Embracing that power has enhanced my self-esteem.
I think my power dress captures my femininity in a sexy, but elegant way. I think a women owning her sexuality is powerful, especially in the era of the "me too" movement.
WCCB-TV Sports Anchor/Reporter
My confidence makes me powerful. In today's world, it's still a man's world, so women have to make our presence known. In my field of being a sports TV broadcaster, you have to have confidence and demand respect while keeping your strength. Of course, it's not easy being strong but you have to find your inner strength to get you through.
My strength isn't loud but it's gentle and humble.
I let it be known I am a team player and kind, but you won't walk over me either. I believe that's what allows me to take and welcome criticism along with asking for help when I need it. Being in an all-male locker room for the NFL and NBA, I've encountered many males question my knowledge of the game. I've had an athlete tell me that they wouldn't take my question as serious as a guy asking the question. Later, I pulled that specific guy to the side and proved to him I know the game and told him I should be respected just as any other male in the locker room. From there on, I never had a problem.
That situation taught me to always be confident in my questions, my demeanor and never second-guess myself because I am not a "male."
I don't wear dresses that much but when I do they make me feel liberated.
I'm a powerful women because I've realized that my power doesn't come from outside of me. My power doesn't lie in anything that can be taken away from me (money, status, people, etc). My power is always with me wherever I go and no matter what's going on around me. It comes from within.
The moment that forced me to embrace my power came after years of ignoring a call from God.
I was in pursuit of becoming a fully functioning bridal gown designer and I knew I was no longer happy with it. But I'd been pursuing it so hard and had never considered doing anything else. So I ignored that feeling and kept pursuing it. Long story short, I went into a deep depression because I was pursuing this thing that was no longer bringing me joy, I was broke and I was mentally, emotionally, and spiritually drained. All along, I'd been having an urge to write a blog and start a personal Instagram page to have a place to express my thoughts and feelings during this time, but I kept telling myself I had no time because I had to build this business to be able to make money. Finally, one day, as I'd started to accept the fact that designing wedding gowns was no longer for me, I was laying on the couch falling deeper and deeper into my depression, when it hit me!
Me and my excuses were the only things standing in the way of me writing that blog and starting my page, and it was the outlet that I needed in that moment.
So I got right up, did my makeup, took my first "portraits" using my iPhone 7+ and a ring light, and began building my page. Starting that page and writing my blogs have led me to realize my calling, and it's to inspire and encourage women to live their lives at 100% capacity! If I had not found my power in that moment and acknowledged it, I'd still be laying on the couch feeling sorry for myself. The power is always in us! We just have to embrace it!
Entercom Producer at V103 Atlanta
What makes me a powerful woman is my drive and observant ways. When I want something in life, I go after it no matter what obstacles are present. I will stop at nothing to achieve a goal of mine and give it my all until it is fulfilled. I always observe and study my surroundings and associates just enough to know when and how to move. I learn how to execute my task to the best of my ability and when the opportunity presents itself, I take full advantage and make it my own. I'm basically like a silent assassin! You never see me coming until it's too late, and I allow my work to speak for itself.
I had to embrace my power when I was overlooked and stereotyped at work.
I was the new and young employee with little experience at a major market. I didn't know anyone in the industry or anything about the city and culture of Atlanta. Everyone thought I was quiet and timid but little did they know, I was silently studying and observing my surroundings. I took notes physically and mentally to help prepare me for my next job position. I networked with everyone who passed the halls at my job. I practiced and I studied day in and day out until I felt one hundred percent comfort.
When it was time for me to show what I learned, I shocked everyone and in return received numerous opportunities to do exactly what I've dreamed of and loved. I was no longer the new, timid millennial and it felt great being recognized for my skills and contributions to the company.
I'm not much of a dress wearing gal. You'll honestly catch me in pants and sneakers the majority of the time. However, I love this picture because I'm still dressed up but I'm still the down to earth, homegirl Liz that those close to me know and love.
User Experience Designer
What makes me a powerful woman is being a black woman in the male-dominated tech industry.
The moment that forced me to embrace my power was when I took a job that consisted of majority male employees. I had to constantly remind myself that I belonged in that role just as much as everyone else, even while being talked over, and my ideas being thrown out.
Knowing that my perspective might not have been respected but was most definitely needed is what got me through the tough days.
I'm female. I'm African American. I'm a daughter. I'm a sister. I'm an educator. I'm a Doctor. Each of these titles, in its own way, has contributed to the person I am today. My power lies in the responsibility that comes with the titles.
These titles could have stifled and hindered me in many ways but instead they transformed me into a strong, confident, independent woman which is necessary especially working in a field where I am continuously doubted by others and my successes are under appreciated. I still I keep going – not only for me, but to pave the road for others.
I realized early in my career that as an African American woman in medicine, I was representing ALL African American women. On many occasions, at conferences and symposiums, I am one of the few minorities in the room. With heavy eyes on me, I feel obligated to exude a strong, confident face despite sometimes feeling less than such. On one particular instance, I was at a conference to present my research on a new protocol for thrombolytic management for pulmonary embolism and post-procedural surveillance at my hospital. I was already anxious about presenting that afternoon and a gentleman walked up and asked if I was staff working at the hotel. When I said no, he concluded I was the spouse of one of the presenters. Initially I was annoyed but hey, I am mistaken for a cleaning lady or nurse daily. Anyways, you can only imagine the look on his face that afternoon when I was called up to the stage to share my research. After an astounding applause, he walked up to me after the presentation, shook my hand and apologized for the "misunderstanding". He proceeded to hand me his card in case I was interested in pursuing a fellowship at his institution—I guess he was impressed!
I believe that what you wear plays a role in how you feel as well as how you are perceived by others. There is an indisputable confidence that exudes when I wear a sleek, yet commanding dress. It allows me to feel feminine and also allows me to be a boss. Paired with the right heels and accessories, I feel like I can conquer the world.
Shoutout to these women creating a whole new class of powerful women. How do you define power?