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Meet Watchen, Founder, I Choose the Ladder

Allow me to introduce myself since, I'm sure, you're wondering who is the person behind this movement.👋🏾 My name is Watchen and I am the Senior Vice President of Marketing Partnerships for the WNBA team here in Chicago, the Chicago Sky. In my position I oversee all of our corporate partnerships and manage our community efforts through our foundation. When I say "I" I really mean my team, because let's be honest, they do a lot of the heavy lift. I have a B.A. in Communications from DePauw University and am in the process of getting my MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. Some of the companies I have worked for include Comedy Central, Yahoo!, EBONY & Jet.⁠

I am also the Founder of I Choose the Ladder. My friends always joke that I move through Corporate America as if I'm an entitled White man, I don't, but what they mean is that I know the value that I bring, I ask for what I want, and I don't accept less than I deserve. Periodttt!!! ⁠⁠

I strongly believe that I am able to move the way I move in my career (I went from a director level position to an SVP in about 3 years at one company, and there was a year early in my career when I increased my salary by $65,000 in a single year) because I have had a highly influential tribe of people (mentors, sponsors, colleagues, etc.) who have been very generous with sharing their knowledge with me.⁠⁠

I ignorantly thought that everyone had that. What I found though is NOT everyone has that, and particularly for Black women it's so much harder to find that. ⁠

So, I started I Choose the Ladder as a way to pay it forward. Consider this my gift to a tribe that I am so proud to be a part of. I LOVE being a Black woman and I am committed to seeing more Black woman get as much from Corporate America as they give.⁠

Thank you for choosing to climb up the corporate ladder with me.⁠

There's enough for all of us at the top!⁠


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