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Jessica Li

Jessica Li

Introduce yourself to our audience. Tell us who you are and what you are currently focused on.

My name is Jessica Ayden Li, and I’m a non-profit consultant and diversity coach. I coach Executive Directors and senior leaders in non-profit organizations. I also provide consulting services to organizations that are looking to build a culture of diversity, equity, and inclusivity.

Tell us about your favorite Ellevate Network memory or success story. Why are you a member?

The women in the Ellevate Network are amazing. They are passionate about the work they do and those who are established in their industry seek to mentor other women.

How would you define your professional mission?

My professional mission is to lift up the voices of marginalized communities. I’ve always been in solidarity with these groups and served as an advocate. Being a non-profit consultant provides me with the opportunity to work with non-profits on capacity building so that we can level the playing field while simultaneously dismantling the systems of oppression in which they have to work in.

What is one of your most memorable career accomplishments?

I turned around a struggling non-profit organization that served survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault. It taught me about the importance of humility, strategy, passion, and resilience in a struggling economy.

We’d love to hear more about your career path. What led you to where you are today?

I never saw myself as a CEO or an Executive Director. I’d always preferred being out of the spotlight. It wasn’t until my Board of Directors pushed me to give it a try that I became a CEO of a non-profit. It was also the first time that, as a woman of color, I had been promoted based on potential and not just experience.

What is the most rewarding part of your job?

As a coach, the most rewarding aspect is witnessing how the women I work with become more confident. It’s a beautiful process of transformation.

What is your favorite social media site? Why?

I use LinkedIn a lot. I love seeing what my colleagues and peers are up these days and how we can support each other.

Is work-life balance a problem for you? What is one no-fail tactic you use to create balance?

I’ve learned that there’s no such thing as work-life balance. Instead, I strive for work-life harmony. I try to work a 4-10 schedule, which gives me Fridays off. I love my 3-day weekends!

What advice would you offer future leading ladies wishing to break into your industry?

It’s okay to be afraid. It’s normal to have the imposter syndrome. Just remember that you probably have a lot more courage and resilience than you think.

What is the best career advice you ever received?

Do what you love. There’s nothing worse than going to work every day to a job or organization that you can’t stand. When you’re passionate about what you do, you’ll succeed a lot faster.


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