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"A woman has to speak politically correct so as not to be perceived
as a bitch or
as emotional."
—--Tina Davis, Def Jam/Def Soul
BLACK FEMALE EXECS SUMMIT UP
NABFEME Leadership Summit Covers Universal and Exclusive Concerns
Last weekend, the National Association of Black Female Executive in Music and Entertainment (NABFEME) hosted its first International Leadership Summit.

Held in Toronto August 23-26, the summit welcomed over 300 music, film and television executives to discuss issues of concern to African American females in the industry including imaging, using empowerment tools and the balancing career and family.

The conference began with a reception honoring 10 influential women in Black radio. In particular, attendees applauded Michelle Price, who is the Program Director of the host city’s first and only black-owned radio station Flow 93.5. The next day included panels celebrating black females in entertainment law and the record industry, as well as seminars on mentor responsibilities, utilizing the Internet and packing for business trips.

That day’s Label Executives panel turned its focus to the universal battle of the sexes. Panelist Def Jam/Def Soul A&R VP Tina Davis commented that "men are intimidated by successful females," making communication and cooperation difficult. She added, "A woman has to speak politically correct so as not to be perceived as a bitch or as emotional."

RCA VP Jodi Williams however added that just as women must be wary of the boys’ club, there is also a girls’ club. She warned that "women can be catty and hurt each other."

Saturday’s events included a candle-lit Sisterhood panel, music video workshop and the Family & Relationships seminar. Attendees and panelists concluded the sessions with a number of suggestions and plans of action. Among these: creating positive female images in videos; taking responsibility, as women and female artists, to act respectably; and the need for communication, inclusion and a degree of compromise in order to build a healthy home relationship.

A highlight of the event took place on Saturday evening, when NABFEME inducted de Passe Entertainment CEO Suzanne de Passe and Elektra Entertainment CEO Sylvia Rhone into the organization’s Shero Hall of Fame.

NABFEME founder and summit organizer Island Def Jam’s Johnnie Walker said she hoped attendees found the summit useful, adding that it had been created to fill the void of industry conferences developed with black females in mind.

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