Meet Kim David- a Strategy & Innovation Consultant from New York who helps integrity-driven businesses and careers in growing.
From being a Guyanese-American strategy and innovation consultant to also being an artist and entrepreneur- Kim helps women navigate between traditional power structures and build their own worlds to win. She also happens to a Forbes 30 Under 30 finalist and the former Director of Social Media at the New York Yankees.
“The role of being an insights analyst changed my life. My first role in digital marketing was essentially of a linguistics and human behaviour researcher who focused on brands and social media. I was at the forefront of the industry very early in my career and I was able to efficiently bring that methodology into new companies and other parts of my life,” she says.
Being an insights analyst and a strategist taught her what a professional degree may have not- her job was to solve problems with meaningful creative solutions. She perfected the ability to place equal value on the problem and the solution. Finding insights that can shift perspectives required the ability to find patterns and she believes that each role throughout her career taught her a hard lesson about the need for women of ‘color’ to invest in themselves. Everything affirmed what she had learned in her university about the realities of inequality and capitalism. It took a lot of unpleasant experiences with burnout to make her realize how she could use the same skills to help women of color like herself, build their own worlds.
Kim’s very first experiences in the professional world were ideal where she had the opportunity to work at a science museum in her hometown, Queens, New York, which had a very diverse team and young leadership. She also participated in a corporate internship program that focused on people of color. After high school, she was often the ‘only one’ in the room – the only woman, person of color, the only one under 30 years old or from first-generation – throughout her career.
“I entered the startup/digital marketing world, working at the Shorty Awards when I was a freshman in college. I was introduced to the disturbing and disappointing norms in business rooted in white male patriarchy, capitalism, and neocolonialism. Every single role in my career taught me a hard lesson about how this world is not designed for women of color,” she says as she recounts her initial days of struggle.
Today, in spite of bearing the blows of such experiences in her past, she is challenged with communicating her journey in a way that resonates with other women. Her goal is to help other women actualize their wildest dreams by imagining a world outside of the norms of patriarchy, neocolonialism, and capitalism.
According to her, social listening uses machine language learning to scrape and analyze public social media data. In the early days, a human eye was required to clean and analyze the data – a.k.a. the dirty work that an intern like herself handled. It happened to align really well with what she was studying full time as a ‘psychology and international studies’ major at a research university.
“Mastering the nuance of transforming insights into opportunities and using my voice to share my power with others at work, led me to a decade of an incredible career in marketing- and I’m very proud of the work I’ve done. Over a decade later, I am still a strategy and innovation consultant, focusing on problem-solving, effective storytelling and communication. I help ignite the innate creativity in my clients to grow their careers and businesses on their terms, instead of using my talent to uplift brands that desecrate the planet and show no interest in creating change,” she says.
What surprised her even today is her habit of casually coaching her friends through negotiations and career moves but never considered doing this full time on her own. It was only once she started to create content to share her story and her voice, women resonated with her immediately.
As she looks back, she knows the challenges she talks about may seem impossible to overcome, considering neocolonialism, capitalism, and patriarchy are layered into every part of our world. However, she believes that we all have a choice to/ to not uphold the everyday norms that keep these systems in place. All she hopes is, if women support women, these challenges will become a lot more manageable- and give birth to a new world altogether.