By LaRonda Doakes

As part of corps members’ learning and development, City Year Washington, DC hosts a series called Learning from Leaders. The purpose of this series is to introduce corps members to leaders who are influential in their professional fields and in their communities. On November 11, corps member LaRonda Doakes interviewed Barbara Krumsiek, President, Chief Executive Officer and Chair of  Calvert Investments, Inc. as part of this series.

This post was written by LaRonda Doakes, a City Year corps member on the United Way of the National Capital Area team serving at Kelly Miller Middle School.

krumsiek_doakesFor me and my fellow corps members, the Learning from Leaders series provides the corps with concrete examples of the types of leaders we want to exemplify. For the first installment of the Learning from Leaders series this year, I had the honor of interviewing Ms. Barbara Krumsiek. Ms. Krumsiek spends her days managing Calvert Investments as the CEO, serving on the Girl Scout National Board of Directors and serving as a board member with the Eugene and Agnes E. Meyer Foundation. Conducting this interview gave me the opportunity to speak with a true game changer. Not only did she become a CEO at a time when women did not hold these roles, but she created the first global code of corporate conduct for empowering women worldwide. She is a role model and example for leaders everywhere.

Throughout the interview Ms. Krumsiek spoke candidly of her personal and business life. She talked about her husband and two daughters and about how involved her employees are within their communities. She shared that Calvert has an established culture for giving back, and has a matching program where they will match the amount an employee donates to a charitable organization. The idea she introduced that stuck out most to me was the idea of a “career obstacle course” versus “career ladder.” She explained that on a ladder, one must knock others down to climb, but on an obstacle course, there’s room to go around others and help them reach the endpoint as well. My first thought when I heard this was “someone still has to win.” After further explaining the idea, it was clear to me that she was not talking about the endpoint, but the journey.

Sitting on stage and talking with a woman that literally changed the way I may be viewed as a young female on a job was truly inspiring. By the time the interview was over, Ms. Krumsiek did something that no one had the ability to do before her: convince me that there’s room for heart in the corporate world, and for this new perspective I am truly grateful.


Watch Barbara Krumsiek respond to LaRonda’s question, “What are the qualities and skills you think leaders most need to possess?”

Lifetime of Idealism Award

City Year Washington, DC is honoring Barbara Krumsiek with the Lifetime of Idealism Award at its annual Idealism in Action Gala. Ms. Krumsiek is being recognized for her commitment to charitable and community engagement. The Idealism in Action Gala is being held on May 12, 2014 at the Washington Hilton (1919 Connecticut Avenue). To learn more about the Idealism in Action Gala, or if you’re interested in attending, contact City Year Washington, DC at (202) 776-7780.

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