Over the years, women have crashed through the proverbial “glass ceiling” of many top-level businesses, rising through the ranks and making strides in leadership roles typically held by white men. “How does a professional woman balance a successful career while raising a family?” Angelique David, Executive Managing Director, Chief Operating Officer, and General Counsel for E.C. Ziegler, has proven that it is possible for women to maintain a high-level position, take care of a family, and lead a group of professional women dedicated to embracing self-care and self-preservation.
Managing Business Life
As Executive Managing Director, Chief Operating Officer and General Counsel for E.C. Ziegler, Angelique David is responsible for the daily functions of the business, which include legal, compliance, IT, human resources, marketing, accounting, research, and office services. In addition, Ms. David is responsible for all human capital, ethics, compliance and cybersecurity programs, legal and regulatory affairs, and all corporate governance, brand identity, accounting and IT activities. She serves as a Director on Ziegler’s Board of Directors and a member of its Executive Committee and Chair of its Operating Committee – the first woman and first Black to ever sit on the Board of this 115-year-old business. She has received numerous awards throughout her career, including this year’s Network Journal’s 25 Influential Black Women in Business award and recognition as one of Crain Chicago Business’ 2021 Notable General Counselors. In receiving the Network Journal award, Ms. David shared, “Being the first woman and or minority to have a seat in many rooms or roles of influence is not enough. I am dedicated to ensuring that I am not the last and do not sit in those rooms alone.”
Strategies for Success
As a Black woman who manages a major firm, Ms. David shared the catalysts and influences responsible for her career. She shared, “I have walked into rooms where I am the only woman – Black, and young; and yet, I have proven I can do the work.” She further shared that the only way she was able to do that was to authentically be herself. “I was different and had different ideas. I looked at problems in a different way than my counterparts. I embraced that and I used it to my benefit.” Her greatest influencers have been her mother and sponsors who took personal stakes in her success, noting “they don’t all look like me – some were older black women and white men. The key is that you must create these relationships.” In remembering the professional relationships she has created over the years, Ms. David recalled her first year at a law firm where the younger associate attorneys were fearful of and intimidated by one of the older, white male partners. “I was not going to be intimidated by him,” she said. As a result, they became friends; he was one of her biggest supporters and sponsors.
A Mother’s Influence and Love
As young girls grow up to be women and move on to their own careers, some have been influenced by outsiders. However, Ms. David shared that her mother was and continues to be a major influence in her life and career. “My mother was a single parent who always told me I could do anything I wanted to do. I witnessed her being able to achieve and move mountains. She had juvenile rheumatoid arthritis and doctors gave her lots of negative advice – which she never took. My mother would respond, God gets to decide – not you!” David added, “I realized that she has more faith than any person I know – she takes faith to another level. If she can do it, then I can do it! It was my relationship with my mother that made me want to have children.”
Balancing Family and Personal Life
Not only does Ms. David manage the day-to-day operations of her company, she also manages a home life with her husband and two daughters, ages 11 and 14. “My daughters are my number one priority,” she beamed.” She also shared that she constantly reminds them that they can do anything they want to do. “My mother advised me to build my kids up and reminded me that it is all about figuring out where your priorities are, putting one foot in front of the other, and making sure you’ve done each to the best of your ability.” David noted, “It is important for women to know that you do not have to sacrifice family to be successful in corporate America; prioritize and have conversations with everyone. This comes from being authentic with yourself. Authentic Angelique is being a mom and wife – that’s number one for me.” Outside of work and home life, Ms. David founded Just for Girlfriends (J4G). J4G’s mission is “to create an environment for all women to embrace self-care and self-preservation by providing engaging experiences that rejuvenate the mind and soul.
For information on J4G, visit www.just4girlfriends.com
Donna Hammond is a contributing writer and seminarian. Follow on Facebook, DeeLoisSpeaks.