I started my speaking career in 1989 after I left the classroom as an elementary teacher. In 1990, I opened the doors to my company that provided speaking and consulting services. Over the last three decades, I have served literally hundreds of clients with thousands of audiences for companies, associations, universities, schools, and churches. During my career, I acquired two additional degrees: an MA in Educational Psychology, and a PhD in Instructional Psychology and Technology, with a goal of building and strengthening my knowledge and credibility. I am the author of six books, co-author of four, and have developed several programs and online courses.
In The Media
As a media personality, I, hosted The Dr. Gladney radio show, an international podcast, was the residential expert for several TV and Radio shows, and other media outlets and co-hosted a cable TV show. In addition, I was the founder and Executive Director of two non-profit organizations, Young Educated Sisters, Inc. and Six Million Dollar Woman’s Club, Inc, served on several boards, and have received many recognitions and awards for my leadership, service, and business acumen.
Despite all my experience, accomplishments, and being listed as a speaker on several bureau sites, the reality is that I was not getting a lot of bookings from these bureaus. Most of my engagements were and still are from word of mouth referrals. In my experience, the bureaus tend to focus on their celebrity clients and not the intentional sale of the expert professional speakers with powerful content. The other caveat is, there are so few professional women of color speakers on the bureau sites, that the clients who are seeking to hire a diverse speaker, have challenges finding one.
As a speaker and woman of color, I felt as if I was working against all odds. The disappointment of being properly valued and represented in those bureaus, formulated the vision of 24 Carat Speakers. I knew that I could help other women share their voice, emphasize their value, sell their experience, highlight their expertise, and allow their gifts and talents to make room in the market place while emphasizing diversity and gender inclusion.
24 Carat Speakers
I knew that with my compilation of expertise and business acumen, which includes decades of operating a successful speaking and consulting business, event planning, my network of event planners, speakers, clients, decision makers, influencers, and experts, were the critical components needed to create a unique speakers agency that would highlight the expertise of women of color, who are often overlooked diamonds in the speaking industry.