Name: Nicole M. Rowan, BBA, MSM
Company: Metropolitan Action Commission
Title: Landlord Liaison/Housing Court Navigator
Brief description of your job responsibilities: Advocate and provide resources and support on behalf of individuals and families facing eviction due to being impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. I work with the applicants, the landlords, LEGACY court and the attorneys to resolve the past due rental balances and to prevent the tenant from being evicted because of their rental arrears. MAC received funding from the U.S. Department of the Treasury to support families in Davidson County who are facing housing instability and homelessness. The mayor applied for these funds and distributed them to MAC for disbursement to eligible individuals and families who apply for the HOPE Program.
Cable Member Since: 2020
Current or past Cable committee or board role(s): Current Board Member: Chair of Member Engagement
Why did you decide to join Cable? I decided to join Cable for professional development, business growth and networking purposes. As an entrepreneur, I knew that there would be opportunities to collaborate and connect with other Cable members to create win-win scenarios for myself and for those that I partnered with to leverage the strength of our combined efforts to achieve shared goals. To be honest, when I joined Cable, my purest desire was just to be of service to the organization and to give back by volunteering. I had benefited from the rich knowledge shared by many of the speakers at the luncheons, and I saw all of the hard work of the Cable board members, and this made me want to join.
What have you gained/learned from joining an organization like Cable? I desired an opportunity to learn from and build relationships with like-minded women who are leaders in their respective fields of business, and Cable has given me this opportunity. Cable has also provided me with board experience and the opportunity to serve.
How would you describe the benefits of Cable to someone thinking about joining the organization? I would communicate to anyone thinking about joining Cable that it is a great organization for those who desire to serve, learn, grow and connect. There are myriad ways to get involved and to stay connected with other women who are willing to mentor, support and to have coffee/tea. If you are looking for a place for professional development, Cable is a safe place to plug in and join one of our signature programs. I would also say you will get out what you put in, so be willing to reach out and ask questions and to have meaningful conversations concerning your career goals and aspirations.
In your opinion, what are the biggest challenges professional women face in the business world today? I believe that some of the biggest challenges professional women face in the business world today are 1. Being treated equally in the workplace, 2. Speaking up and trusting our own voices, 3. Building alliances with the key decision-makers, 4. Becoming a member of the C-Suite, 5. Work life harmony/balance, 6. Overcoming perfectionism and imposter syndrome, and 7. Building a sisterhood that is beneficial to all women. As professional women, we do face many obstacles and barriers that are real as well as created. However, I believe that, with the right tools and resources as well as the gumption to advocate for ourselves and our sisters, we can continue to make progress that breaks down and eliminates the challenges that we currently face, so that the next generations will not experience such inequity in the workplace as a result of being female.
What would you say has been your biggest career setback, and how did you get through it? One of my biggest career setbacks was leaving a job that I loved and work that I felt called to do. Making this decision was very difficult because I knew that I was on a trajectory to move up in the organization. This was communicated with me by my leadership team, and I was receiving accolades and opportunities to lead outside of my assigned role. As my work responsibilities grew, I was spending less and less time with my family. I had two young children and a husband that were only seeing me a few hours per day. One day, my oldest daughter wrote me a note as we were getting ready in the morning for school and work. The note said, “When are you coming home, I miss you, you don’t get home in time to read us bedtime stories anymore, are you coming home yes or no (circle one).” As you can imagine, I held back tears as I read the note and the whole car ride until I dropped my girls off for school. I sat in the parking lot at work and cried because I knew something had to change. I decided that day that I needed to take a break from working so many hours and that I needed to focus on my family and raising my girls before I missed all their monumental moments. My career setback was leaving a position that I loved to focus on being a wife and mother and to pursue my entrepreneurial dreams. I was blessed to be able to do this for two years, and it was one of the best things that ever happened because it helped me to focus on what really mattered. I have reentered the workforce, and I’m still figuring out where I go from here and what I will do next. Even though taking time away from the workforce may be considered as a career setback, in my opinion it made me appreciate every stay-at-home mom and every working mom who is trying to find the harmony in taking care of family, home and your business. I grieved the loss of having a team to lead, guide, mentor and support, as well as the work and its impact. However, my setback was just a setup to help me to build and grow healthy relationships within my core family unit, which is priceless.
What is your ultimate career goal? I no longer have traditional thoughts and goals as I once did as it relates to my career goals. I had plans and aspirations to become the CEO of a global nonprofit organization, and I planned and prepared to achieve this goal. Then I realized that I could plan all I want to; but if it is not in alignment with the plan and purpose for my life, it will not come to fruition just because I was willing to work hard and prepare. Therefore, I say use me for your good purposes, Lord, to be a voice for the vulnerable and a battle axe against injustice and help me to honor you and to give you glory in all that I put my hands to do. At the end of my career, I just want to hear “Well done, my good and faithful servant.” To sum it all up, I would say my ultimate career goal is to be of service in areas that matter to the least, the lost, the broken and the underrepresented and to impact meaningful change in legislation and policies that keep marginalized people in a cycle of poverty and lack.
However, if I had to list some career goals that are more traditional because volunteering and serving doesn’t pay the bills or keep the lights on 😊, one of my career goals is to start a nonprofit organization that provides free/low-cost training to small nonprofit organizations on strategic planning, board governance, staff development, fund raising, and operational and financial stewardship to create a sustainable business. I enjoy teaching, coaching and mentoring others to achieve success, and if I had unlimited funds, I would most definitely give away my gifts and talents to help nonprofit organizations be successful in the marketplace for the purpose of creating solutions to local and global issues that plague our society and communities. Another career goal is to be a full-time advocate for education rights, health equity, and equal rights for women, children and minorities. My ultimate career goal is to fulfill my God-given purposes and to live a life of service. I’m yielded to His will and ready for my next divine assignment, whatever it may be. I just want to be used for His glory here on Earth to make the world a better place for my children and the generations to follow.