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Janelle Coleman: A woman on the move in corporate America

Womens History

Professional and passionate, that’s the best way to describe Janelle Coleman, a power player at “L-Brands.”  She started as an intern and worked her way up the corporate ladder.

“My mother had the talk with my brother and I that you have to work twice as hard to get half as much and so I have approached everything with that attitude, and I don’t expect anything to be easy,”, says Janelle Coleman.

She is a black woman on the move in corporate America, but that doesn’t stop her from getting the job done.

“I think being a black woman is a bonus and a value and I absolutely love being a black woman, and I live that in everything I do. I hope my preparedness leads me to opportunities and those opportunities are made available for me to be successful.”

Janelle Coleman says when it’s time to make decisions, it’s not about black or white, she says its about how you get the job done – with results.  She was born and raised in Cleveland, graduated from Ohio University, where she sits on the board today. 

She says she learned early on to always be ready and to have a plan B.  “So I’ve always had a love for fashion and so while I was at OU taking journalism classes I decided I want to take some fashion merchandise classes and learn about the fashion industry. 

And while taking classes on the business side of it, I saw a flyer on the wall that said The limited.”

After open interviews on campus, Janelle fell into her passion of public relations. She landed a job with “The Limited” in 1997.  It’s now known as L-Brands which includes Victoria’s Secret, and Bath and Body Works.  Now, 21 years later, Janelle is the Vice President of Community Relations and the President of L-Brands Foundation.

Janelle believes women in corporate America don’t get a pass.  She says they must show up for work every day, ready to work with no attitude and no drama.  Her goal is that diversity in the office and in top positions is something that doesn’t have to be discussed – it just is.

Read more stories Celebrating Women here

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