Bozoma Saint John being named Executive of the Year and what it means for our community

Bozoma Saint John is the head of global consumer marketing for iTunes and Apple music. She was recently named executive of the year by Billboard. The 39 year old has worked for Pepsi and Beats, and has taken her talents to tech giant Apple. Working for Spike Lee’s firm, Spike DDB,She then moved on to become head of music and entertainment marketing for Pepsi and is credited with securing Beyonce for the Super Bowl. At Apple, her work has been nothing shy of  powerful. She is responsible for Apple Music ads, including the infamous commercial with Mary J. BligeKerry Washington and Taraji P. Henson, that was directed by Ava DuVernay.

Saint John’s ability to connect with millennial audiences and tell a story that everyone can relate to is what makes her so great at her job. Consuming and understanding pop culture isn’t something that she had to learn to do her job, but a natural knack for understanding it is what makes her so successful in her role.

Photo: Billboard, Ramona Rosales 

Photo: Billboard, Ramona Rosales 

“She’s a force of nature. She walks it. She talks it. She knows what’s going on, whether it’s fashion, music, sports... That’s what attracted me to her. I didn’t need a technology person; I needed someone to sell a streaming service. And if she could sell me, she could sell anybody,” said Jimmy Lovine explaining why he hired her.

Saint John being given this title means so much for Creative Smart Girls all around the world who are working towards big dreams. This isn’t just a win for her personally, but a win for all women, especially women of color. Regardless of if people have always told you that you can be whatever you want, you can’t be what you can’t see.A woman born and raised in Ghana, rise through the ranks of corporate America in the tech industry is a powerful reminder than we can all live our dreams. Diversity in tech is something that she takes seriously and feels it’s up to her to make a difference for people who are underrepresented in the industry. Saint John is the first Black woman to ever speak at an Apple event and made us all fall in love with her ability to draw us in and engage us with the product. But she doesn’t want to be seen as someone who made it despite being a Black woman, but someone who made it just because of talent and hard work.

“I am one of the best at what I do, regardless of being a woman and being black -- those are benefits!” said Saint John.