Lakeisha Williams | YWCA Women of Excellence
Lakeisha Williams, SPHR, SHRM-SCP
HR Partner – Data & Technology
Bartlett & West
Lakeisha Williams holds a bachelor’s degree in Computer Information Systems from Friends University. She is an avid supporter for introducing girls to STEM career possibilities. To that end she has volunteered at the YWCA’s Mighty Girls summer program and co-chaired a Topeka Chapter of the Links Incorporated event in May 2018 for Eisenhower Middle School students to participate in “Introduction to Robotics & STEM” at Highland Park High School. Her community leadership includes numerous awards and Boards of Director positions.
TK: What inspires you?
LAKEISHA: It was instilled in me at an early age to give back to my community and up until about 5 years ago I always gave back through financial support. Recently, I have progressed to wanting to give my time as well as my resources so what inspires me now is reaching back and helping those behind me be successful as well. I don’t remember where I read it but I once read, “True Success Begins the Second You Start Giving Back.” Volunteering my time and seeing the fruits of my labor has been very motivating and why I finally feel successful at this point in my life.
TK: What advice do you have for others?
LAKEISHA: Don’t allow fear of failure hold you back. My best lessons have come after a mistake or misstep. We always want to strive for perfection but when we don’t quite hit the mark, look back at the situation and ask yourself, “what was my lesson?” and “what should I do differently to not make that same mistake.” Failure gives you the best opportunity for readjusting and learning. If you don’t try, you will never fail but you will never succeed either.
TK: What is the greatest lesson you have learned on your journey?
LAKEISHA: My answer here is the same as the previous question. Keep swinging the bat. (Pardon the sports analogy) The best hitters in baseball have a .300 average. That means when it’s their turn to bat, they fail 7 out of 10 times but that doesn’t stop them from learning from the past and trying again. In my opinion, success requires surviving a small amount of setbacks and heeding the lessons of failure.
The YWCA is on a mission to empower women at all stages in their careers. Diversity in leadership is particularly vital to our vibrant business community in the Greater Topeka Area.
The YWCA is celebrating 31 years of recognizing Women of Excellence in our community with the theme “Dare to be Powerful.” We dare to be powerful, despite whatever obstacles may present themselves along the way.
“When I dare to be powerful, to use my strength in the service of my vision, then it becomes less and less important whether I am afraid.”
- Audre Lorde