MEMPHIS, Tenn. — In honor of Black History Month, FOX13′s Family Focus is taking a moment to recognize the impact of contributions by African Americans in our community.
Ramona Hood holds the reigns of a top Fortune 500 company, becoming the first African American female to lead FedEx’s Custom Critical Division.
Hood has several reasons why she is successful, but at the top is understanding her own self-worth.
“Dynamic,” “insightful,” and “resilient” are three adjectives many use to describe Hood. They also call her a first in her field, but she says her success is rooted in knowing what it really means to be the first Black female CEO for Memphis-based FedEx.
ALL MONTH LONG, FOX13 WILL BE CELEBRATING THE CONTRIBUTIONS OF AFRICAN AMERICANS. WE HAVE AN ENTIRE SECTION DEDICATED TO THEIR STORIES. CLICK HERE FOR MORE.
“It is to open a door not to have a door open and shut,” said Hood. “I certainly feel that level of responsibility in the role, but I look forward to seeing all of the others that come after me.”
It’s been a year since Hood stepped into her role as FedEx’s CEO, a journey she began almost 30 years ago as a 19-year-old single mother who accepted a job at a company acquired by FedEx called Robert’s Express.
“For me, it was more about an opportunity as a young mother to have a job that had a consistent hour,” said Hood.
She capitalized on her opportunities, accepting support from mentors and accumulating more responsibilities with each promotion.
“That was an opportunity to bring my sales and operations and entrepreneurial spirit all together, so I really thrived in an environment utilizing all of those skills and experiences,” Hood said.
As a CEO, she says humble beginnings at FedEx allowed her to realize the importance of making sure employees are always heard.
“I became pretty intentional with my communications that touched those areas as well as decisions and actions that touched that space as well,” said Hood.
Admitting her ascent to the top has been anything but easy, she’s spent 30 years learning, growing and climbing the ranks. Hood says she may be the first, but it also means she won’t be the last.
“This is not just about me. This is about all of the others who will come after me,” said Hood.
When Hood started her career, she had little experience and no college education. She has since earned her Master’s degree while working at FedEx.