Get to Know Krystal Covington
Interviewing the Interviewer: Meet Krystal Covington
At our upcoming Annual Luncheon on October 10, Krystal Covington, founder of Women of Denver and a PEP member, will interview special guest Billie Jean King. Get to know more about Krystal in the following Q&A.
If you could interview anyone (besides Billie Jean King, of course), who would that be and why?
The first person who came to mind was Madeleine Albright. I recently read an article in a British magazine featuring her and was inspired to download her new book on fascism. She spent some time living in Denver as a teenager, so she also has that local connection.
Right now I’m very inspired to learn from those who have a global perspective and can help me gain a greater understanding of world politics.
Why did you start Women of Denver and where do you see it in 5 years?
I started Women of Denver in 2014 after spending a year in Denver. I needed a community that gave me the personal development I wanted along with the camaraderie I was craving so deeply.
Women of Denver became a structured, membership based organization at the one-year mark. There are so many transplants like myself seeking a place to connect with people outside of the traditional networking environments, so those were the people who initially took to the group and began attending regularly. We bonded over developing together with other local leaders who needed the same things.
Since building Women of Denver I’ve really been able to hone my skills in curriculum design and I’m now really excited for the possibility of doing more programming inside organizations. We have groups that purchase memberships for their employees, but we’re getting more inquiries now to bring the programming offered at WOD inside businesses, so they can develop their employees and build a stronger culture within their walls.
I look forward to being more involved in the corporate training space and bringing the incredible culture of Women of Denver into many offices here in the city.
Why do you support WFCO?
Before leaving Detroit to join the Denver community I had been reading books about women in business that opened my eyes to the challenges we face. After reading “Nice Girls Don’t Get the Corner Office” and “Lean In,” I realized I’d been ignorant to the discrimination women face in the workplace, let alone throughout society.
Prior to this awakening I had always prioritized volunteerism and philanthropy in the realm of supporting the homeless and being a mentor to “at-risk” youth. Now I’m driven to understand more about how women can support each other not only in the U.S., but internationally.
In 2015, the diversity manager at the financial company I worked for called me up and asked me to assemble a group of women leaders to fill the company table at the WFCO Annual Luncheon. Soledad O’Brien was speaking and we had passes to meet her.
While others were taking pictures with Ms. O’Brien, I was busy chatting with folks about how I could become more involved. I skipped my photo to take the time to learn more.
After hearing from the speaker, and seeing what The Foundation was doing to support women and girls, I was ready to make this part of my world here in Denver. I believe I signed up that day to become an Empowerment Council member and not only donate, but to join a community of others who are connected to this inspiring organization.
When there’s so much work to be done, I believe it’s important to not only contribute, but to also support other organizations that help in unique and powerful ways.
From all the women you meet and talk to – what is the largest challenge facing women in Colorado?
I will admit that I may be in a bubble having surrounded myself with a network of women who skew on the feminist side and are also extremely ambitious and politically minded.
The women I talk with most are trying to push past barriers of identity and acceptance. When we think of a business or government leader, we instantly picture a man. It takes a great deal of work and social transformation for people to change that view and to choose women to take on those roles. I’m surrounded by women who are working to become firsts and to change the proportions of women in high-level, high-paying, and high-powered leadership roles.
What are you reading? Are there any books that have touched you deeply as a woman leader?
Lately I’ve been listening to audio books from women who share their authentic stories of finding their voices. I love memoirs read by the authors and connect deeply with the journey of these women as they learn and grow from their experiences.
A few I’ve finished lately are “We’re Going to Need More Wine” by Gabrielle Union, “Last Black Unicorn” by Tiffany Haddish, “Well, That Escalated Quickly: Memoirs and Mistakes of an Accidental Activist” by Franchesca Ramsey, “Strap on a Pair” by Abby Walker, and “Around the Way Girl” by Taraji P. Henson.
These women are leaders coming from diverse backgrounds and with unique perspectives to share. They aren’t political leaders, but they make wise observations about what they see in their worlds and it helps me to widen my own view and see from different lenses.
Why should someone who has never been to our luncheon attend?
I think there’s something truly special about being in a room full of people who care about supporting the advancement of women. Each person in the room has their own story of why it’s important, and meeting and connecting over that meaning is so impactful.
When I attended my first luncheon I’d never heard of The Women’s Foundation and had no idea what to expect. After that one experience I was truly touched and inspired to take greater action and to get involved even more. If you’re on the fence, I urge you to take the step to get this event on your calendar and make it priority to be part of this moment with us.
Join Krystal and 3,000 other community members who care about philanthropy for women at our Annual Luncheon. Purchase your tickets, tables, and sponsorships today.