As Director of Women Business Leaders (WBL), August puts her deep faith to work for the oft-underserved working woman, building communities where professionals can not only network and cultivate collegiality and mentorship over the work they’ve each felt called to do, but they also turn their attention toward that voice that did the calling, the spiritual inner lives of these brilliant women. They form friendships, navigate challenges, learn from one another and flourish through shining a light on matters of faith. We are delighted to introduce the woman behind this nonprofit’s life-affirming community of professional women, August Griffith.
Tell us about Women Business Leaders (WBL) and its initiatives.
Women Business Leaders is a nonprofit, interdenominational ministry that serves women in the workplace. WBL was established in 2014 by a steering committee of working women with the support of our brother ministry, Young Business Leaders (YBL), a faith-based community of men who have been impacting the business world since 1981.
We are a community of women for women who support and encourage each other in our work and faith. We foster relationships through small groups, mentoring, and events. Monday through Friday, the women of WBL can be found in prayer, fellowship, and accountability with groups of businesswomen at various locations around the city. We typically meet during lunch hour to accommodate work schedules, and during COVID, most of our groups are meeting over Zoom. This pandemic has provided new opportunities for our ministry to flourish, albeit remotely — praise the Lord for Zoom and FaceTime! Last year we hosted three online events. We learned to pivot and get creative fast. I am so thankful we can still provide encouraging content to our community online.
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What are common pieces of advice you often hear WBL members share for working women and working moms about staying sane and successful while juggling it all — especially during COVID? Give us some of the pearls of wisdom!
Don’t do it alone! We need other women to lean on and glean from. A WBL small group is a wonderful place to experience that kind of life-giving community.
Also, find yourself a mentor. Whether you’re balancing career and family, starting or closing a business, navigating a new career path or dealing with personal situations, our mentoring program will connect you with a seasoned godly woman whose wisdom and experience can help you see things with a biblical perspective and offer input for dealing with these issues. We all can benefit from sharing our life with someone who is a little further along in the journey.
What is your background, and how does it inform your work with WBL?
Upon graduating from Samford, I served on staff with a college ministry called Campus Outreach. I transitioned into wedding planning and eventually landed in recruiting at Warren Averett CPAs & Advisors, where, for four years, I worked with an incredible team and learned the ins and outs of business development. There is a much longer story between the lines of my resume, but I love seeing the 10,000-foot view of how God orchestrated each step along the way to equip for me this role that holds such a unique blend of business, event planning, and ministry.
What is most challenging about your work?
Currently, it is COVID. It has been challenging to build new relationships and community remotely and through Zoom calls, although we’re doing it daily. I really miss coffee dates, hugs, praying together and in-person conversations. But together with our board, we are working hard to wisely navigate this current environment and safely plan for WBL’s next event this spring.
What is most rewarding?
Walking alongside fellow weary women, lifting them up, and pointing them to the true source of hope. As more and more women step into leadership positions, there is an incredible opportunity for them to make an impact. I long for women to abide in Christ as they strive in their jobs — to steward their career well and to make God’s name great in the midst of a culture that says you can have it all! Without fellowship and support, I’m afraid hard-working women everywhere are headed to burnout and disappointment. I fear this because I experienced it, and I understand the feelings of despair and loneliness. It is my greatest privilege to pray for the women involved in WBL, and I pray that God will equip them to connect their work to His work.
What is your favorite thing about Birmingham?
This is going to sound so cheesy, but I love the hills and how easy it is to find a view. I love driving across all the different areas of town and enjoying their unique personalities. We live in Bluff Park, and I love our little community so much!
Favorite Birmingham eateries?
Do you have a mentor or role model, and if so, what have they taught you?
I have several, but one of the best role models in my life is my small group leader. We are in a small group through our church with eight other couples, and we’ve been meeting together for almost seven years. Kristi Stein has taught me how to trust God’s heart even when I can’t trace his hand. Together, the Steins have taught my husband and [me] how to invest in others and serve the Lord with our time, our talents and our treasures. Their hospitality, love, and caring for us is a true blessing.
If you could go back 10 years, what advice would you give yourself?
It’s okay to not be okay. I have a history with depression, and I have learned a lot since walking through some deep, dark valleys. Ten years ago, I would have loved to have known more about some of the warning signs of depression and how to ask for help.
What is something people might be surprised to learn about you?
I love to sing. My son is my biggest fan these days.
What is your proudest accomplishment?
Becoming Calvin’s mama. Being a working mom is not for the faint of heart — I would never be able to do it without my husband’s constant support and God’s faithful provision through the women of WBL.
If you could have a superhuman power, what would it be and why?
Flying. It would be pretty cool to go on a quick “flight” through the air to decompress after work and have some “me time” before the bath-and-bedtime drill.
Any guilty pleasures?
My husband and I like to watch “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives” and drool over the food and the places we want to visit. I also love watching fails and news anchor bloopers on YouTube.
What is your best piece of advice?
We were not made to carry our burdens alone. Whether you’re single, married, divorced — get involved in the life-on-life community and always say “yes” to lunch.
Besides faith, family and friends, name three things you can’t live without.
My winter robe; Airpods, a working mom essential; and cinnamon dolce lattes.
Thank you, August! To learn more about Women Business Leaders and its mission, visit ybl.org. If you’d like to learn more about joining a small group or finding a mentor, email [email protected]. And finally, WBL is planning a city-wide Time of Prayer on Tuesday, March 16, 2021. For more information visit their website.
All photography by Rebecca Long Photography.
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