Dr. Tausha Robertson
No one can take your education away from you.
Dr. Tausha Robertson wears the many hats of accomplished businesswoman, philanthropist, published author, and, most recently, tech entrepreneur. She currently lives in the up-and-coming tech city of Austin, Texas and serves on the inaugural Board for Global Women for Wellbeing.
Dr. Robertson grew up in the small town of Meridian, Mississippi and lived in Arizona, where she stayed to complete her undergraduate and Master’s degrees in Exercise Science and Nutritional Sciences, respectively.
Tausha’s internal motivation carried her through her rigorous academic studies. She merged her passion for science with her interests in physiology, health, and human performance. She moved to North Carolina where she completed her Doctorate in Public Health (focusing specifically health policy and administration) at University North Carolina Chapel Hill.
When explaining why she pursued her advanced degrees, Tausha emphasized that “no one can take your education away from you” and she also believes in being a lifetime learner. Armed with her doctorate and her expertise in public health Tausha accepted a position with a private equity firm, to manage its operational healthcare costs. A few years later she left her job to join her former boss, Kim Davis, as partner in startup that would become, Alterity Group, which was acquired by NFP in 2012.
Since the acquisition and her subsequent transition out in 2016, Tausha has kept busy – serving as a mentor, volunteering on board for organizations such as GW4W, and developing her digital platform, msxfactor.com. Tausha’s face lights up when she talks about her platform, which serves as a community where Gen X, women of color can find content and conversations about topics relevant to their lives. She prides herself not only in the diversity of content published but also in the high volume of people reading and sharing these articles. She envisions that Ms. X Factor will create a community of women of color at “peak career” and provide for them a space where they can find commonality with other women who also must balance their jobs with caretaking and with their responsibilities to their immediate and extended family members. Ms. X Factor creates a platform for these women to explore new aspects of their identities and creativity. “At the end of the day,” she said, “these women are more than just sisters, mothers, bosses, etc. They are human beings and they need to focus on that too.”
We have to change the paradigm of how we prepare women for leadership
Shortly after the sale of Alterity Group, she met Nancy Board, Executive Operations Director at GW4W, and immediately connected with our mission to give women voice to create better health and wellbeing for themselves, their businesses and their communities. Tausha, who already viewed wellness as something beyond “checking boxes”, was ready to see the industry break out of the traditional models. Her life-long passion for helping people (particularly women) be mentally, spiritually, and physically healthy made the choice of becoming a founding board member for GW4W an easy yes.
“We have to change the paradigm of how we prepare women for leadership,” Tausha declared. Many of the books on leadership in print over emphasize the importance of the traits and characteristics of leaders but give little credence to the impact of external factors on women’s ability to take on leadership roles. Women, for example, will forgo promotions and big projects to maintain their roles are caregivers –for children and/or aging parents. To encourage women in leadership roles, we must assess the primary challenges in their lives and find ways to support them. A major focus of GW4W is identifying these factors through research.
While climbing the corporate ladder, Tausha reflected, she would often continue to work while sick or stressed. To underscore her point, she described a difficult moment. About to fly out on a business trip, Tausha found herself at yet another airport. “I had been on back-to-back trips,” she described, and these trips were “grueling to my body because during them I was neither eating nor sleeping well.” Exhausted, she walked into the airport bathroom with tears brimming in her eyes. When she emerged from the bathroom, she heard over the loudspeaker that her flight had been canceled. She called her client to inform them of the cancellation, drove home, and went to sleep. In the morning, refreshed and renewed, Tausha tackled her work for that day but made a promise to herself. “No more,” she said. No more would she be “at everyone’s beck and call,” so she took control of her schedule. From that moment forward she would strategically schedule meetings with clients or colleagues in the same region to limit back and forth travel. Surprisingly, getting ahead of the scheduling process allowed colleagues and clients adjust seamlessly. She also made it clear that her vacation would be only for vacation and that she would prepare her team and clients weeks ahead of time for her absence.
Her best advice to women interested in integrating wellness into their careers? “Get clear about what’s important to you and set boundaries around those things. Examples include, “Find a way to travel for work that’s least disruptive to your life but still meets the needs of your client” or “Workouts were key to maintaining balance for me. I would make sure to schedule two workouts per week with my trainer that I rarely missed.”
To read more about Tausha and Ms. X Factor. Click here.
-Interview and story written by Sarah Taylor