"...fantastic and powerful speaker, advisor, and coach..."



"{Her} keynote will impact how you approach your career,
your life, and the way you walk through the world."

Meet CHarlene

YOU ARE ENOUGH! Now Available!

From renowned businesswoman and communications visionary Charlene Wheeless comes an inspiring memoir about facing life’s struggles with unrelenting courage and strength. Part memoir, part motivational guide, and a clear roadmap for thriving in career and in life, YOU ARE ENOUGH! draws from Wheeless’s experiences climbing the corporate ladder and battling breast cancer to illustrate life lessons for others. Personal recollections are used to demonstrate that women have to contend with a glass ceiling and for Black women, a concrete wall that makes it impossible even to see what lies on the other side, much less determine how to get there. Wheeless shares advice on how she navigated the route  to reclaim her career and life. For Wheeless, this means busting up stereotypes, breaking down barriers, and flat-out refusing to be ignored, pigeonholed, or forgotten.

While YOU ARE ENOUGH! chronicles Charlene's fearless quest to be her best, her story is everyone's story regardless of race, ethnicity, or gender. With raw honesty, blazing courage, and solution-driven sensibility, Charlene reminds us that we are enough!

Alan  Murray, CEO Fortune Magazine:
'All those executives reading Isabel Wilkerson and Robin D'Angelo ... now need to add Charlene Wheeless to their bedside tables. She offers a view of Corporate America that will open your eyes. The fact that she had to confront cancer as well only adds to this mini-memoir's power."

Net GALLEY Review:
"I know our community will be raving for this book and I can't wait to hear and see many lives changed. We give this book five stars."


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Charlene did a brilliant job planning for and facilitating a courageous conversation on race for a group of business and medical leaders convened by our firm.  She prepared the panelists well, and brought out powerful stories and insights. She’s adept at covering potentially charged issues with sensitivity and grace, making everyone feel comfortable, even when covering uncomfortable topics."

Here's What Others Have to Say...

Charlene is an excellent and engaging speaker.  Charlene possesses the confidence to challenge the status quo and propose constructive alternative viewpoints and approaches to challenges. This is not always easy to do, but it is a trait that sets Charlene apart, and one from which Bechtel has benefited."

Executive Leadership. BECHTEL CORPORATION

Here's What Others Have to Say...

Every syllable of this talk rang of truth earned many times over…one of our participants blurted out that this virtual session was ‘like church,’ and immediately people piled on to upvote that statement.”


executive director, Professional Speechwriters Association, and author of An Effort to Understand: Hearing One Another (and Ourselves) in a Nation Cracked in Half.

Here's What Others Have to Say...

Charlene combines business acumen and strategic thought to bring forward the best solutions to business challenges. I could always depend on Charlene to come up with a unique communication solution to a vexing business problem. She was a dynamic partner."

Paul V. Lombardi
CEO, DynCorp (Retired)

Here's What Others Have to Say...

"We were thrilled to have Charlene with us to hear her riveting stories and thought-provoking insights. We are all better for having met her."

Here's What Others Have to Say...

Your talk was very meaningful to me.  I related to you as a mom, as a writer, and as a woman in Corporate America. I’m still processing all you had to say, Charlene. Some of what you had to say gave me a whole new perspective on Diversity, growth and overcoming difficulty with passion and perseverance. I’m inspired."

R. Hackney


Four years ago, at the height of my career, I was an executive at a multi-billion-dollar global company and living my best life. I was killing it! Or so I thought. While I was busy breaking down barriers and busting up stereotypes, my body was on its own journey, and I was diagnosed with Stage 2 Breast Cancer. I want to say it didn’t change my life; it just put it on pause. But that’s not what happened. As my projected seven-month treatment plan stretched into a more than three-year battle for my health, it was clear that things would never be the same. Cancer changed me, so I changed my world.

Today, I am an accelerant for other people's success. In my work as a keynote speaker, author, and leadership and personal development coach, I delight audiences and help individuals and organizations chart a roadmap to success. I specialize in strategic communications; diversity, equity, and justice in the workplace; and people development. For career professionals, I help you find a saner way to climb. For everyday people, I support you in discovering a better -- and happier -- path in all facets of life while living and leading with purpose, passion, and unapologetic authenticity.

Whether you are looking for a keynote speaker for your next conference to educate and motivate your audience, a best-selling book for strategies and inspiration, or leadership, organizational and personal development coaching, I’m here. Let’s work together to find the fire to forge what’s next for you. 

Unapologetic Authenticity Blog >

Dear White Male Leader -- Here is why you need to read my book (or someone else's)
September 6, 2021

Underneath the humorous and, sometimes, alarming anecdotes in my book lies the unvarnished truth of what Black women (and others) experience in the workplace. You see, while CEOs and other leaders are using their platform to commit or re-commit to change (thank you), it’s not enough. Black women are still being marginalized.

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Dear White Male Leader -- Here is why you need to read my book (or someone else's)
September 6, 2021

Underneath the humorous and, sometimes, alarming anecdotes in my book lies the unvarnished truth of what Black women (and others) experience in the workplace. You see, while CEOs and other leaders are using their platform to commit or re-commit to change (thank you), it’s not enough. Black women are still being marginalized.

Music Moves Me
May 1, 2021

The power of music to move you.

Does Your Reality Match Your Rhetoric?
January 29, 2021

When I speak to employees from companies whose leaders took a firm stand last summer, I also hear that a strange thing is happening inside those companies – nothing.

Waiting to Exhale
January 20, 2021

I’ve been sitting on this blog post for nearly two months. When I first wrote it, I was filled with optimism and ready to declare some semblance of a victory. But deep in my subconscious, I knew it wasn’t time to even hint at success, and I wasn’t sure optimism was warranted, either.

Rebuilding together after the insurrection
January 15, 2021

Since the seditious insurrection incited by the president last week, I’ve had two things on my mind. First, as a Black American, I couldn’t believe what I was seeing as the insurrectionists scaled the walls of the Capitol, broke through its windows and doors and disrupted a sacred Constitutional process. My first thought was, if I had done that, I would have been shot dead on the spot. I asked myself, and I ask you now: Would these events have unfolded differently had the horde been Black?

COVID-19 in 2021: Is Your Company Ready?
December 21, 2020

Authored by Charlene Wheeless, senior advisor for equity and justice at APCO Worldwide and Barie Carmichael, senior counselor at APCO Worldwide

Half and Half, Pt. 3
October 8, 2020

“In my adult life, I have approached most things from an intellectual perspective."

Half and Half, Part 2
October 6, 2020

"During times like these, being biracial holds a strange power."

Half and Half, Part 1
September 7, 2020

“Growing up, being biracial wasn't "a thing." That didn't start until college.

September 6, 2020

What the Current Racial Injustice Movement Means to a Mixed-Race Family

When Will America Love Us Back?
August 31, 2020

“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.” Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Don't Stop Now
June 3, 2020

This time, I’m not the one who is sick. Our country is. 

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