Emma Jones serves as the Executive Vice President and a part-owner of Credo, a national higher education consulting firm headquartered in Whitsett, North Carolina. From this platform, Emma channels her passion for building the leadership potential of women at all levels: providing mentorship to women in business locally, within her firm, and innovating opportunities on a national scale for higher education leaders to find support and connect.
Originally from Raleigh, NC, Emma earned her Bachelor’s in Literature and Mass Communication from the University of North Carolina –Asheville in 2001. She later went on to complete a Master of Arts in Liberal Studies at UNCG in 2008. After spending 7 years with the London-based Foundation for International Education (FIE), a non-profit international education provider that develops and delivers study abroad programs for U.S.-based universities, Emma began her labor of love with Credo in 2013.
One of Emma’s first initiatives was to set up an after-hours “Lean In” professional group to mentor women on the art of balancing work and home life. Helping women navigate the challenges of workplace gender bias while also sharing the knowledge that career versus family does not have to be a binary choice became a wellspring for Emma’s advocacy and purpose in nurturing a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive environment in higher education. Through her influence and leadership, Credo made improvements to support and benefits for its employees, including more comprehensive family leave, salary equitability, and expanded hiring practices to support an ethos of diversity and diverse team experience. Emma currently spearheads the “Inclusive Credo Working Group,” a grassroots working group of team members passionate about transforming the organizational culture.
In a push to give the next generation of education leaders the tools they need to assess their gifts and talents against today’s independent higher education environment, Emma led the design and execution of Credo’s “Aspiring Leaders” program serving 15+ state higher education associations. She was also instrumental in launching the “Credo Women in Leadership” series, now in its eighth year. With the percentage of women college presidents being staggeringly low, she helped facilitate an annual gathering of these presidents that focuses on presidential leadership, learning, research, relationship-building, and self-care.
Not one to forget her roots despite being featured in publications such as The Business Journals, Emma continues to reach back by providing valuable peer-to-peer mentorship to fellow women business owners. “It can be a lonely road leading a company and without Emma in my life I am not sure I would have had the courage to keep going,” reflects one such peer, who noted that Emma’s mentorship extended to her team members as well. “She is the embodiment of a leader. Someone who is uniquely and authentically herself. A strong and compassionate champion for others.”