Judge Glenda Hatchett, host and star of Judge Hatchett, has had a distinguished legal career, completing a prestigious federal clerkship, spending 10 years at Delta Airlines and rising to the highest-ranking woman of color worldwide, and as chief presiding judge of the Fulton County Juvenile Court. One of our highest rated speakers ever, we’re honored to have her return to the Pennsylvania Conference for Women to help celebrate our 10th anniversary in 2013. Read on to learn how her career path took an unexpected twist and led her to the intersection of purpose and passion.
Q: How did your professional career begin and how did you end up where you are today?
A: I went to law school never expecting to practice law, but rather I wanted to obtain a law degree to expand my professional options. Instead, I fell in love with litigation, garnered a coveted federal clerkship and went to work thereafter as in-house counsel for one of the world’s largest airlines. I was the highest-ranking woman in the global corporation and fully expected to retire from Delta Air Lines. However, I left that position after a lot of thought, prayer and deep soul searching to accept an appointment as chief judge of the Fulton County Juvenile Court, Atlanta, GA – one of the largest juvenile court systems in the nation. It was an enormous step of faith, but there my purpose and passion intersected. Later, I presided over the nationally syndicated television show “Judge Hatchett.”
Q: Can you name a leader for whom you have great respect and tell us why?
A: Dr. Johnnetta Cole, president emeritus of Spelman College and Bennett College for Women, is one of my heroes. She has led two educational institutions to amazing levels of excellence. She has devoted her life to the insightful education of women, many of whom have impacted, and will continue to impact the world in transformational ways.
Q: What is the best piece of advice you would offer to a new employee to help them succeed?
A: Listen very carefully, treat all level of people in the organization with great respect and always act with the utmost integrity – understanding that your word is your bond.
Q: What would you say has been your driving force in your staying power in a male-dominated industry?
A: My absolute belief in myself, and my determination to achieve excellence.
Q: As a seasoned professional, how do you share your experience with your team on a daily basis?
A: Though open transparent communications fortified with an open door policy.
Q: What is the one thing you make time for in your daily life that helps keeps you refreshed and positive?
A: I start each and every day in grateful prayer.