Former BET Networks chief Debra Lee found it lonely at the top as one of the only women of color in the C-suite, so more than a decade ago she created Leading Women Defined.

After leaving the Viacom-run network in 2018, the executive leaned into her project. And she's looking to expand the invite-only gathering of powerful women that draws players like Michelle Obama and Hillary to a larger pool of founders, funders and others.

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