Motivation Monday

 Photo by  Emma Matthews  on  Unsplash

by: The Memo Staff

Happy Monday! What are the goals you are looking to manifest this week? Here are a few things to motivate and encourage you as we move into another week.

1.Women Elected to Congress: Last week, Americans elected over 100 women into Congress! It was a record breaking election season in terms of the number of women running, and the number of women elected to office. It was a night of firsts for so many women in politics, especially for women of color. Check out this Time article to learn more about women who made history. Ladies, we salute you!

2.Winter Reads: One way to help you keep a good work/life balance is reading. A few winter reads that we are vegging out on:

  • An American Marriage by Tayari Jones. This was an Oprah book pick. We promise once you start reading it, you won't want to put it back down.
  • Dare to Lead by Brene Brown. If you are looking for a down to earth leadership book, this book is a MUST read!
  • The Tao of Pooh by Benjamin Hoff. This is a quick read and helps you stay centered during all the craziness and breaking news.

3.How to Level Up: Looking for a new job in 2019? Have you joined The Women of Color Equity Initiative? Our hope is to put more women of color in leadership positions by Winter 2019. Join the movement. The database launches at the end of the month.

4.This Ted Talk: In this classic Ted Talk from 2014, art historian Sarah Lewis shares insight about the role of "near wins" in our pathway to success.

5.And Finally, This Video: Posted on Twitter, this video of a little kid saying goodbye to everyone is all the joy we didn't know we needed.

Taking Matters Into Our Own Hands

Taking Matters Into Our Own Hands

Now, I hope that I don’t have to put together a full-on powerpoint presentation on why you should vote in the upcoming election on November 6th: if Kanye West alone hasn’t swayed you, then I don’t know what else to say. The good news about voting is that we get the opportunity to decide what side of history we want to be on, and we get to have a voice in what issues matter to us.

California Love: Which Way To My Board Seat?

by: Minda Harts, Founder, The Memo

What would it look like if the rooms we walked into or the tables we sat at were diverse? What about in terms of board membership? Imagine sitting in a boardroom that was representative of the communities you live in and the customers you serve. I believe that is exactly what California is striving for in trying to pass a bill that would require publicly held companies to have women on their boards. Which is great news for women of color: we are not equally represented on corporate boards, so there is lots of opportunity and board seats to secure.

So what does it take to join and be on a board? Below are a few tips, some of which I shared at one of our monthly #memocareerchats on Slack. There are skills you can gain and ways to level up before you get to your future board seat. Many of these tips are for non-profit board membership, which can be a good starting point before you move to a corporate board.

I want us to be ready to execute when we do sit down--that is what you call Securing Your Seat!


How I Got Involved in Board Membership: “I knew at some point in my career I would want to sit on a major board so I had to start somewhere. My first experience was [with] a non-profit arts organization. With my [previous] fundraising experience, I could lend a hand and provide guidance. It’s nice when you have a skillset that a board needs. So this was a win win for both parties.”

How To Find Boards That Are Looking for Members: Sometimes a non-profit board is a good place to start, and resources like Guidestar.org and Idealist.org can get you started on the search. Additionally, consider organizations that you are interested in, and ask how you might be able to help. Volunteering at an organization may be a good way to get your feet wet, and allow others in the organization to get acquainted with you and your work. Being tapped to be on a board sometimes comes down to your network. If people know you as a reliable and accomplished professional, they are more likely to think of you when an opportunity arises.

What Boards Are Looking For: This answer depends on the organization, but some skills that can help are: strategic thinking, problem solving, understanding specific industry trends and techniques, and an ability to read and understand financial documents. I also found the New York Junior League to have a great resource for picking up some of those skills.

Considerations Before Accepting a Seat: “The requirements and expectations. I said yes to one board and it was like working a full-time job. Understand what you are saying yes to and what they expect from you.” Ask if the organization has a board member description. Make sure you understand things like: the time requirements, how often the board meets, what fundraising expectations there are, who else is on the board, conflicts of interest that might arise, the population served, and the direction the company may be headed. Do your homework ahead of time, as board membership can be a huge commitment, and doing well on one board can help you secure your seat on others.


And, shout out to the black and brown women who came before us, and ran so we could walk in the room! Women like Delores D. Wharton, who, in the 1970s, was one of the first black women on a corporate board.

As Assata Shakur once said, “It is our duty to fight for our freedom. It is our duty to win. We must love each other and support each other. We have nothing to lose but our chains.”

What else would you add to the list of tips? Let me know in the comments.

Know Your Worth: Tenia Watson

Know Your Worth: Tenia Watson

We love celebrating women of color that are doing amazing things in their careers! A few years ago, we interviewed Tenia Watson, Supervising Producer for The Real. We talked risk taking, inspiration, and support systems.

What's the Good News?

What's the Good News?

by: The Memo Staff

Happy Monday! After last week, we could all use some good news.

At The Memo, we thought we'd provide just that! Here is some "good news" we found for women of color at work.

Stop the Stigma

Stop the Stigma

Recently, there has been a lot of discussion about sexual harassment, assault, and abuse, specifically in light of the recent sexual assault allegations against Supreme Court Justice nominee, Brett Kavanaugh. Many men and women have been coming forward to tell their stories via the viral hashtag #WHYIDIDNTREPORT. Unfortunately, I know many women and men have dealt with unwanted advances at some point in their lives. Regardless of *when* someone chooses to report abuse that has happened to them (that moment, or 35 years later), every person should be respected and given the liberty to speak their truth in a time frame that is suitable to their needs. Their decision is not up for public consumption. The stigma around “coming forward” is not as easy as some might think. It’s not so simple, to call 911 on someone that you know and love, or to speak up and have no one believe you.

Who Gon' Stop Me Boo?

Who Gon' Stop Me Boo?

My dad played tennis in the Marines, and growing up he took me and my brothers to the park and taught us how to play. This was one of the ways we spent quality time together. Years later, The Williams sisters hit the tennis scene and I remember how excited I was to see two black girls with beads in their hair disrupting the game.

I don’t know if my dad had the same intentions as their father Richard, but one of my brothers did go on to play collegiate tennis. When my youngest brother became the break out star of the Harts kids; he started to invest in his success and planned on going pro.

Are You Ready For Your Seat?

Are You Ready For Your Seat?

Did you know that our CEO, Minda Harts, has a podcast? It's called Secure The Seat, and is in its second season. Secure the Seat is about women of color in the workplace — what does it take to secure a seat at the table, and once you do, how can you bring others along with you?

Going Into Fall Like What

Going Into Fall Like What

We know many of you are like, “Hold up, wait a minute. I am still trying to get my last bit of summer out, don’t rush me.”

On, the other hand, we know you are ambitious women who like to plan ahead. For you, we've got four things you might want to start incorporating into your end of summer schedule to make the transition into fall a little easier.

Office Best Friends

Office Best Friends

In early July, we hosted our monthly Slack chat and talked about office best friends. It was a good conversation where we talked about the highs and lows of having friends in the office. (If you aren't in our private Slack group, send us an email and we'll add you so you can access that conversation and participate in the next one!)

As a follow up to our conversation in Slack, we asked others about their office best friends, both past and present…

Working Moms

Working Moms

Last week, we hosted our monthly After 6: Career Conversations event online. We were joined by three amazing women and mothers - Thaisa Jones, Digital Director at Pennsylvania Insurance, Delores Brown, Cofounder, Agbara Life, Inc, and Nicole Tirado, CEO of Tearado Tech.

Check out the video!

This Is Us

This Is Us

Almost three years ago, I decided I needed something more out of life.

I wanted to lend support to other women striving to obtain their career goals, and I felt like my experiences up to that point would be able to lend a diverse voice to the career development conversation.

I have to be honest, I wasn’t 100 percent sure how I would do this, or what it would look like.

From The Archives: Grace Makes Room For Space

From The Archives: Grace Makes Room For Space

We've all met people who we are certain that we will not like or get along with - based on the clothes they are wearing, how much they remind us of someone else we had a bad experience with, etc. And as women of color, we have stereotypes thrust upon us regularly.

"Grace Makes Room For Space" was one of the most popular articles on our blog from 2016. It speaks to the need for us to not judge a book by its cover, and to allow for the space for others to surprise us.

For those of you who may have missed it, we're republishing it today.

Hope Is Real

Hope Is Real

Recently, I have read several posts that say, “Check on your strong friend.” While well intentioned, personally I don’t like language like this. It causes us to categorize people as strong vs. weak. When it comes to mental health, I don't think you can boil it down to such simplistic terms.

What To Do When You Don't See Options

What To Do When You Don't See Options

Sometimes all the positive self-talk in the world doesn’t change the fact that some situations leave us stuck. During these times, despite how much perspective we try to have, we just can’t help but feel wedged between a rock and a hard place. If you’ve ever found yourself in this position, and chances are if you’re alive and reading this right now you have, then you’ve experienced that sinking feeling of running out of options. Rather than give you a pie-in-the-sky approach to managing those feelings or improving that situation, we have another alternative – surrender to what is.

We are Resilient!

We are Resilient!

If you missed our 2nd Annual Women of Resilience Awards, you missed a beautiful night of "soul food" - our stomachs, our minds, and our souls were nourished. We were inspired by our honorees and by all of the women who shared their Thursday evening with us at Grand Central Tech in New York City.

My Sister's Keeper

My Sister's Keeper

Each minute of the day seems to bring on another (heart)breaking news story, and I start to wonder, does self-care come at a cost? In the media, we constantly read about attacks on black women like Sandra Bland and Chikesia Clemons. Women, and especially women of color, have had to start multiple hashtag movements to rally and get some respect around here for ourselves and for each other.

Part of self-care is doing temperature checks on ourselves, as well as checking in with and supporting the other women our lives. Just because we see our friends posting “lit” pictures of themselves, doesn’t always equate to what’s going on behind the scenes in their minds and their real lives.

Intersectionality: After 6

Intersectionality: After 6

All this women's history month, we've been saluting the women --present, and future -- who are changing the game for all of us. 

Last week, we spoke to a few of those women at one of our After 6: Career Conversations events, when we discussed intersectionality at work. 

Women of Color Making History

Women of Color Making History

This Women's History Month, we salute the amazing women who have paved the way for us -- those who have graced our history books as well a the hidden figures who helped to create a better world for us all. This month, we celebrate the amazing women of our past as well as our present and future. 

Here are eight women of color currently making history!
 

A Reality Check

A Reality Check

We are in the process of ending two important periods: Black History Month and the end of the first quarter of the fiscal year.  What are some things that might help make your Q2 even better?