It's hard to believe the summer is nearly over, and that we're approaching another fall season. Many of us (or our children, nieces, nephews, friends, etc.) are starting school, and turning the page on a brand new year. As we start this new season, we want you to consider: What you are doing this season to invest in your own success? How are you turning a new page in your own life?
Part of securing our seat at the table is making sure we bring others along with us. We're combing the archives for some of our favorite articles that you may have missed, and this one really speaks to us. The following post, "It's a Privilege," by founder, Minda Harts, reminds us that when one of us wins, we all win. We have had so many people help us along our journey -- thank you! The post originally appeared January, 2018. We hope it speaks to you as well.
So I have a few questions to ask you. They will require you to be honest with yourself.
Are you happy with your current role? Does your manager seem to be invested in your success? Are you living your best life? If your answer is yes, then go girl go---we are living vicariously through you. But, if there are some areas for improvement, then the last question I want to ask is, are you preparing for your next?
Often as women of color, we don’t always have the benefit of being advanced and retained in the workforce like some of our counterparts. When you have checked all the boxes and still don’t get that corner office — it can really take a toll on your emotional well-being. Depending on how long you have been in a certain environment, you begin to question if you’re good enough or if there’s something wrong with you.
In 2015, The Memo LLC was created, and it blows my mind that on August 20, 2019, my debut book with Hachette Book Group, The Memo: What Women of Color Need To Know To Secure A Seat At The Table will be available wherever you like to buy your books. I realized there was a gap in business and career books for black and brown women and for our experiences in the workplace.
We're combing the archives for some of our favorite articles that you may have missed. The following post, But Why?, challenges us to remember the bigger picture of the work we do. What gets you out of bed every morning? Why is the task you’re doing important? What purpose does it serve to your larger goals? The post originally appeared March, 2017.
We're combing the archives for some of our favorite articles that you may have missed. The following post, The Vocabulary Adjustment, is a reminder that the words we use matter. How we describe an event impacts the way we see it and the way we respond to it. Do you "have to" face another Monday, or do you "get to"? Minda provides tips for reframing our vocabulary and mindset, and originally appeared February, 2017.
When was the last time you had to do something that required you to step outside of your comfort zone? Not in a “Should I switch to Doordash instead of Seamless?” type of way.* Instead, I'm talking about a situation that made you get on a group chat and get some feedback, or the type of decision-making that kept you up all night. What excuse did you give yourself that kept you from actually taking that leap?
I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to share my story as a disabled Latina in the workforce with the amazing Minda Harts and women at The Memo. I got to rep The Melanin Collective as we discussed Working with a Disability: Disabilities 101 and Self-Advocacy. After our fireside chat, I wanted to make sure I shared concrete ways we can be allies to people with disabilities in the workplace.
We're combing the archives for some of our favorite articles that you may have missed. The following post, * What Do You Have To Lose,* was written by Minda Harts and speaks to our need to push ourselves to take more risks and start dreaming like we did when we were kids. Who did you want to be then? How can channel the fearlessness of the younger you, and make a bet on yourself?
By: The Memo Staff
Last week, Minda Harts, CEO at The Memo had the opportunity to share 5 Big Challenges Women of Color Face Securing Their Seat at the Table, with the founder of "Know Your Value" and "Morning Joe" co-host, Mika Brzezinski.
Check out the article and video on their site and let us know what other challenges you think we might have missed!
This week is a short work week -- wishing everyone a restful and safe holiday!
It’s an age-old story that doesn’t seem to be changing fast enough: women are struggling to get a foothold in the tech industry. This is especially true for women of color who have had to contend with both gender and racial bias. Yet, the good news is that change is happening, and today many women of color are succeeding in forging top careers in the tech industry. Here are four women of color who are making a name for themselves in the male-dominated tech industry-- they are undoubtedly opening a door for more women to succeed in the future.
On Thursday, we hosted our 3rd Annual Women of Resilience Awards event. Every year, we honor women who are doing amazing things in business and in their communities, and we are awed by the amazing stories of the women in the room. This year was no different. In case you weren’t able to make it, we’ve got you covered!
We were inspired by our honorees and by all of the women (and a few men) who shared their Thursday evening with us at SeatGeek in New York City.
This year we honored: Yari Blanco, Founder of The Girl Mob, and Senior Manager of Culture & Diversity at The Wing; Rachana Bhide, Broadcaster, and Founder of The Corner of the Court, a program that highlights the importance of gender partnerships and male allies in women’s careers; and Eboni K. Williams, TV host, attorney, and author of the best selling book, Pretty Powerful.
Yari Blanco -- Founder, The Girl Mob:
- Make sure mentorship is mutually beneficial.
- Show up, be brave, and use your voice.
- “I’m doing this not [only] for myself...I’m doing this for so many other people.”
Rachana Bhide -- Founder, Corner of the Court + Broadcaster:
- Family, community and support systems are crucial -- that includes male allies.
- Being a woman of color is about rewriting the script.
- "My most resilient moment was a physical manifestation of literally being uncomfortable in my own skin, and finding resilience through that.”
Eboni K. Williams -- TV Host, Author, & Attorney
- “I’m still betting on myself.”
- The interview starts before you open your mouth.
- Don’t let the glitz and glamour cause you to forget…“it is the blood of survivors that allows me the resilience to do what I do.”
For a full recap of the night, check out our WOR2019 Instagram story, curated by the amazing @_inspiredbykrys
Thanks to our speakers: Master of Ceremonies, Brittney Oliver, Founder of Lemons 2 Lemonade, and our Fireside Chat Speakers, Krystal Scott, CEO, The Well, and Dorianne St. Fleur, Founder, Your Career Girl
Thank you to all of our event sponsors, gift bag sponsors, and vendors: SeatGeek, Sweetgreen, Grammarly, Broadly.com, Vivid Lash Bar, and Gourmet Garage.
Thanks to our amazing DJ for the night, DjQLynn
Finally, thank you to everyone who attended!
If you know a woman who should be honored in 2020, let us know!
By: The Memo Staff
We often discuss what it’s like to advocate for ourselves, but what would it look like if we advocated for others? What would it look like if we stood in the gap for others when they aren’t able to stand in the gap for themselves? The happiness that we feel when we stand up for ourselves during those times that require us to -- think how good it might make another colleague feel when that is done for them unsolicited. If we want folks to advocate for us, sometimes we have to signal to others that we would advocate for them, too.
Here are four ways you can be an advocate for someone else:
- Listen & Learn: Actively listen to what your colleagues are telling you about their experiences at work. Take the time to learn about another marginalized group. Don't count on others to do all the work teaching you how to advocate for them. Find books, articles, films, etc. Learn what it's like to be in someone else's shoes. The more you understand about what your colleagues are going through, the better you can be at advocating for them when appropriate.
- Raise Your Hand On Their Behalf: Speaking of listening and learning...some of our greatest opportunities come from other people speaking our names when we aren’t in the room. Listen when your colleagues share what they want out of certain roles and their careers. That way, when you see an opportunity arise that would be great for them, you can speak up. Maybe you heard about a new committee opening up, and you remember that one of your colleagues mentioned being interested in getting more involved in the company in that way -- if you are in a position of power in the company, or you happen to know someone on the selection committee -- consider mentioning them for the role. Even if you aren’t a decision maker, consider mentioning the opportunity to your colleague. Maybe they hadn’t heard about it, and you can be their eyes and ears.
- Recognize Others’ Authenticity: Just as we’ve discussed self-advocacy, there are certain identity points that resonate with us that allow us to bring those authentic parts of ourselves to the workplace. How does your colleague identify? If no one else in the office acknowledges their authenticity, and you know it would mean the world to them if someone in the office “sees” them---be the one to help foster that visibility. For example, if one of your colleagues identifies with the pronouns “they” or “them,” help facilitate inclusion by addressing them in the way they have requested. As Lauryn Hill told us, “Respect is just a minimum.”
- Step Up: Have you ever been in a situation when someone at work said an off-color joke and no one said anything? Perhaps that joke was said, and you were the only woman or person of color, and it left you feeling awkward while everyone else pretended like it was not a big deal? How powerful would it have been if one of your colleagues vocalized that the joke was inappropriate and we don’t use that type of language? Or they approached you to see if you were okay, and apologized for not stepping up at that moment. These types of activities go on daily. Be the person that steps up when your colleague is feeling isolated and alone. Don’t be the person that normalizes bad workplace behavior.
A huge part of building a strong network is relationship building, and I don’t know any better way to start building stronger relationships with your colleagues than advocating and speaking up on their behalf. Again the great Lauryn Hill said, “Tell me, who I have to be to get some reciprocity.” Even though she was talking about an ex, I think if we flex our ability to advocate for others, hopefully, they will reciprocate when given the opportunity. You might be surprised by who steps up for you next time.
Three years ago, we were thinking of ways to highlight more women of color in business that might not be celebrated in the ways that some of our counterparts are celebrated. And, that idea manifested in the creation of The Women of Resilience Awards--three years ago. And each year it has been a privilege to celebrate our accomplishments together.
I am trying to do a better job of having more of a balance in the media and messages I consume (I mean, one must learn to find balance outside of catching up on Game of Thrones). I found this new five-day devotional by Tauren Wells, called “Known”.
He said two things that resonated with me:
We often create superficial selves and relegate every relationship to the shallow end of the relational experience.
The foundation of intimacy is vulnerability.
These two statements might not mean too much to you, but vulnerability has been something I have been struggling with over the last year.
Have you ever needed to have a difficult conversation at work? You know the one where your coworker might have touched your hair without permission, and --being that it's 2019-- you were left standing in shock not knowing how to address it? Or a colleague or manager has said something disparaging about you or your work that you know isn't accurate? Lastly, maybe you remember a time where you had an idea in a meeting and one of your colleagues continued to talk over you. You left that meeting thinking to yourself, "I should have said something."