It's almost the end of another year, and we have so much to be thankful for. Thank you to our community for riding with us all year -- for sharing articles, for attending events, being part of the conversation, and working to secure your seat!
We first met Elena Valentine--Co-Founder of Womxn of Craft & CEO of Skill Scout--in the Civic Accelerator (CivicX) during one of our sessions in Chicago. Elena was a former participant in CivicX and came back as a successful alum to speak to the next cohort. From day one Elena was transparent and willing to help, which is something you don't always find in other women. But, don't take our word for it--find out for yourself why we think she's dope!
It wasn’t until I was older that I understood the power I had as a woman, and more specifically, the power found in being a black woman. The power I found happened through the words of those before me: Toni Morrison, Maya Angelou, Audre Lorde, and Ntozake Shange all articulated a power I had yet to tap into.
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.
Most women have dealt with a “mean girl” or two starting from their first day of school. Unfortunately, some of those mean girls grow up to become mean women – and some of those mean women become mean co-workers. In my career thus far, I’ve had the opportunity to work with a lot of amazing women, some of the most caring and intelligent women on the planet. Up until a few years ago, I couldn’t relate to the “mean girl” stories I heard about happening in the workplace… but then it happened to me.
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.
Two months after graduation, I landed my first corporate job with visions of a meritocracy that offered equal opportunities to ascend towards the C-Suite. Instead, I was greeted with something different. I experienced discrimination and isolation that my university did not equip me to overcome; that I learned by trial and error.
In 2013, Sheryl Sandberg inspired all women to *Lean In*, yet, failed to address what leaning in is like for black and brown women. There is an extra socio-economic and systemic layer of glass that women of color must chip away at before they reach the ceiling in Sheryl’s book.
The J-O-B is a reality for millions of women. At some point in time they entered into a contract with an employer to be good corporate citizens. For some those arrangements began early in life — maybe with a part-time or after school job in teenage years; while others entered the workforce a little later.
A few weeks ago, I was having a conversation with a colleague and we both remarked on how hard the past month had seemed. Many of my other friends felt the same. I saw a similar sentiment shared online. So many people seemed weary near the end of January (most of the complaints were that January was “too long." Now we're all watching February fly by!).
Hi friends! February is Black History Month. We’re celebrating the past, present, and future contributions of black women and men. The words and ideas of black people have changed culture and history. We are magic! #blackgirlmagic
If women of color are doing it, we are here for it! And if one of your goals is to read more, this week we’ve included some books written by black women to add to your reading list!
Do you remember the song Bag Lady? I was listening to it after making a 90’s playlist (don’t judge me), and I think it was the first time I listened to the words of this song through adult lenses. Badu was preaching that career gospel and I don't think she intended to! After listening to Bag Lady on repeat, the lyrics resonated and put me in a career mindset.
“Are you ready to get your life back and head to work?”
“Aren’t you excited to get back to your routine?”
“Won’t it be a relief to not worry about the baby all day?”
Life. Routine. Worry.
As I stood there crying tears of joy holding the positive pregnancy test, everything changed. There was a shift in my universe. The GPS had to recalculate. The destination didn’t change, but we had to implement a detour. My life would never go back to what it once was, I wouldn’t want it to. The routine I had fallen into would change, it had to. And worry, well that is an innocent side effect of motherhood.