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.
Part of self-care is being kind to yourself. If we are running this marathon called life at a sprinter's pace, we won't be able to give the best parts of ourselves to our family, friends, projects, or ourselves. Running too fast will ultimately result in burn out. We have too much work to do on this earth to be worn down and tired, just because we didn't heed to our body's warning signs to slow down.
by: Minda Harts, Founder, The Memo
If you have followed some of the commentary on social media around Black History Month, you may have seen many folks calling for a do-over (with all the atrocities taking place from Gucci to Virginia and beyond). And even though a lot of jaw-dropping moments have taken place, it doesn’t take away from all the amazing accomplishments of women of color so far this year--like Kamala Harris running for President or Rosalind Brewer joining the board of Amazon. And maybe you have hit a goal or received a raise this month, those accomplishments are just as notable!
One accomplishment that I want to share with our community is that my upcoming book The Memo: What Women of Color Need to Know to Secure a Seat at the Table by Hachette Book Group is available for pre-order. The Memo is the much-needed career advice guide for women of color specifically, ending the one-size-fits-all approach of business books that lump together women across races and overlook the unique barriers to success for women of color. I have written a lot about issues that women of color face in the workplace and I am excited to expand the conversation beyond just our Monday Memos.
Many of our ancestors were not permitted to learn to read and write, and I feel so blessed to have the opportunity to write a book that sheds much-needed light on how women of color and black women experience the workplace. My book debuts on August 20th and I hope you would consider purchasing one for yourself, your friends, and your team. This book provides a roadmap to help women of color and their allies make a real change to the system.
Let’s continue to make history all year long!
Last week, I asked you to consider committing to yourself as the vibe for 2019. How is that coming along?
One of the things that I said I would commit to is incorporating some balance in my life. By nature, I am a workhorse; I don’t know how not to work. Which in turn makes all my conversations work-ish. Even when I am trying to have fun, it somehow comes back to work. My idea of fun these days is attending a good networking event. Just the other day, I was hanging out with one of my favorite people. They said “Minda please stop talking about work while we are at the museum.” I was embarrassed to be called out, but I must admit, I didn’t even realize I was doing it.
This won’t be a Memo that tells you to pull a list together of all of your new resolutions or even create a vision board.
Do I think some of these frameworks help us manifest our desires? I absolutely do, but by now you should know that anything we want to manifest will take work on our part. For instance, I can’t put out a book without writing it first. I can’t lose weight without changing my diet and putting in the work.
The one question I will ask you is what behaviors will you enhance or eliminate as you move forward in your life this year?
By: The Memo Staff
'Tis the season for a list, and we're using the last day of the year to honor those women of color that made us proud in 2018.
We are in awe of all the contributions that women of color made this year and every year. This week, we salute five “sheroes” who inspired us. Their contributions are vast, and we know we could not do all of their accomplishments justice, so we are sharing just a few facts about each!
Thank you, ladies, for continuing to push us forward!
A few years ago I read, "Nice Girls Don’t Get The Corner Office", by Lois P. Frankel. At that time in my life I was reading a lot of career development books for women; some were helpful and others made me feel overwhelmed by the amount of “steps” it might take to climb the proverbial ladder. In Frankel’s book, she mentioned the notion of women using touchy-feely language in the workplace and how we should learn to be more direct. What is "touchy-feely language"?
This weekend, I was thinking a lot about how far I've come along my career path. The person I was at the start of my career almost wouldn't recognize the stronger, more resilient professional that I am becoming. I thought about those situations in my life (personal and professional alike) that, while in them, felt impossible to get through or to let go of. But each of those situations helped to clear a path forward to where I am today.
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?
In 1959, Peter Drucker, famed management consultant, coined the term knowledge worker. A knowledge worker is a professional who "creates, modifies, [...] simplifies," and amplifies knowledge to meet the goals of their office. Madame C.J. Walker, knowledge worker. Indra Nooyi, knowledge worker. Corvida Raven, knowledge worker. Olivia Pope, knowledge worker.
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.
Recognizing the well-documented reasons why women often fail to negotiate – after having been guilty of a few myself – I continue to seek resources to mitigate my fear of negotiating. The best resource I have found to date: female mentors. Due in no small part to my mentors, I have been able to embrace my role in correcting these negotiation-failure trends early in my career. I’d like to share the following story with you as an example of how you, too, can empower and support your fellow female professionals.
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.
As our accountant friends know all too well, tax season is upon us! Many of us dread this time of year, but for others they know that refund check is headed their way.
When I was right out of college, I remember getting my refund check and not knowing what to do with myself. Twenty something me was so excited for all this "free money" (I didn't know better), but I had no plan or strategy in place for what to do with it. So I’d do my happy money dance and throw the money into a savings account, thinking I was being so practical.
WAKANDA. WAKANDA. WAKANDA.
Let’s get into IT!
Before some of you start to panic, today’s MEMO does not include any spoilers, so you can rest easy if you haven’t seen the movie *Black Panther*.
I have so many questions about Wakanda. Most importantly, is the Wifi better there? Because if so, I’m packing up my French Bulldog Boston, and we are on the first plane out of JFK! But in all seriousness, I truly enjoyed the representation of beautiful black men and women in the film.
One of our core pillars at The Memo is generosity.
We live in a world where most people think, “I gotta get mine” and “It’s all about me.” And yes, the old proverb, “You came in this world alone, you will leave alone” is true.
However, there is a counter-argument for that mentality, and it's what I think we don’t focus enough on: “No [wo]man can be an island.”