Securing Our Seat

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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!

Paying It Forward: Mentorship Quotes

Paying It Forward: Mentorship Quotes

This past week, we had a lot of conversations with different women that seemed to revolve around the same topic: mentorship.

We spoke to a number of women doing amazing things in their careers. The higher they climbed, however, the fewer mentors they were able to find for themselves, they said. We all need good mentors and advocates no matter how far we've gotten in our careers.

Re-Imagining Success

Re-Imagining Success

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.

Make Yourself a Commitment

Make Yourself a Commitment

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?

The (S)Heroes of 2018

The (S)Heroes of 2018

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!

#MemoMonday: Best of 2018

#MemoMonday: Best of 2018

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!

Unapologetically Kelly

Unapologetically Kelly

I have come to terms with the fact. that I will never be “Beyonce," and I will always be a “Kelly”.

And I am cool with that--Kelly got coins and access to any room she wants. She is successful in her own right and has secured her seat. As a child you are always told to love the skin you’re in and be yourself. As you get older--adults, your peers and life experiences start to chip away at your self-esteem.

Meet Elena Valentine, Womxn of Craft Co-Founder & Skill Scout CEO

Meet Elena Valentine, Womxn of Craft Co-Founder & Skill Scout CEO

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!

I Said What I Said!

I Said What I Said!

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"?

Blessings on Blessings

Blessings on Blessings

Remember the first few days or weeks (or months) at a new job? If you were lucky, that was the time that you'd get trained on the ins and outs of your role. If you weren't so lucky, you'd be left to fend for yourself and learn as you went.

ICYMI: Let Go And Look Forward

ICYMI: Let Go And Look Forward

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.

Intersectionality: How Do We Show Up As Our Full Selves?

Intersectionality: How Do We Show Up As Our Full Selves?

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.

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.

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.

Dealing with Office Mean Girls

Dealing with Office Mean Girls

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.