Monique Rodriguez, self-made millionaire and founder of Mielle Organics, founded her natural hair care brand in the wake of losing her son at eight months of pregnancy. She decided to leave her career as a nurse and pour her energy into her startup which would also enable her to cope with her post-partum depression. That creative outlet that helped her get through the trauma of losing her son has become a multimillion-dollar brand sold in over 100,000 stores across the U.S.
Rodriquez mentions that the best career advice she’s ever received came from her husband who said, “Success, if not owned, is rented — and rent is due everyday. Don’t get complacent, don’t get comfortable, and never feel like you ‘made it.’ Because when you get to that place, there’s always someone trying to take your spot. You have to continue working and striving as if you know [your spot] is not guaranteed.” To read more about Rodriguez’s journey, check out this piece on CNBC.
Often in industries that are more creative, there is an expectation that you need to offer time and labor for free or for deeply discounted rates to get work…or “exposure”. In addition, there’s also the problem of the “brown discount,” which refers to a common workplace issue of people of color being asked to provide the “vastness and value” of their experiences, but without fair compensation or resources. But as journalist Juleyka Lantigua-Williams shares, “exposure” doesn’t pay the rent or the grocery bill. This episode from NPR’s Life Kit discusses some of these challenges in greater detail and shares strategies to ensure you are being paid what you are worth!
In this post on Nasdaq.com, site contributor Gesche Haas spoke with nine women from the Dreamers & Doers collective to learn more about their experiences as business leaders of Latina descent and the challenges and successes that they have encountered. Each woman has a unique backstory and fabulous advice – click the link to read the piece on nasdaq.com
This piece in Inc. is a conversation with We Are Rosie‘s CEO Stephanie Nadi Olson. She shares how the challenges of trying to juggle a family and the demands of a high powered corporate job – and then a startup job – led her to launch her own business focused on finding “good work for everyone who needs it in a way that aligns with their life and treats them with dignity and respect”. Her company now has over 15,000 contractors in the marketing and advertising space – whose contracts are capped at 40 hours per week. She states, “For culture to be truly compassionate, it cannot be prescriptive. Leadership decisions cannot happen in a vacuum.” Click the link above to read more about this incredible leader.
Togethxr is a media brand that is tied to four legendary athletes from a diverse cross-section of sports. Cofounder and chief content officer Jessica Robertson says that Togethxr has a culture that recognizes that women’s sports is “ground zero for every single -ism that’s in culture – which means this is a brand that is going to touch issues of race, gender, sexuality, human rights, voting rights, and so much more.” Check out this article in Fast Company to learn more about this up and coming brand!
Melissa Bradley is the cofounder of Ureeka, a community where entrepreneurs can gain access to the expertise needed to grow their business. Ureeka’s mission is to democratize economic opportunity by enabling community and reducing the cost and risk associated with transitioning from a small to medium business. Bradley is also the founder and Managing Partner of 1863 Ventures and cofounder and Managing Partner of Sidecar Social Finance. In this video, Forbes‘ Maneet Ahuja sits down with Melissa Bradley and discusses access to capital, managing a business during a recession and the overhype of venture capital.
This recent piece in Inc. shares three tips for overcoming some of the biggest challenges women of color face in entrepreneurship. These tips include the importance of getting your finances in order so you can establish good credit, looking after your mental health and developing a success-oriented mindset. Check out the link to read the full piece.
Beth Ford was appointed CEO of Land O’ Lakes in 2018. Her appointment marked the first time a woman had led Land O’Lakes in its 101-year history, and Ford also became the first openly gay woman to become a Fortune 500 CEO. She credits her mother with some of the best career advice she ever received – that being “If you want something, you should ask for it.” Ford carried that lesson into her personal and professional life as she has made a priority of speaking up for herself. To read more about her experiences, read this article from CNBC.
This article featured in Fast Company highlights the five lessons from Alan Henry’s new book, Seen, Heard, and Paid: The New Work Rules for the Marginalized. His book is intended as a guide for employees who find themselves often marginalized – including people of color, women, and those in the LGBTQ+ community. It is also a great read for leaders who want to make sure that their companies and teams are serving all employees well. Some suggestions from the book include: learning to collaborate, leveraging remote work options to work best for you, acknowledging when it is time to leave toxic work environments that aren’t likely to change, and making sure to have a solid work-life balance as well as time for reflection.
In recognition of her contributions to the fashion industry, Mattel has announced its latest Barbie honoree as Vera Wang. The daughter of Chinese immigrants, Wang first became one of the youngest editors at Vogue and then became the design director for accessories at Ralph Lauren before finally becoming an entrepreneur when she opened her own boutique in 1990. How wonderful that Barbie can reflect trailblazing entrepreneurs in women’s fashion! Read more about the story in WWD.