Pioneering Women Will Appear on US Quarters

Pile of US Quarters spread out on a table

The US Mint is creating some new designs – featuring women – for the “tails” sides of quarters that will start circulating in January 2022 and run through 2025. The first two honorees have already been chosen: poet Maya Angelou and astronaut Sally Ride.

The other female honorees will be decided by Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen – with input from the American public. To read more about the initiative, check out this article from CNN. Want to submit a suggestion for a nominee? Fill out this brief form provided by the National Women’s History Museum.

Advice From Walgreens’ New CEO

Headshot of Rosalind Brewer - soon to be new CEO at Walgreens

At the end of February, Rosalind Brewer, who is currently COO at Starbucks, will leave that position to become CEO of drugstore chain Walgreens. Once in this post, she will be the only Black woman currently serving as a Fortune 500 CEO, and just the third Black woman to lead a Fortune 500 firm in history. (There are currently only 37 women in CEO positions at Fortune 500 companies)

According to this CNBC article, during a recent speech, Brewer commented on the reality that many women experience bias and gender discrimination in the workplace. She said that her most critical message to women in business is to “stay steadfast” and know that “your voice matters.”

Link to Webinar – Codeswitching: Navigating the Dynamics of Workplace Norms

Headshot of Professor Courtney McCluney from webinar given through eCornell

In this webinar from December 15, 2020, Professor Deborah Streeter had a conversation with Professor Courtney McCluney about the concept of codeswitching and how it affects the everyday realities of marginalized, devalued, and underrepresented employees at work. To view the recording, click this link

Resources mentioned during the discussion included:

  • Book: “White Fragility” by Robin DiAngelo
  • Book: “Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents” by Isabel Wilkerson
  • Book: “The Souls of White Folk” by W.E.B. Du Bois (link to NPR piece discussing book with Ibram X. Kendi)
  • Essay: “The Souls of White Folk” by W.E.B. Du Bois (link)
  • Publication: From Harvard Business Review – “Advancing Black Leaders” – (available for purchase via this link)
  • More information about Professor McCluney and her research can be found on her website or you can follow her on Twitter at @CL_McCluney

Encouragement From An App!

desk with laptop and lighted sign that says "You Got This"

Sonja Sulcer is a ’96 Cornell University graduate who is an entrepreneur who owns a coworking space in the US Virgin Islands.

She recently developed a free app called “Encourage Her” which showcases quotes authored by Women Entrepreneurs of Color. It is optimized for an iPhone, but it can also be accessed on an iPad.

To read more about the app, check out this blog post.

Podcast Featuring Melanie Hart

“If your life is your currency, decide how you want to invest and spend it.”

Melanie Hart
W.O.C at Work podcast logo

In the W.O.C @ Work podcast, Rai King and Dr. Blanca Ruiz explore what it means to be a woman of color in the workplace by elevating the voices of female-identifying leaders of color in order to shed light on their common experiences as they push for transformational change in organizations across the country.

In this episode, Rai and Blanca talk with Melanie Hart ( Chief Diversity Officer and Sr. VP for Equity, Inclusion, and Social Justice at The New School in New York City) about traversing white-dominant education spaces as a confident woman of color. Melanie also reveals what it looks like to take off that cape and rest to help heal from a traumatic event. This podcast is a must listen for all women.

Link to Webinar – Black Entrepreneurship: Overcoming Adversity and Staying Focused

Screenshot from Black Entrepreneurship panel on Zoom.

Click this link to access “Black Entrepreneurship: Overcoming Adversity and Staying Focused”. In this webinar, a panel of Black entrepreneurs in various stages of their startup journeys will share their experiences, the adversities they’ve overcome, and the resources and organizations that have provided them the support, connections, and opportunities they needed.

The panel was moderated by Marquita M. Qualls, Ph.D., Executive Director of Entrepreneurship Programs, The National GEM Consortium and the panelists included Shila Nieves Burney (Founder and Managing Partner, Zane Venture Fund), Hakim Weatherspoon (Associate Professor, Cornell University; and Co-founder and CEO, Exotanium) and Titus Calloway (Founder and CEO, BlackLaunch LLC and ReLo)

This webinar was coordinated by Black Entrepreneurs in Training (BET). BET is a Cornell program dedicated to inspiring, informing, and initiating the next wave of black student entrepreneurs and is supported by the Center for Regional Economic Advancement at Cornell University (CREA).

Black Female Entrepreneurs Are Thriving In Detroit

headshot of Cornell professor Courtney McCluney

Courtney McCluney, an assistant professor at Cornell University’s School of Industrial and Labor Relations was recently interviewed on NPR’s Marketplace about her research on the status of entrepreneurship in Detroit. McCluney states that over the past several years, Black women have comprised the fastest growing group of entrepreneurs in the U.S. despite having disproportionate access to resources like capital. She recently looked specifically at the city of Detroit which despite less resources and higher than average poverty is creating an entrepreneurial ecosystem.

This piece in the MIT Sloan Management Review entitled “The Detroit Hustle” outlines some of McCluney’s research project. The piece speaks to the growth in women-owned businesses in Detroit and discusses the concept of the “Detroit hustle” – a “long-held mantra unique to the city that defines people’s entrepreneurial energy and approach to work.” The Data collection for this research project is ongoing. It will be fascinating to find out what Professor McCluney continues to learn and share.

Amplify Speaker Series

"Amplify" speaker series logo

“Amplify” is a free speaker series designed to support and empower underrepresented communities in entrepreneurship and venture capital. In 2018, only 1% of venture capital funding went to Black startup founders. Black female entrepreneurs were only allocated 0.02% of VC funding. 

Entrepreneurship organizations at Yale, Harvard, Fordham, Cornell, Brown, Columbia, UC Berkeley, Stanford, UPenn, and Vanderbilt have come together to schedule weekly speakers. Amplify’s mission is to educate, inspire, and pave new paths forward for underrepresented voices in the world of startups.

The Cornell Entrepreneurship Club and the Sullivan Foundation at Rust College present AMPLIFY Week 4 – on Tuesday, August 4th at 5pm ET – which will feature a conversation with Jean-Pierre Adéchi, the CEO/Co-Founder of Wheeli. He will share thoughts on raising capital as a black founder and include specific lessons for women, minority, and other outside-the-box founders. To sign up for this event, click here.

To add your name to the Amplify mailing list to be alerted to future speakers, click here.

Interview with Jessica O. Matthews

logo for Uncharted Power

Jessica O. Matthews is the CEO and founder of Uncharted Power, a full-scale renewable energy company. The initial goal of the company was to create a smarter energy grid for sub-Saharan Africa (Matthews is a dual citizen of the U.S. and Nigeria) but the impact of natural disasters such as flooding and wildfires on the US energy grid encouraged Matthews to broaden her focus and create a more global solution. Read more about this incredible entrepreneur in a July 14, 2020 interview in Politico.