She Leads Change
Keep showing up.
As a woman of color in the corporate world, there were many times when I was tempted to stop showing up. For many of us, the challenges can be so overwhelming that we may think of giving up, stopping to volunteer or participate, or even flat-out resign.
Keep showing up, persevering and demonstrating your best efforts. While your work may go unnoticed at times, it’s important to consistently show up and bring your best contribution to the table.
Stop being afraid of being yourself.
Most people in the corporate world wear a mask. It’s just a fact. However, for women of color at work, wearing a mask has many times been a necessity. According to studies by the Center for Women Policy, 21% of women of color do not think they can be themselves at work. Another 28 to 44% believe they must downplay their ethnicity to increase their chances of success at work.
While this is still the reality in many, if not most, corporate environments, authenticity is still the best way to change the dialogue about women of color at work. The more we hide behind our corporate masks, the less we can bring focus on the actual issues faced by women of color at work.
Take care of you
Don’t underestimate the power of self-care to overcome self-doubt. Feeling exhausted, depleted and low energy does nothing to help you be more confident. Instead, take some time to be compassionate towards yourself. Do something nice for yourself as often as you can, even if it’s just reading a book you like or taking a warm bath.
I’ve learnt to keep reminders of things that lift up my spirits. For instance, I keep a list of my favorite and most uplifting Bible verses. I also keep a list of the major accomplishments I’ve done throughout life to remind myself of past victories. Pictures of testimonials from happy clients that I can look at when I’m feeling low always bring a smile on my face too.