Let’s face it not all women of color will be able to start their own business. Many of us are faced with competing in the work place-corporate America. We have many bridges to cross, demonstrating that we are intelligent enough to have a voice and challenges with being seen as aggressive.
Some years ago I was hired to manage an Indiana organization’s social service department. During the interview for this position I wore a wig. Not because I was trying to be someone else, but because I was having a bad hair day. After demonstrating that I was the best person for this position, I was hired. I should preface this by saying that I was asked by the Vice President of the department to interview for this position. Months had gone by and I got the opportunity to get my natural hair twisted. Uncovering my natural hair beauty at worked unleashed some deep rooted ugly preconceptions about people of color from members of that organization.
Once the Vice Presidents came into my office with his mild and serious voice told me that the CEO of that organization saw me now as militant, by then my twisted hair had been taken down -if you ever had your hair twisted, you know they don’t last forever- I now resembled Angela Davis. A few months later I was handed a picture of President Obama in white face.
The Center for Women Policy Studies found 21% of women of color surveyed did not feel they were free to be "themselves at work." The same study found more than one-third of women of color — ranging from 28 percent to 44 percent — believed that they must “play down” their race or ethnicity to succeed.
As women of color we have to overcome being called, angry, bitter, divas, even though I didn’t mine the diva, I can be difficult to please at times. On a more serious note, stereotypes based on Ethnicity and Culture backgrounds are serious problems in the work place. How do we manage around them? Where do we go from here?
Offering career advice to my daughters, a young Millennial and one from Generation Z is complicated enough. We can only imagine the complication of providing leadership to multi generations Baby Boomers and Millennial in the work environment. There is often a warfare in my house when these various generations are brain storming. You have to understand how each of these generation thinks if you are going to be a successful leader. Today’s workplace is most definitely a multi-generational one – and each generation has its own set of expectations, needs, values and working styles.
While generational diversity in the workforce promotes a broader range of talent, it can often mean conflicting ideas and stereotyping – the Baby Boomers think Generation X needs a stronger work ethic, Gen X sees the Boomers as self-absorbed workaholics – and everyone thinks Generation Y is selfish and self-entitled.
Recognizing and understanding generational differences can help everyone learn to work together more effectively and transform your workplace from a generation war zone to an age-diverse and productive team.
"It is not our differences that divide us. It is our inability to recognize, accept, and celebrate those differences"--------- Audre Lorde
After completing Project Management training in 2015, I got to thinking, multitasking is a requirement of operations management, that venerable branch of business studies that deals with how factories, supply chains, and research projects are run. The "critical path method" algorithm involves listing all tasks or jobs required to complete a project, the duration of each, and any dependencies (tasks that must be completed before another is undertaken; for example, in construction, a foundation must be poured before sill boards can be laid). Based on dependencies and job-time lengths, a critical path is found through the process that defines the minimum total time to completion. All other tasks, for which there is "slack" (extra time either before or after the task), are fit around the critical path so as not to lengthen total job time.
Everything that can be is executed in parallel. The actual tasks are typically done by different people. The number of parallel job streams defines the labor requirement (how many people to put on the job). Sounds sensible, this confirmed a level of consciousness for me, you need more than one person to complete a project.
Some jobs can and have to be run in parallel, but one person should probably not be doing more than one thing literally at the same time, or quality suffers. Rapid task switching, which may look like multitasking, is common and required for many types of activity. Multitask where you can, task switch when you have to, and focus on the job at hand as much as possible for the best results.
Nonetheless, the term multitasking originally comes out of the computer science literature and refers to independent computing threads run at the same time.
We really are not very good at multitasking and it can have some consequences, actually hurting our productivity because of the time lost making even fast switches. I've watched individuals trying to multitask be forced to retrace their steps or redo something.
John Medina, the author of "Brain Rules," also points out that the brain cannot multi-task when we are doing things that require our attention or effort. He argues that we take 50 percent longer to accomplish a task and make up to 50 percent more errors. Certainly, we can do several things at once if they do not require much attention, like exercising while listening to music or eating while watching a movie; it's those things that require more attention or involve people that create multi-tasking trouble.
It's suggested that the cost of interruptions to American workers and the economy in terms of lost productivity and profitability is staggering (more than $650 billion a year) due to Multi-tasking.
So, understand that multi-tasking with tasks that require our attention and effort is not productive and studies show for multitasking is actually a bad thing for most white collar professionals. "[Multitasking] shrinks our brains. When you overload your brain trying to get it to task switch, you shrink the gray matter in your brain.
Single-tasking is working with our brains the way they were created. It means keeping your brain and body in the same place and focused on one thing at a time.
You can get more done in the course of the day if at any given moment you're fully and intensely immersed in the task at hand."
The solution to multitasking is, unsurprisingly, single-tasking. You focus 100% of your attention on a single cognitive task and pour your energy into it from start to finish. Instead of splitting up your limited mental resources, you concentrate on one thing at a time.
As a women over 50, I’ve found that flexibility and fine-tuning is the key to keeping yourself relevant in the job market. When I worked in corporate, part of my job was to look out for my team. Sure this was a skill that I acquired. But as I grow older, I’ve had to do it for myself.
Corporate America is not kind to women and people of color. I found it to be kinder to women of color than my African American male counterpart. Once a corporate Principal insinuated that they knew they could count on me to snitch on my counterpart. I was so taken back, my response was, “I have a job description and that’s not in it, sorry I hope that doesn’t offend you”. Thinking back that might not have been the best way to handle that. I’ve been told that I was an authentic communicator.
Women over 50 have two strikes against us in the work arena, age discrimination as well as gender bias. We have so much to offer the employment sector. I recommend you keep a strong professional and social connection. Do not forget to keep the younger generation in your network.
In a conversation with my husband last weekend on our way to see the dynamic Diana Ross perform, I asked him who did he think was going to do the opening act for her? Only to our surprise it was her daughter Rhonda Ross Kendrick’s. Rhonda is often referred to as the love child of Diana Ross and Barry Gordy. After hearing the rumor years ago that Diana had a child by Barry Gordy and with the passing of time, I soon forgot all about this. I finally got an opportunity to see for myself. Rhonda was full of energy, and resembling both her superstar parents.
Families have so many secrets, "who is my father” seems to reach across cultural boundaries. I read an article that said, Rhonda was about 13 years old when she learnt that her mother’s husband and manager, Robert Ellis Silberstein — wasn’t her father.
I could write you a list of adults whose parents and relatives concealed the identity of their birth father until they were grown, married and had their own families, for many reasons. Were they justified for doing this? Who is more probable to suffer from this? If there is any suffering to be done?
Check out Rhonda’s music at: http://www.rhondarosskendrick.com/
Even though Chicago has a state budget, the city schools still may not open on time. Chicago is resembling the city of Detroit. Oh No……..
Chicago Public School’s Crisis, no this is the people of Chicago’s crisis. Shame on Chicagoan's for not taking a more proactive roll. This situation did not just happen, it has been brewing for years. We are too trustful when it comes to allowing the people in local government to plan for the city.
The Education Law Center gave Illinois an “F” grade to funding distribution, finding in its January report that Illinois is one of 21 states that has a regressive system, meaning it provides less aid to districts that have a higher concentration of low-income students. Don’t you see something wrong with this picture?
Illinois ranks dead last in the country when it comes to funding its highest poverty school districts, according to a study by the Education Trust. According to this same study for each dollar spent educating a non-low income student in Illinois, the study found that just 81 cents is spent on that of a low-income child – the largest gap in the nation. Let’s listen to how Chicago’s next group of 2019 Mayoral Candidates plan to handle this.
Don’t judge me, but I’m waiting to see if OJ Simpson the Juice will be released from prison. For the first time since 2013, the public will see him. His parole hearing is scheduled to be televised.
The hearing will take place at 10 a.m. PT on Thursday, July 20, from Nevada and will be broadcast in a video pool, with networks including ESPN airing it live.
I can remember where I was most of the time during his televised trial in 1995, in which Simpson was acquitted in the double murder of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman. I’m not a big football fan like my husband, however, my eyes will no doubt be on the former USC and Buffalo Bills football star once again. Simpson, who just turned 70, will look very different.
My big mommy use to say,” keep that it will come back in style, just wait it out.” She was so right. As I look at the new designs they are reminiscences of past fashion, they may have taken on different style names. No matter how true this is I always found myself shopping for something new.
I spent time with a women from South Africa touring the U.S. with a theater company. As we walked downtown Chicago she was spelled bound by the “Well Dressed American Women.” She kept repeating to me how she found the women in this county to be polished and style driven. As she repeated this to me over and over, in my mind, I was thinking to myself, the American Women was stressed out trying to be style driven. And how I envied any women working for the Post Office who got to wear a uniform at this point. I was stressed working downtown Chicago contemplating daily about what to wear to work.
Today the work attire has changed like most things in our society, work attire now is more “Business Casual.” More companies have relaxed their dress codes to attract the Millennials. Those are the adults who reached adulthood around the 2000’s. As the demand for millennial talent grows and more Millennials step into decision-making roles, expect the trend towards more casual to grow. Some are recommending companies turn to what they call “Smart casual” which is considered a combination of casual, business casual, and business dress codes. Formal and casual clothing pieces can be mixed and matched to combine into a "smart" ensemble. It's considered neat, conventional, and professional yet relatively informal. The best of all the dress code worlds.
There is so much talk in the media about fat, thin and who’s in. Well I just happen to think if you feel good in your skin, and you are not suffering with any chronic health problems your weight might just be okay. Of course if you have health issues and shedding a pound or three would help, do that. I can remember reading my doctor’s comments and she referred to me as being Obese, my feeling where hurt. At that time I had just had my last daughter and sure I had gained a pound or three. Really, Obese, I thought Obese meant you were 20 to 30 pounds overweight. So, I discovered there is much more to being obese and being overweight. Okay, I have a small amount of body fat. What do you think?
For more information try these two links below- cut and paste in browser http://www.healthywomen.org/content/article/am-i-overweight-or-obese