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A few years back I was reading an article by Valerie Purdie-Vaughn, Professor of Psychology and teacher at the Business School @ Columbia that examined the challenges that black women faced in corporate America. I began to recount my own personal struggles in the work environment, and personally identifying with this article. I’m not under valuing the challenges that all women continue to face but recognizing the unique struggles for African American Women.
In this same article Yvette Miley, senior VP and executive editor of MSNBC gave an account of how she had left meetings holding on to her ideas because she felt they would be undervalued. I had personally experienced the same thing once or twice.
Valeri Purdie-Vaughn position was that some people’s brains were biased to ignore black women. For example, when you think about black executives, do you visualize black-men? When you visualize executives, do you visualize white women? Purdie-Vaugh believed that “black women” are not typical of the categories, “black” or “women”, people’s brains fail to include them in both categories.
She concluded that article with this statement, Black women suffer from a “now you see them now you don’t” effect in the work place. Please share your opinion.
Making your Boss look good is the portion of your job description that says, “Other Duties.” Understand that it is an unwritten part of your job description that states if you want that raise or promotion you need to make your Boss look good. Remember that you are a team at work. Even if you are the CEO you have to please someone. Just how well you do this may be the difference between you getting what you need from the workplace.
Move out of your comfort zone. You can only grow if you are willing to feel awkward and uncomfortable when you try something new. "Brain Tracy"
As managers we can agree that you are only as good as your team. You will find success by putting together a diverse staff of talented individuals. A business will always be the sum of its own parts, which is why it's important that your staff be made up of different types of people. One of the biggest mistakes that you can do in your business is fail to manage your generation gap. These strategies can be used in any size and organization type:
1. Don't Act Like a Know-it-All.
2. Develop a Mentorship or Coaching Program.
3. Get Management Up to Speed on Generational Differences.
4. Always Keep a Frame of Reference in Mind.
5. Don't Ignore Terminology & Slang, Embrace it.
6. Maintain a Supportive Attitude.
7. Promote Collaboration & Teamwork.
8. Knock Down Partitions.
9. Hold Themed Days at the Office.
10. Don't Take a "One-size-fits-all" Approach to Management.
11. Keep Your Expectations Reasonable.
12. Tailor Tasks and Projects to Your Workers' Individual Strengths.
13. Open the Floodgates for Communication.
14. Throw Old Routines Away.
The work environment should never be toxic. I worked for an organization once where there were numerous female managers. As I think back, there was one who must have attended the same school as President Trump. She did everything that they teach you not to do when managing people. We didn’t use text messages or twitter back then. If we had those tools, I’m sure she would have found them useful to do her demeaning of staff. She would publicly humiliate the staff during meetings and criticize them openly during other public forums.
There is no reason that leadership should use contemptuous and dismissive language or behavior in the work environment toward their team members or others. I watched this person in management use her authority negatively for a year or two. Staff began to write grievances on this manager and finally, she was terminated from the organization. The bully was finally gone. Have you ever encountered a bully in the workplace?
The workplace can be a challenging environment. Can you imagine going to the workplace and everyone looked just like you? I think that would be boring. Diversity is an asset in the work environment. Organizations who embrace diversity find themselves more profitable and have fewer HR complaints.
Organizations are starting to understand the complex nature of managing a diverse work environment and now are hiring Diversity and Inclusion Professionals. Changing demographics in schools, corporate, health care, and military demand skills needed to navigate cultural differences and leadership that can harness culture diversity in the service of productive relationships. We all come to work with our biases, learning how to confront them—expanding our visions-- takes courage. Don’t be prideful seek help if you need it- Professional Coaching.
There are smart ways to live out your faith in the work place. There is a delicate balance all people of faith have to walk while at work. As Christians, we need to embrace our intelligence and thank God for giving us a strong intellect. As a Christian women, I struggled with knowing how to balance Christianity and work.
I’m proud to say that I am a Christian women. Research from the National Center for Education Statistics and the U.S. Census Bureau shows that women garner the majority of professional degrees and a steadily advancing proportion of income across professional fields.
What I've learned from working in work environments with diverse groups of people:
Making the world a better place is our strongest testimony. I tried hard to let my faith form the basis for my values in the workplace. I caution you when sharing your faith, you don’t want to be seen as intrusive and pushy-- you just may end up without a job.
Please share how you live out your Faith in the Work Place.
I wish I had the magic answer to why so many young men pull the trigger in Chicago. I hear many people saying that Chicago is not the place it was years ago. So true, the sobering statistics on the shootings this year alone demonstrates that we have lost control of our communities and family units. I’ve read the research on brain development and how adolescents must master basic psychological and developmental tasks. I’m sure this is true, and this starts at home. Resources are needed in these communities. Not just talk from City Hall and Washington, D.C.
I can attest personally looking at members of my own family caught in a cycle of being raised in single parent homes, loosely supervised and poorly parented. This vicious cycle will continue without various levels of intervention and support. The question in my mind is what does this intervention and support look like?
New York and LA seem to be managing better in this area than Chicago. LAPD used the Racketeer Influenced & Corrupt Organization Act (RICO) to charge and convict gang leaders and other members with the crimes of their compatriots. It’s reported that quarter of homicide perpetrators—many of them gang members are never arrested in Chicago. In New York, many of the gang neighborhoods have become gentrified. Here in Chicago there are little investments made in sustaining our communities hardest hit by gang violence. Where are the After-school programs? Back in the day we called them Social Centers. Small churches are without funds to rehab and create youth initiatives.
The answer to this problem is multifaceted and complex. Chicago’s violent neighbors have remained isolated, while more money is being poured into the loop. Chicago’s most effective anti-gang program, Cease Fire is ineffective due to Chicago’s political scuffles. Crain’s Chicago Business put it this way “The Gun Becomes the Instrument for Protection, Communication, and Dispute Resolution----And Esteem Building.” More children are dying, more bodies are laid to rest. Don't be mad at Spike Lee, Chicago's nick name is now (CHI-RAQ) it is what it is.
Boomers left home, some of us married first, and then went to school, got a job, had kids, whatever the order our millennial children have redefined adulthood. How times have changed. In the 1970’s most Boomers born between (1941-1957) were living as young adults. I was born after 1957 of course. However, compare the people of the same age in 2017. The changes are astonishing. Today’s young adult look different from prior generations.
When I looked at the Census researchers established four milestones of adulthood: moving out of your parents’ house, getting married, having a child, and getting a job.