If you follow @MadameNoireBiz (which you should), then you know that we attended an event last night hosted by The Root — “Young, Fabulous & Female” — a panel discussion and networking cocktail party that brought together a multitude of well-dressed women to talk about career advancement and personal fulfillment.
Hosted by MSNBC’s Tamron Hall, the panelists were Black Girls Rock founder Beverly Bond; Belle in Brooklyn author Demetria Lucas; Majora Carter, principal at Majora Carter Group, an environmental consultancy; and Pamela Abalu, the head of global design and construction at the MetLife insurance company.
A few key points:
- There was a question of whether black women need to help each other in the workplace. “We have no choice but to help each other. There are so few of us,” replied Abalu (we accidentally attributed this to Majora Carter in our tweet last night). Some of our Twitter followers disagreed with this idea. Feel free to share your thoughts.
- “If you’re too comfortable,” said Hall, you’re not inspired to do something bigger and better. Bond said she finds her inspiration in her passion. “You have to find who you are and work to become your best self,” she added.
- On the portrayal of black women in the media, Hall cautioned against being too idealistic saying that it will never be all positive. As long as the networks are making money off of shows like Basketball Wives, they will continue to air. “We need to stop worrying about how they see us, and instead worry about how we see ourselves,” she said. “But we have to fight too,” added Bond. “If we don’t say anything, there’s an idea that we don’t care.”
- One of our favorite quotes from the night came from Demetria Lucas: “Spend your money on experiences, not things.” That led to a discussion about the importance of travel and doing things that enrich your life.
- One of the most disturbing bits came from Tamron Hall, who recalled replacing the same reporter twice in two newsrooms because of the “one for one” rule, stating there can only be one black woman in the office. We hashtagged this “just wrong.” There’s simply no other way to put it.
- Finally, there were two differing opinions about mentorship. For Lucas, it’s a “very personal” relationship. For Hall, it’s something much less formal and much more fluid. Something as simple as responding to a tweet can be helpful and instructive and ultimately lead to a relationship. Your thoughts?
The Root will be updating their site with detail about the event. We’ll provide that link when it becomes available.
*Update: And here you go.