All Articles Tagged "black women in business"
New research included in this Slate article shows that it’s not just the inability to “lean in” (as Sheryl Sandburg says) that’s stopping women from reaching the uppermost tiers of the business world. It could be a reluctance to bend ethical rules that stops us.
In the first of three separate studies, men and women were presented with a number of situations that touch on a number of values, such as honesty and loyalty, and asked where people would compromise to get ahead. More women found the ethical compromises “offensive” than men. In a second experiment, college students were presented with job descriptions and responsibilities with varying instructions about engaging in ethically questionable behavior. Men were interested no matter what. The women’s interest was dependent on the ethical implications.
Finally, in the third experiment, male and female Berkeley students were asked to make quick word associations. More women associated business with immorality.
One of the study’s authors, Jessica Kennedy from Wharton Business School, suggests more ethical training at the workplace. We agree; ethics are often overlooked in the workplace, with a greater focus on positive results even if you have to occasionally cross ethical lines. The ability to act more ethically not only makes the company better, but could improve diversity, which also has positive business results.
But if the findings of these experiments are true, we may see a shift in ethical standards in industries across the spectrum even without widespread adoption of ethical courses. A recent report from American Express Open shows that the number of majority women-owned businesses are growing, with 28.6 percent growth between 2002 and 2012. Moreover, these businesses are getting bigger, with more majority women-owned companies reporting $10 million or more in yearly revenues.
Dr. Marsha Firestone, Ph.D., the president and founder of Women Presidents’ Organization, a nonprofit organization whose members are women presidents of multi-million dollar companies, emailed us about this growth in women-run companies. (AMEX Open and WPO are partners.) She told us:
There has been a sea change in the last decade (2002 – 2012) in the kinds of businesses owned by women. They are now heavily in non-traditional industries. The greatest number of million dollar plus women-owned businesses is in wholesale trade (20%), finance/insurance (12%) and transportation/warehousing (11%). In the WPO the largest number of businesses is in manufacturing/distribution. We have seen according to the Growing under the Radar report by American Express OPEN that healthcare, social assistance and education are industries in which the growth of women’s ownership has been the strongest. We suspect that those same industries will continue in the near future. We have seen in the last decade that those women-owned businesses generating more than $1million have grown by 31%. That number would be even greater if businesses 50/50 owned by male and female partners and businesses with financial investors were included in the research.
As more women become business leaders, we could also see a shift in how business is done, with ethics and other concerns (like childcare and maternity leave) taking on greater importance.
Separately but related, Dr. Firestone also says that, among businesses owned by women of color there’s been growth of “9% to 12% in the last five years.” Get it ladies!
“We have worked with 100 Black Men of America to identify and honor women of color in specific communities who have become role models and leaders,” her email continued. The WPO is hosting its conference in Dallas next month in which black women business leaders will be highlighted. More info here.
The stated goal on the organization’s website is to “create and reinforce a strong network of black women with top MBA degrees, and to empower the under-served post-MBA community by providing professional development content and programming, and access to relevant career opportunities.” The group is a membership organization that seeks to connect black women who are enrolled or have completed their studies at one of the nation’s top 25 business schools.
Before launching the program, Clutch reports, Burke was the director of make up marketing at Estee Lauder. She points out that the CFO of that company, as well as executives at many others, are black women. Taken a step further, Black MBA Women wants to highlight the accomplishments of these women and encourage young black women to consider business school.
“It is so important to tell the range of our stories, and for these amazing women— many of whom go unnoticed—to be recognized for their success and the barriers they continue to break for us to have a seat at the table,” she tells Clutch.
Membership costs $50 annually for students and $250 per year for professionals. The group is exclusive, but the opportunity to network among these MBA candidates and graduates is priceless.
When was the last time you treated yourself? How long has it been since you indulged in a satisfying dessert, a relaxing bubble bath, or even just 30 minutes of peace and quiet?
As women in today’s society we are professionals, mothers, wives, students, and more. We wear so many hats it’s not always easy to scrounge up the resources for a personal treat. From financial obligations to scheduling obstacles, women often find themselves on the bottom of the totem pole of self-indulgence.
Fortunately, one Brooklyn, NY mom set out on a mission to help the everyday woman be good to herself. The result is her creative and delicious approach to holistic bath and body products, Treat Me.
Treat Me is an all-natural line of soaps, bath bombs, exfoliation scrubs and moisturizers that are shaped and scented after what we all crave — sweets! From the “Mint Chocolate Dream” soap, to the “Sugar Scrub Cubes,” Treat Me founder Teneshia LaRoda-Griffith wanted to create a product that embodies some of the sweet luxuries that women often cheat themselves out of and promote an opportunity for ladies to take a few moments to themselves. “This was my ode to women,” says Griffith.
Not long ago Teneshia was a busy, stay-at-home mom, who was balancing a household, a marriage, and a toddler with little time left for pampering. “I stopped being able to get my hair and nails done,” she recalls. “I had to find a way to do this for myself.”
The idea was born to create a line of bath and body products that have the added indulgence of the delectable fragrances of some of our favorite confections. A self-proclaimed “foodie at heart,” LaRoda-Griffith was inspired to take her creation to the next level while shopping for cupcakes for her daughter’s birthday party. She was hit with the notion to make her products not only smell scrumptious, but look exactly like their appetizing counterparts. “Sometimes even just smelling things can make you feel full,” she explains. “Solve your cravings this way!”
Aside from the fact that all the Treat Me products are organic and free of harsh sulfates and chemicals, the line is priced to make it easy for those who are financially challenged to feel lavish. With prices as low as $6.95, women from all walks of life can easily find room in their budget for one of these sweet treats.
“I got a lot of flack for charging such low prices,” says Griffith, “but I know what my products do for me. And if I’m helping people, then the money will come. If I have a thousand women who swear by Treat Me then I’m good.”
Have you seen those new Best Buys ads yet? You know the ones that showcase a variety of contributors to the tech space from the guys who created Words With Friends to the man who enabled your phone to be able to take a photo? Well, they are all the same gender and same ethnic type; leading one to believe that this is the standard in digital. Well, I’m here to tell you it isn’t. And with that, welcome to another installment of the longest running profile series on African-American females in the tech space. This time the spotlight is on Tynicka Battle. She is the co-founder and CEO of ThinkTank Digital, a New York City-based digital marketing agency. Under her direction the company provides digital branding, social media strategy, online publicity and web/app development solutions. The company’s clients range from cutting edge start ups to Fortune 500 names in music, film, media, beverage, government and telecommunications industries including Pepsi, Lady Gaga, Motorola. Tynicka shares with us the triumphs and challenges of being in her position.
Current Occupation: Co-founder and CEO of ThinkTank Digital. A boutique digital marketing agency in NYC.
Favorite read: Charles Dickens’ “Great Expectations”.
Recent read:“The Sisters Brothers” by Patrick DeWitt, an awesome shoot-em-up Western.
2012′s ultimate goal: To not die as I walk across the street in the city, texting
Quote Governing Your Mission: “Just the facts ma’m”. I feel I can solve just about any problem if I focus on the facts at hand and remove all subjectivity.
LdC: I always start off with education. How did you come to select Rutgers and how did you like it?
TB: I’m a Jersey girl. Plus my parents told me they could only afford for me to apply to 3 colleges. Once my best friend also got her acceptance letter to Rutgers College, the decision became crystal clear.
LdC: How is your psych major applied to your current occupation?
TB: My Psych degress have been tremendously helpful. I was always intrigued by human behavior. I play close attention to many digital marketing campaigns to help fine-tune my own philosophy of what works well with users, and why.
LdC: Where were you before you helped found this business and what did you do, specifically?
TB: I was handling digital marketing for another agency from 1999-2006.
There’s nothing like being inspired by other black women who are making moves in their perspective careers If you want a chance to network with this women, you should strongly consider attending Black Enterprise’s “Women of Power Summit.”
The summit will take place on February 15-18 in Grande Lakes Orlando, Florida at the Ritz-Carlton.
If you register for the summit by January 31, you can save $300.
Get more information about the summit at Black Enterprise.com and stay tuned to Madame Noire as we will continue to post updates and exciting news about the summit.
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By Makula Dunbar
If you’ve ever attended a street fair, block party or arts & crafts festival in New York City, chances are you’ve crossed paths with Chanel Kennebrew. In sunny and so-so weather, she’ll set up shop and push her designs on any hopeful looking to gain a bit of uniqueness. Try on her funky personality spectacles — carved out of vinyl displaying the word “Visionary” across the top — and you’re cool in an instant.
An illustrator, painter, all around artist and interpreter of multiple visual languages, Kennebrew officially established Junkprints in 2007 — while transitioning from working at a design firm. As an entrepreneur and the owner of a design/creative business, she’s learned that it’s a struggle producing work that is incredibly appeasing to the eye. Now a pro at photo-based illustration and graphic design, Kennebrew’s doodling has paid off in a big way.
“At first I wanted to do animation [professionally], but then I found out that you had to draw everything 50 trillion times. I was not interested in that,” said Kennebrew. “A lot of my upbringing was cartooning and animation as an 80s kid. That was the beginning. Then as I got older I moved to CD covers, musicians and kind of iconic music people.”
“I’ve always been an illustrator. My mom used to do fashion design and my dad is a musician, so I was always around creativity. I knew as an adult that my career would be making visual things of some sorts,” she added. At just 15, Kennebrew made the move from Inglewood, California to Denver to attend a visual arts high school. There she lived with her dad while taking up photo production and graphic design.
“That was a great way to be exposed and have access to artistic resources,” said Kennebrew. “That’s when I started using more mediums.”
Discovering that art was definitely the route she wanted to take, Kennebrew knew early that she’d move to New York to pursue a career. When she received a scholarship to partake in a NYC summer arts program prior to her senior year in high school, she got an opportunity to test the waters.
Fashion is often unfairly considered primarily a superficial business with minimal substance and notorious fickleness. What that misconception fails to consider is that in order for a brand to thrive you need individuals behind-the-scenes that are savvy, intelligent and that possess vision to forecast the next wave of trends. T’Shurah Dove, vice president of marketing for clothing retailer Jimmy Jazz, exudes those qualities which has helped her ensure that the company remains one of the market’s leading urban retailers.
Dove was previously the marketing coordinator for urban fashion brand, Downtown Locker Room (DTLR). In that position she honed her skills. Today, in her role at Jimmy Jazz she manages the marketing strategies for more than 120 stores throughout the Unites States. We spoke with the ever-busy Dove about staying connected to the needs and desires of consumers, dealing with racism and ageism in her field, the power of networking and her secret to simultaneously working and taking care of her love life.
What has been your career path to get to where you are now?
Well I started out working as a promotions assistant in Baltimore from 2000-2003 at a local radio station. I knew at that moment that marketing and promotions was it for me. Fast forward two years and I ended up at an urban retailer headquarters as a Marketing Assistant and worked my way up to Marketing Coordinator/Manager. This great opportunity became available at Jimmy Jazz and I was offered a VP of Marketing position. That’s a pretty great ending for someone who started out in radio promotions. But it doesn’t end here for me.
What is a typical day like for you?
Every day is a different day for me. One Monday I may have a day full of meetings and the next Monday I may be working on a sponsorship project that helps brand the company. Every day is a different task.
By the time you arrived at Jimmy Jazz, it was already a leading clothing retailer. How did that impact your strategy since you weren’t building it from the ground level?
Well, just because a company is established doesn’t mean you stop reaching out to your consumer. You still work to stay relevant. You still work to make sure that the customer thinks of your company first when they decide that they want to go purchase goods. You work hard no matter what level you’re at. If the customer forgets about you, you have a serious problem.
Much of marketing boils down to having great ideas. How do you stay inspired to keep fresh ideas flowing?
Attending events to see what our demographic responds to helps me decide on how to approach the customer. I’m a big people watcher and so everywhere I go, I observe. I watch what people wear, what they read, and what technology they are into and I take that information back and turn it into a idea. I pay attention to how national chains market to their customers and turn that into an idea. There’s inspiration around you with every step you take; the key is to pay attention.
What ethical issues in marketing, such as pricing ethics or in your choices of advertising and promotion, do you deal with?
With the economy the way it is, I have to be smart about how funds are spent when it comes to advertising. I have to decide what opportunity will have the greatest effect and how we will get the biggest bang for our buck. We do cross promotions with a number of our vendors, which helps offset costs for projects. In this method, both companies get exposure.
Has being an African-American woman ever been an issue in your field of work?
I deal with issues ever so often with men and women who are uncomfortable with the position I hold and the work that I do. Due to my age and my skin color, I encounter resistance and hostilities but I pay it zero mind. I worked hard to get where I am today and continue to work hard. Those who take issue with it have insecurities that I’d rather not give energy to.
What do you consider to be your secret to success?
I remember to stay focused and humble. People are more inclined to do business with individuals who have pleasant personalities. I make sure to always attend the most influential events and network. It’s very interesting to meet people from different walks of life and talk to them about what they do.
How do you juggle your work and social life in order to keep a healthy balance?
I designate times of the week that I take myself out on a date. I found out that I’m a cheap date, but I also realized that taking this time is essential. I learned how to entertain myself while growing up the only girl. Other times, I may invite my boyfriend to an industry event. This way I kill two birds with one stone. It’s very important to separate work and your personal life and I make sure I put aside enough time to do both effectively.
For Kissa Thompson, founder and creative director of Buttafly Unltd, sometimes it’s just about trusting your instincts, stepping out there and believing that everything will work itself out.
Buttafly Unltd, a fashion brand specializing in classic pieces, is ever evolving. Named to highlight the metamorphosis of the individual and the possibility of being unlimited, B.U. is Thompson’s brand but her customers make it what it is.
“Our acronym is B.U. It’s really about being who you are. The scarves, the hats the shirts, you make it what it is. I chose not to have an entire clothing line because I didn’t want you to be identified by our brand. I wanted you to create the brand.”
Free spirited from childhood, Thompson wanted to be everything from a nurse to a psychologist. It was her unstructured childhood that taught her the importance of not limiting yourself in life, especially in her career.
Throughout her 36 years, Thompson has dabbled in a little bit of everything when it comes to the entertainment industry. She’s worked for several large media companies including BET, Def Jam and Fox 5. She’s also been a personal assistant to a celebrity.
But it was during her stint at Spin Magazine that Thompson realized that she could work for herself. She set goals and made it happen.
She told herself: “I’m going to get my stuff into five stores and make x amount of money from those stores and if I get that, then I’ll quit my job and then I know I can do it full time. So I set those goals while I was working and it was a hustle because every time I would have a break , I would be running to the stores, be calling clients, trying to get my shirts, checking out the print. When I got it into stores and obtained my goal. Then I worked for myself for three years straight before I started freelancing again. And it was really amazing at the time because the company was really thriving. I set goals every time. I had a goal chart every day.”
That goal chart, her hustle and all of those jobs over the years served to leverage Thompson’s business.
“I started to really work the system. I knew what people wanted to see and I used that to my advantage and everything started accelerating from there. I realized that me jumping from job to job wasn’t in vain, it really was setting me up for where I needed to be. I learned how to network and how to work with my friends that wrote articles and I met celebs when I worked for a celeb so I was like hey, wear my shirt.”
Her most popular “I Love My Hair” shirt was featured in several magazines and on several celebrities, including Alicia Keys in Rolling Stone.
by Tianna Robinson
Unless you are living under a rock, you’ve probably seen Love & Hip Hop and it is most likely a guilty pleasure of yours. It seems that Vh1 loves to show the drama, cat-fighting and sometimes downright ignorance. I highly doubt that a lot of you know that the drama-fueled reality show doesn’t only feature rapper’s girlfriends but also a mega manager and entertainment production pro. This season’s newcomer, Yandy Smith is entertainment powerhouse with years invested in the industry.
We got a chance to sit down and chat with Ms. Smith about her career and the ambitious business woman she is when the camera’s aren’t rolling. Turn the page to see what she has to say about how to make it in the entertainment industry.
Welcome back to my LDC Black Women In Tech profile series. I’m happy to bring you an interview with a hot entrepreneur named Kimberly Dillon, founder of House of Mikko, a “personalized recommendation engine that helps customers discover the best haircare, skincare, and color beauty products for them, based on their unique features and beauty goals.” She is quite a trailblazer and certainly one to watch as 2012 kicks off. Here’s a peak inside my recent conversation with a fellow player in the digital space:
LDC: I see you’ve been covered by certain mainstream tech/media outlets. We rarely see the brown face of a tech entrepreneur profiled in these types of outlets. Why do you think that is, and how did you overcome that hurdle?
I’ll be back just in the new year with more great profiles, so keep watching. You can also find out more about tech events, webinars and more at www.ldcoleman.com.