The murder of George Floyd was a lightning rod galvanizing the Black Lives Matter movement and highlighting the vast inequalities that remain within our society and economy. Perhaps among the most striking of these is the widening racial wealth gap with Black families holding roughly one-tenth the wealth of white families. One key to ushering in a new age of greater social and racial equity lies in narrowing the vast wealth and earning disparities among the Black population, and Black women specifically.
My career has always been deeply rooted in community. I'm the Cofounder and CEO of Makelab, a Brooklyn-based 3D printing company. I also sit on the board of Women in 3D Printing, an organization on a mission to close the gender gap in additive manufacturing. In the simplest of terms: the 3D printing industry is not diverse. Currently, women make up 10% or less of the industry. A significant part of the reason I've been able to establish a successful company is that I've developed and magnified my voice in a space with very few women.
Have you ever wondered what makes the risky business of entrepreneurship so enticing for immigrants? As an immigrant entrepreneur who also happens to be the child of two immigrant entrepreneurs, I've noticed that the mindsets, habits and values practiced by immigrants largely contribute to their overall success as entrepreneurs.
COVID-19's impact on the world economy was virtually impossible to predict and fully prepare for. Governments balancing citizens' immediate health and safety vs. their financial needs resulted in emergency regulations that have hurt businesses world-wide. Today, the cannabis industry is considered essential, but as we entrepreneurs know, operating any business is a challenge. The entrepreneurial spirit burns brightly in tough times as we constantly look for ways to survive and improve our business while overcoming hardships
Lately, brands have been bravely stepping up to take a stand against racial injustice and other societal ills affecting our world. Almost immediately after the murder of George Floyd, Nike came out with its "Don't Do It" ad. Walmart pledged $100 million for the creation of a center on racial equity. Ben & Jerry's rolled out a new flavor called "Justice Remixed." Pepsi / Quaker Foods has decided to drop its Aunt Jemima brand, whose identity is based on a racial stereotype, and Facebook has created "Lift Black Voices" to highlight stories from Black people and share educational resources.
In most cases, the process of divorce is painful and exhausting. It takes away a lot of time, energy, nerves, and money. It's not surprising that many women have to quit their jobs because they experience severe depression while going through a divorce. Fortunately, with the pass of time, the pain fades away, and life gets back to normal. One day, a woman feels that she is ready to start a new chapter. She decides to update her CV and apply for a job…
When I set out to begin Leon, I knew one thing: I wanted to work in business but struggled to find clothes that made me feel confident while doing so. With little to no knowledge or experience in the tech and fashion industry, I ventured to conceptualize Leon, an eCommerce petite women's clothing brand.
When I first started working in marketing a decade ago, I was quickly thrown into the standard cookie-cutter ways that had been laid out in most business school textbooks. What always bothered me about the traditional marketing process was that it looked good on paper, but the more you began to execute, the more this process drives a wedge between the company and the customer. The customer becomes a number without much consideration to who they actually are and how they feel in relation to the brand. This never sat well with me. After all, I'm a consumer as much as I am a marketer, and making purchases from companies where I feel like a whole and valued person is important to me.
Across the world, women consume nearly as much alcohol as men do. Yet, the liquor business is an industry that primarily targets men— leaving women out as an afterthought. As a former marketer, turned lawyer, turned entrepreneur, I previously worked for one of the world's largest wine and spirits conglomerates, Pernod Ricard.
Dr. Mary Beth Wilkas Janke is a former United States Secret Service Agent and current consultant in the fields of forensic and clinical psychology and professor at George Washington University, where she teaches Abnormal Psychology and the Psychology of Crime and Violence. Mary Beth holds a Doctoral Degree in Clinical Psychology, a Master's Degree in Forensic Psychology, and a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice. She is also the author of " The Protector: A Woman's Journey from the Secret Service to Guarding VIPs and Working in Some of the World's Most Dangerous Places"
Aji Oliyide is a Senior Program Manager at Google who has worked on a number of projects related to product launches, and mergers and acquisitions. Aji sits on the board of directors for San Francisco CASA, a San Francisco non-profit devoted to supporting youth in the foster care system. In addition to board service, she enjoys volunteering and travelling. In 2011, she traveled to Nepal to participate in a charity trek to Mt. Everest Base Camp resulting in over $5,000 personally raised for a local Nepalese non-profit. In her spare time, Aji explores her creative side through her blog (Pivot Points) and her podcast Eat.Plank.Live. Her blog is focused on sharing insights from the decisions and events in people's lives that have influenced their path and how they interact with the world. Her podcast focuses on the role that food and fitness plays in our lives and is now live on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, and Stitcher. Aji holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech) and an MBA from Duke University's Fuqua School of Business.
TaChelle Lawson is a hospitality veteran with over 20 years in marketing, branding and events and has worked with brands such as Nike, Louis Vuitton, Coca-Cola, M&M Mars, Lexus, Mercedes-Benz. As an entrepreneur, TaChelle focuses on bringing understanding to the corporate world about what it's like to be a black woman in corporate America by shifting the mindset of diversity. It's about more than ethnicity; it's about mindset.
TaChelle started sassmouth to acknowledge the natural beauty of black women that is rarely acknowledged outside of the black community. As little black girls are raised to believe everything about us is "too" something and that we need to adjust to fit in and be accepted. So, we do, and our adjustments become our norm. Although the average black woman is born with fuller lips, dark skin, and a big butt, her features are not considered "beautiful." Today, there is an unusually high number of non-black women undergoing surgery to adopt average "black" features. Yet, the black woman has still not made it to the "beautiful" category.
She remembers watching a video of a young black man being forced to cut his dreadlocks off to participate in his high school wrestling match. While the video was appalling, she found herself staring at the anchor woman's lips who was covering the story. They were so fake and unnatural, yet this young man was forced to cut something natural because it didn't fit the "norm." She decided she wasn't ok with that, so she created a brand to give a voice to the audience whose natural beauty is overlooked, borrowed, and stolen, but rarely acknowledged: black women.