"How did you ever get into a business like that?" people ask me. They're confounded to hear that my product is industrial baler wire—a very unfeminine pursuit, especially in 1975 when I founded my company in the midst of a machismo man's world. It's a long story, but I'll try to shorten it. I'd never been interested to enter the "man's" world of business, but I discovered a lucrative opportunity to become my own boss—even if it involved a non-glamorous product. I'd been fired from my previous job working to become a ladies' clothing buyer and was told, "You just aren't management or corporate material." My primary goal then became to find a career in which nobody had the power to fire me and to provide a comfortable living for my two little girls and myself.
"I think you need to stop being so difficult and just let this go," the senior leader said exasperated, handing my sheets back to me. He was annoyed. I took my sheets back and walked out. It was a battle I wasn't about to win.
Those sheets outlined my compelling case for delaying the launch my team had been leading. The proposition wasn't differentiated. The media plan was underfunded. The estimates from sales teams were coming in lower than expected. My persistence, my persuasive business case, and my passion, all pointed in only one direction: that I was being difficult.
In the end, the launch was never delayed. It went on as scheduled and underperformed terribly. The items were delisted within six months. And we never talked about that launch again. It was as if it had never happened.
And all along I wondered: how could I have been less difficult?
When I first heard #OKBoomer, I cringed and thought — here we go again. Yet another round of generation bashing, this time Millennials against Baby Boomers. This new social media conflict will not help workplace dynamics. Throughout my career, I've heard countless rants about long-established workplace norms that younger generations perceive as overly repressive rules that subvert identity, familial obligations, civility, and respect for the environment.
When we think about being "conscious" anything, it's easy to fall into the subject of new age spirituality or just focus on leading a conscious lifestyle through regular yoga sessions, composting, and keeping chickens in the backyard. All of these things are great (when aligned with our personal values), and these actions can enhance our day-to-day lives and inspire others to do the same. But when it comes to the world of business, can the word "conscious" not only play a role, but also help professionals and entrepreneurs alike thrive?
In recent weeks we have been seeing a string of articles praising the exemplary ways that women political leaders of various nations throughout the world have been handling the COVID-19 crisis. Some of these articles suggest, overtly or tacitly, that women are simply better leaders, period.
Our world has changed so much these past few months. But Fresh n' Lean, the pre-prepped organic meal delivery company I founded in 2010, has remained open during the coronavirus pandemic after being deemed an essential business. Operating amid the spread of COVID-19 has been a humbling, challenging and profound experience. We've ramped up our safety measures in order to protect employees.
Risha Grant is an internationally renowned diversity, inclusion and bias expert. She is Founder & CEO of Risha Grant LLC, an award-winning diversity consulting and communications firm, as well as an edgy, educational and motivational speaker, and author of That's BS! How Bias Synapse Disrupts Inclusive Cultures.She covers these topics as NBC KJRH TV News 2 for You's community correspondent, host of the JustUs series, and through her Tulsa World column, Risha Talks. She has been featured in Forbes, The Financial Times, Off Script, Bloomberg Media, Black Enterprise, Radioactive Radio, Take the Lead Radio and WURD Radio among other podcasts, local and national media.
As the Head of Diversity and Inclusion and Cross-Cultural Marketing at Unilever, Mita's efforts to build an inclusive culture are being celebrated. Under her leadership, Unilever was named the #1 Company for Working Mothers by Working Mother Media in 2018. She also co-created the first of its kind Cultural Immersions series to increase the cultural competency of marketers training over 4,000 marketers to date.
Liz Elting, Founder and CEO of the Elizabeth Elting Foundation, is an entrepreneur, business leader, linguaphile, philanthropist, feminist, and mother. After living, studying, and working in five countries across the globe, Liz started TransPerfect out of an NYU dorm room. During her tenure as Co-CEO, she grew TransPerfect into the world's largest language solutions company, with over $600 million in revenue, 4,000+ employees, 11,000+ clients, and offices in more than 90 cities worldwide. Liz has been recognized as a NOW “Woman of Power & Influence", an Enterprising Women “Enterprising Woman of the Year," and one of Forbes' “Richest Self-Made Women."
Email firstname.lastname@example.org to get any of the professional advice you need from this pioneering professional!