Op-Ed: The Silent Service Of The Unknown Office Sisterhood

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She is one of “the only ones” working in a predominantly white corporate world.  In the 1950s, she was the Katherine Johnson who solved complex problems for her colleagues but who was nonchalantly referenced as “the girl” in the office. 

Today, when I am the only Black women in the room, I wonder if I am one of many Hidden Figures.  In my office, I see others, descendants of all continents. We occasionally exchange smiles and short greetings, but I rarely see women of color uniting to speak on the relatable feelings we have in our roles as “the only ones”. 

On the wave of women uniting for a common cause–corporate women of color should begin sharing with each other the blessings and burdens, we have in common.  I am wholly convinced it would only serve us better if we begin discussing the unspoken service of the unknown sisterhood in the office.

Taraji P Henson Women GIF by SAG Awards

According to Catalyst, women of color are severely underrepresented in corporate America, making up just 3.8% of board seats.  Black women held 2.2% of seats, Hispanic women held 0.8% of seats, and Asian women hold 0.8% of those board seats.  Because we are so few in number, we are often also regarded as “the chosen ones” and we only have each other to combat that lonely feeling at the so-called top. 

This is not to say that I feel like I am at the top in any way. But it is the perception that I am at the top, which is part of the burden.  In this unspoken service, the group of women of color in the office is serving as the representation for all other sisters who share the same ethnic backgrounds in and outside the office. There is added pressure as she is constantly aware of being closely monitored by her colleagues and a standard-bearer for her community.  Her non-communal colleagues watch her closely to make sure she serves the company well.  Her community is depending on her to not only represent them well but open the door as servants do and welcome opportunities for more sisters like her to come through. For this, and many reasons, she feels as though she might as well wear an apron and set the table for others to fulfill their own ambitions.tea party GIF

Obviously, the corporate sister was not hired to work as a servant but often feels like one as she constantly serves someone or something every work day.  I have seen the sister who is the brightest star on the team yet sometimes dims her own light to serve others’ egos.  I witnessed a Middle Eastern sister serve facts when people make ignorant snide remarks and assumptions about her heritage.  I watched a Latinx sister serve as a transformer in battle deflecting stereotypes one minute, and the next minute, saving co-workers from self-destructing disaster.  I have seen the Asian sister serve as the educator informing her colleagues about cultural competence and appropriation. And I am that African American sister who is constantly smiling, offering the service of comfort to others.  The examples are many. Space and time are too limited to list them all. 

ava duvernay black girl magic GIF by Identity

Without conducting a survey, I am convinced there are many women of color in corporate America who can relate to feeling like they are in the roles of servitude in the corporate office. Unfortunately, studies show there’s an emotional tax that we are paying–affecting our well-being both inside and outside the office. This taxation has us asking ourselves if our antics are working and whether our paychecks are worth the pain.  It sometimes feels like we are going through a brutal, vicious cycle all alone. We feel like we are constantly putting on an act to serve others; while sacrificing our own livelihood and authenticity for the comfort of those same people. We engage in our individual combats at work just like “Superwoman” but we fight wearing a cape AND an apron.  At the end of our work days, we take off our sweaty and bloody attire with body aches from head to toe, even though we sat down most of the day.  We massage our heads and feet feeling mentally and physically exhausted.  Our arms are sore from juggling top hats all day long. This short pause of reflection is probably the moment we serve ourselves best. And these moments happen too infrequently.

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I hope this will be a cultural awakening for us all. We need to start speaking on our unspoken services and start seeking and acknowledging our unknown sisterhood.  Now more than ever, it’s time that we openly unite and start pushing forward.  We need to reimagine the workplace where our sisterhood is cohesive, tangible and safe.  When we find ourselves in a compromising situation, we can start reaching out to another “only one” for a little guidance.  We should acknowledge each other more in the hallways, restrooms and perhaps go out for coffee. 

Today is the day I will look for the smile of a sister and simply chat with her.  My ultimate goal is to spread the word that there is a superpower within the unspoken service of our unknown sisterhood.  As in most cases, the force is stronger when we come together. 

In Defense Of Empathy: Your Most Valuable Business Skill

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by Katelyn Gleason

When we think of leadership, certain characteristics usually come to mind—resilience, scrappiness, and competitiveness among others. While these characteristics are definitely important for successful leadership, there’s one , in particular,that should be added to the mix—empathy.

For many founders, success depends on their emotional intelligence and ability to empathize with others. How a founder reads, understands, and reacts to the people around them is not only useful but imperative to build and grow a company. It comes into play at every stage of a company’s development from conceptualizing a product, to marketing it, to creating a work environment conducive to the success of employees as well as the business itself. In my own experience empathy definitely helped me grow Eligible into the company it is today.

Before I founded Eligible, I worked at a startup called drchrono, which was building a product for healthcare records on iPads. I joined the founders as the company’s first employee, responsible for sales, and took it upon myself to learn the inner working of not only drchrono’s product, but really understand their customers.

In a way, it means listening (i.e. learning)

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While at drchrono, I met one of the country’s top oncologists. In one of our discussions, he told me about an issue he was having collecting payment. He was waiting for millions of dollars because of a few clerical errors. I couldn’t believe it. This doctor, who was helping his patients beat cancer, had to worry about his practice’s finances because of overdue payments from insurance providers. By paying attention to small nuances in the doctor’s experience, the idea for Eligible was born—a platform that would make it simple for developers to automate the billing process for doctors, freeing them up to do what they do best.

When I began working on Eligible, I encountered many more doctors similar to the oncologist. They all had stories to share, and it was listening to these numerous accounts that helped me build the best product for them and their patients. Working in tech, it often feels like we have to move at light speed, but as great as being fast can be, it can leave little to no room to take a step back and listen. This is a crucial step to internalizing information and understanding others as well as their situations. By taking that extra time or effort to listen and pay attention to others it allows a person to gain perspective they may not have had before. This can inspire a new approach or tactic to connect with your customer. It’s this perspective that can really set a company apart in the eyes of its customers.

It also fosters good teamwork

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There’s an African proverb that says, “If you want to go quickly, go alone. If you want to go far, go together,” and I wholeheartedly agree. Teamwork propels the business forward, and one of the most important pieces to nurturing a successful team is empathy. Effective teamwork is more easily achieved if you pay attention to others emotions and thoughts. Empathy drives open communication, collaboration, and positivity.

For example, at Eligible, we recently received feedback from our employees that they wanted more transparency and ability to focus on the important matters of the day to help guide their weekly work schedule. After receiving, listening, and understanding this feedback it was important for me to build an environment where our employees felt they were being set up for success.

The drive to set the stage properly comes from empathy

When I was growing up, my mother scrubbed the floors each night to give us a clean slate to start our morning, and focus our efforts on the tasks for that day. It’s with this same philosophy in mind that we “scrub the floors” for the team at Eligible. Each week we build out detailed delivery plans that tie back to long-term quarterly goals for each department so they know what they’re working on and how their work contributes to Eligible’s broader vision and goal as a company. The result has been increased levels of efficiency, and productivity of our employees, and consequently Eligible’s growth.

How to grow your empathy? Open your eyes

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For those wondering how they can build their emotional intelligence, many possess the skill already, though they may undervalue it and consequently don’t incorporate it into their everyday work life. The good news is that it’s something that can be developed. In many ways, empathy in the workplace starts with awareness. Paying attention to this skill as a leader, listening to what it tells you, and positioning yourself to better utilize this skill is very important.

When you encounter a situation, read the signs, which can mean paying attention to facial expressions and body language. Understand the situation by listening to what the other person is saying and react to the situation in a way that shows you care.

Empathy yields a power that is often underestimated and underutilized. When tapped properly, it can help you build and grow your business in ways you may never have dreamed or expected.

These 14 Conference Are A Must For Women In Tech

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By Scott Morris

When you work in tech—particularly if you work remotely—it’s critical to stay connected to your community. In addition to online forums like Stack Overflow and in-person meetups through international organizations like Rails Girls, tech conferences are a surefire way to network with industry peers, socialize with like-minded professionals, and get reinvigorated about tech issues and developments.

In order to give you an idea of what events you need to put on your calendar, we’ve rounded up a list of notable conferences taking place the rest of this year. Keep in mind location and cost when picking out a conference that’s right for you, and try to jump on the early bird and student discounts when available. Also, don’t forget to see if your employer will subsidize the cost of any conference you attend—conferences are perfect for making personal connections, but they’re also a crucial way to build skills and continue your tech education.

Advancing Careers of Technical Women

Where: Phoenix, AZ
When: April 10-13, 2018
Price: $195 student/unemployed registration, $495 general registration

The Advancing Careers of Technical Women (Act-W) organizers believe that more women leaders means a better tech industry and a better world (and we agree!), but too many women still cite a lack of female mentors and leaders in their field. The three-day Act-W National Conference uses interactive sessions, one-on-one coaching, a career fair, and networking opportunities to foster tech and leadership skills for women. Act-W offers a steeply discounted rate for students and unemployed attendees.

The Women in Tech Summit: Northeast

 

Where: Philadelphia, PA
When: April 13-14, 2018
Price: $49 student ticket, Saturday only; $89 student ticket, Friday and Saturday; $109 attendee ticket, Saturday only; $179 attendee ticket, Friday and Saturday

The Women in Tech Summit aims to bring women into the technology industry through tech education and personal connection with other female tech professionals. Philadelphia is the site for this year’s Northeast location and will feature workshops, panel discussions, and networking opportunities. All profits generated from this and other Women in Tech summits support TechGirlz.org, a non-profit group that introduces middle school girls to the possibility of careers in technology. See listings for additional Women in Tech Summits in other locations below.

The Women in Tech Summit: Midwest

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Where: Chicago, IL
When: May 19, 2018
Price: $49 student ticket, $79 early bird ticket, TBA attendee ticket

Under the same umbrella as the Northeast Women in Tech Summit above, this year’s Midwest location is in Chicago. The Midwest Summit will feature speakers like Liz Brown, Co-CEO and Head of Design at WebJunto, Rokeya Jones, Director of Academic Evangelism at Microsoft, and Mary Malone, Principal Engineer at Comcast.

Women Transforming Technology

Where: Palo Alto, CA
When: May 22, 2018
Price: TBA

Women Transforming Technology was founded by cloud computing company VMWare and is made up of organizations from the tech industry, academia, and non-profit sectors. The purpose of the group is to build community and tackle issues critical to women in tech. WTT’s yearly conference event takes place at the VMWare campus in Palo Alto and features keynote talks from industry leaders, as well as breakout sessions, which in past years have featured smaller talks tailored to attendees’ technical and seniority levels, including sessions for executive leaders, emerging leaders (attendees looking to move into manage roles), and technical sessions (based on developing specific tech skills).

Diversity in Tech

Where: London, England
When: May 24, 2018
Price: £150 silver pass, £175 gold pass (includes on-demand access to recorded presentations)

The Diversity in Tech event is dedicated to bringing inclusion to the forefront of the industry. Diversity in Tech recognizes that people who don’t fit tech’s status quo are often left out of the conversation, and so this event is designed to connect and empower people from marginalized groups. While the Diversity in Tech event covers ground familiar to other tech conferences—networking and education on emerging trends like AI, digital reality, and cybersecurity—it does so in the context of creating authentically diverse and inclusive organizations. Talks will include industry leaders who are committed to improving the landscape of D&I (diversity and inclusion), and offer a special focus on best practices for implementing an inclusive company culture and retaining top talent.

Wonder Women Tech

Where: London, England
When: June 15, 2018
Price: £99 full day early bird ticket (available until March 31, 2018)+ £13.86 fee; £149.00 full day ticket + £20.61 fee

Wonder Women Tech’s second London International Conference is taking place during London Tech Week this year. The purpose of this event is to highlight, celebrate, and educate women and other groups underrepresented in STEAM (science, technology, education, art, and math). This year’s focus will be on diversity and inclusion, social innovation, fashion tech, interactive technology, career development, and mentoring. Expect a day full of keynote speakers and panel discussions, which in previous years have included guests like Zuri Hunter, Technical Lead of Black Girls Code, Mona Siddiqui, Chief Data Officer at the United States Department of Health and Human Services, and Taneshia Nash Laird, Executive Director at the Arts Council at Princeton.

Inspirefest

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Where: Dublin, Ireland
When: June 21-22, 2018
Price: €95 student/unemployed/over-65, €150 teacher/academic/government/non-profit, €295 early bird (available until March 31, 2018), €395 regular bird (April 1-June 14, 2018), €450 late bird (after June 15, 2018)

Inspirefest is an international festival centered around education on and the intersection between technology, science, design, and the arts. This year’s event will be tackling those subjects with speakers as varied as Maha Al Balushi, Managing Director at Oman Technology Fund, playwright and performer Heather Massie, and Liza Donnelly, Cartoonist and Writer at the New Yorker and CBS News. Not only does Inspirefest advertise over 60 speakers and more than 3,000 attendees from 38 countries (with a 64 percent/35 percent split between women and men), but Inspirefest tickets include entry into the concurrent Fringe festival, which features live music, spoken word, comedy, and—of course—networking!

We RISE

Where: Atlanta, GA
When: June 21-22, 2018
Price: $175 + $9.87 fee early bird (available until March 11, 2018), $225 + 13.67 fee regular (March 12-May 27, 2018), $300 + $16.20 fee late bird (May 28, 2018)

The We RISE tech conference is hosted by the Women Who Code Atlanta organization. Committed to showcasing women in technology, the We RISE event features keynote talks from women and allies of all genders as well as panel discussions, hands-on workshops, and a multi-track program for attendees to follow that allows them to attend the talks, panels, and workshops most suited to their specific technical level and interests. This year’s speakers include Jill Wetzler, Director of Engineering at Lyft, Denise Francis, Product Designer at IBM at the Weather Company, and Jenn Green, Operations Education Lead at MailChimp.

The Women in Tech Summit: West

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Where: Denver, CO
When: September 15, 2018
Price: $49 student ticket, $79 early bird ticket, TBA attendee ticket

The Women in Tech Summit makes its way West to Denver, CO, and while this year’s West Coast speakers haven’t been announced yet, last year’s keynotes and panels included Debra Turner-Kelly, Business Solutions Manager at AT&T, Morgana Carter, Data Scientist at Intel, and Jenn Hirsch, Global Technology Trend Scout at Ernst and Young.

The Grace Hopper Celebration

 

Where: Houston, TX
When: September 26-28, 2018
Price: $1,150 general registration, $600 academic registration, $450 student registration

Named after computer programming pioneer and United States Navy rear Admiral Grace Hopper, The Grace Hopper Celebration bills itself as the world’s largest gathering of women technologists. Previous events have hosted as many as 15,000 attendees from 87 countries and offered over 200 sessions with more than 700 speakers—which means the odds of getting your networking, inspiration, and professional development on at the GHC are exceedingly high.

Women of Color STEM Conference

Where: Detroit, MI
When: October 5-7, 2018
Price: $450 student registration, $1020 general registration (before August 15, 2018), $1200 general registration (from August 16-September 22, 2018), $1400 (after September 22, 2018), $600 Friday only, $625 Saturday only

Women of Color’s STEM Conference has been in operation since 1995, and attendees get to meet and hear from Fortune 500 executives committed to diversity and the advancement of women in the workforce. While many conferences can be speaker heavy, this year’s WOC STEM conference is taking a hands-on centered approach using a new Premium Professional Learning Track. Attendees can choose from options like Career Lab (9.5 hours of workshops over two days that cover core professional leadership competencies), Diversity Management (emerging and experienced leaders both can learn about a wide range of leadership styles and management techniques), and Pre-Professional Seminars (designed to help college students and new professional build workplace skills).

The Women in Tech Summit: South

Where: New Orleans, Louisiana
When: October 13, 2018
Price: $49 student ticket, $79 early bird ticket, TBA attendee ticket

The Women in Tech Summit’s Southern stop is in New Orleans, Louisiana. This is the Women in Tech Summit’s first South event and speakers aren’t listed as of this writing but expect more of the same marquee presenters as their previous locations during this inaugural event.

Tech Up For Women

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Where: New York, NY
When: November 15, 2018
Price: $275 early bird + $16.12 fee (available until June 7, 2018), $350 + $20.24 fee (after June 7, 2018)

The Tech Up For Women conference is a one-day event focusing on showcasing new technological advances, cybersecurity, and tech products, with the aim of taking the “fear factor” out of technology and empowering women to participate in the tech industry. Along with keynote industry speakers, the event offers skill-based trainers who will give attendees the opportunity to learn about and test new tech products in a relaxed environment.

The Women in Tech Summit: Southeast

Where: Triangle Park, NC
When: November 17, 2018
Price: $49 student ticket, $79 early bird ticket, TBA attendee ticket

The Women in Tech Summit makes its Southeastern stop in Triangle Park, NC. This year’s lineup has yet to be announced, but last year’s Southeast event in Raleigh-Durham included appearances by LaBrina Loving, Cloud Solution Architect for State and Local Government at Microsoft, Radharani De, Developer at the Washington Post, and Sarah Anderson, Web and Communications Manager at National Archives and Records Administration.

10 Common Mistakes Female Founders Should Avoid

If you’re starting your own business you’ll face a ton of challenges along the way. And you’re sure to make a few mistakes, too. It’s guaranteed. But here 10 of the worst mistakes you can make as a beginner entrepreneur, and they are ones you can avoid if you do the thinking and planning necessary.

#1 Failing to secure adequate investment

However you fund your business in those early stages – through family help, savings, bank loans or a crowdfunding initiative – you need to be sure that you have enough money. Your company might not be profitable for a year or even two. But you still have running costs and your own salary to pay. Be realistic about your cash needs.

#2 Not writing a business plan

Every business needs a solid business plan. It will help you to find investment. But creating one will also help you to clarify every aspect of your business. A business plan should lay out your target market, how you intend to reach them, the opportunities and risks your company faces and the targets you want to meet. It’s a great reference point to return to, particularly during your first few years in business.

#3 Forgetting to protect your intellectual property

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Patents, trademarks and copyrights are hugely important. You don’t want someone else to come along and take your idea, or even your company name, as their own. Be sure to register all of your intellectual property and your domain names too.

#4 Trying to do everything yourself

Remember that old phrase – “Jack of all trades, master of none”? Very few people can run all aspects of a business at a high level. You may need to find employees or freelancers, plus service professionals (like accountants, lawyers, D&I experts, etc.) who can perform certain tasks for you. And learn to stop micromanaging when you have trusted staff on board.

#5 Lacking self-awareness

Successful business leaders cultivate the self-awareness to recognize their own strengths and weaknesses. This will help you to recruit staff, to delegate effectively and work to develop the areas that you struggle with.

#6 Not investing in marketing (or over-investing in marketing)

Effective marketing can be expensive. Even if you find free promotional avenues work for you, maintaining them will require a lot of time. But it’s worth the investment. You may have the best product on the market but, unless people know about it, you’re unlikely to make much money from it. On the other hand, another rookie mistake is to pour too many resources into advertising a product or service that isn’t yet fine-tuned to the market.

#7 Not keeping an eye on cash flow

Simple cash flow problems can signal the end for a budding business. Create and maintain a cash flow projection so you can be confident of having enough liquid cash to run your business on a day to day basis.

#8 Not listening to your customers

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Some beginner entrepreneurs are so convinced about the value of their product that they forget about the people who’ll be using it. You need to listen to your customers and learn about their requirements to ensure that your product, your marketing and your customer service are all in line with their expectations.

#9 Being afraid to spend money

When you’re just starting out you’ll be working on a tight budget. But it’s worth remembering that you sometimes need to spend money in order to enhance your chances of making some. That pricey software could really speed up your operations. Or another member of specialized staff could take your website to the next level.

#10 Losing faith

Every business goes through tough times. And as an entrepreneur, you’ll make mistakes and have to learn from them. Everyone needs to know when to call it a day. But don’t let early stumbles get the better of you. Being an entrepreneur means learning to adapt, working your way around problems and always keeping faith in your abilities and your vision.

Running your own business is challenging but it can also be hugely rewarding. Try to avoid these big mistakes to hit the ground running and give your new enterprise the best shot you possibly can.

Op-Ed: How Can We Empower Her As A Part Of The Next Generation?

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by Camila Chicarelli

At The Coding Space, an after-school and summer coding program for kids, our mission is to empower kids to tackle challenges independently through learning how to code.

Our mission for GirlCode, our all-girls coding program, is to create a world where girls and women have the tools, confidence, and community to shatter the glass ceiling.

We teach her that coding, like life, is hard and intimidating, but that she is capable and full of potential, and there is no problem too difficult for her to conquer. Our hope is that this lesson of developing grit, confidence & a growth mindset transfers to all areas of her life.

We’re sharing some ways we try to empower the girls in our program and hope that this generation of powerful females, readers like yourselves, can join us to empower the next generation. Here’s how you can help:

Teach her.

The amount of information girls and kids in general receive in today’s world is greater than ever before. Teach her to question things and trust her gut; to stand for what she believes in. Teach her to step outside of her comfort zone and the importance of learning. Teach her that not all problems have easy solutions; some require hard work, a lot of it, but let her know that there isn’t a problem too challenging to solve and that she has a network of support around her to help her when she needs it.

Believe in her.

When she has an idea so ambitious, so incredibly creative and beyond anything you can fathom, believe in her. Women have a long history of being told, “it’s a man’s job,” or simply that a woman won’t be able to do it. Let her know that she can do it, even when everyone else is rooting for her failure. And if she does fail, remind her that she can get back up and try again – it’s only life!

Challenge her.

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Once she understands that at the end of the day, you’ll al

ways have her back, we need to challenge her. Challenge her to seek out ideas and perspectives different from her own, but to stay unwavering in the beliefs with which she’s not willing to compromise. Ask questions that make her brain hurt so she learns to appreciate hard work, independence, and the ability to solve problems on her own.

And finally, let her figure it out.

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There is more pressure on kids today than there ever has been before. Pressure to get good grades in order to get into good schools in order to get a good job in order to make good money…and so on. It elicits an impulse to want to hold her hand through it all, to make sure she’s hitting all of the marks. It comes from a good place but doesn’t set her up for success in the long run. Let her fail, just so she knows the satisfaction of what it’s like to get back up again and succeed the second, or third (or fourth, or fifth) time around.

She’s got this.

7 Tips To Make Your Resume Takeoff In 2018

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by See Girl Work

A resume is one of those things that can either make you or break you when it comes to job hunting.

The statistics are that the average employer only spends a few seconds looking at a resume, so it is imperative that when yours lands on that desk, it makes an impression.

Your resume is meant to be a “snapshot” of your career and professional history with the intent of capturing and emphasizing interests and securing yo cu the interview.

It won’t necessarily get you the job—that’s where interview prep comes in—but your resume should succeed in getting you the job interview.

As such, your resume should not be used as an autobiography, the history of your life, a summary of your hobbies, or a rundown of all your social media feeds.

Since your resume is the primary tool in your job search, it needs to be carefully written and critiqued. It should be well-structured, organized and formatted.

When you update your resume, it needs to be scannable, in chronological order, free of errors, free of jargon, succinct and easy to read.

1. Change the Visual Style

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Give your resume a visual style makeover. Explore the style and presentation options on Creative Market and choose a font, color palette and visual theme that fits with your personal brand.

Simple style elements can attract a potential employer—especially if you’re in a creative field like marketing, public relations, design or event planning.

Watch out for fancy fonts or complex layouts that might be hard to read and stay away from dark or bright colors and graphics that might distract from the actual content.

2. Remove Objective

If you haven’t already, remove the “objective” field as part of updating your resume. That’s yesterday’s news and a potential red flag to hiring managers that you’re not on top of current standards.

The truth is,  your objective is clear—to land an interview.

3. Update Your Summary

Update your summary (or referred to as “statement”) with whatever recent growth you’ve accomplished in the past few years. If you were looking for an entry-level position the last time you were job searching, you might now be reaching for a more senior role where you can lead and manage others.

As always, state your ambitions and expectations briefly and clearly, and focus on what you have to offer, not just what you want.

4. Update Your Education

You previous degrees and training qualifications will stay the same, but you’ll want to add any new courses you’ve taken or certifications you’ve earned since you last updated your resume.

5. Update Your Work History

The work section is the meat and potatoes of your job hunt so this part should take a majority of your focus when you’re updating your resume.

You don’t need to go through your daily to-do list and include each and every little task. Instead, detail the results and outcomes of your efforts in order to update your resume with an accomplishments-driven focus.

For example: for each of the positions you’ve held, use action verbs to describe how you contributed to your employers and what you’ve accomplished for them.

Use words and phrases like: cut costs, generated revenue, improved service, enhanced processes, solved problems or saved time.

Don’t forget to quantify as many bullet points as possible. Use numbers, percentages, dollar amounts, comparisons or other key details to back up your claims. Be sure not to reveal facts that disclose proprietary or confidential company information.

Also, make sure that your updated resume includes plenty of relevant keywords. Look for words, phrases, and credentials that continually crop up in ads you want to apply to. If you see terms used frequently, they should probably be on your resume.

6. Update Your Skills

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Have you increased your proficiency levels with specific software applications? Have you moved from basic competency to “expert levels” in certain programs?

Have you added new skills to your repertoire that you couldn’t claim in the past? Make sure each of these is represented before you re-launch your search with an update to your resume.

7. Remove Personal Information

Many years ago, we were all encouraged to include personal information on our resumes such as marital status, number of children and hobbies.

But these days that type of information is HR’s worst nightmare. Keep it professional at all times. Unless your hobby or side passion directly correlates with your career and industry, consider removing any personal information.

The Take-Away

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Perhaps your job hunt will be well-planned or perhaps it’s come as a surprise. Regardless of the reason, it’s always good practice to keep your resume current and up-to-date.

According to Vicki Salemi on Monster.com: “You should update your resume every six to 12 months to add new skills and experiences.”

You never know when the next awesome job opportunity will arise, and you want to be ready for it.

But remember—the only goal of a resume is to get you the interview. Your resume won’t get you the job—that’s your responsibility.

The New York Times Celebrates The Life Of Overlooked Women In History

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“Obituary writing is more about life than death: the last word, a testament to a human contribution”– Amisha “Amy” Padnani and Jessica Bennett

Overlooked is a ground-breaking multi-media project created by Amisha “Amy” Padnani, the digital editor of the New York Times obituary section, in collaboration with New York Times’ first gender editor, Jessica Bennett, to tell the stories of several historical women who, for whatever reason, were “overlooked” by the New York Times’ obituary section. The women highlighted include:

Ida B Wells, a journalist who reported on lynching and advocated against it in the deep south.

Qiu Jin, a feminist poet and revolutionary who became a martyr known as China’s ‘Joan of Arc.’

Mary Ewing Outerbridge, a woman who may have established America’s first tennis court in the 1870s.

Madhubala, a Bollywood legend whose tragic life mirrored Marilyn Monroe’s.

Nella Larsen, a Harlem Renaissance-era writer who has a modernist take on race.

Ada Lovelace, a gifted mathematician who is now recognized as the first computer programmer.

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Image via The New York Times

‘Overlooked’ is revolutionary because the Times obituaries section has been dominated by white men since 1851, leaving out some of history’s most influential and important players in moving humanity forward – women.

Her Agenda had the extraordinary opportunity to Padnani about how this momentous project came to fruition and how women can make a mark in their careers as leaders with or without a title.

Her Agenda: How did you get the idea to create the Overlooked project?

Amy Padnani: Well, I joined obits in January 2017 [which] was around the time I personally began thinking more about diversity initiatives. I went through a program in March that year called the “Executive Leadership Program” hosted by the Asian American Journalist Association (AAJA). It’s a very intensive workshop for midlevel career journalists to think about leadership as a behavior and not as a role. Whatever goal you want to accomplish you should be able to do it no matter where you are in your company. When I came out of that [workshop], there were a lot of conversations [happening] about diversity, which had me thinking what I could do in my role at the [Times]. So, I thought about [Overlooked] and I started amassing this list.

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Photo Credit is Earl Wilson/The New York Times

Her Agenda: How did you start collaborating with Jessica Bennett on this project?

Amy Padnani: When I heard that Jessica Bennett was coming to the New York Times. I was so excited that I sent her an email to ask if she wanted to get coffee because I wanted to tell her about the project. As soon as I told her about it, she said, “Wow, that’s fantastic. I want to partner with you.” It wasn’t that hard to get her involved. It was just about awareness and both of us being excited about the same thing. So, from then on, the gender team and obituary team combined efforts as far as writing, editing, photo editing and design [on Overlooked].

Her Agenda: Where do you see this project going in the future?

Amy Padnani: We will be expanding our lens to include more than just women, so Overlooked will continue for months to come. We’re looking to broaden [the project] to look at other marginalized people so there’s a lot of opportunities to grow. And as the digital editor of obituaries, I’m getting a traditional desk to look at new ways of storytelling – often more visual.

red digital art GIF by Lvstvcrv

I’m also involved in other diversity initiatives at the New York Times. I became the co-chair of the Asian Network so I’m hoping to impact conversations about diversity and awareness around the building, which could just be for our workplace culture or it could be by infusing different ideas in editors’ minds as they do their work for news coverage. It’s hard to say but in general, I’m really interested in getting involved with diversity initiatives, which could play a greater role in the greater institutions, although not directly tied to my job.

Her Agenda: Overlooked was such a dynamic project. The amount of research, work, effort and passion shines through throughout the project. What drives your passion to do this type of work?

Amy Padnani: I have a love for storytelling and I appreciate the opportunity to give voices to people who don’t normally have them and the Obituaries section has been an amazing opportunity to bring out all the things that I love about journalism. I feel very fulfilled. 

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Photo Credit is Sharon Attia

Her Agenda: You mentioned earlier that you attended a workshop from AAJA that taught you “whatever goal you want to accomplish you should be able to do it no matter where you are in your company.” What advice do you have for women about how they can leave marks in their careers and in the world with or without a leadership title?

Amy Padnani: I think the words I came away with [from the workshop] that were key are that leadership is a behavior, not a role. It’s about feeling empowered to make a difference whether it’s small or big in whatever it is you want to achieve. It’s helpful to write the goals you want on a piece of paper, strategize how to get there, and then check them off one by one. If you can find somebody to help motivate you along the way or coach you, [that’s] even better but I think it’s just about knowing you can do it.

Read more about the New York Times ‘Overlooked’ project here and if you would like to nominate someone, please use this form.

This Is How To Find Diversity Friendly Workplaces

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by Crystal Hansen

If you’re like me, when you’re job hunting, you’re looking for more than just a paycheck. You’re looking for a place where you can do your life’s best work. You want to join a workplace where you know you’ll be valued for your unique contributions and where your work is beneficial to the world. For instance, 75% of millennials say that they would take a pay cut to work for a socially ethical company.

Choosing a new job is a crucial decision, often fraught with risks. Picking the wrong company means your career can be off track months or even years, and you risk being miserable daily. It’s important to fully vet your next workplace before making the big leap. Getting hired is a two-way street; you should be interviewing your boss as much as they’re grilling you!

It can be tough to identify the signs that a workplace truly values diversity and inclusion, so how do you distinguish those who are walking the walk, from those who just talk the talk? A ping-pong table and a retro video game machine do not speak to a great culture; companies must take action to create great workplaces that employees love.

Here are some tips on how to identify whether a workplace is truly inclusive…

Get an honest review

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One great way to get a frank view of how the company culture is performing is to reach out directly to current or past employees to get their honest viewpoint about the workplace. Glassdoor and LinkedIn make this very easy, but you can also navigate your local professional network for a more personal, tailored take on things. Offer a coffee or a lunch in exchange for some specific information.

Get specific about compensation and benefits

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Benefits are an important part of an overall compensation package and say a lot about how much a company values inclusion. Asking the HR representative detailed questions will reveal a lot about how much executive leadership is acting on creating a workplace where all employees thrive.

  • Does the company offer equal pay for equal work? In asking this question, it’s important to distinguish whether they have conducted an internal audit, or worked with a neutral third-party to certify that they have pay equity. Companies often tout equal pay, without the ability to back it up with proof.
  • Ask about health insurance coverage for important preventative medication, such as pREP, or family planning assistance.
  • Great companies offer generous parental leave policies and afford flexibility around which parent is the primary caregiver. They also provide on-site nursing facilities and other perks for new mothers.
  • How flexible is the company around hours and remote-work, as needed? Many families need to work around specific hours for childcare commitments, and top workplaces understand how to make accommodations for personal lives.
  • If the company has been around for a while, ask about when they first implemented domestic partner benefits.

What conferences do they attend?

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Companies usually attend conferences specific to their industries. However, in many industries, there are conferences and events that are specifically tailored to foster inclusion. Some examples are Grace Hopper, Lesbians who Tech, Afrotech, and many others. Ask if the company you’re interviewing with has a booth, sponsorship or official presence at these events.

Ask about community involvement

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Contributions back to the community say a lot about the health of a workplace. Diversity-friendly companies understand that to create inclusive workplaces, they need to be an active and engaged participant in the local community. Here are some examples of the types of engagement you should look for:

  • Recruiting events designed to bolster inclusion, for instance, specifically targeting minorities or veterans.
  • Educational support to underprivileged local communities, such as coding camps, or other career development activities.
  • Participation in local Pride events and LGBTQIA groups.
  • Does the company support or partner with specific non-profits, and if so, which ones?

Look for the flair

Happy employees love to rock their company’s logo, and will eagerly wear company t-shirts, put stickers on their laptops, and hang photos from company events at their desk. As you’re touring around the office, check to see what flair employees are willingly flaunting, and what slogans those “internal campaigns” say about the business. LGBTQIA-friendly workplaces might, for instance, have a rainbow version of the company logo. Visible reminders of diversity and inclusion around the office send a strong message that everyone is welcome.

[VIDEO] How Your Purpose Empowers You To Push Forward In Life No Matter What

#HerAgendaLive went on a road trip to Virginia College in Richmond for a discussion with students about achieving goals and overcoming obstacles no matter what.

Founder and CEO Rhonesha Byng started by touring the campus which offers diploma/certificate programs in business, cosmetology, culinary arts, health and medical, information technology and trades. The students on campus come from all walks of life and were excited to ask questions about how to take their dreams and put them in drive.

The event opened with Byng asking the crowd to raise their hand “If one day you’re super motivated to take on the world and tackle your goals. And the next day you’re like what’s the point.” As the hands went up in the room, Byng explained that “Fear will make you think you are not worthy of your weighty dreams.”

But how do you get over fear to achieve your ambitions? Byng challenged the crowd to “Feel the fear and do it anyway. It’s knowing that the power within me is greater than the fear before me.”

Byng shared how 2016 was the worst year of her life because she endured her parents divorce and she relocated to a new state for an opportunity that ultimately would have forced her to change her company. “I was told to my face that my company was not worth investing in.”

She said remembering her purpose helped her to reset and refocus. “When you have a dream or goal that is in sync or in line with your calling, it is literally your responsibility to create a plan and honor your agenda.” Byng added that 2017 was the best year of her life, which included accomplishments like being named on the Forbes 30 Under 30 in two different categories.

WATCH THE FULL VIDEO OF THE TALK BELOW:


The real gems were dropped when she laid out six keys to achievement that acted as the foundation for her success:

Find Your Why

Create Your Mantra

Be Relentless

Get Mentors

Don’t Be Afraid to Ask

Delay Is Not Denial

The event closed with an inspiring call to action “Use every resource that you have available to you. Find resources that you need and if it doesn’t exist, create it. No matter what.”

Want To Work From Home? Check Out These Three Industries

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We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again, flexible work isn’t just about convenience—it’s an issue of inclusion and equality. Flexible jobs help to diversify the workforce, and when there are fewer barriers to entry, we all benefit.

If you’re new to the idea of remote jobs, the prospect of being able to put in a productive day’s work while wearing pajamas might sound too good to be true, but it’s not a pipe dream. The jobs are real! In order to get a better sense of which industries have a winning remote track record, what those jobs look like, and what kind of prerequisites it takes to land them, I reached out to a group of HR and hiring professionals. Here’s what they had to say.

Front End Development

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Tomáš Haviar, Talent Acquisition and Employer Branding Specialist at digital asset management company Bynder, says that opportunities for remote work are practically baked into the software development industry and that a laptop and an internet connection are literally all you need to write code and develop websites, apps, and software programs. Remote opportunities are particularly abundant for front-end developers, he says.

Daily Duties of a Front End Developer:

Front-end developers use coding languages like HTML, CSS, and JavaScript to bring to life a digital designer’s mockup of a website, keep tabs on the user experience and making changes accordingly, collaborate with back-end developers, adapt site design and code for mobile applications, and test sites for errors and bugs.

Front End Development Job Requirements Usually Include:

Digital Marketing

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Melanie Cole, HR Manager at peer-to-peer car rental site Car Next Door says that marketing and advertising are continuing to see growth in online opportunities. “The bulk of marketing has moved online,” Cole says, “and so the opportunities to work remotely have increased with it.” At Cole’s own company, for instance, three-quarters of their marketing and communications team now work remotely.

Daily Duties of a Digital Marketer:

Digital marketing jobs typically involve creating and managing content marketing strategies, managing email and social media marketing campaigns, driving traffic to company websites, and contacting and hiring third-party designers and developers to create engaging web content

Digital Marketing Job Requirements Usually Include:

  • a bachelor’s degree in advertising or marketing
  • 1-4 years of marketing experience
  • strong written and verbal communication skills
  • familiarity with SEO (search engine optimization) best practices
  • Bonus: basic coding skills like HTML & CSS

Copywriting

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Kurt Birkenhagen, Vice-President of Marketing at conference call provider Vast Conference, says that copywriting is also a field with plenty of remote opportunities. “Copywriters and content creators can do so much of their job remotely—often with the added benefit of less in-person distraction,” Birkenhagen says. “Data platforms like Box and Dropbox give you access to team files from anywhere, with the ability to track changes. And with the existence of online meeting tools and video conferencing, the ability to meet, build rapport, and consult with clients can be done effectively regardless of physical location.”

Daily Duties of a Copywriter:

According to ZipRecruiter, copywriting duties typically include writing clear, attractive copy in a unique voice, excellent collaboration skills and eagerness to work with professional teams on projects like email campaigns, landing pages, ads, and blog posts, and researching and sourcing content.

Copywriting Job Requirements Usually Include:

  • a college degree in English, journalism, or communication,
  • internship experience, or writing practice through self-published projects like blogging
  • soft skills like organization, motivation, and being a self-directed worker
  • Bonus: a copywriting or editing certification