It’s time for women of col­or in busi­ness to lift each oth­er up.

4 min read

Opin­ions expressed by Entre­pre­neur con­trib­u­tors are their own.

It was a fall evening in Wash­ing­ton, D.C., and I was in an Uber on my way to a book-launch event for my good friend, Min­da Harts. As I was read­ing Minda’s book, The Memo: What Women of Col­or to Need to Know to Secure a Seat at the Table, I was shocked to come across an inter­est­ing sec­tion called “What About Your Friends?” In this sec­tion, she dis­cuss­es the advan­tages of women of col­or shar­ing their career salaries and finan­cial-man­age­ment strate­gies with each oth­er. We all know there is a wage-gap prob­lem amongst women, and an even larg­er prob­lem amongst women of col­or.

As a young child, I was always taught to nev­er share my per­son­al finances with my fam­i­ly, friends and co-work­ers. But, I won­der, what could hap­pen if I did share my career, finan­cial and busi­ness fail­ures and suc­cess­es with them? Maybe I could teach them new ways to advance, or maybe I could learn new tips to facil­i­tate a pro­mo­tion or cre­ate a new prod­uct or ser­vice for my busi­ness. I real­ly like how Min­da push­es her read­ers to be vul­ner­a­ble, share their salaries and pur­sue busi­ness col­lab­o­ra­tion with oth­er women of col­or.

Relat­ed: Black Female Founders Face Con­stant Rejec­tion. They’re Thriv­ing Any­way.

Be Vulnerable

We all know that hav­ing finan­cial con­ver­sa­tions is nev­er easy, espe­cial­ly if we feel like our cur­rent finan­cial sit­u­a­tion is not in a good place. But I believe that in order for us to move for­ward, we have to fol­low Minda’s advice and be vul­ner­a­ble enough to learn more about how oth­ers have improved their cred­it scores, built a sav­ings strat­e­gy and paid off debt. The best way to learn is from oth­ers you per­son­al­ly know who have over­come those finan­cial chal­lenges. If we all remain vul­ner­a­ble, we can share the lessons we have learned and we can be okay ask­ing for help when we need it. Finan­cial vul­ner­a­bil­i­ty takes courage, but it also makes you a cham­pi­on once you learn new ways to man­age your mon­ey.

Share Your Salary

What if we could be open, with no ego, and didn’t cre­ate an envi­ron­ment of com­pe­ti­tion when it came to how much we earn? Women could advo­cate for each oth­er on the job and dur­ing the hir­ing process for women of col­or. As we become more vul­ner­a­ble as women, we should fol­low Minda’s advice and share our salary ranges and nego­ti­a­tion tips with each oth­er. If you know a good friend has been hav­ing an issue get­ting pro­mot­ed and you are con­stant­ly get­ting pro­mot­ed, share your per­son­al inter­view tips and job-search strat­e­gy.

Pursue Business Collaboration

Busi­ness col­lab­o­ra­tion is the best way to share your prod­ucts and ser­vices with oth­ers. Some of us have sim­i­lar com­pa­ny brands, and that’s okay, but we as women of col­or have to get to a place of ego-free col­lab­o­ra­tion. We all place our sig­na­ture stamp on our prod­ucts and ser­vices. It’s time to stop block­ing each oth­er from shin­ing by being scared to share busi­ness ideas and strate­gies that work. If it’s okay to share your salary and cred­it score with oth­ers. It’s per­fect­ly okay to share your speak­ing-engage­ment fees and con­sult­ing-ser­vice fees with oth­ers. We get in our own way when we try to out­shine each oth­er. We can all shine if we col­lab­o­rate and mar­ket our busi­ness­es to the mass­es.

Relat­ed: They’re Doing It: Awe-Inspir­ing Black Female Entre­pre­neurs

 Are you ready to embrace finan­cial vul­ner­a­bil­i­ty for finan­cial sta­bil­i­ty so you can lev­el up your career, finances and busi­ness? The only way to push your­self for­ward is to shift those con­ver­sa­tions dur­ing hap­py hours, birth­day din­ners and lav­ish trips. You may also find you have to shift the cir­cle of friends you have now and join forces with women who see life, career advance­ment and busi­ness devel­op­ment the way you do.

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