Finding careers inspiration has often felt like an impossible task as a Black woman. It can feel like a mountain getting your foot in the door, never mind finding inspiring people you can relate to. I found that learning through the stories of people who look like me made me feel less alone and able to tackle the corporate world. To make this mission a little easier, I’ve pulled together some of my go-to resources which help me find many other incredible Black Boss ladies!
Nowadays, finding inspiration as a Black woman is more accessible than you think. Netflix has an array of series, films and documentaries which focus on the Black experience. For me, the Michelle Obama documentary ‘Becoming’ was an amazing eye-opener to the heights that Black women can achieve through education and hard work. The ultimate poster woman for Black Excellence, Michelle Obama’s documentary and the book of the same title are a great starting point for anyone who wants to become a strong, confident and powerful woman.
Another Netflix must watch is ‘Self Made: Inspired by the Life of Madam C.J. Walker’ which chronicles the life of the first ever female self-made millionaire in America, who just so happens to be Black!
For me, reading has been a big part in finding inspiration from people who look just like me.
Slay in Your Lane: The Black Girl Bible by Elizabeth Uviebinené and Yomi Adegok is an honest and inspirational guide filled with encouraging stories and interviews spoken through the walk of the Black woman. Exploring topics such as education and employment, this is truly a must-have for any young Black woman. From navigating the office environment to breaking the double glass ceiling, I have learnt so much. It offers practical advice and solutions from 39 successful black British women in different industries to forge a generation of formidable Black women who excel in all walks of life.
LinkedIn, the social media platform designed for career and business professionals, is full of many inspirational individuals. There are many networks such as the BYP Network. This is a platform for Black professionals and students and has helped me to connect with successful Black professionals.
LinkedIn has been great to identify inspirational personalities such as Vee Kativhu, an Oxford University graduate who is committed to empowering students from under-represented backgrounds. For me, Vee inspires me through her strong work ethic and in her partnership with LinkedIn. Her YouTube channel is also filled with motivational content. She is definitely one of my favourites and an upcoming trailblazer.
Careers networks have been an amazing platform for me to find like-minded people. In my experience, they have been a great source for networking and in finding successful individuals that relate to me. Learning through speeches at events have been so motivating for me. In my second year I came across the WCAN, a careers network for Black women, by Black women. Aiming to connect high-achieving Black female students and young professionals with successful women, this was a great network for me to join to network and hear the moving stories of many Black female professionals. Additionally, careers networks such as Bright Network often feature intersectional events such as Black Heritage Future Leaders 2020. This year’s event is open for application now. Another great opportunity to connect with peers and successful and established individuals.
Written by Shanique Clarke, 2020 Aston Graduate