Attending 'She Suite in Color' with ThinkLA

Shera White | Sep. 25 2020

This week I attended ThinkLA’s She Suite in Color event, and it was definitely a great start to my day. It was my first time ever attending a webinar—it was insightful and powerful. The panelists were a range of expert Black women who shared their stories, advice, and knowledge on growing in the industry. They started off with a discussion on dealing with a health pandemic and social injustice. They also talked about the fundamental importance of how to make sure you break the concrete ceiling, and the value of external mentorship, and teaching others. 
They touched on how media is constantly changing and the importance of staying educated and taking courses to keep up (it’s a must), and how networking is often overlooked because everyone is so busy, but building relationships with people is a good way to get recognized. 
As I was chatting with my colleague Maria Favela after the event, something that really resonated for both of us was a point made by Pauline Malcolm, Head of Advertising Sales, Western Region, at Quibi, which was to think of yourself as a brand and what you want people to say about you when you leave the room. It was about being able to speak up about your accomplishments and not shy away from “the humblebrag” — because you need advisors advocating for you inside and outside of the room, and for that to happen, you need to be bold, know your own value and speak to your own strengths. 
I also had the opportunity to ask all three ladies a question about something I’ve often experienced, “ Have you ever found yourself having to ask the same question over and over about inequities and concerns in the workplace or just in general? Women of color don’t get a serious response to our concerns. How can we be taken more seriously as women of color?” 

“I had to learn how to maneuver the conversation and ask the question. I would be asking questions, there would be a lot of conversation and I would leave the meeting and realize I didn’t have my question answered. So I had to learn (how to) not leave the room until those questions were answered. And developing the ability to do that in a way that didn’t make whomever I was speaking to defensive or angry was something that took me quite a while to learn."

That was Esther “ET” Franklin’s response, and that goes back to what Pauline emphasized. Learning that skill comes down to really understanding your value and the respect we all deserve to insist on our concerns being heard and addressed. Overall, I had such a great time and I would like to thank The (wonderful) Many for the opportunity to attend!! And now you can watch the full event below and hear my question for yourself at 56:09!
The Panelists:

Shera White is project manager and front of house at The Many.