By Stefanie Boles, Chief Administrative Officer, NPower
If we have learned anything from the events of the past two years–from the pandemic and ensuing economic crisis, racial tensions, and the ‘great resignation’—it’s that we cannot sit back and wait for change to happen over time. There is an urgency in the air to live in a more harmonious country, embrace the diversity that makes us great and lean into a more inclusive workforce.
As leaders, we are aligned in so many ways. We want diverse and high performing teams. We want innovation and a competitive advantage. But the road to true diversity, equity and inclusion requires more widespread change in mindset and practice.
I recently joined the national tech training nonprofit, NPower as the Chief Administrative Officer, a position that is a culmination of my passion and vision. NPower is focused on advancing race and gender equity in the tech industry through skills training and career development. The work we are doing, through the Command Shift coalition, to advance women of color into tech careers is ground-breaking. As a woman of color, who has been driven, personally and professionally, by a deep commitment to diversity, empowerment, and fairness, I feel a renewed optimism and belief that every day actions will drive true change.
Now is the time to come together and work together to spark the kind of change we have only imagined. To help women of color claim their seat at the table, the boardroom, or the classroom, where she/we can contribute to and benefit from this digital economy. Looking around to see where to start? Might I suggest starting with YOU:
- Do work that matters to you. Work for an organization that represents shared core values. It will fuel your passion and commitment.
- Make space for other voices and perspectives. Inclusivity and belonging is about inviting people to be seen and heard. If you are in a position to help a woman on your team or in your office to be included and heard in a meeting or staff activity, do so.
- Understand that radical change begins with a shift in mindset that ripples and expands through action. We all have biases; check yours at the door.
- Lastly, keep on keeping on. Do all these things and more, with intention, over and over again. Don’t get complacent, and don’t stop striving for progress.
This Black History Month, in addition to reflecting on the past achievements of Black Americans and their impact on our society, imagine the widespread history-making change we could make in this world to support women of color if we worked together.