Women of Color Don't Support One Another!

"Women of color don't support each other." Or, "White women have been those that have supported me in my career." You don't know how many times I have heard this statement. Trust me, I have felt the same pain and burn. But the fact is, there are women of color who do support other women and women of color. I have been on the side of the recipient and giver. It boils down to the motto when you know better you do better. At some point, you start to get it. Basically, when women of color are supported, the script gets flipped for ALL women.

 I remember sitting on a panel last year led by the Speak Truth Summit that challenged the crabs in the barrel syndrome. We discussed how women of color are particularly dealing with this. There is some idea that if one woman is winning, the rest of us is losing because we believe that there isn't enough to go around. Or we believe we are not in control of our fate and that someone else is. So, we opt-out of supporting each other.

 Therefore, I was intrigued by the recent pledge Jhaymee Tynan, Assistant Vice President of Integration at Atrium Health, made in a recent article in Forbes. Jhaymee is committed to sponsoring 100 women of color by 2030. She talks about people of color being over-mentored and under-sponsored. This is something that resonated with me since I've made a similar statement recently in one of my podcast episodes in a sit-down, Conversations for Equal Pay interview with Marysol Castro, who recently made history as the first Public Address Announcer for the New York Mets and also the first Latina Public Address Announcer in the entire MLB.

Particularly women of color are often told what to do, or we are advised a lot. But we need more people to put their money where their mouth is. We need folks to use their political power to advocate for us, to tell their powerful friends and associates about the good work we are doing, to fund us, and to put money behind our mission and causes. It tugged at my heart to know that Jhaymee is paying it forward after another woman sponsored her at work. I am not sure if it was another woman of color or not, but Jhaymee realized that she would not be where she is now without this other individual advocating for her at work. Since women of color face more barriers when advancing, Jhaymee knows that to hammer through the concrete ceiling, women like her who've secured an executive position—who has power, influence, and money must reach back to aid other women of color and should incorporate sponsoring others in their professional life goals.

I am sure there are women you know that could use some support. You can sponsor, advocate, support, volunteer, or take someone under your wing regardless of your career level and years of work experience. Because, "One woman can make a difference, but together we can rock the world."—Anonymous

Julene Allen
Women of Color in the Workplace®