Don’t Miss the One Gift Topping the List of Families This Season

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Family photo in store witha ll members holding a Fishing Caddy

Families today are busier than ever before. Between commutes, school, extracurricular activities, and weekly duties, it leaves very little time for the family to get together and have fun making memories. This is one reason why The Fishing Caddy is the one gift topping the list of families this holiday season. The all-in-one fishing system helps make it easier and more enjoyable for the family to get together and spend time fishing.

“I hear from people frequently about how The Fishing Caddy has helped make it easier for their whole family to get involved in fishing and to have a great time together,” explains Joe Pippins, creator and founder of The Fishing Caddy. “That’s what it is about, making family memories. Those who make it a family gift will go into the new year with the goal of creating more happy memories together.”

According to the American College of Pediatricians, there are numerous benefits of families spending quality time together. They include kids being better behaved and families having less stress and developing stronger bonds. In other words, families that have fun together end up having kids who are happier and do better in school and in life. Plus, the stress-reducing benefits of spending quality time together are good for overall health.

Many families opt to go fishing together to spend quality time. Fishing is inexpensive, relaxing, and there are health benefits of spending time outdoors in nature. The Fishing Caddy has been designed to help make fishing trips easier and keep people more organized. It helps to eliminate the repetitive time spent setting up and tearing down. Rather than having numerous boxes of gear, the one caddy has everything that is needed to have a fun time fishing.

The caddy is the world’s first all-in-one fishing system, offering a padded seat top or tackle box lid, a built-in cup holder, a live well for the fish caught, two rod holders, LED lights, and more. The water weight prevents it from tipping over, making it a great piece of gear for sharing with a family that loves the outdoors. This is the type of family gift that will help this generation fall in love with the age-old tradition of fishing.

“Many families buy a gift or two that is for the whole family to use. The Fishing Caddy is that type of gift,” added Pippins. “It’s one that will bring enjoyment to the whole family, and help ensure they get outdoors and have some fun. Families that put this under the tree this year, whether for one person or as a family gift, will not be disappointed in the hours of enjoyment that it brings.”

The products will be in stores in time for consumers to do their holiday shopping, giving them great present options for the estimated 46 million Americans who participate in fishing. The Fishing Caddy makes a great gift because it will help ensure fishing trips are less stressful and will be enjoyed more, because it’s been designed for organization and to improve the anglers’ experience.

The Fishing Caddy, which ranges in price from $69.95 to $129, was expertly designed for all types of fishing, and can be used by anglers of all ages. The caddy also comes with a 60-day money back guarantee. The organization system gives people everything they need for a great fishing experience. The fishing system has been designed to help make fishing more enjoyable, and give people more time to fish, rather than track down and organize their tackle and supplies. The Fishing Caddy is available online at Amazon and Etsy, at Ace Hardware, Bass Pro Shops, Cabela’s, and Scheels locations, and at the company website: thefishingcaddy.com.

About The Fishing Caddy

The Fishing Caddy is the world’s first all-in-one fishing system. Created by Joe Pippins, the caddy offers anglers an easy and simplified way to head out fishing. Features on the caddy include two rod holders, a cup holder, live well for storing fish, tackle box, and a padded seat option. The Fishing Caddy is made in the USA and comes with a two-year warranty. For more information, visit the site at: thefishingcaddy.com.

DiversityComm’s Black EOE Journal Announces Top LGBTQ+ Friendly Companies Early Results

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skyscraper lit up with pride colors

The Top LGBTQ+ Friendly list was compiled from market research, independent research, diversity conference participation and survey responses that were performed by DiversityComm’s agents and/or affiliates. This year, hundreds of companies participated.

The final results are published in the summer issue of Black EOE Journal and available on digital and print newsstands mid-July. Published by DiversityComm, Black EOE Journal is dedicated to promoting the advancement of Arican-Americans in all aspects of education, business and employment to ensure equal opportunity.

DiversityComm also publishes HISPANIC Network Magazine, Professional WOMAN’s Magazine, U.S. Veterans Magazine, Diversity in STEAM Magazine and DIVERSEability Magazine.

2023 Top LGBTQ+ Friendly Companies:
3M
AARP
Accenture
ADP
Aetna
Allstate Insurance Company
Altria Group Inc.
Amazon.com Inc.
American Airlines
American Family Insurance
AmerisourceBergen
Anthem
Apple Inc.
AT&T Inc.
Bank of America
Barilla
Bayer
Bergen Corp.
Berkshire Hathaway Inc.
Best Buy
Boston Scientific Corporation
Bristol-Myers Squibb
Capco
Capital One
Cardinal Health
Centene
Charles Schwab
Chevron
Citigroup Inc.
Comcast-NBCUniversal
Corning
Corteva Agriscience
Cummins Inc.
CVS Health
Delhaize America
Dell
Deloitte
Dollar General
Dow
DuPont
Eaton Corporation
Elevance Health (aka Anthem Inc.)
Ernst & Young, LLP
ExxonMobil Corporation
EY
Facebook
Fannie Mae
FedEx Corp.
Fidelity Investments
First Data
First National Bank (F.N.B. Corp.)
Food Lion
Ford Motor Company
FOX Corporation
Freddie Mac
General Electric
General Mills
General Motors Company
GlaxoSmithKline
Google
HCSC
Health Group Inc.
Hewlett Packard Enterprise
Hilton
HP
HPE
HRC
Humana
IBM
Ingram Micro
Intel Corporation
Johnson & Johnson
JPMorgan Chase
KeyCorp
KPMG, LLP
Liberty Mutual
LinkedIn
Lockheed Martin
Lowe’s Companies, Inc.
Macy’s Inc.
Marathon Petroleum
Marriott International
McKesson Corp.
Merck
Metlife
Microsoft
Morgan Stanley
MUFG Union Bank, N.A.
Nationwide
New York Life
Northrop Grumman
Northwell Health
Northwestern Mutual
Pacific Gas & Electric Company
PepsiCo
Pfizer
Phillips 66
PNC Financial
PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP
Proctor & Gamble
Prudential Financial
Raytheon Technologies
Robert Half
Salesforce
SC Johnson
Sodexo, USA
Sony Pictures Entertainment
Southern California Edison
Southwest Airlines
State Farm Insurance
State Street
SunTrust Bank
Target
TD Bank
The Coca-Cola Co.
The Hershey Company
The Kellogg Co.
The Kroger Company
The Walt Disney Company
TIAA
Time Warner
T-Mobile USA, Inc.
Toyota Motor North America inc.
Trane Technologies
Travel + Leisure Co.
Truist Financial Corporation
U.S. Bank
Union Pacific
United Airlines
United Technologies Corp.
UnitedHealth Group
UPS
UT Southwestern Medical Center
Valero Energy Corporation
Verizon
Walgreens
Walmart Inc
Waste Management
Wells Fargo & Company
Windstream Holdings
Wyndham Hotels & Resorts, Inc.

The goal of the annual evaluations is to not only bring the latest information and guidance to our readers, but also encourage active outreach and diversity policies among corporations and government agencies.

The 2024 survey will be available in the few months. Announcements will be made in THE INCLUSION bi-monthly newsletter. Sign up to receive these announcements by emailing surveys@diversitycomm.net.

Two 21-Year-Old College Dropouts Just Raised $5M To Rival Ticketmaster With Its Live Events Platform

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two black college students looking confident city street background

Samantha Dorisca, AfroTech

It looks like Ticketmaster may have some competition on its hands. Two Black founders, 21, dropped out of New York University (NYU) because they were confident in their ability to improve the event planning industry, which is expected to grow to more than $2 trillion by 2028, according to Statista.

As professionals themselves within the sector, Avante Price and Eli Taylor-Lemire are leading POSH and have a deep understanding of the challenges facing industry professionals.

Price was a DJ, starting at age five and has spun records for over 15 years. Then there’s Taylor-Lemire, who runs a freelance photo-video agency that produces content for major fashion magazines as well as Sony and Roc Nation artists.

“After speaking with thousands of event industry professionals, we’ve learned that their stories are largely the same,” Price told AfroTech in an email interview. “They began as frequent attendees of events, became passionate about providing the same experiences they loved to their friends, started a brand, and scaled from there. POSH was born to democratize the ability for any fan with a passion for live events to get involved in the space with as little friction as possible. Simply put, our mission is to democratize the ability for anyone to earn capital through live experiences.”

POSH initially bolstered the duo’s efforts and allowed them to scale their events before COVID-19 hit. The formula seems to have worked. As a result, they examined the state of the event planning industry. They indicated POSH would be a valuable tool for event management solutions in the growing sector.

“We initially built POSH as an in-house tool that solved our primary needs for white-labeled event pages and more insight into customer data,” Taylor-Lemire explained. “Utilizing our own in-house tool for 2 events, we scaled from 200 attendees to 500 attendees per event — right before the pandemic. Given the state of the events space, we took the time to further understand the space and build out what’s now the Shopify for Events. We knew we were onto something and dropped out of NYU in 2020 to build POSH.”

Price told AfroTech, “The existing events industry is extremely monopolistic. Incumbent brands use a pay-to-play model to keep corporate event organizers exclusive to their products. They put their brand before their organizers’ and make it extremely difficult to manage and scale the communities that event organizers work so hard to build.”

He continued, “Other existing platforms have limited functionality, offer little or no marketing tools, and have weak financial infrastructure that require organizers to wait up to 2 weeks after their event to receive their capital. We built POSH to make it the best platform to find what to do as an attendee, make money as an affiliate, and manage an event as a host.”

The founders also pointed out that larger ticketing companies embrace a pay-to-play model, but they realize this does not give smaller or independent organizers an equal chance.

By using POSH, organizers can “manage the entire lifecycle of a live experience,” regardless of whether the event is tailored for a small private gathering or a large music festival.

Among the platform’s key features are white-labeled event pages, ticketing and RSVP tools, marketing tools (email, SMS, affiliate), instant payouts, dispute resolution, community management, and kickback offers for attendees to become paid affiliates, among others.

Read the complete article here originally posted on AfroTech.

Beyoncé to donate $2 million to students and small business owners during Renaissance tour

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Beyonce onstage at the 2023 grammys acceptance speech

By Randi Richardson, today.com

Beyoncé’s Renaissance World Tour is doubling as a philanthropic tour. Her charity foundation, BeyGood, announced on April 20 that it is donating $2 million to entrepreneurs and students while the most-Grammy-winning artist tours the country for her latest album “Renaissance.”

Half of the donation will go to entrepreneurs. The day before Beyoncé’s scheduled concert in a city, BeyGOOD will host luncheons for entrepreneurs who have the chance to win a grant from the 100 allocated for each networking event. BeyGOOD plans to support a thousand small businesses with a total donation of $1 million.

The foundation said it is prioritizing organizations that support or serve marginalized and under-resourced communities. Applications to apply for a spot are now open.

The other half of the funds will establish the Renaissance Scholarship Fund. BeyGood will give $1 million to colleges and universities in 10 cities across the country with each institution receiving $100,000. The institution will then select student recipients.

“We are keenly aware of the barriers to access, opportunity, and resources that disproportionately impact BIPOC communities,” McGregor said. “Our work is rooted in the belief that education, pathways for employment and support of entrepreneurship are vehicles that help drive sustainable outcomes.”

Beyoncé founded BeyGood in 2013 during her Mrs. Carter Show World Tour. Since then, the charitable initiative has donated to educational efforts, disaster relief, food, water and housing security, mental health resources and career development in the US and abroad.

“I am hugely proud of the work we have done over a decade at BeyGOOD, here in the US and around the world,” Beyoncé said in a statemetn. “From scholarships to the water crisis in Burundi, to helping families during Hurricane Harvey in my hometown, Houston, it has been beyond fulfilling to be of service.

“Now, as a foundation, we will continue the work of engaging partners through innovative programs to impact even more people,” she continued.

NMSDC: The Certification Every Minority-Owned Business Enterprise Needs

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businessman filling out an online form

According to national surveys, basic financial literacy in the United States is generally low, and federal surveys reveal gaps among racial groups and ethnicities. Financial literacy and access to capital don’t impact all businesses equally. Unsurprisingly, there are significant disparities across racial and socioeconomic segments. According to the U.S. Small Business Administration less than 10% of all federal contracts went to minority-owned businesses in fiscal year 2020.

If your company wants to connect with America’s top publicly-owned, privately-owned, foreign-owned corporations, and other large purchasing organizations, National Minority Supplier Development Council (NMSDC)’s certification can be a real asset. The organization has an impressive list of corporate members that includes IBM, Microsoft, and Google. The council helps these companies connect with the more than 15,000 minority-owned suppliers in its database. Seventeen states and 25 cities also accept NMSDC certification for programs designed to help minorities win public-sector contracts.

Who is eligible: For-profit enterprises of any size that are in the United States and are owned, operated, and controlled by minority group members who are U.S. citizens.  For the purposes of NMSDC’s program, a minority group member is an individual who is a U.S. citizen with at least 25% Asian-Indian, Asian-Pacific, Black, Hispanic, or Native American heritage. Documentation to support the claim is required. Additionally, at least 51% of the business or the company’s stock must be owned by such individuals, and the management and operations must also be controlled by such individuals.

How to apply: Start by contacting one of the NMSDC’s regional councils close to your business. Your council will provide you with a standardized application and request documents to support your minority status claim through a combination of government documentation. You will also need to sign an affidavit or declaration, provide current financial statements, submit tax returns, a bank signature card and more. Unlike most minority-owned certification programs, the organization will make a virtual office visit to your company to verify the information on your application.

The process of obtaining, coordinating, and submitting all the requirements can be time-consuming, however, the good news is that once you have completed the work for your initial certification, the subsequent renewals are typically much more streamlined.

Business Benefits of Certification

Access to capital and capacity building: Certification is a door opener and potentially give minority business enterprises (MBEs) an edge over non-certified MBEs with whom you are competing for contracts. The great news is that the largest U.S. corporations purchase more than $100 billion in products, services and solutions supplied by MBEs. NMSDC facilitates business connections between corporate members and MBEs through Check—Mate®, which sets the foundation for future partnering and business opportunities. Furthermore, NMSDC has created capital access opportunities for MBEs throughout the life cycle of its partnership with the Business Consortium Fund, the Growth Initiative Program, Corporate Plus® Membership Program, and Capital Managers’ Program.

Unique networking opportunities: Networking is key to the success of any minority business enterprise. By getting NMSDC certification, you’ll join a network of powerful, influential leaders who are eager to share their wisdom and expertise. MBEs have exposure to over 15,000 other MBEs, through the MBE2MBE Search Tool, to engage in business opportunities and the ability to form partnering relationships, strategic alliances or joint ventures for success. Most importantly, NMSDC holds the largest U.S. conference focused on minority business development, where MBEs connect with hundreds of prospective buyers, government agencies, and procurement professionals.

Stand out from competitors: MBEs have to deal with a lot of competition, and it can be tough to cut through the clutter and noise. A minority owned business certification provides unique opportunities as many corporations seek out diverse-owned businesses to spend their money. Once you are certified, spread the word on all your marketing vehicles, including your website, brochures, email newsletters, social media channels and anywhere else you can. NMSDC certification helps communicate your minority business status, not only to prospective clients but also to vendors and the broader business community. It communicates that diversity is a core value of your enterprise, making you a more attractive business partner through values alignment.

If you’re a minority business owner, don’t wait longer and pursue the certification that will unlock new opportunities to grow and scale your business. For more information, visit https://nmsdc.org.

Thanks To Help From Tabitha Brown, This Black-Owned Business’ Sales Went From $200 In A Week To Over $23K

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Tabitha Brown and husband wearing matching sweatshirts smiling

Ngozi Nwanji, AfroTech

The power of an influential social media platform has transformed this couple’s business.

Earlier in March, Tabitha Brown and her husband, Chance Brown, posted an episode of their YouTube series, “Fridays with Tab and Chance.” In the video, the two were wearing a sweater set from Brand Avenue — a marriage lifestyle apparel brand.

Within a short period of time, the Black-owned business’ revenue started booming.

Co-founded and launched in 2014 by Marc and Ima Carnelus, the two shared that prior to being featured on Brown’s channel their business had been struggling for six months. From March 3 to March 9, the brand only made around $200 for the week.

“We even considered shutting the business down altogether,” Marc openly shared in an Instagram post. “This is our main source of income and it’s been super tough.”

Ima added, “We have been praying in the midst of all that for a breakthrough, for a sign to keep going, a miracle. We’ve had people really rallying around us, supporting us, praying for us, helping us financially because we still got bills to pay. And God answered our prayers.”

A week after their flatline in sales, their business blew up overnight from the Browns’ video posting.

From March 10 to March 16, the entrepreneurs made over $23,000 — and the sales are still going up.

“This is the Tabitha effect,” Marc emphasized.

“I love this so much and it’s just another reason I can’t wait to bring back Very Good Mondays!!! So happy for you guys @brandaveclothing,” Tabitha Brown shared on Instagram. “Keep believing and keep trusting God, he got you!!!!”

Back in 2020, she started the Very Good Mondays series to feature and support small businesses.

The video that sparked Brand Avenue’s sales isn’t the first time Brown has shown love to Brand Avenue.

View Tabita Brown’s exclusive cover story in Professional WOMAN’s Magazine!

‘Quiet’ is the workplace word of 2023

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keeping a secret or asking for silence

It seems fair to say that “quiet” is the workplace word for this year. “Quiet quitting,” “quiet hiring,” and “quiet firing” have all entered the work lexicon in the last several months, each marking a trend in how workers and employers are continuing to adapt to changes in how work works three years after the start of the pandemic. Experts think those “quiet” trends and more are set to continue throughout 2023 and beyond.

While not everything in today’s workplace are related to these quiet terms — there’s also rage applying, career cushioning, and chaotic working to name a few — there are a lot of quiet trends happening at work.

Quiet hiring

According to Vicki Salemi, career expert for Monster, quiet hiring involves shuffling workers into new roles within a company and “happens when people internally are being asked to move to another area internally.”

“Quiet hiring” is one of the “biggest workplace buzzwords” of 2023 per Insider’s reporting. That’s based on Gartner research, which considered it one of nine “Future of Work Trends for 2023.”

Emily Rose McRae of Gartner’s HR Practice said per reporting from GMA that quiet hiring is a workplace trend in 2023 in part because of a shortage in talent.

“We do not have enough talent for the roles that are available,” McRae said. “The jobs report that just came out said we had the lowest number of job seekers in months, so we’re not in a situation where we’re easily finding lots more talent.”

Salemi noted a few other reasons as to why quiet hiring may happen, including that it can be a strategy to get around having to lay off workers. She added that it could be the case too that “the company realizes that the employee’s talent are being underutilized.”

She pointed out that there can be pros to these internal moves like acquiring new skills, but some may find out they aren’t happy with this change. Salemi pointed out a Monster poll that half of those impacted by quiet hiring are in roles that actually don’t match their skills. This could lead to people joining the ongoing Great Resignation.

“Companies are redeploying resources and employees are — depending on their situation — it could be a move or stepping stone to a bigger opportunity or they could feel perhaps like they’re not in alignment with their goals,” Salemi said.

Quiet quitting

As Insider’s Samantha Delouya reported, “quiet quitting,” or just doing a minimum workload, was one prominent trend last year, and according to Payscale’s new 2023 Compensation Best Practices Report, it “isn’t going away.”

Today’s high inflation of over 6% may also be one reason people are not going above and beyond in their roles.

“In the midst of inflation, these employees who stayed, they’re being asked to take on more and more work for what feels like less pay if they haven’t got a raise or promotion,” Bonnie Chiurazzi, director of market insights at Glassdoor, told Insider. “So when you think of it through their eyes, it seems more of a natural response to the context that they’ve been living through.”

And layoffs, such as those at companies like Spotify and BlackRock, may not help this trend.

Amid those kinds of layoffs, “there is the likelihood that there’ll be increased responsibility for the employees that are left behind,” Ruth Thomas, pay equity strategist at Payscale, told Insider. “And that may potentially exacerbate that quiet quitting movement where employees become more frustrated at the fact that they’re having to take on more responsibility, so that’s a dynamic we see potentially happening.”

​​Salemi also said she thinks quiet quitting is still taking place in the labor market. Similarly, Chiurazzi thinks the “quiet quitting trend will persist until employers are ready to turn up the volume on employee feedback and really dig into these conversations.”

“I do think quiet quitting will remain prevalent until some of the underlying issues are addressed,” Chiurazzi said.

Chiurazzi pointed to Glassdoor findings that suggest some workers aren’t too happy with their employer. Chiurazzi said about a third “of employees feel a lack of transparency with their current employer,” but also about a third aren’t happy “with how their employer engages employees” and about a third are unhappy with “how their employers follow up on employee feedback.”

Other buzzwords of the year from Insider’s reporting relate to quiet quitting even if they don’t use the word quiet. That includes resenteeism, which Glamour UK’s Bianca London described as “the natural successor to ‘quiet quitting.'”

Another related buzzword of 2023 is Bare Minimum Monday — or as Insider’s Rebecca Knight and Tim Paradis wrote: “the TikTokian progeny of ‘quiet quitting.'” While this involves doing just the minimum on Mondays, it’s similar given quiet quitting includes not doing more than you are required to. However, not all buzzwords are about quiet things in the workplace. Newsweek reported that “loud layoffs” will be a trend this year, and Salemi told Insider “rage applying” is also happening usually because people want to leave “toxic workplaces.”

Quiet firing, thriving, and promotions

Quiet firing is another trend describing what has been taken place for some in the workplace. As Insider’s Britney Nguyen wrote, this quiet term means “employers treat workers badly to the point they will quit, instead of the employer just firing them.”

Read the complete article originally posted on Business Insider.

How to Make Boards More Diverse

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A diverse board of directors sitting around a table

By Dr. Apollo Emeka

The consequences of the status quo have never been clearer. Decades of pollution created a climate disaster. Political power struggles are eroding trust between individuals and leading to war between countries. Multiple diseases present public health challenges. Increasingly frequent financial disasters have caused some to question the viability of capitalism itself. Status quo thinking got us here. Only innovative, critical and diverse thinking will get us out.

There’s no easy fix to the problems we face but there are a couple of big levers we can pull that will shift things in a positive direction. Where can we find these levers, you ask?

So much of the human experience is shaped by big companies and big companies are shaped by their board of directors. A change at the board level will change companies and the companies will impact societal outcomes. Change is never easy, but it’s nearly impossible when the people responsible for enacting the change don’t see any reason to. This article is for you if you’re being asked (or compelled) to change, or if you’re the one trying to compel folks.

Why are Corporate Boards so Important?

Corporate boards influence company strategy and determine both institutional and individual relationships in and out of the company. Corporate boards choose the C-suite: the people who control the most powerful, non-governmental organizations on earth. Boards composed of people who all have the same priorities, values and blind spots (which has historically been the case in America) are limited in their ability to affect change.

There have been efforts in recent years to increase board diversity. Motivations for this push range from economic self-interest (some studies show that diverse groups make better decisions) to social justice (shouldn’t the powerful institutions of America reflect its multicultural population?). However, meaningful changes to board makeup have not yet been achieved. Not even close. Instead, according to a 2022 New York Times article, “directors from underrepresented groups occupy 17 percent of board seats, up from 14 percent in 2020.” Not only is a 3 percent increase insignificant, it is telling that someone would think to combine all non-white males into a single group and consider it meaningful. This tells me perspectives on what representation looks like need to change.

There are concrete steps we can take to make meaningful changes to board diversity. Here are a few to keep in mind.

“Critical Mass” is Critical

In order for us to realize the moral, cultural and economic benefits of diversity, equity and inclusion, we need to reach a critical mass of distinct perspectives within the boardroom. Including one person with a diverse identity is unlikely to turn the tide of status quo thinking. No one woman can speak for all women. No one Black person can speak for all Black people (besides maybe Beyoncé?). Expecting someone to be the sole representative of the identities they embody is unfair. Expecting them to bring the perspectives of all the “other” identities is outright irresponsible.

Ongoing research has suggested that a minimum percentage of representation is required in any group in order for minority voices to be heard. While research is ongoing, an excellent article by Konrad et al. titled “The Impact of Three or More Women on Corporate Boards,” published in Organizational Dynamics, Vol. 37, 2008, puts critical mass in the boardroom at 30 percent. If there is minority representation below 30 percent, outcomes are generally indistinguishable from those of a homogeneous group. A board with 10 seats, needs a minimum of two or three people from every identity group (e.g., Black, Chinese, gay, woman, Rural, Brazilian, etc.) you want to have representative influence. That means our diversity target should not be 20-30 percent total, but 20-30 percent times the number of groups that we care about including. With typical sizes between 4 and 12 directors, it may not be possible to represent all groups meaningfully on every board. But we can strive for representation that aligns with the priorities of each corporation. For example, a large, national company might be best served by a board that reflects the diversity of the American population. Whereas a company with a more specific niche would do well to include representation from their specific customer (or supplier) base.

Here’s how to get to that 20 to 30%

First, seek out innovators. Grab people after their first press release, not because they have been in the industry for decades. Populating a board with people who all come from the same backgrounds, career paths, educational pedigree and lists of “diverse board” members does not meet the bar of true diversity.

Second, elevate and protect dissenting voices starting now. At the beginning of my 6-year stint in the FBI, we learned about the intelligence failures of 9/11 and the U.S. invasion of Iraq. The FBI wanted to understand why and how the intelligence community failed so we wouldn’t repeat past mistakes. We were taught to seek divergent thinking by presenting our assessments to non-subject matter experts. These outside perspectives always forced me to think about my own assessments in a different, more rigorous light. We made a habit of process in the FBI. In the context of a board that’s growing more diverse, including systems that explicitly elevate the voices of diverse members would combat some of the cultural biases that have, for so long, maintained the status quo.

Without real change to existing power structures, our future is just going to be a bleaker version of our present. Elevating those with diverse identities can enact that change if it is done deliberately and without compromise. And no matter how it is done, we would do well to remember the wisdom of De La Soul: the stakes is high.

The Mentor Match – Would You Be Swiped Left?

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woamn looking at cell phone screen smiling

By Allison Struber

Recently, a friend shared with me she was meeting a lot of great people by swiping right. I was a bit taken aback because she is, what appears to be, happily married. My response caused her to grin and clarify she was not looking for romance. She was using a new app to find mom-friends. It has similar features to the infamous Tinder dating app, but the purpose is to narrow down the vast number of moms in an area to those who share similar interests.

As she further explained how the app worked and her success, my opinion of this swipe left/swipe right function began to change. With correct intentions, the technology could be helpful.

HOW TO SWIPE FOR NETWORKING SUCCESS

Consider all of the factors that go into choosing a mentor or mentee. It would be great to quickly swipe through professional profiles to find a good match. I would look for things like: integrity, honesty, enthusiasm, skills and experience. I would want someone who was passionate about growing new leaders and committed to investing the time it takes to do so. But just like the popular dating app, a swipe right on a mentor’s professional profile would not mean a match. My profile would also need to reflect good mentee status.

If you were seeking a mentor, here are a few things you would need to get swiped right.

Availability

Good mentors and good mentees use their time intentionally. It can be difficult to find coordinating availability, so be accommodating. Make this opportunity a priority and accept the meeting time offered.

Prepared questions

Good mentors have a wealth of knowledge, and a good mentee is going to pull out that great information. Think about what you admire in this mentor and ask questions to discover how he/she developed that skill or ability.

Teachable

Nothing is worse than a person who ‘knows it all’ except a person wanting to be mentored who ‘knows it all.’ If the conversation turns to a topic you feel confident about, pivot the discussion to something else with a new question or ask for feedback about a time you have utilized that specific knowledge.

Listener

It is ok and important to open up and share about yourself, but give your mentor the chance to lead the conversation. If you are doing most of the talking at every meeting, the balance is off.

Willing to take advice

No mentor is perfect, but there is an assumption their role has been given because he/she has been successful in an area. There is no expectation that a mentee must mirror the mentor’s experience, however, if instruction/advice/guidance is continually being disregarded, you will be right on track to find yourself without a mentor.

Willing to be a mentor

A good mentor has a goal to inspire and teach others. It is a reward to see the investment of their time multiplied by their mentee becoming a mentor. Honor your mentor and give yourself the joy of pouring into someone else. Swipe right on your own mentee.

Source: ClearanceJobs

Licenses and Permits: Everything You Need to Know

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man with rubber stamp and papers on desk

Most small businesses need a combination of licenses and permits from both federal and state agencies. The requirements — and fees — vary based on your business activities, location and government rules.

Here are the basics of what you need to know:

Federal Licenses and Permits

You’ll need to get a federal license or permit if your business activities are regulated by a federal agency. If your business deals with the transport, production, sales or dealings of any of the following products, you will have to obtain a specific permit from a specific federal agency. This includes business activities such as:

  • Agriculture: Business practices that deal with the import or transport animals, animal products, biologics, biotechnology or plants across state line
    • Issuing Agency: U.S. Department of Agriculture
  • Alcoholic Beverages: Business practices that deal with the manufacture, wholesale, import and/or sales of alcoholic beverages at a retail location
    • Issuing Agency: Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, Local Alcohol Beverage Control Board
  • Aviation: Business practices involving the operation of aircraft, transportation of goods or people via air or aircraft maintenance
    • Issuing Agency: Federal Aviation Administration
  • Commercial Fisheries: For businesses engaged in commercial fishing of any kind
    • Issuing Agency: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Fisheries Service
  • Fish and Wildlife: For businesses engaged in any wildlife related activity, including the import or export of wildlife and derivative products
    • Issuing Agency: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
  • Maritime Transportation: For businesses providing ocean transportation or facilitate the shipment of cargo by sea
    • Issuing Agency: Federal Maritime Commission
  • Mining and Drilling: For businesses engaged in drilling for natural gas, oil or other mineral resources on federal lands
    • Issuing Agency: Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement
  • Nuclear Energy: For businesses producing commercial nuclear energy, is a fuel cycle facility or is involved in distribution and disposal of nuclear materials
    • Issuing Agency: U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission
  • Radio and Television Broadcasting: For businesses dealing in broadcasting information by radio, television, wire, satellite or cable
    • Issuing Agency: Federal Communications Commission
  • Transportation and Logistics: For businesses operating oversize or overweight vehicles.
    • Issuing Agency: Permits are issued by your state government and can be reached through the U.S. Department of Transportation.

In-State Licenses and Permits

The licenses and permits you need from the state, county or city will depend on your business activities and business location. Your business license fees will also vary.

States tend to regulate a broader range of activities than the federal government. For example, business activities that are commonly regulated locally include auctions, construction, dry cleaning, farming, plumbing, restaurants, retail and vending machines.

Some licenses and permits expire after a set period of time. Keep close track of when you need to renew them — it’s often easier to renew than it is to apply for a new one.

What You’ll Need

Depending on the licensing you need, your license qualifications will differ. However, just about every license and/or permit requires that you have the following documentation:

  • Your business description or business plan that includes:
    • Employee numbers
    • Annual sales
    • Job description
    • Contact information for the business owner
    • Other pertinent business information
  • Government ID, including your Social Security Number or Federal Employment Identification Number
  • Fees (varies by state)
  • LLC registration, for businesses structured as one. Having your LLC is not the same as having your business license, although they often compliment one another.

For more information on what you need for your specific business license, visit sba.gov/business-guide/launch-your-business/apply-licenses-permits#section-header-0.

Sources: Small Business Administration, Collective.com

This Afro-Latina Never Saw Herself Represented Growing Up — Here’s How She’s Working To Change That

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Afro Latina - Bianca Kea sitting behind a table of jack and green apples

By Refinery 29

Growing up in the suburbs of Detroit, Bianca Kea was acutely aware that outside of her family, there were no other Afro-Latinxs that looked like her. No one she could relate to or look up to. But that all changed when she moved to New York City.

“Moving to New York City was such an eye-opening experience,” she recalls. “And it was the first time somebody actually identified me as Afro-Latina — I had never heard the term before, and I was able to learn about my heritage, my history as an Afro-Mexicana.” Her experience — the realization and recognition of being Afro-Latina, of being both Black and Mexican, and not feeling like she had to choose one or the other — led to her launching Yo Soy AfroLatina, an online platform and lifestyle brand that celebrates “Afro-Latinidad in the Americas and validates our hermanas’ experience.” It was born out of not seeing herself represented and wanting to create something that would not only make an impact on the culture, but also cultivate a community. “We all have different experiences — we’re not a monolith — and it’s important for people to understand what it means to be at the intersection of two beautiful cultures,” Kea says. “I hope we’re able to break down stereotypes, empower people, and allow them to be Afro-Latina. Just be yourself.”

That’s why Refinery29 is partnering with Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Apple to produce Valiente Y Fuerte — a video campaign designed to amplify the voices of Latinx creatives like Kea who inspire us every day. Watch the video above for more information about Yo Soy AfroLatina — and how Kea is turning her passion into a legacy.

Click here to read the full article on Refinery 29.

5 Minutes With MDee Beauty’s Deidra Smith

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Diedre Smith of MDee BEauty looking strong and wearing tee-shirt with company name across it

We often think of inclusion as only existing within professional or social circles, forgetting that it must also go a step further. In that spirit, the Black EOE Journal spent five minutes with Deidra Smith of MDee Beauty, a makeup company that is passionate about diversity without giving up on quality.

Black EOE Journal (BEOEJ): Where did your inspiration for MDee Beauty come from and what makes it stand out from the crowd?

Deidra Smith (DS): As a child I used to watch my mother put on her makeup, I dreamed of the day when I could do the same. From there my passion for skin care and the way I look took on a whole new meaning. It was more than just the way it made me feel, it was who I became once I became an adult. Skin care, the importance of lipstick all touched parts of me and what I deemed important. It was from that background the inspiration for MDee Beauty was born. I have used many products, never finding one with sustainability. There were many that became my favorite until later finding out that something in the formula had changed to make it no longer fit my needs. So, it was then that I started researching and later developing a formula that fit not only my needs but also that of other women who felt the same as me.

What makes us stand out from the crowd is basically the love that we put into the products. We have addressed issues of sustainability and longevity. Our ingredients are natural and good for the health of your lips. To enhance the lip care, we have subtle and bold colors that make this the perfect product that women who feel the same as I do, would want to consider.

BEOEJ: You’ve shared your views previously on the import of diversity and inclusion reform in the workforce. Why should businesses and business owners want to consider diversity, equity and inclusion when thinking in terms of their workforce, supply chain or mastermind group?

DS: I’ve been on both sides of this question as an employee and employer. I have been overlooked as a female and as a black female. I’ve been made to think that my ideas and what I had to say didn’t matter. It was kind of like when they tell kids, just be seen and not heard. Everyone’s voice needs and should be heard especially in the workforce on your team. Everyone’s background, experience and culture creates a product of inclusiveness, not only in the office but also for the market we are trying to reach. As the employer, I know that I don’t know everything, that’s why I surround myself with motivated, opinionated and diversity in thought. If you continue to do things the way they were done in the past, how do we get to the future?

BEOEJ: What can entrepreneurs or solopreneurs do to be a part of the change?

DS: Listen to the ideas of all. Decisions on what ethic groups like and don’t like can’t be made without those ethic groups being part of the conversation. Get it right the first time with inclusion of thought.

BEOEJ: Why, is not only the quality of your products, but also their sustainability, important to your company? What does sustainability mean to you as a business owner?

DS: There’s lot of good products out there but most don’t last. As women when we leave our homes, we want to look good all day. Looking and feeling a certain way we should expect it to last all day, maybe with a little touch up. We want you to be confident that your look can last all day. We did that. Our product is built on healthiness, vibrant colors and sustainability. It is our goal to keep you looking good all day long. Sustainability means that I stand behind my products. If you read the reviews MDee Beauty should be a staple in your beauty regimen. With the glowing reviews we have received thus far, it is evident that our company has sustainably, as the MDee Beauty roots continue to grow in the cosmetic industry. My goal is to continue to provide a quality product that people will purchase without reservation.

To learn more about Deidre and MDee Beauty, you can visit their website at mdeebeauty.com.

Photo Credit: Anthony Sealey

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