Black Women are Safer Working from Home.

I recently had the privilege of delivering a TEDx talk titled “Black Women are Safer Working from Home.” This talk was more than just a presentation; it was a personal journey and a call to action for leaders, particularly for those who aspire to create more inclusive and authentic workplaces.

Early career as I navigated my journey towards the C-suite, I often found myself conforming to unspoken standards that seemed to dictate success. From changing my naturally bouncy curls to changing my clothes, I was constantly making micro-decisions to fit into a mold that didn’t feel authentic. These experiences are not unique to me but are shared by many women and women of color in professional environments.

My TEDx talk introduces a framework for leaders to activate, “Authentic Agreements of Leadership Engagement.” This framework challenges traditional leadership models and encourages a more inclusive approach.

The three agreements — “Know thyself,” “See thyself,” and “Be thyself” — are not just mantras but actionable steps towards fostering environments where everyone can thrive without masking their true selves.

“Know thyself” is about radical self-awareness, understanding our biases, and establishing ground rules that respect diversity. “See thyself” involves introspection and honest self-assessment, leading to a shared vision that includes diverse perspectives. Lastly, “Be thyself” emphasizes embodying our true nature and values in our leadership and decision-making processes.

My assertion that Black women are safer working from home is a commentary on the current state of many workplaces.

It’s a reflection of the need for fundamental changes in how we engage with each other in professional settings. Until we embrace these Authentic Agreements of Leadership Engagement, we risk missing out on the invaluable contributions that women have to offer.

We have a unique opportunity and responsibility to lead change. We can create workplaces where intersectional identities are included, where diverse leadership is not just acknowledged but actively nurtured. It is in our hands to shape a culture that is truly inclusive, equitable, and empowering.

Let’s commit to making “Agreements for Authentic Leadership Engagement.” Together, we can redefine leadership and create business enterprises that reflect the diversity and dynamism of our society.

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