How Should a Woman Navigate the Male Dominated Corporate American Work Place Part 1

How should a woman navigate her way through a male dominated white work place?

This is a question that was presented to Damon Dash and Kenyatta Griggs in an interview about how they would advise a woman on navigating the patriarchal corporate American structure that studies have shown, dominate the mid to top level management positions in companies globally, but particularly in the United States. His answer is at 2:12, in the video below.

My belief is that a woman should navigate the system the same way any one with a vision and goal would. I’ve never worked for a company without knowing what I wanted to get out of the company, beyond the pay I was receiving. Looking at the bigger picture of why I was there, has always allowed me to view racial or gender biases against me, as only distractions. And because I’ve always remained focus on the reason I was there (beyond the money), I’ve always been able to meet my goal within that company, and then move on to challenge myself in ways that built my ability to execute an entrepreneurship. Women in the workplace who are unsatisfied or poorly treated, yet having credentials and experience, should use their resources and strengths to invest in themselves and their passions, creating their own businesses or company that allows them to hire other women or people who need opportunities in well managed companies. 

I always look at the women in my life and how they’ve navigated corporate America as black women, during three of the more racially tense eras in American culture. The one and only grandmother I even had or knew, migrated to the united states in the late 60’s early 70’s and worked as a maid for the next 25+ years. She worked for herself as a maid. She had her own hours. Only answered to her clients, and had all the freedom to choose who she did or did not work for.  

My mother, same thing. She worked corporate American jobs cleaning, administration, quality control, accounting, all while saving her money and investing in herself. She moved fearless as an immigrant because she had an ability to make things happen with her own resources. Once she had achieved her vision within corporate America, she left and opened up her own retail businesses. She worked the corporate structure, accepting the distractions and perceived limitations, because she knew what HER goal was and it was to accept the risk and responsibility of being an entrepreneur and starting her own company.

The last example if my sister Kaynea. She’s a woman who has worked corporate America as a flight attendant, nurse, visiting nurse, Real Estate Agent/broker/flipper, and now she runs her own real estate firm that does all three of those estate services. Yet for the past 20 years, corporate America provided the income that she saved and sacrificed, knowing that she would reach a goal she set for herself, to start her own real estate company. 

Dame Dash in the video above, talks about a man assuming responsibility for providing his children and wife all the resources, capital, and opportunities in life. And that is an amazing message to preach. I agree with it. But my personal belief is that a woman can manage her life and finances in a way that allows her to create her own opportunity 10, 15 years down the line. Get the experience, all while limited, save all of your money, and then invest in yourself by creating a business and brand that is about empowering women and providing amazing service or product to consumers.