Say their names: George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery… the list does not end there.

As a black female founder, I have been leading through the trauma of racism and hate. This means putting on a brave face to take on the daily actions of running a company while being constantly bombarded with videos and news headlines of black people being murdered. Every day is a mix of hope for positive change and of fear that the energy the nation currently feels to drive change will fade with the headlines. 

It is time to get uncomfortable and have conversations about race that have been happening at black kitchen tables nightly for generations. It is time to question why black people are having guns drawn on them for minor offenses. It is time to question the correlation between police unions and civilian deaths. It is time to question why police are more likely to use deadly force in neighborhoods segregated by income, race, or both.  

Despite the challenges and fear, I feel an unapologetic need to take action as an individual and a business owner, but I was overcomplicating my response. Like many, I overloaded myself with social media and found a clip of a CNBC’s interview with Kenneth C. Frazier, the CEO of Merck. On He spoke openly about the racial equality gap for Black Americans. He reminded me of the importance of opportunity. This is something I have been harping on for decades, but sometimes you need to hear old ideas in a different context. 

Frazier’s words reminded me that Worxbee has a special toolkit of skills and experience that can help Black Americans excel in the workplace from Assistants to Executive Assistants and improve each person’s economic mobility. With this guiding light, Worxbee has started the process of designing a mentorship program specifically for black professionals currently in the role of Assistant and seeking to advance their careers to become an Executive Assistant. For those who don’t know, it may just sound like a fancy title change, but it really means more job security, additional opportunities for advancement and benefits, and a median salary difference of over $24,000 per year.

Our goal as a company is to focus on our area of expertise to create a long term program with measurable impact. My personal goal is that other small businesses will feel inspired to consider how their toolkit of skills and experience can provide an opportunity to drive change. 

Granting purposeful access is just one of the keys to creating positive change.

Would you or someone you know be interested in our mentoring program as a mentor or mentee? Please sign up here. 

 

Kenzie Biggins

 

Resources on Economic Inequality:

https://www.americanprogress.org/issues/race/reports/2019/08/07/472910/systematic-inequality-economic-opportunity/ 

https://www.epi.org/publication/black-white-wage-gaps-expand-with-rising-wage-inequality/

https://www.epi.org/blog/the-state-of-the-union-for-black-workers-myths-and-facts/

https://www.epi.org/blog/black-white-wage-gaps-are-worse-today-than-in-2000/

https://www.npr.org/2020/06/03/869176943/police-unions-and-civilian-deaths

https://ajph.aphapublications.org/doi/10.2105/AJPH.2018.304851

https://news.northwestern.edu/stories/2020/01/racial-discrimination-in-mortgage-market-persistent-over-last-four-decades/

Image taken at Minneapolis Memorials by Nick Poole VIA Instagram (@la_bash).

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