Tiffany Haddish is About Her Business
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Collage of Tiffany Haddish

Interview & Story by Tawanah Reeves-Ligon

“We deserve multicultural projects. We deserve to see ourselves. Everyone deserves to see themselves, and not just see themselves up there [on the screen] but also behind the scenes too,” shared Primetime Emmy and Grammy winner, Tiffany Haddish.

“You’re entertaining multicultural people. You’re entertaining a nation that is a melting pot. It’s not one thing. We are a melting pot. So, it needs to be that represented by our industry.”

To the critically acclaimed comedian, actress, producer, author, activist and philanthropist, diversity, equity and inclusion are not just buzz words. They are the bedrock and foundation of her career, as well as the legacy she hopes to leave in the world. That fortitude and dedication to service is what made Haddish an easy choice for Professional Woman’s Magazine’s 2021 Wonder Woman of the Year.

It would be hard to go anywhere in the country and find someone unacquainted with Haddish’s work. From her comedy performances and television appearances (Def Comedy Jam, The Carmichael Show and her hit Showtime special Tiffany Haddish: She Ready! From the Hood to Hollywood) to her New York Times bestselling memoir, The Last Black Unicorn (which debuted at the number 15 spot) and her hit films like Girls Trip, where she starred alongside other greats, Regina Hall, Jada Pinkett Smith and Queen Latifah, or Nigh School co-starring with Kevin Hart, Tiffany Haddish is easily considered one of the most recognizable women in comedy.

Chika announces Tiffany Haddish as winner of the Best Comedy Album for ‘Black Mitzvah’ onstage for the 63rd Annual GRAMMY Awards Premiere Ceremony broadcast on March 14, 2021. (Photo by Rich Fury/Getty Images for The Recording Academy)
Her comedy album, Black Mitzvah, made history as the second time an African American woman has won the Grammy Award for Best Comedy Album since Whoopi Goldberg in 1986. Her accolades further include hosting the revival of the historic CBS special, Kids Say the Darndest Things, as well as a frequent guest host of the award-winning The Ellen DeGeneres Show, when fellow comedian Ellen DeGeneres needs to take breaks. She is also a successful entrepreneur as the founder and owner of her own production company, She Ready Productions.

About the Vision

She Ready Productions has been a dream in the making for Haddish, who started her company to make a change, not only in her life, but the lives of as many people as she could. “It was important to me because I wanted to be able to tell our stories the way that I think they should be told, and I wanted to provide jobs for people,” said the star. “I could be that selfish person like, ‘I’m the star. It’s all about me!’ It’s not all about me, and I don’t have all the stories. There are so many stories to be told. I wanted to create a company that is female-run and that is telling our stories and giving opportunities.”
Because the country is currently in a rebuilding phase from the pandemic, especially the entertainment and media industry, Haddish wants to support those who need work and opportunity the most. “The vision is 500 jobs every 3 months for 500 people.

LOS ANGELES, CA – FEBRUARY 20: Tiffany Haddish poses for a portrait at Alfre Woodard’s 10th Annual Sistahs’ Soiree.(Photo by Gabriel Olsen/Getty Images)
That’s my vision,” she said. “Every time we do something, that’s 250, right? So, if I get two projects going at the same time, that’s 500 people working. In my mind, this time next year, 1600 people would have been employed, put their kids through school and paid their rent. In my mind, that’s what I see.”

About the Future

Born to an Eritrean refugee and African American businesswoman in South Central Los Angeles, Haddish grew up in and out of the American foster care system. Her father left when she was very young, thus her mother remarried and had two more girls as well as two boys. When Haddish was nine years old, their mother was in a car crash that her stepfather later admitted to causing, leaving her mother with severe brain damage that caused aggressive and violent changes to her behavior. After that, Haddish became the major caregiver for her siblings until they were temporarily separated in foster care when she turned 12. When she turned 15, their grandmother reunited them once more under her care.

These experiences left a special place in Haddish’s heart for displaced children and those in the foster care system. She has partnered with Living Advantage, a nonprofit that focuses its work on the welfare of foster children, as well as the Laugh Factory Comedy Camp and her own organization, the She Ready Foundation, which facilitates programs for foster youth like the She Ready Internship Program.

When asked about the program, Haddish was effusive. “It’s going actually very good. The kids are learning a lot, and we have these meetings every few weeks, just checking in with them to make sure they have the skills. We’re giving them life skills as well.” She continued, “They’re coming from a place, well, you know where they’re coming from: where I came from. Nobody showed me how to do a lot of things that I wish somebody would have shown me instead of me having to bump my head and figure it out.”

WEST HOLLYWOOD, CALIFORNIA – JUNE 12: (L-R) Rashida Sheedz, Tiffany Haddish, and Shannon Mortomer raise their fists in solidarity at The Laugh Factory’s Say Their Names. (Photo by Rodin Eckenroth/Getty Images)
Haddish has often described her formative years and experiences as difficult and without much guidance. From not understanding her body in her early years (and even being hospitalized with toxic shock syndrome at one point) to living in her car during her twenties, Haddish had to learn a lot about life for herself, something she wants to spare the youth in her program. Along with life skills, they are also learning about the entertainment and media industries and how to navigate the business of bringing people joy.

“We’re showing them. We’re giving them the blueprint…they’re talking about their experiences so far…how much they’ve grown and learned. I’m just excited for them. I’m a big believer in Whitney’s song, Greatest Love of All,” Haddish shared while reciting the lyrics, like a poem and a motivational speech. “It is my mantra. Every month, we say this honey! So, that’s what I’m trying to do, and I see it. I see them growing. I see their whole demeanor, their whole energy, changing. I know they are my future. People who know where I come from are about to be running this business, and it just fills my heart up with so much joy.”

About Her Business

So, what comes next for the woman who has starred in at least one profitable blockbuster every year for the past five years, now that she’s adding producing credits to her acting accolades?

“Director,” she said immediately. “And then we’ll go for my doctorate because I want people to call me Dr. Haddish,” she continued. “I just want to hear people call me Dr. Haddish…I would probably get it in communications. A doctor of communicating; I love it.”

But that’s not all. Haddish also plans to publish more books in the future. “Yes, there will be another book coming, sooner than later,” Haddish admitted. “There’s three books coming. One is a memoir that picks up where Black Unicorn left off. There’s a middle-age/YA teen book coming and a children’s book.”

LOS ANGELES, CA – JULY 13: Jada Pinkett Smith, Tiffany Haddish, Regina Hall and Queen Latifah attend the Premiere Of Universal Pictures’ “Girls Trip”. (Photo by Todd Williamson/Getty Images)
Each book is very different and has a unique focus that you might not expect. “The children’s book is about unicorns,” Haddish said, “and about being comfortable with yourself. The YA book is about my experience going into high school, or junior high I should say. And the memoir is about these last five years.”

“I really focus mostly on adults. I’m a grown up. But I do realize that these kids need something too, and I love them. They love me. I work well with children, and they’re my future. So, I want to give them something that’s going to bring them up…it’s books I wish I could have read when I was a kid.”

Haddish is focused on using her experiences, lessons and unique brand of funny to give the industry a better tomorrow. Ultimately, it’s her goal to help people overcome the same obstacles that she’s had to face, to build the futures they want and experience life with dignity. She wants everyone to know that it all starts with you.

“I want [people] to know that it is important to love yourself. You take care of you first and then take care of everybody else. Don’t ever feel guilty for that.”

Read this story and more fascinating articles in the digital issues here!

Rihanna honored as ‘national hero’ of Barbados
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By Lisa Respers France, CNN

Rihanna’s homeland wants her to continue to “shine bright like a diamond.”

The singer was honored Monday in her native Barbados during its presidential inauguration, which served to mark the country becoming a republic.
Barbadian Prime Minister Mia Mottley told the crowd, “On behalf of a grateful nation, but an even prouder people, we therefore present to you the designee for national hero of Barbados, Ambassador Robyn Rihanna Fenty.”
“May you continue to shine like a diamond and bring honor to your nation by your works, by your actions and to do credit wherever you shall go,” Mottley said.

The makeup and fashion mogul was appointed as an ambassador of Barbados in 2018.

According to a statement from the Barbados Government Information Office released at the time, the position gives the celeb “specific responsibility for promoting education, tourism and investment for the island.”

She also became one of the Caribbean island country’s cultural ambassadors in 2008, doing promotional work for its tourism ministry.

In a move that received a great deal of support in the country, Barbados formally cut ties with the British monarchy by becoming a republic almost 400 years after the first English ship arrived on the most easterly of the Caribbean islands.

Click here to read the full article on CNN.

How to File for a Small Business Patent
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woman's hand holding the word patent is written on a large design

By Deborah Sweeney

What Is a Patent?

The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) defines a patent for an invention as “the grant of a property right to the inventor.”

A patent helps protect the mechanisms, principles and components of an invention. The term for a small business patent starts on the date its application is filed with the USPTO. Generally, this lasts for 20 years. Patents tend to be filed less frequently than trademarks and copyrights within small businesses. However, this is still a necessary form of intellectual property protection for inventions. 
 
How to determine an invention is patentable

How do you determine that your invention is patentable? A patentable invention is defined accordingly by the USPTO: “Whoever invents or discovers any new and useful process, machine, manufacture or composition of matter, or any new and useful improvement thereof, may obtain a patent therefore, subject to the conditions and requirements of this title.”

The USPTO further breaks down the four requirements of a patentable invention.

  • “A” patent: This is singular. Only one patent may be granted for each invention.
  • Useful: The invention must have a specific, substantial and credible utility.
  • Process, machine, manufacture, composition of matter: This is a description of the subject matter, and categories, eligible for patenting.
  • Whoever invents or discovers: The inventor is the only person who may obtain the patent.

Three types of small business patents

Once you determine your invention is patentable, you must figure out what kind of patent you need before filing for a small business patent. It’s important to understand which patent type is the right fit for your invention. Presently, there are three types of patents:

  • Utility patents
  • Design patents
  • Plant patents

Let’s explore how each patent protects a specific type of invention. Once you understand which patent is the closest categorization for your invention, we’ll look at how to apply for a patent.

Utility patents

Utility patents are among the most commonly filed small business patents with the USPTO. This type of patent may be a useful process, machine, article of manufacture, composition of matter or new or useful improvement. These are four categories of statutory subject matter and may be defined accordingly.

  • Process: This is an act, or series of acts or steps, typically from an industrial or technical process.
  • Machine: The USPTO defines machine as “a concrete thing, consisting of parts, or of certain devices and combination of devices.” Essentially, this is the literal meaning of inventing a machine.
  • Manufacture: These are articles made by the invention. They may be produced from raw or prepared materials and through either hand labor or by machinery.
  • Composition of matter: This is the chemical makeup of the invention. It may be composed of two or more substances and all composite articles. This may be gases, fluids, powders or solids.

A fifth category may also apply to the word “useful.” The invention must be able to operate and have a useful purpose. For example, a new search engine is a type of software that may qualify as a utility patent.

A utility patent also has the option to file as a provisional or nonprovisional application.

What’s the difference between the two terms? Provisional applications are a low-cost patent filing. Applicants may establish a filing date in the United States for their invention. Then, they may file a nonprovisional application to claim the invention later. Nonprovisional applications are reviewed by a patent examiner. If the invention is considered patentable, the utility patent application is filed with the USPTO.

Design patents

A design patent is granted to anyone who invents a new, original and ornamental design for an article of manufacture.

How does this small business patent differ from a utility patent? A utility patent will protect the use of an article. Design patents protect the appearance of an article, but not its structural or functional features. Famous design patents include the Statue of Liberty and the original curvy Coca-Cola bottle. A recent example of a design patent are emojis, protecting the look and appearance of the digital icons.

The terms for a design patent, as effective May 13, 2015, may last 15 years from the date of the patent grant. Prior to 2015, the term was 14 years. This provides small businesses with over a decade’s worth of patent protection.

Plant patents

One of the most unique small business patents is the plant patent. This patent may be granted to anyone that has invented, discovered or asexually reproduced a distinct, new variety of plant. Here are a few examples:

  • Cultivated sports
  • Mutants (this is only applicable if the mutant is discovered in a cultivated area)
  • Cultivated hybrids
  • Newly found seedlings
  • Algae and macro-fungi
  • Asexually propagated plants reproduced through means other than seeds, such as layering or budding.

Plants that would not be eligible for a plant patent include existing plants, such as roses, bacteria, and edible tuber reproduced plants like potatoes.

A plant patent’s terms are for 20 years from the date of the patent’s application filing. Similar to that of a utility patent, a plant patent may file a provisional or nonprovisional application. The inventor filing this application must be the same person that invented, or reproduced, the plant they wish to patent.

Applying for a patent

By now, you likely have a good idea as to which small business patent is best for your invention. The next step is to get ready to apply for a patent.

As you prepare to apply for a patent, keep in mind the following.

  1. What is your application strategy? You may choose to file as yourself (Pro Se) or work with a patent attorney or agent.
  2. Will you file a provisional or nonprovisional application? This may be contingent on the type of small business patent you are filing.
  3. Do you have enough money set aside for fees? There are several fees associated with filing a patent, including application fees, search fees, examination fees and issues fees.
  4. How soon do you need the patent? You may consider expedited examination options to file for and receive patent approval sooner.
  5. Do I have everything I need for my application? Your patent application materials may require an oath or declaration, drawings and additional written documents. Make sure you understand each required part necessary for obtaining your patent and include it with your application.
  6. Will I mail my application or submit it online? Double-check everything prior to making this last step to ensure your application is complete. Remember that once your application has been filed with the USPTO, you will not be able to add new items to it.

Patent approval and next steps

If your patent is approved, congratulations! You will receive notice of approval and a patent grant that is mailed to you.

After receiving your small business patent, make sure to maintain the patent over the years. Pay any maintenance fees on time to ensure it does not expire and check the status as needed for this valuable piece of intellectual property.

Source: Score.org

 

Sandra Bullock Discusses How Her New Film Made Her a Better Mother and Inspired Her to Get Tattoo
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Sandra Bullock in The Unforgivable | CREDIT: KIMBERLEY FRENCH/NETFLIX

By Dan Heching, People

Sandra Bullock is sharing details about how preparing for her newest film turned into an inspiring lesson in parenting.

The Oscar winner, 57, plays an incarcerated woman trying to reenter society in the upcoming Netflix film The Unforgivable, and in researching the movie, Bullock met with real-life women behind bars.

“One of my tattoos was in honor of one of the women that I got to interview that helped me with insight to my daughter,” the Practical Magic star told Extra on Monday.

The star revealed to PEOPLE in 2015 that she had adopted a daughter, Laila, who had been in foster care in Louisiana.

“She, too, went through the foster care system and there was something that was similar and she says, ‘Oh, my God, that happened to me. That’s who I was.’ ” Bullock said.

“I got home and I go, ‘How is it that I went there to get her story, and I left there being a better parent because of the gift that she gave me?’ ”

In addition to Laila, 9, Bullock is also has a son Louis, 11, whom she adopted in 2010.

As for the tattoo that the interaction inspired, the star said “it was a barbed wire with a butterfly on it.”

Bullock also shared that in researching the new film and speaking to incarcerated women, it became important for her to share “the truth of their journey to how they got there.”

Bullock stars in and is a producer on The Unforgivable, which marks her second project with Netflix after 2018’s wildly successful thriller Bird Box.

Click here to read the full article on People.

Wedding planning, driving and potentially more music: What’s next for Britney Spears post-conservatorship
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Britney spears smiling at camera. She is no longer in a conservatorship

By , Yahoo! Entertainment

Britney Spears has spent the last three days blissfully happy following the termination of her 13-year legal conservatorship.

“What an amazing weekend … I felt like I was on cloud 9 the whole time !!!” Spears wrote Monday on Instagram. “I actually got my first glass of champagne at the most beautiful restaurant I’ve ever seen last night !!!! I’m celebrating my freedom and my B day for the next two months !!!!!!!!!!! I mean after 13 years … I think I’ve waited long ENOUGH !!!! I’m so happy my lawyer Mathew Rosengart came into my life when he did … he has truly turned my life around … I’m forever thankful for that !!!! What a sight seeing so many people celebrating my victory …. I love my fans so much … so thank you !!!!⁣”

Spears has a lot of famous fans cheering her on, too, including Lady Gaga, Dionne Warwick, Jameela Jamil and Andy Cohen.

So what’s next for the superstar now that she’s free? As her lawyer said immediately after Judge Brenda Penny made her ruling in a Los Angeles courthouse, “What’s next for Britney, and this is the first time this could be said for about a decade, is up to one person: Britney.”

Here are a few things we know are on the horizon:

Planning her wedding
When Spears gave a shocking testimony in court in June, she flat-out said that she would like to “get married and have a baby.” And she’s moving ahead on that front.

She and Sam Asghari, the personal trainer and actor she has dated for four years, announced their engagement in September, less than a week after her father, Jamie Spears, filed a petition to end her conservatorship. “She would love a beach ceremony at a tropical destination,” a source told People at the time. “It will be a small wedding.”

Then, just last week, Spears said that designer Donatella Versace — a longtime friend — is already making the bridal dress.

On the family front, Spears had said in court that she had been forced to use birth control, but that obviously won’t be the case any longer.

Making her own medical decisions
Speaking of, Spears will also no longer have to take anything she doesn’t want to take, and that includes the antidepressant lithium. The singer said in a June hearing that it made her feel “drunk” and unable to have a conversation. But no more.

Harry Nelson, the founder and managing partner of Los Angeles-based law firm Nelson Hardiman, tells Yahoo Entertainment that, without a conservatorship over her person, Spears is free to make all her own health choices.

Driving whenever and wherever she wants
Spears was reportedly thrilled to be driving again, once her conservatorship allowed her to do so, over the summer, for the first time in years. (MTV’s 2008 For the Record documentary on Spears, filmed at the start of the conservatorship, contained a scene that showed her explaining that the last time she had felt free was when she had gotten to drive her car a lot.) So, of course, she spent her first free weekend cruising around by herself, too. According to TMZ, at one point, Spears drove her Mercedes to Catch restaurant in West Hollywood, where she had a date with Asghari.

That goes for shopping, too
Remember in July when Spears wrote about having splurged for new sneakers? Spears controls her own finances now, so she can look forward to as many new kicks as she’d like. Spears’s considerable assets are now being transferred from the conservatorship into a trust that she controls.

Nelson explains: “A trust is a highly flexible legal structure set up by a person to protect property assets. In setting up a trust, Britney can decide who the trustees of the trust, who will manage the trust, are, and who the beneficiaries will be. She can name herself as a trustee and a beneficiary, designate other trustees or beneficiaries, and change trustees and beneficiaries over time. She can set up the rules by which the trust is managed. Absent some dispute between trustees or beneficiaries, the trust is easy to manage. This is in sharp contrast to conservatorship, which is governed by the court and cannot be set up, amended, or removed without court approval. Conservatorships are only necessary when the person who is the subject won’t cooperate and is putting themselves at risk. The trust structure will allow Britney to protect herself, her children, and other loved ones, with the flexibility to make the structure work for her needs.”

Click here to read the whole article on Yahoo! Entertainment

‘Sesame Street’ debuts Ji-Young, first Asian American muppet
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Ernie, a muppet from the popular children's series "Sesame Street," appears with the new character Ji-Young, the first Asian American muppet.

By Terry Tang, AP News

What’s in a name? Well, for Ji-Young, the newest muppet resident of “Sesame Street,” her name is a sign she was meant to live there.

“So, in Korean traditionally the two syllables they each mean something different and Ji means, like, smart or wise. And Young means, like, brave or courageous and strong,” Ji-Young explained during a recent interview. “But we were looking it up and guess what? Ji also means sesame.”

At only 7 years old, Ji-Young is making history as the first Asian American muppet in the “Sesame Street” canon. She is Korean American and has two passions: rocking out on her electric guitar and skateboarding. The children’s TV program, which first aired 52 years ago this month, gave The Associated Press a first look at its adorable new occupant.

Ji-Young will formally be introduced in “See Us Coming Together: A Sesame Street Special.” Simu Liu, Padma Lakshmi and Naomi Osaka are among the celebrities appearing in the special, which will drop Thanksgiving Day on HBO Max, “Sesame Street” social media platforms and on local PBS stations.

Some of Ji-Young’s personality comes from her puppeteer. Kathleen Kim, 41 and Korean American, got into puppetry in her 30s. In 2014, she was accepted into a “Sesame Street” workshop. That evolved into a mentorship and becoming part of the team the following year. Being a puppeteer on a show Kim watched growing up was a dream come true. But helping shape an original muppet is a whole other feat.

“I feel like I have a lot of weight that maybe I’m putting on myself to teach these lessons and to be this representative that I did not have as a kid,” Kim said. But fellow puppeteer Leslie Carrara-Rudolph — who performs Abby Cadabby — reminded her, “It’s not about us … It’s about this message.”

Ji-Young’s existence is the culmination of a lot of discussions after the events of 2020 — George Floyd’s death and anti-Asian hate incidents. Like a lot of companies, “Sesame Street” reflected on how it could “meet the moment,” said Kay Wilson Stallings, executive vice-president of Creative and Production for Sesame Workshop, the nonprofit organization behind “Sesame Street.”

Sesame Workshop established two task forces — one to look at its content and another to look at its own diversity. What developed was Coming Together, a multi-year initiative addressing how to talk to children about race, ethnicity and culture.

One result was 8-year-old Tamir. While not the show’s first Black muppet, he was one of the first used to talk about subjects like racism.

“When we knew we were going to be doing this work that was going to focus on the Asian and Pacific Islanders experience, we of course knew we needed to create an Asian muppet as well,” Stallings said.

These newer muppets — their personalities and their looks — were remarkably constructed in a matter of a months. The process normally takes at least a couple of years. There are outside experts and a cross-section of employees known as the “culture trust” who weigh in on every aspect of a new muppet, Stallings said.

For Kim, it was crucial that Ji-Young not be “generically pan-Asian.”

“Because that’s something that all Asian Americans have experienced. They kind of want to lump us into this monolithic ‘Asian,’” Kim said. “So it was very important that she was specifically Korean American, not just like, generically Korean, but she was born here.”

Click here to read the full article on AP News.

Rebel Wilson Says She ‘Never Thought’ She ‘Could Overcome’ Emotional Eating
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Rebel Wilson wearing a blue velvet blazer while smiling at the camera

By Nicholas Rice, People

Rebel Wilson is looking back at how far she’s come after her recent weight loss.

While chatting with PEOPLE, the 41-year-old actress opened up about the feelings she experienced during her self-imposed “year of health” in 2020. “One of the emotions was that I’m sad I didn’t do it before,” she tells PEOPLE exclusively.

“Last year, I lost a lot of weight — close to 80 lbs. — and then I’ve maintained it for this year. [So] part of me was like, ‘Well, damn! If I could have done it before, should I have done it?'” she continues. “And I felt a bit sad about that point.”

Wilson said that it was partly do to a lack of faith in herself.

“I thought I was the person that [would] never do it,” she says. “Like, yeah, I can lose a few pounds if I try really hard one week and be really strict with myself, but then I’ll always gain it back. So I never thought that I could successfully do it.”

“Last year, I — for the first time ever — prioritized my health,” she continues. “And even though that was my 40th year, I was just like, it’s never too late to improve yourself or to improve your health.”

“I shouldn’t feel sad or beat up on myself because of that. I should just feel proud of myself for actually doing it,” Wilson adds.

Still, the Isn’t It Romantic star says she has “always been a very confident person,” and it’s not as though her weight loss has made her that way. “But you do feel better in yourself,” she explains.

“I’m not perfect, like, I still emotionally eat at times, there’s stressful things that still go on in my life and in my work that can be high pressure, … but I’m not perfect. I’ve [just] learned to manage things.”

Click here to read the full article on People.

Latina speaker, author helps women become confident negotiators
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latina Leadership and negotiation strategist Elizabeth Suarez aims to empower women to obtain more money and recognition and become better negotiators.

By Laura Casillas, 9 News

Elizabeth Suarez worked in the corporate world for 15 years. After holding countless leadership positions throughout the U.S. and Central and South America, she not only has extensive insight into a male-dominated industry, but according to Suarez, it also made her realize that more women were needed at the executive table.

“I would say I lived a syndrome of me, myself, and I. There was no other Latina; there was no other woman,” Suarez said. “When I decided to retire from the corporate world, that’s when I realized that what we had to do was basically be better negotiators to be able to be in meetings where people make decisions, the problem, many women, we – Latinas are not present where decisions are being made.”

Remembering all those years in the industry takes Suarez back in time to where her dreams began.

“I started out as this girl who wanted to make a difference in the corporate world,” Suarez said. “I grew up in Puerto Rico, I am of Cuban parents, I went to the university in New York as well as [got] my master’s degree, and I was in the corporate world everywhere.”

Today, Suarez lives in Denver, she is an author, and a coach and a leadership and negotiating strategist. Suarez empowers professionals to obtain more money and recognition, while helping organizations to develop a stronger workforce.

Suarez credits a big part of her success as an entrepreneur to the people who helped push her to take the plunge.

“I have to admit it, I had a lot of people who helped me and who believed in me,” said Suarez. “I had many mentors who believed in me and even today they follow me and want to help me.”

Since then, paying it forward has always been one of Suarez’s mottos as she remembered that her mentors told her, “Hey, remember that you have to help others in your community. This is not just about you. This is about your community.”

So following in their footsteps, Suarez became a mentor of young women and after mentoring for a few years, she came to another important realization.

According to Suarez, it’s difficult for many women to advocate for themselves.

“I always say to people that culturally we have always been told that we have to be grateful – grateful for living, grateful for our health, grateful for our work. And what I’m saying is that, yes, that is important, but at the same time, we have to be able to communicate to other people that we deserve the salary, that we deserve the promotion because we have brought a lot of progress to the company,” Suarez said.

Being a good negotiator, according to Suarez, is being able to be someone who can listen to what the other person is saying. One who can understand the needs of the other person and at the same time, can communicate effectively so that the other person can understand his or her needs.

“This is not about winning everything you want; this is being able to identify a solution that will be a good thing for both people,” Suarez said.

Suarez has a daughter in college and she gives her the same advice that she gives all young women.

“You cannot assume that if they offer you the job that that’s it. I accept it, it’s over, I’m going to party, no no no,” Suarez said.

According to Suarez, women need to take it upon themselves to do a thorough investigation of the going salary for the position that they are applying for.

“There are different ways to find out. There are different apps that tell you this. The average salary of the type of job where you are living, and you have to have the strength to say, ‘This is a competition; we are playing a game. I play, and even though they offered me the job, I’m going to have to ask for more,'” she said.

Suarez encourages women to negotiate in the same manner as men do because, according to her, “Study after study shows that men always ask for more than women.”

“From the beginning, you have to negotiate more,” Suarez said, “and if they tell you that they cannot give you more money, negotiate more things. Free days, bonuses – agree to re-analyze your work in six months, and from there you can get another raise.”

Suarez is the author of the book ‘The Art of Getting Everything,’ and she has been has a keynote speaker at women’s conferences across the country, including the Women in Technology Conference where she spoke to over 650 women about the power of negotiation, networking and self advocacy.

Click here to read the full article on 9 News.

Be The Change: Lessons From A Woman In Business (For Other Women In Business)
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Be The Change: Lessons From A Woman In Business (For Other Women In Business)

By , Entrepreneur

The need to break the glass ceiling has existed for the past couple of centuries, and women have been fighting long and hard for that big moment. Available statistics suggest that 36% of small businesses worldwide are owned by women. People ask me about what it’s like being a woman in business at my age, and I always have the same answer:

“It’s difficult, there are challenges, but you push through.” My challenges, of course, pale in comparison to the million others who don’t have the environment, access, or support that I have had. However, we often hear the words that it’s difficult, but I think it’s important that we take the time to break it down. I am a highly solution-focused person, for better and for worse, and so, I would like to plug in some guidance to all those navigating similar experiences.

LESSON 1: PROTECTION VERSUS ENCOURAGEMENT

Yes, everyone is familiar with the savior complex, but it gets so much worse in the world of business. I want to say this gets better as you get older, but I have seen it happen to my colleagues with 20 and 30 years of experience as well. The assumption that we, as women in business, are naïve, standing like deer-in-the-headlights, is a real stereotype that we find ourselves fighting against more often than not.

Getting advice from those more experienced than you can be useful; however, it is essential that you question the intention of that advice. Is the intention one of protection, fear of your inability to succeed, or for your safety? Here is what I am going to say: you know your work better than anyone. Trust your own instincts and critical analysis. For instance, when we at Mirai Partners were entering Lagos as a new location for our business, most people gave us incredibly discouraging advice. We thought differently, and here we are, three years later, with state-level contracts and further expansion planned over the next three years.

LESSON 2: BREAKING INTO THE BOYS CLUB

Do I feel entirely comfortable going for a meeting or networking at events after work hours or outside a conference? The real answer is no, but I have done it many times, because when you own your own business, you have to. A 2019 survey revealed that out of 600 female entrepreneurs, nearly 56% had experienced some form of discrimination or harassment in their capacity as business owners. As such, the reason many women do not feel comfortable with gatherings associated with work is that we fear that men in those spaces will behave in a way that we don’t expect or want. However, as someone who’s had her own share of such odd experiences, I do have a set of ground rules to prevent such occurrences in the future, which might help you as well:

– If you are not meeting someone in their office, try and pick a neutral and public place.

– If they make you feel uncomfortable, no business opportunity is worth it.

– Personal questions about your relationship status shouldn’t be asked, so don’t be afraid to not answer.

Click here to read the full article on Entrepreneur.

Afro hair comb inventor hopes to inspire young black women
LinkedIn
Afro comb designer would have "loved to be taught by a black woman"

By Felicity Evans, BBC

A woman launching an innovative new comb for afro hair wants to use her experience to get other young black women into engineering.

“I would have loved a young me to have been taught by a black woman,” said Swansea-based Youmna Mouhamad. She received an enterprise fellowship from the Royal Academy of Engineering to help her develop the product. Fewer than 2% of engineers are women from ethnic minorities.

“I want to be part of the change, so that a young person that comes after me is in a place where they feel much more heard and much more accepted,” said Youmna. She was doing a PhD in physics when she first got the idea for the Nyfasi Deluxe Detangler, which provides an easier way of conditioning natural afro hair.

Youmna supported her studies by working as a nanny and the little girl she looked after used to cry with pain when her hair was washed and conditioned.”The whole house would be full of tears,” she remembers. “I wanted her to have a better experience.

“I shifted to engineering because I always had a desire to work on things that I can touch with my hands, and I love the process of taking an idea and actually creating something.” Once Youmna had developed a prototype she looked for women with afro hair to join a focus group to test it. Lenient and her nine-year-old daughter, Goodness, were among the volunteers. “I have got three girls and I do their hair myself,” said Lenient.

“The washing process is dreadful because they don’t want to. Why? Because it’s quite painful for them, especially the combing part.” “And this detangler, the first time I tried it, it was really easy.” Goodness agreed, adding: “The normal comb feels like someone is pulling your hair, when it’s tangled it hurts. But with this comb, it’s very soft and easy to untangle.”

Click here to read the full article on BBC.

Staten Island mom creates lingerie line for transgender women after daughter comes out
LinkedIn
South Shore mom Karyn Bello created her own fashion line of lingerie designed for transgender women and hopes to be an example for parents of transgender people.

By , Silive

In 2014, South Shore mom Karyn Bello and her family began navigating uncharted territory when her daughter, Lily, came out as transgender.

Seven years later, Bello, 51, created her own fashion line of lingerie designed for transgender women and hopes to be an example for parents of transgender people.

Her clothing line, named Zhe in reference to the gender-neutral pronoun, includes technology meant to fit transgender women’s bodies and help them feel comfortable in their own skin.

“They’re meant to help trans women navigate through the world and through their clothes comfortably without having to worry,” Bello told the Advance/SILive.com. “They’re much more accessible and safe for them to be wearing.”

Bello’s underwear line is designed to help transgender women stray away from harmful do-it-yourself methods of tucking.

Tucking is a way to disguise the genitalia and create a more feminine appearance underneath clothing or in underwear. At times, it is achieved using duct tape or other adhesives, which can be harmful to the body.

“[These methods] are bad for your urethra; you get UTIs easily,” Bello explained. They’re just bad for your health. I was coming at it from a mom’s perspective. I want you to be healthy and take care of yourself, too.”

The Zhe underwear is made with technology to help achieve a similar outcome in a much safer way. Key features of the underwear include a wider gusset, multi-layered front panel, and spandex support.

Click here to read the full article on Silive.

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Upcoming Events

  1. City Career Fair
    January 19, 2022 - November 4, 2022
  2. NAWBO Leadership Academy – Winter 2022
    January 31, 2022
  3. The Small Business Expo–Multiple Event Dates
    February 17, 2022 - December 1, 2022
  4. CSUN Center on Disabilities 2022 Conference
    March 13, 2022 - March 18, 2022
  5. WiCyS 2022 Conference
    March 17, 2022 - March 19, 2022