Black Women Influencers Were Being Left Out, so This Marketer Built an Agency for Them
La Toya Shambo founded her influencer agency, Black Girl Digital, in 2016

By Emmy Liederman, Ad Week

LaToya Shambo was used to being the only Black woman in rooms that advocated for the same faces in marketing campaigns—the typical white, thin determinants of beauty and success. But it wasn’t until 2011, when she was hit by a vehicle while crossing the street and holding her newborn, that she decided to do something about it.

Surviving that accident, spending months in rehab and her entire maternity leave in a cast changed Shambo’s life forever. “During that process, there was a lot of self-reflection,” she said. “I decided that I had to give back to the culture.”

A lifelong singer, Shambo had briefly flirted with the idea of working in music before settling on marketing. Following that, she transferred to the Fashion Institute of Technology, switched majors from music business to marketing and spent her spare time in the library sifting through career books. After landing on the radio ad sales page and snagging an internship at 106.7 Lite FM, Shambo decided what she really wanted to do was work in media planning and buying.

Shambo has made stops at companies including SpikeDDB, Complex and Condé Nast, with each new role deepening her understanding of how to package and sell media while building a sustainable business model. At Complex, she got to observe the publishing business and connect with Black female bloggers who struggled to monetize their platforms.

Then came the accident. A few months after it, Shambo stopped by the Complex office to sign some paperwork. Her boss asked her why she had a smile on her face given all she had endured, and Shambo replied that she had “figured it all out.” Her vision was to build her own Complex, which led Shambo to found Black Girl Digital in 2016.

The shop’s mission is to address the equity and wage discrepancies for Black and multicultural women in the marketing industry through meaningful action, such as the launch of its own app, iLinkr. The program is a tool for brands and agencies that are looking to book and manage talent of color.

“At the time, there were no ad networks specifically for Black female bloggers,” she said. “That birthed Black Girl Digital, which was originally designed as a service to the Black community from the perspective of bloggers. All my bloggers then became influencers, and Black Girl Digital is my contribution to the culture.”

Click here to read the full article on Ad Week.

New Women of Color in Business: Cross-Generational Survey©, by Harvard Business School Alumnae and Business Leaders Bonita C. Stewart and Jacqueline Adams, Sponsored by Google, Published Today
woman on the computer using google

By PR Newswire

Today, Harvard Business School alumnae and co-authors Bonita C. Stewart and Jacqueline Adams published their 2021 U.S. Women of Color in Business: Cross-Generational Survey© sponsored by Google. Titled Untapped Women of Color: The Talent Force Multiplier, the new release, and third in five planned annual surveys, is unique in its analysis of the opinions and capabilities of women desk workers and students across four generations. The work also highlights new, evolving skills and attitudes that managers must develop to assess and motivate talent, across cultures as well as generations, in the complex post-COVID workplace.

For the first time, the 2021 edition of the U.S. Women of Color in Business: Cross-Generational Survey© compared and contrasted the experiences of 300 White and Black male managers with those of 4,000 women managers and desk workers across four races (Black, LatinX, Asian American and White) and four generations (Gen Z students [ages 17-24], Millennials [ages 25-39], Gen X [ages 40-56], and Boomers [ages 57-74]). The results underscore the need for a more nuanced appreciation of “generational diversity,” an original concept coined by Stewart and Adams.

In addition to including Black and White male managers, this year’s survey takes a deeper look at Asian American women desk workers, with differentiating responses by the women’s countries of origin: China, Vietnam, India and the Philippines.

Co-authors Adams and Stewart, a Board Partner at Google’s Gradient Ventures, note that they truly appreciate Google’s support of their work. “The company’s sponsorship validates the originality and importance of our research,” they say. “We are also grateful for the on-going expertise of our survey partner, Quadrant Strategies. We believe creating a talent multiplier requires building new management capability in the areas of Cultural Intelligence (CQ), as well as understanding Generational Diversity in the workplace.”

“The data leads the co-authors to the conclusion that great managers matter,” says Melonie Parker, Chief Diversity Officer at Google. “The underappreciated generational changes identified in the survey should encourage and challenge leaders to assess ‘untapped’ talent pools as a force multiplier for business success. At Google, we see this research as another lens to inform our ongoing work to build belonging, while providing exceptional thought leadership to all companies navigating the growing complexities of the workplace.”

Highlights from the new research include:
Despite promises of progress, despite disruptions to corporate recruiting, the co-authors’ chief performance metric – the Onlys – remains stalled, with almost half of Black and LatinX women continuing to report being frequently or always the only person of their races in professional settings.

More distressing is that the number of Black and LatinX Millennial Onlys has spiked: 55% for Black and 45% for LatinX.

The 2021 results show clear differentiations among Black and LatinX Millennial women, especially when it comes to confidence about the future, ways of coping with workplace stresses, and even teaming up within the “sisterhood.”

This was a breakaway year for innovation among Millennials, what this survey calls “First to Know About Technology.” 44% of Black Millennial women desk workers said they are always the first to know; 42% for LatinX, 33% for Asian Americans and 38% for White Millennials.

Black and LatinX women reported that they are actively participating in the current startup boom.

32% of Black Millennial women said they founded or co-founded the company they work at, more than doubling the 14% in 2020.

Just as they reported in 2020, Black women across all generations are more likely to be “side-preneurs”—to have a business they are working on outside of their desk jobs. 27% said they are side-entrepreneurs, as opposed to 16% LatinX, 11% Asian American, and 12% White women.

Millennial women are acknowledging systemic racism in the U.S. and are not shy about using their power to address it.

In 2021, Asian American women fell behind other racial groups, across all generations, in terms of career satisfaction.

Only 30% of Asian American women (down from 39% in 2020) agreed a great deal that they’ve had the opportunity to do meaningful and satisfying work, compared to 42% White women, 47% LatinX women, and 51% Black women).

Chinese American respondents, in particular, reported the lowest career satisfaction, while Indian American, Filipina American, and Vietnamese American women were comparatively more satisfied.

Only 17% of Chinese American women feel greatly fulfilled at work, compared to 33% of Filipina American women, 32% of Indian American women, and 31% of Vietnamese American women.

Click here to read the full article on PR Newswire.

Barbie releases first-ever doll with hearing aids. 5 other groundbreaking Barbies
Barbie wearing a hearing aid

By Ishita Srivastava, Daily O

Barbie has been an icon and inspiration for women across the world. Since its creation in 1959, Barbie has evolved from being only a doll for young girls to a global symbol of ‘anything is possible’.

The doll, however, has a long history of lacking inclusivity, in terms of race and body shape. Celebrities like Kim Kardashian and Lizzo have made the non-Barbie body type ‘stylish’ and as social media is evolving to become a safe space for all body types and races, Barbie has begun making changes of its own.

Here are 5 groundbreaking Barbie dolls that promote body acceptance and racial diversity:


On May 11, Barbie’s latest Fashionistas line was announced and it was a reason for joy for many consumers with hearing disabilities. The new collection, for the first time, features a Barbie doll with behind-the-ear hearing aids.

The new line also features a doll with a prosthetic leg and a Ken doll with vitiligo.

Mattel’s Barbie team collaborated with expert and hearing loss advocate Dr Jen Richardson in order to accurately represent the doll.

“I’m honoured to have worked with Barbie to create an accurate reflection of a doll with behind-the-ear hearing aids. As an educational audiologist with over 18 years of experience working in hearing loss advocacy, it’s inspiring to see those who experience hearing loss reflected in a doll,” said Dr Richardson.

While in 2020, Mattel did release a Barbie doll with vitiligo, this is the first time a Ken doll has been released with the skin disease. (Read more about vitiligo Barbie here: 11 fancy Barbie dolls we wish we had in the 90s. Just like the Queen Elizabeth one)


Barbie’s 2019 Fashionistas line marked the first time Mattel released Barbie dolls with physical disabilities. Available to buy since June 2019, the new line featured a Barbie doll with a prosthetic leg and another doll with a wheelchair.

Similar to Mattel’s collaboration with Dr Richardson to create a Barbie doll with hearing aids, Mattel joined hands with 13-year-old disability activist who was born without a left forearm, Jordan Reeves in 2019 to create the Barbie doll with a prosthetic leg.

Mattel also worked with the UCLA Mattel Children’s Hospital and wheelchair experts to design the Barbie doll with a wheelchair.

Not only the physically disabled Barbie dolls, Mattel also introduced a Barbie DreamHouse compatible ramp to promote infrastructure accessibility for the physically disabled.


Back in January 2016, Mattel announced that Barbie will now be available to buy in three new body shapes; tall, petite and curvy, marking the first time the popularly skinny doll was available in other body types.

At the time, spokeswoman Michelle Chidoni explained that the new Barbie dolls will allow “the product line to be a better reflection of what girls see in the world around them.”


Named Oriental Barbie, Mattel’s first Asian Barbie doll was released in 1981. The collector doll was a part of Barbie’s Dolls of the World collection.

The Oriental Barbie was released in a long yellow dress with red trimmings and a red and golden-flowered jacket. Oriental Barbie described herself as from Hong Kong. Since Oriental Barbie was the first Barbie of its kind, the face sculpt came to be known as the Oriental / Miko / Kira Face Sculpt.

While Mattel did release an Asian Barbie in 1981, it was ultimately in March 2022 when the toymaker released its first Desi Barbie. To celebrate Women’s History Month, Mattel released a South Asian Barbie who was modelled after Deepica Mutyala, the founder and CEO of makeup brand Live Tinted.

Click here to read the full article on Daily O.

Kim Kardashian’s Skims casts singer Rosalía in new summer campaign – shop here
Singer-songwriter Rosalía has been cast in Skims' first bilingual campaign. COURTESY PHOTO

By Melisha Kaur, Mirror

Spanish singer Rosalía has just been unveiled as the face of the latest campaign for SKIMS.

The billion-dollar brand, founded by Kim Kardashian, recently revealed its first ever bilingual campaign where content will be distributed in both Spanish and English.

The new campaign sees Rosalía donning pieces from the best-selling SKIMS cotton range, including the £36 Plunge Bralette, in a 15-second clip.

In a press release, brand owner Kim Kardashian said: “Rosalía’s willingness to push the boundaries and experiment with her music and personal style has been a huge inspiration for me. This campaign is all about the energy and confidence that she brings to the world.

“I’m especially excited that she’s wearing pieces from our best-selling Cotton Collection – they’re classic, cool and breathable everyday essentials that everyone feels good in.”

Rosalía added: “I love SKIMS. They are so comfy and make me feel very sexy at the same time. I’m so excited that I finally got the chance to collaborate, especially in their Cotton Collection which is my fave.”

This is the first ever fashion campaign for Rosalía, who released her third studio album Motomami back in March.

The new launch was shared by Kim Kardashian on social media, sending fans into a frenzy.

The series of stunning photos sees Rosalía wearing a black plunge bralette (£36) and matching cotton rib boxers (£32).

She’s also seen wearing a white cotton jersey T-shirt, £48, and a matching rib thong that costs £20.

The Grammy-winning singer also shared the launch to her 20.3 million Instagram followers.

“Damnnnnnn,” Kardashian commented, adding a trio of fire emojis.

The campaign comes after SKIMS dropped its new ‘Boyfriend’ collection, which saw the comeback of the brand’s signature unisex styles.

Click here to read the full article on Mirror.

Naomi Osaka Launches Evolve Sports Agency, Leaves IMG After 6 Years: ‘Natural Next Step’
Serena Williams and Naomi Osaka hugging after a tennis match

By BreAnna Bell, People

Naomi Osaka is making moves on and off the court!

The tennis star, 24, is cutting ties with IMG after six years and is starting her own sports agency, Evolve, with the help of her agent, Stuart Duguid. Sportico was the first to report the news.

“I’ve spent my career doing things my way, even when people told me that it wasn’t what was expected or traditional, Evolve is the natural next step in my journey as both an athlete and businesswoman,” Osaka told the outlet via NPR.

Evolve isn’t the first venture for the Olympic athlete.

Osaka launched her skincare line, KINLÒ, in 2021, and introduced her Play Academy program in 2020, which aims to empower girls and young women through sports.

“We believe that all kids — especially girls — deserve a chance to play, no matter where they come from or what they look like,” Osaka previously told PEOPLE in 2021. “The more we provide girls with opportunities to get active, the more opportunities we are giving them to become leaders in their communities.”

“For me, building Play Academy was not just about impacting others and encouraging young girls in sports; it is about raising awareness, and so creating a website shines a light on the work we do,” Osaka recently told PEOPLE of launching Play Academy’s new website.

Not only is Osaka one of the highest-paid female athletes in the world, but she’s also outspoken and applauded mental health advocate.

In an interview with SELF for their May issue in honor of Mental Health Awareness Month, the four-time Grand Slam champion got candid about her personal journey with anxiety and depression, telling the magazine that after her decision to voluntarily withdraw from the French Open last year, other athletes began sharing their stories with her.

Click here to read the full article on People.

Camila Cabello stars in Victoria’s Secret’s first bilingual campaign: ‘I am honored’
Camila Cabello wearing a white dress on the red carpet

By Kerry Justich, Yahoo! Life

Camila Cabello is the latest to team up with Victoria’s Secret.

The 25-year-old Cuban-American singer took to Instagram on Tuesday to share footage from her latest partnership with the brand for the Bombshell fragrance. Not only is she starring in an English version of the commercial, but also one in Spanish.

“I am honored to be the newest addition to the @victoriassecret Bombshell family 💖 and to be part of the brand’s first ever bilingual campaign!” she wrote. “Bombshell is about embracing who and what you are, and celebrating that every day.”

In the commercial, Cabello goes on to describe what the word bombshell means to her, explaining that it’s all about “owning your desires, your pleasures and enjoying everything life has to offer. Those things that make you feel great and make you feel joyful. Being who you are in every way.”

She later posted other photos from the campaign, sharing how empowered she felt to be a part of it. She even showed appreciation for not having her freckles airbrushed out of the final pictures.

“i loved this shoot !” she captioned one of three posts. “It’s rare that my lil sun freckles get to have their moment.”

Friends and fans of the singer took to the comment section to praise Cabello’s beauty.

“Linda,” singer Anitta wrote, while others called Cabello “gorgeous” and wrote “You ARE a bombshell.”

Supporters also shared that they were “proud” of Cabello for representing Latin women and Spanish speaking people in the brand’s first bilingual campaign. Some even expressed that they’d be willing to support Victoria’s Secret with Cabello’s stamp of approval.

“Influence,” one wrote. Another said, “I’m gonna try this brand cuz I trust you.”

While Victoria’s Secret has had a notable history of exclusionary practices and representation with its models, the brand has recently pivoted to become more inclusive. And although Cabello isn’t partnered on a lingerie campaign, it seems that the body positive singer is the latest to help with that mission.

Click here to read the full article on Yahoo! Life.

Representation matters. Biden’s new LGBTQ press secretary has a big job ahead
Karine Jean-Pierre will be the first openly LGBTQ White House press secretary.(Andrew Harnik / Associated Press)

By Liz Granderson, Los Angeles Times

Ten years ago this month I gave a TEDx Talk titled “The Myth of the Gay Agenda.” It was shortly after President Obama announced his public support for same-sex marriage, becoming the first commander in chief to do so while still in office. During the talk, I shared some graphics highlighting the number of states where it was still legal to deny someone employment and/or housing for being queer.

I remember being approached afterward by numerous left-leaning audience members who were genuinely shocked to learn Michigan, where the event took place, was among those states. I was shocked they were shocked. At the time, Michigan was being sued by the ACLU over its 2011 law prohibiting same-sex partners of public employees from receiving health benefits. This was in addition to a ban on same-sex marriage and civil unions that nearly 60% of voters embedded into the state’s constitution back in 2004. I wasn’t sure where those audience members thought Michigan was in terms of LGBTQ equality, but they needed someone to set the record straight.

Pun intended.

“Representation matters” is more than the catchphrase of the hour. It’s recognizing the gaps that exist between our different life experiences. It’s about the willingness to admit we don’t know all that we do not know.

For the first time in our country’s history, we learned this week, there will be an openly LGBTQ White House press secretary. And while Karine Jean-Pierre is not charged with writing any laws, she will be asked to explain their impact. Ideally in a way no one before her has been able to do.

For nearly 100 years — from the appointment of the first press secretary, George Akerson, in 1929 to Jen Psaki in 2020 — there has never been an openly queer person entrusted with that responsibility. In recognition of that history, Jean-Pierre received the longest standing ovation of anyone who walked on stage Friday night at the GLAAD Media Awards. As she stood there smiling — appearing to reside somewhere between being overwhelmed and overjoyed — I prayed for her.

Regardless of party affiliation, it’s not an easy job. When I asked Jay Carney, Obama’s second press secretary, if he missed it shortly after he left in 2014, he couldn’t say “no” fast enough.

At this moment, when the country has seen a wave of attacks on voting rights, people of color, reproductive rights and LGBTQ equality, I prayed Jean-Pierre would be able to talk about the White House’s agenda with more than sympathy. Not that I want Jean-Pierre’s time at the lectern to sound as if she’s defending her very existence each time. But given the current political climate, as we head toward one of the most consequential midterm elections of our lifetime, defending her existence is oddly now part of the job.

Such is the life for those who are first.

Now I am sure the tenures of Carney, Psaki and Akerson were not absent of personal investment. It’s just that none of them had to wait for the Supreme Court to legalize their marriage. None of them had to do what is already a very difficult job while worrying that the Supreme Court might dissolve their marriage.

That was something I had to explain to some of my left-leaning family members who couldn’t fully understand my concerns following the Supreme Court draft decision that would overturn Roe vs. Wade. My husband and I were married in Michigan. Those laws banning same-sex marriage I mentioned earlier? Well, much like all of those state laws banning abortion, those anti-LGBTQ laws are still on the books.

In February, Virginia tried to remove the (currently unenforceable) same-sex marriage ban from its constitution. The efforts failed in the subcommittee when Republicans stopped a resolution that would have put the question on the November ballot. That’s what’s at stake for all of the couples who got married in a state that didn’t want them to after the Obergefell decision in 2015. Some of us may be rendered back to fearing losing employment and housing. Some of us live in states where we have never stopped fearing that.

Click here to read the full article on the Los Angeles Times.

10 Women Scientists Leading the Fight Against the Climate Crisis
Rose Mutiso speaks at TEDSummit: A Community Beyond Borders. July 2019, Edinburgh, Scotland. Photo: Bret Hartman / TED | Flickr/TED Conference

By Tshiamo Mobe, Global Citizen

Climate change is an issue that affects everyone on the planet but women and girls are the ones suffering its effects the most. Why? Because women and girls have less access to quality education and later, job opportunities. These structural disadvantages keep them in poverty. In fact, women make up 70% of the world’s poor. In a nutshell, climate change impacts the poor the most and the poor are mostly women.

Poverty is driven by and made worse by climate change also makes girls more susceptible to child marriage, because it drives hunger and girls getting married often means one less mouth to feed for their parents. Climate change also leads to geopolitical instability which, in turn, results in greater instances of violence — which we know disproportionately impacts women and girls.

Ironically, saving the planet has been made to seem a “women’s job”. This phenomenon, dubbed the “eco gender gap”, sees the burden of climate responsibility placed squarely on women’s shoulders through “green” campaigns and products that are overwhelmingly marketed to women.

There are several hypotheses for why this is. Firstly, women are the more powerful consumers (they drive 70-80% of all purchasing decisions). Secondly, they are disproportionately responsible, still, for the domestic sphere. And finally, going green is seen as a women’s job because women’s personalities are supposedly more nurturing and socially responsible.

Women should be involved in fighting the climate crisis at every level — from the kitchen to the science lab to the boardroom. Ruth Bader Ginsburg explained it best when she said: “Women belong in all places where decisions are being made.” However, women are underrepresented in the science field (including climate science), with just 30% of research positions held by women and fewer still holding senior positions. The Reuters Hot List of 1,000 scientists features just 122 women.

Click here to read the full article on Global Citizen.

PEPSI® Spotlights Female Trailblazers in Music and Web3, and Gives Back to Deserving Women through Pepsi Stronger Together and Pepsi Dig In Initiatives for Mary J. Blige’s Inaugural Strength of a Woman Festival
Pepsi is co-presenting the full weekend of festivities with Mary J. Blige and her team to amplify, spotlight and support the talented – and underrepresented – voices of the community, through events and activations inspired by the brand's rich heritage in music and entertainment, and latest contributions to culture and community.

By Cision PR Newswire

In partnership with Mary J. Blige, Pepsi – co-presenter of the inaugural “Strength of a Woman Festival & Summit” during Mother’s Day weekend in Atlanta, Georgia – announces a full three days of immersive programming to help elevate, entertain, and educate women in the Atlanta area and beyond. With a lineup of iconic female music superstars including Mary J. Blige herself, Chaka Khan, Ella Mai and many more, Atlanta will be moving to the soulful sounds of true music legends, but the action-packed festival goes beyond just music and entertainment. Pepsi is co-presenting the full weekend of festivities with Mary J. Blige and her team to amplify, spotlight and support the talented – and underrepresented – voices of the community, through events and activations inspired by the brand’s rich heritage in music and entertainment, and latest contributions to culture and community. Activations include:

  • Pepsi Partners with Cutting Edge Web3 Female Artists to Bring Attendees Collectible Custom NFTs: Designed in partnership with leading female artists Rachel Winter (Remarkable Women NFT collection), Shaylin Wallace (digital and graphic designer specializing in surreal art), Amber Vittoria (It’s Because You’re Pretty NFT collection) and Varvara Alay (Flower Girls NFT collection), Pepsi is creating a curated set of unique NFTs exclusively for Summit attendees. Distributed as digital tokens known as Proof of Attendance Protocols (POAPs), these NFTs are true pieces of art that celebrate the partnership with the “Strength of a Woman” Festival and unapologetic love for music. Festival attendees will be able to secure these one-of-a-kind digital works of art, free on-site on Saturday, May 7 from 11 AM – 6 PM via digital kiosks. Featured artists will also have selected works displayed at a gallery within The Gathering Spot on Saturday for festival attendees to explore, along with direct access to their public galleries and personal stores. Additionally, Shaylin and Amber will join moderator Sian Morson for the “Empowering Marginalized Voices with NFTs” panel on Saturday from 4:00 – 4:30 PM to discuss web3, the digital art community, how their personal efforts and work can empower and amplify marginalized voices and provide a real-time tutorial of the POAPs.
  • Pepsi Showcases Pepsi Music Lab Finalist StarchildKayla and Her Original Track, “Up!”: In December, Pepsi launched Pepsi Music Lab, an annual program designed to remove music industry barriers, create new opportunities for artists, and shine a spotlight on the next generation of hip-hop superstars. StarchildKayla, one of three program finalists selected from thousands of applicants will be showcasing her new, original track “Up!” that she created at the first-ever Pepsi Music Lab Academy during the opening of the Friday night concert at the Tabernacle on May 6.  The brand is also bringing Pepsi Music Lab to the Summit with an interactive panel moderated by Rachel Jackson, Artist Relations Manager at YouTube Music, featuring Black female talent managers – Claudine Joseph (LL Cool J), Nicole Jackson (MJB), and Ebonie Ward (Future, Gunna) who will discuss how to successfully navigate the music industry.
  • Pepsi Stronger Together Empowers Atlanta Women by Supporting Black Female Entrepreneurs and Local Organizations That Uplift the Community: Pepsi Stronger Together, PepsiCo’s grassroots series of initiatives which started at the height of the pandemic as a way to directly and positively impact micro-communities across the country, will be providing grants to a selection of local Black entrepreneurs and organizations with the aim to support and uplift women from the inside out. Organizations being supported for their work in empowering Atlanta’s strong, aspirational women include Black-owned businesses The Village Market, 1787 Capital Group and The Pink Boss, and nonprofits City of Refuge, for their work in providing services to women and people in crisis; and Silence the Shame, which aims to break the barriers of access to mental health; and The Pinky Cole Foundation, for empowering generations of color in pursuit of their entrepreneurial dreams, among others. Pepsi Stronger Together will also host a panel moderated by award winning actress and singer-songwriter Naturi Naughton featuring Dr. Lakeysha Hallmon (The Village Market), Myleik Teele (Curl Box, 1787 Capital Group), and Vanessa Parker (The Pink Box). They will discuss their own entrepreneurial and mental wellness journeys.
  • Pepsi Dig In and Celebrity Chef, Carla Hall, Support Black Restauranteurs in Atlanta and Beyond: Pepsi is bringing the Pepsi Dig In program, a multi-year mission and investment to support and empower Black owned restaurants across the country, to AtlantaCarla Hall will moderate a panel of Black female-owned restauranteurs including Pinky Cole (Slutty Vegan), Rasheeda (Frost Bistro and Bar), and Tamara Young (Toast on Lennox) to discuss successes and challenges in the food industry. The brand is partnering with Black female-owned restaurants Slutty Vegan, Fowl Play, Lazy Foodie, and Cookie Society to create “Food Truck Village” at The Gathering Spot, where attendees can get free beverages, merchandise, cookies, and other bites while at the Summit on Saturday, May 7. Visitors of the “Food Truck Village” will also be able to nominate their favorite Black-owned restaurants for Pepsi Dig In’s new Restaurant Royalty program, which will formulate the ultimate list of the most loved Black-owned restaurants in the country. Restaurants can be nominated via
  • “This weekend is so important because it is so much more than a concert. There are panels, classes, food events and more, aimed specifically at highlighting and supporting trailblazing BIPOC women in the greater Atlanta community,” said Ashaunna Ayars, festival partner and Founder of The Ayars Agency. “With Pepsi as a co-presenter, we’ve been able to utilize their massive scale to make this beyond anything we could have imagined when we first came up with this idea. It’s a true celebration of the strength of a woman and how that comes to life every day in music, food, culture, art, finance and much more.”

    “I’m deeply proud of what this festival represents and the way we’ve been able to use our resources at Pepsi to be true collaborators and help co-present this important event,” said Todd Kaplan, Chief Marketing Officer – Pepsi. “When we engaged with Mary J. Blige last year at the start of our Pepsi Halftime Show journey, we were blown away by her drive and compassion in using her platform and voice to help others. So when this opportunity was born using music as an entry way to help amplify and elevate this underserved community of women, we were all in.  We’re so excited to see it come to life next month.”

    “Our work in communities is anchored in our goal to utilize our brand platform as an arbiter of positive change and progress. Whether it’s our work with local restauranteurs, aspiring entrepreneurs or a legendary talent like Mary J. Blige, we want to celebrate success at the local level while creating opportunities to pay it forward, which is what we hope fans takeaway throughout the festival,” said Chauncey Hamlett, Chief Marketing Officer, South Division – Pepsi.

    “Our mission with Pepsi Dig In remains laser focused on resourcing and championing Black-owned restaurants and chefs,” says Alexis Porter, Senior Director, Brand Building, PepsiCo Foodservice. “We are excited to partner with Mary J. Blige and the Strength of a Woman Festival to launch our new Restaurant Royalty program and ultimately, to amplify the voices of innovative Black women in the culinary industry.”

    Click here to read the full article on Cision PR Newswire.

    GIMME Beauty Encourages Self-Care for Moms This Mother’s Day, Highlighting Top Gifts
    Featured Image for GIMME Beauty

    By Yahoo! Finance

    Mother’s Day is just around the corner on May 8, and GIMME Beauty, the innovative hair solutions company disrupting the beauty industry, is encouraging their community to celebrate mom and create moments of self-care for mothers with various lifestyles by providing an array of selections for each kind of mom.

    For the mom always on the go
    GIMME’s Freedom Curling Iron, Freedom Curling Wand, and Freedom Styling Iron afford a lifestyle outside of the home for the mom who is always on the go. The Freedom collection of revolutionary hair tools leverages the combination of cord and battery power for on-the-go styling — ideal for busy moms everywhere. GIMME’s Freedom set empowers customers to comfortably and safely style hair wherever they are with evenly distributed temperature ranges from 200℉ to 400℉ and long-lasting battery life.

    For the mom who does not have enough hours in the day
    Time is always of the essence for moms, and there isn’t always time to style hair to its full potential — sometimes moms need to tie their hair up in a messy bun without worrying about damaging their lovely tresses. Moms can choose one of five GIMME Hair Bands, available in Thick, Fine, Extra Fine, Any, and Long and Curly sizes. The company’s hair bands are designed to wrangle in even the most finicky of hair types for ultimate comfort, style, and hold. Lastly, shoppers can select between GIMME’s Scrunchies for a fashionable comfy grip, with choices including Fleece, Midnight, Sports Grip, Platinum, Lavender, and Dusty Rose.

    For the mom who needs a moment to herself
    Never getting a moment to relax or needing a boost of energy, GIMME boasts a line of all-natural Dry Shampoo. Taking a moment to freshen a hairdo comes with the benefits of mood-boosting aromatherapy, whether it is soothing Lavender Calm Renewal or energizing Citrus Clarity enriched with vitamins. With an arrowroot starch base and all-natural ingredients, GIMME encourages self-care with a spritz of renewal that fits a busy lifestyle.

    For the health-conscious mom
    A daily regimen and routine keep life going. Nourishing one’s body with the right ingredients supports health and wellness needs. GIMME Drops hair gummies are developed to provide a unique blend of vitamins & minerals to support strong, healthy hair, featuring biotin, argan oil, and several essential vitamins to support the body’s natural processes for maintaining healthy hair.

    “Moms are such an important pillar in our community, and we want to ensure we are taking this day to recognize everything they do for us and our families. By taking a moment to recognize mothers and providing personalized options that fit their daily health, wellness, and beauty needs, we can support them to continue to be their incredible selves and feel empowered to take on their day with these hair care solutions,” says Jeff Durham, President and CEO of GIMME Beauty.

    This Mother’s Day, GIMME is also providing access to an exclusive Mother’s Day bundle sale. Shoppers can enjoy more than 45% off when they bundle top GIMME hair products and create the perfect gift just for Mom to arrive after Mother’s Day. Shoppers can choose one wireless tool, one hairband, and one scrunchie to complete their bundle along with a free gift, the five-star rated detangling brush for thick, medium, and fine hair types.

    Click here to read the full article on Yahoo! Finance.

    How Ancestry’s CEO is changing the game
    LinkedIn CEO Deb Liu

    By Lauren Steele, Deseret News

    When Jim Citrin — a noted expert on leadership, executive success and CEO succession — reached out to Deb Liu about interviewing for the role of CEO at a public company, Liu asked, “Why me?” — immediately recoiling from the idea. But all she had to do was look at her family tree to find the insight she needed to answer that question for herself.

    The child of two Chinese immigrants, Liu grew up in Hanahan, South Carolina, and had always been inspired by her parents. “They came to the U.S. in the ’60s with a couple of suitcases and a couple hundred dollars and built their life here,” she says. The tremendous courage she saw in them she was also able to find in herself.

    In March 2021, as a mother of three, Liu was named CEO of Ancestry — the world’s largest consumer DNA network, which is based in Lehi, Utah. Ancestry now employs more than 1,400 people, earns more than $1 billion in annual revenue and has collected more than 13 billion ancestral profiles for its users to find and learn more about their heritage. For Liu, who had found so much wisdom in the stories of those in her family who came before her, the mission of the company felt like a perfect fit.

    Now, as she marks one year in the position, Liu looks back on what she’s learned about those who came before her, diversity in the workforce and opportunities available to women — and looks ahead to making a better world for the next generation of business leaders.

    As told to Lauren Steele

    When I asked Jim Citrin “Why me?” his response was, “Why not? This is your chance.” And he was right.

    When I first doubted myself and said “no,” I was contributing to the problem of keeping diverse leadership out of the room. A sense of belonging is so important, but it’s harder as a woman or minority. And I get that. The system and a lot of things are not fair, but at the same time, when you do have the opportunity, you have to embrace it.

    My leadership coach recently told me something that really stuck with me. She said, “When you’re in that room and you’re looking around and no one looks like you, you should take every advantage of that. Show up and get the job done.” She was right. You don’t get every opportunity, but you have to take every opportunity you do get.

    That’s something that I think about for my daughters.

    My eldest, when she was about 10, came to visit my office in Lehi, and looked around and said very matter of fact, “You mostly work with boys.”

    It’s something that hasn’t changed since I was a student. I went to Duke to study engineering. My dad was an engineer. My sister was studying engineering at Georgia Tech. It seemed like a natural thing for me to study. But when I showed up to my first class, I was in for a shock. I was like, where are all the girls? One class had 70 men and only four women. And I remember walking down the ramp into the lecture hall thinking, “Oh my, this is really uncomfortable.”

    Recently, a former colleague brought his daughter with him to a meeting of all the managers at the company. Before the meeting started as everyone was seated, she asked him, “Is this meeting only for boys?” She was only four at the time. And he had to tell her, “No, it’s not, but we can do better.”

    And he’s right. She was, too. This is what the playing field looks like to the perspective of a 4-year-old. These inequalities don’t go unnoticed by our children. They have observations that turn into impactful experiences.

    And that translates into many people making a decision early on that will affect the rest of their life, just based on a sense of belonging they’ve gathered. And those observations continue to reinforce themselves throughout adulthood and at the office.

    For example, we were thinking about acquiring a company and had a big meeting with that company. The CEO starts talking to one of my teammates that I manage. And the CEO only talks to that man on my team — I am cut out of the conversation. At some point, my teammate gestures to me and very calmly says, “You know, she decides whether we buy your company or not.” And the CEO was horrified, just beet red.

    But the inequality isn’t just experienced, it’s documented. There are studies that say men are seen as leaders if they’re competent, but women have to be competent and warm.

    Another study showed that in the office, women are expected to stay late with their team with no reward. But if men stay late, they’re rewarded. There are so many of these studies that show there are different expectations that we have of men and women in the workplace. A lot of it is just ingrained in us. Is it fair to have an extra requirement of women that men don’t have? It’s absolutely not fair. But I want to identify those barriers and the things that we can do to change them.

    The question becomes, what are you gonna do about it? The playing field is uneven and there are a lot of things playing against you, so you’ve got to take the raw materials you have and turn them into fuel to get to where you want to go. Even if it’s hard to imagine getting there.

    If you close your eyes and imagine what a leader looks like, I think we kind of have the fixed idea that a leader is a person at the front — but actually, a great leader is at the back, making sure no one falls behind.

    This goes beyond diversity that is just a checkbox for workplaces. I’m not just talking about pure representation. I’m talking about seeing people in action and seeing those differences actually become strengths. And if you take every chance you have to help other people and rise together, you can get much further than you thought you could.

    If that CEO of that company we were contemplating acquiring was just playing the odds of who he thought was in charge of our company, the chances were that he probably would’ve been right, probability-wise. More executives, business leaders and CEOs in this country are men and are white. And at the end of the day, we have a lot of stereotypes that are easy to play into. When you walk into a room, you defer to the most powerful person — and who that person may be is often identified only by making assumptions. Currently, we don’t automatically default to the person who’s a woman or someone of color, because the odds say that the leader is probably going to be white and a man. I hope to change those odds someday.

    Click here to read the full article on Deseret News.

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    Upcoming Events

    1. City Career Fair
      January 19, 2022 - November 4, 2022
    2. The Small Business Expo–Multiple Event Dates
      February 17, 2022 - December 1, 2022
    3. USPAACC’s CelebrASIAN Business + Procurement Conference 2022
      May 25, 2022 - May 27, 2022
    4. 2022 WBENC National Conference
      June 6, 2022 - June 9, 2022
    5. WBENC National Conference 2022
      June 7, 2022 - June 9, 2022