In a patriarchal world, it is a challenge for women to stand up and speak for themselves. No matter which part of the world a woman belongs to, making the way up to the top is not easy for them. While women around the world are fighting sexism in the professional sector, women of color, are dealing with racism alongside sexism. It is a reason why the world does not see a lot of women in c-suite, especially when it comes to women of color.
There are multiple organizations that are working to empower women, such as the American Business Women’s Association, Ellevate Network, eWomen Network, National Association of Professional Women and many others. However, there is one powerful professional organization that works on the concept of “diversity and inclusion” to bring an increased number of women of color in leadership roles.
ColorComm, founded by Lauren Wesley Wilson, focuses on advancing the visibility and accomplishments of women of color in their respective organizations. According to Lauren, CEO and founder of ColorComm, “There’s no question women of color have to operate differently in the workplace. While all women battle to get to the C-suite, it’s even harder to navigate up the corporate ladder if you’re a woman of color.”ColorComm – Building a Diverse and Inclusive Work Environment
Founded in 2011, ColorComm is an organization founded by a woman with a purely female board, working to help women of color build a representation in all areas of communication. The mission of the organization is to connect women to like-minded individuals to help them take up roles such as leaders and mentors. The organization primarily focuses on strengthening relationships between women of color with others around the world. The national platform spreads to various cities, including New York, Washington DC, Los Angeles, Houston, Miami, Atlanta, and London.
ColorComm does not only work for black women or African-Americans. The organization is working to encourage women of all colors to become a significant part of the communications sector by arranging annual conferences and creating a platform where women can meet other inspirational role models.
While defining her role in the movement of empowering women of all colors, Lauren Wesley Wilson stated, “When you look at PR and advertising agencies, there is often a handful of people of color in leadership positions and sometimes none at all. Often times, hiring managers hire people who look like them. They don’t look for diversity or difference; they look for similarity and compatibility.”
The majority of the organizations do not take the time out to go for diverse hires and avoid stepping out of their network. The kind of hiring organizations have incorporated in their systems is “fostering and feeding the same person.” It not only reduces the number of opportunities for the marginalized communities but also deprives organizations of the chance to discover true potential that lies beyond their network. Lauren, with her organization, wishes to eliminate this mindset, increase professional opportunities for women of color, and help organizations look beyond the curtains of racism.
Lauren Wesley Wilson disregards the idea that inclusion is about having affinity groups. According to her, the true meaning of inclusion is when people, irrespective of their race, gender, religion, or nationality, get an equal amount of traveling, academic, and professional opportunities. The right way to incorporate an inclusive and diversified work environment is to adapt to the concept of equal opportunity for all.Instilling Awareness Among Women of Color
ColorComm, Inc. serves 40,000 professionals, and it comprises of six branches including ColorComm Network, ColorComm Media Group, ColorComm Executive Conference (C2), Men of Color in Communications (MCC), and ColorComm Next Generation Summit (C2 NEXTGEN). The company produces more than a hundred local programs every year. The conferences that are organized by this company brings hundreds of women from across the world under a single roof. It works with some of the leading corporate entities including Coca-Cola, NBC Universal, Facebook, Twitter, Google, and many others.
The founder of the company, Lauren, is a ForbesWoman who publishes pieces to instill awareness among women of color. According to her, women do not have to rely on their company for their success. For a woman of color to excel in their company and achieve a leadership role, she needs to make efforts to achieve a well-deserved notable role in the organization.
Lauren is creating a space for women of marginalized communities in the communications sector and trying to reshape the traditional formula for networking. She continuously emphasizes on the fact about how women of color have to prove that they are competent enough for a significant role in the agency. Strong connections with the co-workers and being relatable is a crucial aspect of a woman’s journey towards the c-suite. It is important for women from these communities to open up to their coworkers as it helps in highlighting the true potential. It will help them establish advocates of their work who can speak up when there is a need. An organization will be inclined to consider a woman of color for a prominent role in the company when they see their true potential.
Lauren says that productivity can play a pivotal role in opening up professional opportunities. The better an individual performs at their present role will lay the grounds for their professional success in the future. Productivity is what will help people from different communities stand out from the crowd and will help them beat other employees.About Lauren Wesley Wilson – A Game-Changer for the Professional Sector
Before founding ColorComm, Lauren Wesley Wilson was working as a Communications Director on Capitol Hill in political communications. In the year 2012, she was also working for President Obama’s reelection campaign. While working in the communications sector, Lauren realized how low the number of women of color was in the sector. It is due to this reason she began to direct her efforts in empowering these women and assist them in taking up leadership roles in different organizations. Her work has been pivotal and a game-changer for the professional sector.
Lauren Wesley Wilson was in the list of PR Week’s 50 Most Powerful in PR and PR Week’s 40 under 40 Award. In addition to this, Lauren was featured in Ad Age ‘Women to Watch,’ the Holmes Report Innovator 25, and she was a recipient of New York Women in Communications Media Award and PR Council’s Diversity Champion Award.