Today is our first annual virtual C-Suite event! For those of you that have never attended the event, it is a powerful mentoring event with some amazing women who have made it to the C-Suite sharing their best career advice, answering your questions and engaging in a meaningful dialogue with your fellow TXWSW. Since we are on Zoom this year, we will start with all of the speakers sharing their best advice, and then we will break out into individual rooms for small group conversations. If you are in need of mentoring or just some advice to help you get to the next level, you will not want to miss this.
The Dallas papers have been full of the story of the mis-steps at the Richards Group where the founder commented on a proposed advertisement for Motel 6 calling the ad “too Black” and saying it might alienate Motel 6’s “white supremacist constituents.” The backlash was swift, and many of the Richards Group’s clients fired the firm causing the founder to step down. I am sure there were also other clients that elected to stay with the firm deciding that the founder was the bad apple, and the firm could move on. But I think looking at the make-up of the firm begs the question, was this really just one person? By my count, the firm has 95 folks listed on their site. Of those 95 people, there are only 3 African Americans, 1 Asian and 2 Latinx; said another way only 6% of the firm is diverse. As has been noted in many studies, when there is not true diversity, the people in the minority do not have a voice. As women in finance, we have had the experience of being the minority at the table and it is not a comfortable place to be. So the lesson here is the importance of a truly diverse team – one where everyone feels comfortable speaking up, and not just when comments beyond the pale of civilized behavior make headlines.
The next article notes that black people are often tasked with leading diversity and inclusion reviews whether or not they have any experience on the subject matter other than being a minority. It is a bit like saying, we need an audit, so even if you don’t have any accounting experience, we would like you to lead it. The full article can be found here.
Finally, the pandemic has meant that overall funding to female founders is on the wane. Just 11% of venture capital went to female founders this year down from 16% in 2017. Black and Latino founders have only received 2.6% of all funding, so progress has definitely stalled. The full article can be found here.
I would ask each of you to consider corporate sponsorship of TXWSW. Benefits include attendance at our flagship events and recognition for your firm. And most importantly, you help us support the life-changing work of the Young Women’s Preparatory Network. To learn more about YWPN, you can find a short video here. To learn more and sponsorship, you may find our sponsor information here. Additionally, we would be happy to create a custom sponsorship for you. Please contact Bianca King firstname.lastname@example.org