So, it basically goes without saying that we are living in a new day—in the absolute best way. The liberation of basic racial equality has welcomed itself into our homes and told everyone that they live with us now (word to Christopher Columbus).
Additionally, with companies in such a rush to suddenly scream "Black Lives Matter", without monetary compensation or legislative outreach, lately we find ourselves side-eyeing major brands, being more intentional with how we spend our very valuable black dollar, and asking: yeah, that's cute, but what does your board look like?
In 2018, Black women gained just 13 seats of the 1,222 seats at the Fortune 100 table (32 were gained at Fortune 500 companies). And although this is a historical high, we undoubtedly have an extremely long way to go. Despite it all, sitting on the Board of Directors is a major accomplishment, so we're here to highlight a few women making their mark by doing just that.
Here are 10 pioneering women who are packing up their melanin, and pulling up to the C-Suite:
1.Susan Rice | Netflix
vasilis asvestas / Shutterstock.com
Ambassador Susan Rice's resume comes stacked with foreign and political accolades that stretches from the east coast to the west coast. She served on President Barack Obama's Cabinet as the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, and as a national security advisor prior to being appointed as a Board Member with Netflix. Rice is even up for consideration as a VP candidate for Joe Biden's upcoming election.
Cousin to former US Secretary of State, Condeleezza Rice, Susan has received more than 50 major awards for her work in expanding opportunity and advancing multi-racial democracy.
In other words, sis does not play.
Expect to hear more about her impressive background as she comes to the forefront. You can also learn more about her on her social media accounts, where she often shows off her work and beautiful family.
2.Ursula Burns | Uber
Ursula Burns is the first black woman CEO of a Fortune 500 company (Xerox), where she sat from 2010 to 2016. I'll say that again since it's 2020 and whatnot: Ursula Burns is the first black woman CEO of a Fortune 500 company. The first black woman CEO.
With Xerox, she managed to transform its business model and generate $18 billion in revenue. Again, I said billion.
Recently, Burns made headlines when she went on CNBC's Closing Bell and stated, "I'm part of the 1%, and I still worry when I'm approached by a police person." And to back it up, she has publicly called on other companies to diversify their portfolios, something that she is willingly taking head-on.
"Before you even look at the companies, look at the boards. Most of the boards still have zero or one African-American on board, and I think pressure in that area, can help to speed up progress and transitions for companies."
Whew, Ursula Burns ladies and gentlemen.
3.Edith Cooper | Etsy, Slack
Edith Cooper served as a Capital Management Head for Goldman Sach's for over 20 years before retiring and joining Esty and Slack's Board of Directors. She was named in Black Enterprise's 2017 "300 Most Powerful Executives in Corporate America" list, and was recognized by Crain's New York Business as one of the "Most Powerful Women", among many other awards and honors that would take days for me to list. So, it goes without saying that Ms. Edith is a chief in her own right.
According to her Linkedin profile, Cooper now acts as a co-founder of Medley, which is described as an organization that "harnesses the power of small groups to help people grow."
She credits her family life for making her more focused in life and at work, enhancing her ability to identify ideas and opportunities with impact. And what's even more inspiring about her representation, is she's not afraid to show up to her headshots with a killer twist out.
4.Linda Johnson Rice | Grubhub
Queen Linda is the former CEO of EBONY and Jet—a position she resigned from last year. Since joining Grubhub in 2016, she has also served on the board of directors of Tesla, Inc. and Kimberly-Clark Corporation, so if there's one thing she knows about, it's a boardroom.
Rice now resides in Chicago, where she also is a Trustee at the Art Institute of Chicago, President of the Chicago Public Library board of directors, a founding member of the Council of the National Museum of African American History and Culture, and a founding member of the Adweek Diversity & Inclusion Council, Northwestern Memorial Corporation and much more.
5.Serena Williams | Poshmark, Survey Monkey
Jan Zahradka / Shutterstock.com
There's not much more that needs to be said about the greatest athlete of all time, but here's Serena Williams.
As if dominating an entire sport, while simultaneously being a loving wife and mother isn't enough, Serena also manages to sit on not one, but two boards: Survey Monkey (a market research software platform which she joined in 2017) and Poshmark (a consignment apparel reselling company which she joined in 2019).
And I could literally go on and on for hours about how amazing both her and her sister, Venus, are (Venus also sits on the board of Zeel)—but I mean, you guys know.
Additionally, in 2014, Williams launched, Serena Ventures, a venture capitalist company focusing on start-ups, to continue to build and provide opportunities to businesses—with some companies in her profile including The Wing, Daily Harvest, and Olly.
Expect to see even more monumental and superstar-caliber moves across the board from this giant.
6.Rosalind G. Brewer | Amazon
Rosalind Brewer is the current COO of Starbucks, and former President and CEO of Sam's Club. She is the first black person to both of those positions at each of those companies. Brewer also chairs the board of trustees at Spelman College, a prominent HBCU.
Most impressively, Brewer has been listed as the "57th Most Powerful Woman In The World" by Forbes, a title she has been given numerous times by the publication.
A bar that she has set at an airplane altitude.
7.Peggy Alford | Facebook
Like so many before her, Peggy is the first black woman to join her board and the second black person in Facebook's history behind Kenneth Chenault, the CEO of AMEX.
The self-proclaimed "unapologetically reserved" titan had gotten her start at eBay, after they acquired Rent.com and asked her to be CFO. Alford is currently an SVP of Global Sales at Paypal, with no plans of slowing down any time soon.
Outside of her resume, you can find her happily being a mom to her three boys, who she adores most and she credits to keeping her balanced.
8.Robin Washington | Salesforce.com, Honeywell, Alphabet Inc.
Robin Washington is a superhuman within her own right. As the former Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Gilead Sciences Inc., Washington has managed to become the only black woman on Salesforce's board, and one of the only two African-Americans—the other being Colin Powell.
And since her professional retirement in 2018, Washington has pivoted her career to include being a professional board member by also joining Honeywell and Alphabet Inc. (parent company of Google).
She has been named Financial Woman of the Year by peer organizations in Silicon Valley, continued to be a commodity in business and finance operations, and continuously provides strategic oversight in investor relations.
In other words, she is corporate royalty.
9.Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala | Twitter, Gavi, African Risk Capacity
And speaking of royalty, in walks the phenom Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala. She's a Nigerian-born economist, specializing in international development. She joined Twitter's board upon Debra Lee's departure—directly appointed—and as the former Managing Director at World Bank, Okonjo-Iweala has somehow managed to fly under the radar of being a black woman you need to know.
But to put it blatantly, get to know her work. She is a major contributor to societal evolution and the merging of Black America to Nigeria, as well as other African countries. Per Forbes, she is the first woman to be the finance minister and the foreign minister of the West African country with a GDP of $502 billion.
In other words, a board is the least of her accomplishments.
Diaspora gap shrinkage, we see you!
10. Debra Lee | Marriott, AT&T
Jamie Lamor Thompson / Shutterstock.com
Debra Lee, Debra Lee.
This BET Networks constructor, who single-handedly took on the job of cleaning up and welcoming so many African-American programs into the forefront, is responsible for the careers and history-making moments of some of our favorite artists. She retired in 2018, after 13 years at the head of the table but sis is very much so still making her mark.
She has since joined both Marriott and AT&T's Board after retiring from Twitter's in 2019.
"When you have diverse people on your board, people are going to hold you accountable. Once you have one person in the room or a couple of people, you can hold the company's feet to the fire. I'm not going to sit in a boardroom, where I'm the only black woman, and not ask why there isn't another black woman, or why there aren't other people of color."
And to prove how much she backs up what she says, when she resigned from Twitter's board, she demanded her replacement be a black woman, which turned out to be Nigerian businesswoman, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala (also listed in this article).
Lee has recently hinted in possibly launching a tech fund for women of color, so stay tuned for what (and who) she is bringing to her table.
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This article is in partnership with Sensodyne.
Our teeth are connected to so many things - our nutrition, our confidence, and our overall mood. We often take for granted how important healthy teeth are, until issues like tooth sensitivity or gum recession come to remind us. Like most things related to our bodies, prevention is the best medicine. Here are five things you can do immediately to improve your oral hygiene, prevent tooth sensitivity, and avoid dental issues down the road.
1) Go Easy On the Rough Brushing: Brushing your teeth is and always will be priority number one in the oral hygiene department. No surprises there! However, there is such a thing as applying too much pressure when brushing…and that can lead to problems over time. Use a toothbrush with soft bristles and brush in smooth, circular motions. It may seem counterintuitive, but a gentle approach to brushing is the most effective way to clean those pearly whites without wearing away enamel and exposing sensitive areas of the teeth.
2) Use A Desensitizing Toothpaste: As everyone knows, mouth pain can be highly uncomfortable; but tooth sensitivity is a whole different beast. Hot weather favorites like ice cream and popsicles have the ability to trigger tooth sensitivity, which might make you want to stay away from icy foods altogether. But as always, prevention is the best medicine here. Switching to a toothpaste like Sensodyne’s Sensitivity & Gum toothpaste specifically designed for sensitive teeth will help build a protective layer over sensitive areas of the tooth. Over time, those sharp sensations that occur with extremely cold foods will subside, and you’ll be back to treating yourself to your icy faves like this one!
3) Floss, Rinse, Brush. (And In That Order!): Have you ever heard the saying, “It’s not what you do, but how you do it”? Well, the same thing applies to taking care of your teeth. Even if you are flossing and brushing religiously, you could be missing out on some of the benefits simply because you aren’t doing so in the right order. Flossing is best to do before brushing because it removes food particles and plaque from places your toothbrush can’t reach. After a proper flossing sesh, it is important to rinse out your mouth with water after. Finally, you can whip out your toothbrush and get to brushing. Though many of us commonly rinse with water after brushing to remove excess toothpaste, it may not be the best thing for our teeth. That’s because fluoride, the active ingredient in toothpaste that protects your enamel, works best when it gets to sit on the teeth and continue working its magic. Rinsing with water after brushing doesn’t let the toothpaste go to work like it really can. Changing up your order may take some getting used to, but over time, you’ll see the difference.
4) Stay Hydrated: Upping your water supply is a no-fail way to level up your health overall, and your teeth are no exception to this rule. Drinking water not only helps maintain a healthy pH balance in your mouth, but it also washes away residue and acids that can cause enamel erosion. It also helps you steer clear of dry mouth, which is a gateway to bad breath. And who needs that?
5) Show Your Gums Some Love: When it comes to improving your smile, you may be laser-focused on getting your teeth whiter, straighter, and overall healthier. Rightfully so, as these are all attributes of a megawatt smile; but you certainly don’t want to leave gum health out of the equation. If you neglect your gums, you’ll start to notice the effects of plaque buildup, which can irritate the gums and cause gingivitis, the earliest stage of gum disease. Seeing blood while brushing and flossing is a tell-tale sign that your gums are suffering. You may also experience gum recession — a condition where the gum tissue surrounding your teeth pulls back, exposing more of your tooth. Brushing at least twice a day with a gum-protecting toothpaste like Sensodyne Sensitivity and Gum, coupled with regular dentist visits, will keep your gums shining as bright as those pearly whites.
Imma tell y’all what — it seems like not one week goes by when I don’t see some sort of so-called term that has me like, “What in the world?” For instance, when I first stumbled upon “self-partnering,” honestly, I laughed. Then shared it with some other single people as well as married folks I know. And I kid you not, every individual was like, “What the heck does that mean?” When I told them that it was yet, one more way to seemingly define single living, basically everyone’s follow-up was, “Oh, brother.”
Why can’t (more) singles just be single and be okay with that? Good Lord. Why does there need to be some sort of relational play-on-words to make it sound like we’re with someone — even if we’re not?
Now masturdating? Even though it’s not even close to being a “real” word, it’s something that also brought a laugh outta me — although it was then followed by a genuine smile. The laugh because I almost immediately caught the play-on-words. The smile was due to the intention behind it all.
If you’re not familiar with what masturdating is and you’re curious about why you should even care, take a few moments to at least skim through what it’s about and why I think participating, as a single person, is a pretty cool (and effective) concept.
Masturdate: a date w oneself
What’s Masturdating All About?
Masturdating. Okay, so let the word marinate for just a moment. What does it sound like? Yeah…exactly. And since a huge part of masturbation centers around self-pleasure, it’s cool to explore how “self-dating” could produce similar (as far as pleasure is concerned in a broader sense) results. Because masturdating is all about spending quality time with yourself, pampering yourself, treating yourself— and yes, taking yourself out on dates.
Any of you who may think that masturdating is a consolation prize — and a pitiful one at that — for not being able to go out with another human being or get that dream $200 first date that social media was all in a tizzy about last year (bookmark that) — personally, I think that you’re the demographic who needs to try out masturdating first and the most. Why? Off top, I’ll share my three good reasons.
3 Reasons To Strongly Consider Masturdating
1. It’s an intimate way to get to know yourself better. I’ve been working with couples for a pretty long time at this point and if there’s a pattern that I see arise, OFTEN, it’s that two people are oftentimes so busy trying to “find their person” that they didn’t even know who they were. As a direct result, they found themselves in a relationship with someone who only complemented the “kiddie pool version” of who they were.
That’s why it can be so beneficial to spend time getting to know yourself on the “deep end” of things: what makes you tick, what your passions are, what you want most out of life, what are your interests beyond obvious things — and masturdating can help you to discover all of this. Whether it’s traveling alone or taking out a weekend to drink some wine and journal, the more you get to know yourself, the clearer you’ll be about who complements you on a romantic and friendship level.
2. It will definitely help to boost your confidence levels. I guess since I’m an ambivert, I don’t really get why people freak out at the mere thought of going to a restaurant or movie alone. Personally, I think it requires a helluva lot more energy and gumption to wait around and plan stuff with other people (#Elmoshrug). However, whether you’re an introvert, extrovert, or ambivert, there’s no way around the fact that the more comfortable you get with doing things alone, the more your confidence levels will increase — no, soar — because of it.
One article that I read on the topic said that doing things alone can make you more creative, improve your mental health, and help you to be totally okay with being alone (so that you’re not “needy” for other people’s attention). A psychotherapist from a New York Times article on the benefits of spending time alone said, “Getting better at identifying moments when we need solitude to recharge and reflect can help us better handle negative emotions and experiences, like stress and burnout.” And when you’re able to stare negativity in its face without flinching, how could that not make you bolder, more self-secure, and hopeful about your life?
3. It will teach you to value your time more effectively. In every facet of your world, you’re gonna operate from a healthier place if you’re operating from a “full cup” rather than an empty one. When it comes to this topic, think about it — if you’re constantly waiting on someone to call you to go out or wishing for a dream date with some guy, all you’re doing is wasting precious time that you could be spending taking a cooking class or hell, hiring a chef to make you dinner at your own home.
Indeed, waiting has two sides to it: when it’s in the form of patience, it is indeed a virtue, yet when it’s wrapped up in the notion that you’re not really living life unless you have an audience…it is totally working against you. Choose wisely.
10 Solo Date Ideas To Help You To “Master” Masturdating
So, what if you’re someone who has either never considered actually masturdating before or you don’t really know what to do beyond dinner and the movies? Here are a few ideas to consider:
1. Attend a workshop or masterclass that you’re interested in. If there’s something that you’ve always wanted to learn, sign up for a workshop or masterclass. The cool thing about this option is there are probably some in your city, as well as some that you can find online (like here) that are convenient and affordable.
2. Binge-read at a local coffee shop. Aside from their coziness and oftentimes inviting scents, I once read that a lot of us gravitate to coffee shops because we can be around people without having to actually socialize with them. So, if you want to “hang out” while still being able to enjoy a bit of solitude, take a book that you’ve been trying to finish to a local coffee shop, order your favorite latte, and sit in a big-ass comfy chair. Usually, you can sit there for hours, and the staff will be just fine with it (another bonus).
3. Have a spa day in the next town. You can never go wrong with a spa day. And while going with a friend can be fun, sometimes there’s too much talking transpiring to be able to fully chill out and relax. So, go off of the grid, get a change of scenery, and hit up a spa in the next city (or town). There are lots of studies out here supporting that day trips or “daycations” can actually be really good for your long-term health and well-being.
4. See a community play. Some of the best solo dates that I’ve ever been on consisted of taking in some of the local arts in my city. What’s really cool about this particular option is, oftentimes, they are extremely inexpensive, if not totally free of charge (in exchange for making a donation or putting money into a tip jar).
5. Plan a trip. Whenever people say something along the lines of, “If you don’t expect anything, you won’t be disappointed,” I know that they low-key have some (additional) healing to do from past disappointments. There’s simply too much intel out here to support that anticipation (of good stuff) makes us more motivated and optimistic, keeps our dopamine levels up, and makes life more exciting overall.
Since traveling alone is more cost-effective, gives you the freedom to do whatever you want (when you want), and increases the possibility of meeting new people and having new experiences on your journey — why not devote a day this weekend to planning a solo trip? All the way around, it’s good for you.
6. Try your hand at your own “$200 date.” Uh-huh. Roll your eyes if you want to, but it’s real easy to talk left about how a man should be able to just drop $200 like it’s nothing…until you actually try to do it. So yes, while taking yourself out on this type of date could serve as a bit of a reality check, it can also “scratch the itch” of waiting on some dude to do it for you. It’s also way less emotionally draining because, at least when you’re taking your own self out, it’s guaranteed that you’ll enjoy the company…right?
7. DIY some pampering. When you get a chance, check out “5 Reasons You Should Unapologetically Pamper Yourself,” “Want To Love On Yourself? Try These 10 Things At Home.,” “I’ve Got Some Ways For You To Start Pampering Your Soul,” and “When's The Last Time You Actually Pampered Your Vagina?” The bottom line here is pampering is all about, not mere self-maintenance; it’s all about treating yourself to levels of EXTREME SELF-INDULGENCE. So, if nothing else tickles your fancy on this list, at least consider doing that, chile.
8. Feed your creativity. Something that I used to be really good at is art. That said, one of my goddaughters is insanely talented, so she has reminded me to tap back into it. Also, a big part of what got me into the writing world is poetry; I actually used to be a house poet at a local spot. Sometimes, my best quality time moments with myself have been revisiting these creative sides of me — and this is definitely easier to do (and enjoy) alone.
9. Try some stargazing. When’s the last time you took a blanket into your backyard, laid down on it, and just stared at the stars for hours on end? While some say that stargazing can teach you to be mindful, others say that being in that form of nature reduces stress, while others believe that looking up at the universe at night can increase your attention span. All solid reasons to give it a shot, if you ask me.
10. DO. ABSOLUTELY. NOTHING. Let me tell you something that nobody will ever be able to make me feel bad about: doing absolutely nothing. I’ve got data to back me up. Good Housekeeping shares that doing nothing can help you decide how you want to respond or react to certain things. I like howThe Guardian says that taking this approach helps you to regain control of what you give your attention to.
TIME magazine says that it can ultimately make you more productive.BBC offers up that it can help you tap into your ingenuity.Henry Ford Health says that it can make you kinder and a better problem-solver. So, if you want to invest in yourself, do nothing sometimes.
Closing Thoughts from the Lovely Javicia Leslie
While some of y'all may know Javicia Leslie from being the former Batwoman, I discovered her back in the day from the indie series Chef Julian (and yes, "Julian" was right to say that "Mo" looks like Tatyana Ali...the real ones know). Sometimes I'll hop on her IG to see what she's got going on and this story popped up within a few hours of me penning this...so, I took it as hella confirmation.
TREAT YO SELF. WAIT FOR NO ONE.
WAIT FOR NO ONE. TREAT YO SELF.
RINSE AND REPEAT.
Sooo…what kind of masturdating plans do you have for this coming weekend? While going out with others has its perks, hanging out with yourself has a ton of ‘em too. Enjoy!
No…for real. ENJOY!
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