We all know that social distancing is still necessary (since Covid-19 is far from becoming a distant memory), but the importance of connecting with other like-minded women remains, especially if you want to advance professionally and personally. Being able to dynamically interact with others is not only great for your career, but it's also good for your mental health. (Sis, just check out the researched benefits of socializing.)
If you've found yourself in a career rut or missing the opportunity to bond with amazing women in your field, here are 7 organizations and platforms that will help you reconnect and live your best life:
Kick off your networking upgrade with a boss move that is sure to get you on the right track. Launched by Necole Kane, the phenom behind providing xoNecole.com, an online oasis where women can unapologetically tell their stories and find information useful to every facet of their lives, the xoTribe is great place to get access a community of women from diverse backgrounds, industries, and locales for networking and mentoring. Virtual happy hours, giveaways, job postings, and insider info on events---it's all a great recipe to set your 2021 glow-up plan off in the best way.
If you're a woman of color in any aspect of the communications industry, the ColorComm network is for you. One can't help but be inspired by its founder, Lauren Wesley Wilson, who has worked as a Washington, D.C. communications director, a media booker for Obama's Florida reelection campaign, and a crisis firm professional before launching ColorComm. Something that initially started as a lunch with more than 30 women turned into an organization that now serves more than 40,000 professionals in chapters across the U.S. and produces more than 100 local programs yearly.
Image via Walker's Legacy
As the name denotes, Walker's Legacy was founded on the ideals of Madam C.J. Walker's legacy of being self-made, supporting women's advocacy, and promoting sheer hard work and determination. Founder Natalie Madeira Cofield sought to fill a need she saw in her own life while seeking mentors for her first venture---which she launched at 26---and she built the platform from a quarterly lecture series into a global platform of support for multicultural corporate leaders and entrepreneurs. The organization partners to provide funds for startups, has chapters in major regions, and hosts accelerator programs.
The Muse is super-expansive, providing step-by-step guides not only for job seekers, but for professionals at various stages of their careers---from entry-level workers, to freelancers, to management executives. You can also research companies and career options, find employment opportunities and get help via resume reviews, coaching consultations and job search strategy sessions.
Image via Her Agenda
With a motto like "No one Ever Slows Her Agenda," you know this platform is all about ambition and boss moves. You can find inspiration and advice through stories told by real women who are industry leaders and aren't just offering tips that just sound good. Her Agenda also provides resources including information on conferences, scholarships, internships and job opportunities for millennials interested in a variety of fields. Founded by savvy communicator, networker and millennial boss Rhonesha Byng, this is a digital space you won't want to miss out on. (The newsletter alone provides key information for any go-getter including a monthly grants roundup, a Power Hour online chat with business experts, and exclusive Q&As with industry leaders.)
The name almost speaks for itself since we all know the power of having a good crew---whether it's a solid group of friends, a bond of tight siblings, or a professional team. The Cru provides peer coaching services in a unique way that tailors networking and career support via circles of women based on their personality, demographics, values, and life goals. Founder Tiffany Dufu is no stranger to innovating in networking and mentorship, having served as a launch team member to Lean In and a Chief Leadership Officer at Levo, a leading millennial professionals network.
The WIE Suite
Made up of influential women who have either led teams at major corporations or started their own successful businesses, The WIE Suite is a highly curated membership worth exploring. It began as the WIE Symposium, a modern, elite women's conference that expanded into an organization that attracted business and cultural leaders including Arianna Huffington, Mellody Hobson, Diane von Furstenberg, Nancy Pelosi and Naomi Campbell. Founder Dee Poku has held senior marketing roles at companies including Paramount Pictures and Focus Features and has a knack for forging quality connections among power women across industries. She also has a passion for the power of sponsorship, an act that goes well beyond mentoring. As a member, you can access professional development resources, peer coaching opportunities, and curated content.
Are you a member of our insiders squad? Join us in the xoTribe Members Community today!
Featured image by Shutterstock
Take Our 2-Minute Wellness Quiz To Up Your Self-Care Game!
Black women are not a monolith. We all are deserving of healing and wholeness despite what we've been through, how much money we have in the bank, or what we look like. Most importantly, we are enough—even when we are not working, earning, or serving.
Welcome to Black Girl Whole, your space to find the wellness routine that aligns with you! This brand-new marketplace by xoNecole is a safe space for Black women to activate their healing, find the inspiration to rest, and receive reassurance that we are one small act away from finding our happiness.
Want to discover where you are on your wellness journey? You don't have to look far. In partnership with European Wax Center, we're bringing you a customized wellness quiz to help you up your wellness game. Answer our short series of questions to figure out which type of wellness lover you are, what you need to bring more balance into your life, and then go deeper by shopping products geared towards clearing your mind, healing your body, and soothing your spirit.
Ready to get whole? Take our quiz now!
From Monogamy To Polyamory: 'I'm In An Asexual Poly Marriage With My Husband Of 7 Years'
Have you ever wondered what it's like to be asexual and in an open marriage? Relationship Coach Mikki Bey shared her first-hand experience with us as well as answered some of our burning questions.
Like a lot of people, Mikki met her now husband, Raheem Ali, online. As soon as they met, they instantly fell in love and got engaged on their first date. Just 90 days after they met, the couple tied the knot and have now been married for seven years. Raheem and Mikki aren’t your typical married couple, and despite being married for almost a decade, their marriage is anything but traditional. Mikki and Raheem have what she calls an "asexual polyamorous marriage."
Defining Her Sexuality
It wasn't until last summer that Mikki found the language to define her sexuality. "I didn't have the language for it until last summer," she explained to xoNecole. "Looking back, I just thought sex wasn't my thing. It was never enjoyable for me, and I'd go years without even noticing.”
Mikki always thought she was broken because she had no interest in sex. Mikki noticed after her friends came to visit and started discussing their sexual fantasies that she realized something was different about her. “At that point, I knew something was definitely different about me since I do not have sexual fantasies at all. It was truly news to me that people are at work thinking about sex! That was not my experience.” This led to Mikki researching asexuality, which she soon realized fit her to a T. “It felt like breathing new air when I was able to call it by name," said Mikki.
"Looking back, I just thought sex wasn't my thing. It was never enjoyable for me, and I'd go years without even noticing it."
Asexuality refers to people who experience little or no sexual attraction, experience attraction without acting on it sexually, or experience sexual attraction differently based on other factors. Like most things, asexuality falls on a spectrum and encompasses many other identities. It's important to remember, however, that attraction and action are not always synonymous: some asexuals may reject the idea of sexual contact, but others may be sex-neutral and engage in sexual activity.
It's possible that some asexuals will have sex with someone else despite not having a libido or masturbating, but others will have sex with a partner because it brings a sense of connection.
From a Traditional Marriage to Kitchen Table Polyamory
Although Mikki never really had a high sex drive, it wasn’t until after the birth of her son, that she noticed her sex drive took a real nosedive. “I never had a high sex drive, but about a year after my son was born, I realized I had zero desire. My husband has a high sex drive, and I knew that it would not be sustainable to not have sex in our marriage at that time.”
She was determined to find an alternative to divorce and stumbled upon a polyamory conversation on Clubhouse. Upon doing her own research, she brought up the idea to their husband, who was receptive. “It’s so interesting to me that people weigh sex so heavily in relationships when even if you are having a ton of sex, it’s still a very small percentage of the relationship activity," Mikki shared.
They chose polyamory because Mikki still wanted to be married, but she also wanted to make sure that Raheem was getting his individual needs and desires met, even if that meant meeting them with someone else. “I think that we have been programmed to think that our spouses need to be our 'everything.' We do not operate like that. There is no one way that fits all when it comes to relationships, despite what society may try to tell you. Their path to doing this thing called life together may be different from yours, but they found what works for them. We have chosen to design a marriage that works for us,” Mikki explained.
"We have chosen to design a marriage that works for us. We both consent to each of us having everything from casual sex partners to lifetime partners if it should go there. We believe love is abundant and do not limit ourselves or each other on how we express it."
She continued, “We both consent to each of us having everything from casual sexual partners to lifetime partners if it should get there. We believe love is abundant and do not limit ourselves or each other on how we express it. Our dynamic is parallel with kitchen table poly aspirations.”
Kitchen table polyamory (KTP) is a polyamorous relationship in which all participants are on friendly terms enough to share a meal at the kitchen table. Basically, it means you have some form of relationship with your partner’s other partner, whether as a group or individually. A lot of times, KTP relationships are highly personal and rooted in mutual respect, communication, and friendship.
Intimacy in an Asexual Polyamorous Marriage
Mikki says she and her husband, Raheem, still share intimate moments despite being in a polyamorous marriage. “Our intimacy is emotional, intellectual, spiritual, and physical, although non-sexual. We are intentional about date nights weekly, surprising and delighting each other daily, and most of all, we communicate our needs regularly. In my opinion, our intimacy is top-tier! I give my husband full-body massages, mani-pedis and make sure I am giving him small physical touches/kisses throughout the day. He is also very intentional about showing me his love and affection.”
Raheem and Mikki now use their lives as examples for others. On their website, thepolycouplenextdoor.com, they coach people interested in learning how to be consensually non-monogamous. “We are both relationship coaches. I specialized in emotional regulation, and Raheem specializes in communication and conflict resolution. The same tools we use in our marriage help our clients succeed in polyamory."
Mikki advises people who may be asexual or seeking non-monogamy to communicate their needs openly and to consider seeking sex therapy or intimacy coaching. Building a strong relationship with a non-sexual partner requires both empathy and compassion.
For more of Mikki, follow her on Instagram @getmikkibey. Follow the couple's platform on Instagram @thepolycouplenextdoor.
Featured image by skynesher/Getty Images