Sitting At the Table

Hey girl, hey! It has been a minute since I’ve hopped on my blog but in honor of Women’s History Month, I feel inspired to drop a few gems and reminders.

But first, let’s catch up….

A lot has changed in my life since we’ve last caught up on this space: I got married and became Mrs. Bean in October 2023, earned a promotion as the Head of Communications at my 9-5 professional job in January and now I’m a future mommy-to-be of twin girls (YES YOU READ RIGHT, TWINS) due this summer!! My life has been full of blessings and swift transitions so I’ve had to remind myself to confidently stay grounded while knowing that God only throws more blessings my way because he knows I can handle them. I can and will be successful at my 9-5 while adjusting to being a newlywed and soon-to-be mom. After all, I’m a woman and we simply just make sh*t happen, right?

I’m going to keep this short and sweet with a few helpful reminders/tips for “sitting at the table” as a woman. Often, I’m asked to share more about how I got to where I am professionally and honestly, I just diligently put in the work while speaking up, advocating for myself, and maintaining confidence that it would pay off along the way. I’m the youngest and brownest (first black person ever) to sit on the Leadership Team at my job. Simply put, this is the team consisting of leaders, directors and VPs who are the decision-makers for the business organization. Joining this team didn’t come easy, but here are few tips on how I got to where I am and how I plan to stay.

AKA: three key pointers for “sitting at the table,” as Sheryl Sandberg the author of Lean In would say.

One: Speak Up

My journey to “sitting at the table” has been far from easy. I stayed somewhat stagnant in the same professional role for nearly five years, experienced great and not-so-great management and had plenty of moments when I questioned switching companies and career paths along the way. Along this journey, I learned that speaking up could take me a long way. From sharing my perspective from a different lens to asking questions for clarity even though someone else in the room may think it’s stupid – speaking up can always set you apart. I strongly believe that if I hadn’t spoken up and voiced my career desires to my current manager, then I potentially wouldn’t be in the role I’m in today. Simply put, speak up and let your voice be heard, sis (say it with your chest, always lol).

Two: Advocate for Yourself

Believe it or not, no one is going to advocate for you better than you. Who else knows every detail of the work you’ve put in and your commitment to continued growth? Other than the man above, no one knows all that you do but YOU. Because of this, we must advocate for ourselves and be our cheerleaders. A couple of years ago during an interview process, I had an executive for my company ask me where I’d like to be in my career in the next five years, why I was the best person for the role and what my vision would be to do things differently. I gave safe and generic answers that were rehearsed and sounded good instead of answers that truly advocated for myself and the work I had done to show for several of these answers. I got the job, but because of my “lack of experience” the job was brought down a tier since the executive thought I wasn’t fully ready to take on a leadership position just yet.

Honestly, I probably wasn’t ready at the time, but I took that as a lesson learned and from that point on, I’ve always been prepared to advocate for myself on any cue. 

Three: Confidently Know That You Belong

Lastly, not only do we have to speak up and advocate for ourselves, but once we take our rightful seat at the table, we must confidently know that we belong there. Don’t give up the seat because the table is full and someone you think is “more important” walks into the room – sit there with pride knowing that you’re exactly where you need to be. Sometimes it’s easier said than done and will come with time, but don’t let being a minority in the room play with your confidence. After all, men wouldn’t know what to do without us, but we must view ourselves equally to be treated equally.

As Women’s History Month is coming to an end, I hope these three tidbits serve as a reminder and/or a confidence booster for all my boss ladies making moves year-round. My journey is ongoing, and I look forward to continuing to share what works (or doesn’t) for me along the way.

Cheers to us for doing the d@mn thing!