The 411: Weekly News Update

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The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill is entered in the Library of Congress- Photo: rolling stone.com

The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill is entered in the Library of Congress- Photo: rolling stone.com

Happy Sunday! Ours was a relaxing and easy week-end on this side of the blogosphere, plus or minus some loud kids’ (apparently mine) screaming and object destructions here and there…As we’re tentatively trying to sip on our coffees with a semblance of calm and quiet, here are the news we’re reading and re-reading, and gossiping about at the (late) lunch table:

  • In big, I mean huge news this week for working women and mothers everywhere, UPS loses Supreme Court pregnancy discrimination case (and we can start believing in justice again);
  • Another big judicial decision in gender discrimination is looming near, with the case of Ellen Pao against venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins, and young women in tech are sounding off on what it really means for them;
  • I was so excited this week to read longtime LGBT activist and one half of my personal favorite power “Politini” couple, Aisha Moodie-Mills, became the first Black woman to head the Victory Fund;
  • Other women are speaking up too, this time against the outlawing of abortion. ThinkProgress reports Ohio State Rep Teresa Fedor revealed on the legislative floor she had been assaulted, raped and had had an abortion (and oh do we respect her for the courage to stand up and speak her truth);
  • And as we’re refreshing our expectations and ideas about everything, Fortune confirms, unlike thought by most, an Ivy League education is not the only ticket to education;
  • In other hopeful, breakthrough news, Time Money reveals a new proposal could get your employer to pay your student loans;
  • In the same spirit, Black Enterprise celebrates President Obama’s announcement to pledge $240M to STEM, while the Huffington Post reports the President urges young scientists to keep asking why;
  • Mashable writes about a new witty web series about the everyday modern lives of modern black women (and it’s captivating…);
  • The work world is changing! Inc. illustrates 3 major workplace shifts we need to be aware of;
  • In somewhat unsettling fashion news, Fortune writes about GAP possibly implementing clothing vending machines (where are we going?);
  • Mashable Business presents us with the paradox of the week: while Google’s CFO left to achieve work-life balance, it hired the most powerful woman on Wall Street as his replacement, supposedly a workaholic. As for us, we’re just happy a woman is up there;
  • In other paradoxical (not to use other less politically correct terms) news, Forbes reveals even though female nurses outnumber their male counterparts 10 to 1, they still earn a lot less:
  • Worried about your productivity? Payscale writes it’s all about colors. Hope you’re having a blue kind of day today;
  • If you were ever doubtful about the effect of gender parity in management, CBC confirms it definitely boosts corporate profits (ka-ching!);
  • Last but not least, my absolute favorite, “The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill” album will be entered in the Library of Congress, and we are doo-woping to that…literally!

Happy Sunday!

The Corporate Sis.

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L’Edito: Who Are You…Really (Not Just What You Do)?

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Who-are-You-Let-your-WhoLately, I’ve been pondering about the real meaning of our careers, jobs, daily occupations, grinds, etc. Notice what you say when introducing yourself to someone else? “Hi, I’m Solange, I’m an accountant (and in the silent background of my busy mind: “I have a passion for writing, and I’m addicted to coffee and French cheese ).” There you have it, the whole sum of my being, identity, passions, interests, smushed into words I know for a fact don’t capture the essence of who I am. Neither does it capture the essence of anyone else…

The real question is, “Who are You?”

The question, the real question is, who are you? Not what you do? Not what your job, career, degree is. Not what Fortune 500 company you work in, not who you report to, or what your net worth is. Who are you, really? That, not your annual salary, your yearly review, your social or economic status, is what matters. And because that is what matters, that is what should guide the direction we take in life, including the direction of our careers.

Today, as you get ready for work, take a look at your life, or consider setting your sails towards a new direction, take the time to ask yourself, who are you, really? What motivates you? What stirs your soul? What do you know for a fact you will regret if you don’t do it?

It’s a difficult process, but one that will free you, empower you, and give you wings. So I’ll start today, right here: “Hi, my name is Solange, writer.”

Happy Sunday!

The Corporate Sis.

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Coffee Break: How Often Should You Refresh Your Work Wardrobe (Poll)?

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Photo credit: http://www.ultimatecoupons.com Photo credit: http://www.ultimatecoupons.com/caption

While we’re on the topic of Spring cleaning, one of the readers asked how often you should refresh your work wardrobe. Just as we refresh our work priorities, schedules, or spruce up our networking list, should we also consider refreshing our work wardrobe regularly and avoid some painful styles mistakes we may not even know we’re making?

At the start of my career, I admit I wasn’t particularly excited at the prospect of “shopping for work clothes”.
Fast forward a few years, today’s fashion versatility and my own career growth, building and refreshing my work wardrobe have become not only necessary, but also fun! I usually do what I call my work wardrobe Spring Cleaning in late March mid-April, so I can take advantage of the winter sales and give myself a post-winter boost too!

How about you? Do you refresh your work wardrobe periodically, and if so, when?

 

So what do you think? Leave a comment and let me know!

Week-End Pick: Tulip-Print Pullover

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Tulip-print pullover - $29.94- Photo credit: old navy.gap.com

Tulip-print pullover – $29.94- Photo credit: old navy.gap.com

Loving this V-neckline tulip-print pullover from Old Navy! It’s a beautiful Spring look that can be styled casually as well as professionally for work…The design is beautiful and lightweight, and the long sleeves with buttoned cuffs make it a perfect layering piece to transition through seasons. And the price is pretty beautiful as well, at $29.94…

Keeping in the same floral style, I also like this beautiful option, also from Old Navy, or this floral gauze scarf that will add a spring to your step in seconds!

The Corporate Sis.

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10 Style Mistakes You Don’t Know You Are Making At Work

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Olivia Pope - Photo credit: hellogiggles.com

Olivia Pope – Photo credit: hellogiggles.com

I love the idea of style, everywhere, anywhere, at all times. If it were up to me, we’d live in style, not just for some vain, purely materialistic purpose, but for the currency of well-being it brings to our lives. Even at work, even when the air-tight month end deadlines could make us care less about whether our right shoe matches the left, or whether we look like we’ve gotten dressed out of a suitcase. Even when it’s cool not to care about style, because we supposedly have more “substance” than that.

As many of us tread the professional waters of our professional lives, we try as much as we can to be mindful to match our shoes, comb our hair and generally look presentable. Some even make it a mission to look their absolute best, upping the ante when it comes to office style, creating new categories of office fashion pedigrees as they christen the most expensive must-haves when it comes to work fashion. Yet even in the midst of this whole “being careful about your appearance” culture, there are still some style mistakes some of us make without even realizing:

  1. Mistakenly thinking style is just about what you wear! Your office fashion may be on point, yet you may still lack in the way you present yourself to your managers and peers. Style is about knowing who you are, what looks best on you, what is appropriate for which circumstances, and generally how to carry yourself and adapt to your surroundings. So as you’re impatiently waiting on your tax refund to overhaul your work wardrobe, pause and think about who you really are, what you really want, especially out of a job or career, and let that guide your sense of style at work.
  2. Being inconsistent in your approach to style. Are you the woman who dons a Prada suit one day, only to show up in distressed jeans and a tee the next? Unless your company is uber-versatile when it comes to dress codes (or favors changing personalities), inconsistency in your approach to style can confuse others and hurt your image at work, especially if you’re in a position of leadership. So while you don’t have to wear the same suit in three different colors, flip-flopping between ultra-conservative and grunge, not so much!
  3. Forgetting about your direct surroundings! Style is not about pretty clothes (refer to item#1). If you’re decked out on the daily, and your cube looks like a remnant of World War II, we have a problem (well, you do!). Approach who you are, what you do and where you do it with neatness and…style!
  4. Producing sloppy work! Whether you’re aware of it, you’re building a brand at work! Producing sloppy work just shows you don’t care, and you don’t pay attention to the way your work is done, received and/or perceived. A big component of style is projecting positive results too…
  5. Dressing for the position you want, not for who you are! You’ve heard it, you should not dress for your current position but rather for the one you want. Yet, grabbing clothes and shoes off a mannequin, and putting on a persona to fit some self-assigned ideal, is not style, it’s impersonation. As much as you may want to dress for the position you want, don’t forget to infuse your style with your own essence. Wear that suit, but add a hip (but not too hip) necklace to it.  You can still have swagger and succeed…Style-is-less-about-WHAT
  6. Letting your looks precede you! There’s so much you can tell about yourself just by the way you carry yourself, the way you dress (or the way you choose not to dress), and the general way you present yourself to the world, especially the corporate world. Yet nothing beats showing the real you, even in a corporate world where most put on a facade and pretty much “fake the funk”. Now there’s a difference between faking it “till you make it, and purposely or not omitting to show the real you. Don’t let your style precede you, let it speak for the real “you”!
  7. Or having your style just show the most “blah” version of yourself! There’s a reason why you put on a suit to interview for a job, or scour the blogs (hopefully this one) to figure out what to wear to the office holiday party. You want to show yourself in the best light possible. Opting for work style options that are boring, “blah”, and don’t show who you are only works to cast a shadow on you. You don’t have to don sequins to the office, but you’re allowed to sparkle a little…
  8. Not respecting others’ style (or others): You may think your brand-spakin’ new Birkin bag just catapulted you into high society, yet that doesn’t give you permission to look down on anyone else’s  Coach purse. Respect others; that includes who they are, the way they carry themselves, and the way they choose to dress or present themselves. That nerdy-looking gal with a bit of a grungy style may just be the next female Mark Zuckerberg, or may very well be the highly-sought after investor the whole company has been talking about. As my grandma would say, if you ain’t got anything positive to say (or contribute, or add to the Universe), you know…
  9. Refusing to let your style evolve: Working Girl was an awesome movie, and a great flashback into 90’s fashion and the era of padded shoulders. No offense here, but moving with the times is not only good for your wardrobe, it can also do wonders for your career. Don’t get me wrong, the office is not where you should be experimenting with the latest fashion trends (please stay away from distressed jeans and blue-streaked hair). Yet placing yourself out of the 90”s style wise may help you connect better with millennial colleagues, and even tap into new, more modern business opportunities…
  10. Last but not least, thinking you can get away without any sense of style whatsoever! There is no such a thing as bad or good style. Yet not having any sense of style attacks your very identity. It’s not just about what you wear, but the culture you bring in through the way you carry yourself. Not knowing who you are, what you bring to the plate, and what your particular, unique cultural sense of style is, can only hurt you. It’s ok to show who you are…

 

What other style mistakes have you, or others, made at work?

The Corporate Sis.

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