Three years ago I launched The Well because I was craving relationships with other Black women professionals.
I was the only Black woman in every room. Being “the only one” while also learning to lead was exhausting. I was hyper-focused on making sure that my Blackness didn’t step on others’ toes, always self-correcting, self-adjusting, often wondering, “Was that racist?” and then taking those thoughts home with me because I didn’t have a safe place to vent.
Coming up, I didn’t have Black women advisors or mentors in my field. I didn’t have anyone to say, “You should expect this, and here’s how to respond.” And when I experienced a racist incident while on the job, I didn’t have anywhere to go for advice on what to do next. So I did what many Black women continue to do—I left my career.
Black women are 7% of the US population, but we hold less than 2% of senior leadership positions. That’s because capitalism’s systemic and endemic racism is intended to push us off of our career path before we reach that VP level. And so we either bow out of corporate altogether, or we leave toxic organizations in desperation, often making lateral moves or taking lower positions to find peace.
Black women are ambitious, and we want to lead. We’re also super dope and more than capable of corporate leadership. And the bottom line is that diverse organizations, with diverse leadership, do better financially (and their employees feel better).
That’s why we’re relaunching The Well to champion Black women as we navigate a system intended to keep us from advancing at work.
The Well is a membership that provides Black women with not only community, but also the supportive network and the strategic playbook they need to stay the course on their career journeys.
Our goal is to prepare ambitious Black women for corporate leadership (and teach organizations how to recruit and retain ambitious Black women) so that we do eventually see Black women in at least 7% of senior roles.
Applications for our founding membership are open now! If you’re a dope Black woman in the first 10-15 years of your career and you’re ready to learn and grow with a powerful network of world-changers, apply here.
Allies and friends, donate someone dope for membership here.
Our community is just getting started again, but we are building something incredible here. I hope you #JoinTheWell on our world changing journey!
This post was originally published by Krystal Scott, Founder & CEO of The Well on LinkedIn.