Have you ever been to a meeting and not seen anyone like you?
Are you struggling with feeling noticed in the office? Or get a well-deserved loan at your workplace?
Well, you’re not alone. Navigating to be a minority in the workplace is a common struggle for colored women. In fact so usually, two friends from New Jersey created a podcast about solving these problems.
Employees Di Marshall, CEO of Diverse & Engaged aVeteran Wall Street and Mita Malik, lead voice of LinkedIn on diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI), return to the microphone on Wednesday, February 23, starting the second season Brown table talk with real-life experiences and sincere appeals that have procured women over 150+ five-star reviews on iTunes.
But before becoming the voices of those like them, Malik and Marshall, both of whom live in Jersey City, set out on their own travels to discover how important representation is.
After spending many years selling cosmetics, but never seeing people like her in the industry, Melik decided it was time for something new.
“It always impressed me in the work I did,” Melik said. “So I decided to go to DEI.”
Malik now manages diversity, equity and influence at financial technology company Carta.
Marshall, who primarily calls herself a “Jersey girl,” also has experience in financial services. But it ended when the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 changed her life forever.
“I’m just a little brown girl from central New Jersey who went to work on Wall Street and eventually found her passion and her goal on Wall Street, and then on September 11 ran up 33 flights of stairs,” Marshall said. “So the way I got here was the defining moment of 9/11. Just set out to live purposefully. And since then I have lived on purpose. “
Before you start your campaign Diverse and biasedMarshall said she intends to go from a casual entrepreneur to a CEO.
“I made the final decision to become a CEO,” she said. opportunities for women, professional women, and then it just expanded from women, colored women, honing them, understanding some of the challenges in business workspaces. And that’s how I found myself in a space of diversity and inclusion. ”
Going through his own problems in the workplace, Malik recalls the moment when a mutual friend introduced her to Marshall, a chance encounter she describes as supposed.
“I’m a client Dee can’t get rid of,” she joked. – I’ll never forget, I was at Unilever, we sponsored a multicultural women’s conference that day at the Marriott Marquis, [and] she performed on stage. Our friend Laquanda Murray introduced us and it was an amazing connection. And what Dee found out later and didn’t know was that was the reason we met that day, because I was in a very horrible situation of harassment / bullying / gaslighting, and she was my coach, “said Melik. .
“She took me through the darkest times,” she said of her friend and podcast partner.
Even now, Melik says she reflects emotionally on Marshall, who coached her during the difficult times of her career, the times that inspired many of the topics discussed at Brown Table Talk, and the advice she received.
“One of the things Dee told me was to keep a diary of everything that was going on,” Melik recalled.
“Dee doesn’t know how much [her coaching] meant to me. I’m sure she is, but I can’t put it into words. And then I was a client she couldn’t get rid of, because after that we were just friends. “
The more their friendship developed, the deeper their conversations went.
The women discussed the possibility of creating a podcast, and then the pandemic offered a small motivational boost. Born Brown Table Talk.
So where did the name come from?
“If you come in, I will say that 21 years old, there is a black woman from South Asia who holds the highest position or place number two in the highest position in the country,” said Marx.
The women said Vice President Kamala Harris, making history at the White House, opens up space for Asian and black women to share their views.
Since the launch of Brown Table Talk, the saddest revelation for Melik has been that she is not alone in her experience.
“For some reason, I thought I was unique in my stories,” she admitted. “I’m always joking like Dee, our moms think we’re special. Our moms think we’re special. But we’re not.”
“The truth is that it’s sad that our stories aren’t special. After all, what Dee and I mostly heard were people: “My God, this is my story.”
Sometimes the women they hear from say podcast topics sound like someone was reading their magazine.
“And that’s why we knew so many communities shared these stories because they’re our stories,” Melik said. There is healing. There is also the understanding, “How can we move from survival to prosperity?” “What advice?” “What would we have done differently?” But I think that when Dee and I were going to do a podcast, we thought, “Wow, there’s a huge place for allies.”
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As Brown Table Talk expanded its audience to allies, Melik said a wave of support began.
Melik recalls that a white woman approached Marshall at a yoga retreat and thanked her for teaching her the Brown Table Talk, saying, “As a white woman, I will never hear these stories. You let me into conversations we don’t have. Like, we’re shedding light … So it was really great. “
The Brown Table Talk podcast can be found on Apple and Spotify with each episode usually less than 30 minutes. While the first season had eight episodes, the second is scheduled for 10, and new episodes are released weekly.
Melik promises that Season 2 will be deeper and will be “juicier”.
An episode called “What if someone touches your hair?” things will start. It will include a discussion of why unacceptable touching hair is uninvited, the Crown Act, a law that prohibits discrimination in the workplace based on hair texture and hairstyles, and how Dee personally dealt with the issue and more.
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“We already know colored women, they will naturally find themselves in history. But we wanted to be useful allies, ”Marshall said. “Once we find out it’s like, ‘Yeah, we have to serve here, we have to say messy,’ you know we’re saying we’re leaving nothing off the table. But then, how can we serve an ally?”