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2024 Is About Black Professionals Taking Control Back Over Our Career Progression

Back in 2020, many Black professionals felt like they didn’t have much say in their careers. We were reacting to the uncertainty of the world — understandably so — awaiting guidance from companies, accepting less than stellar pay and putting our professional passions on hold to prioritize stability. It’s been a grind, it’s okay to feel it and you’re not alone. Fast forward to 2024, Black professionals are ready to take back their power over their careers. LinkedIn research found that just over 40% of us feel that we’re underpaid, and despite the most competitive job market in recent years, Black professionals are thinking about changing jobs. In fact, in 2024, Black professionals are THE MOST LIKELY group to consider a job move (90%). Conventional wisdom has always told us to work twice as hard if you want to survive — particularly in tough economic times. We’ve been conditioned to attempt to out-sweat everyone else — just to survive, and it has led to Black professionals assuming...

Andrew McCaskill

Feb 12, 2024

These Co-Founders Self-Funded An Event Platform To Help Black Professionals Network For Free

Even for someone who is highly extroverted or a social butterfly, networking events can be uncomfortable. From your mind going into overdrive on whether something you want to say is too informal to feeling overwhelmed approaching strangers, it can be socially exhausting. A group of young Black professionals across fields have joined forces to carve a space for people to create connections but also genuinely enjoy themselves while doing so.

Ngozi Nwanji

Oct 6, 2023

Diverse Representation Plans To Hold Program To Transform Black Professionals Into Entertainment Executives

Black professionals will be taking root in the entertainment sector. According to a press release sent to AfroTech, Diverse Representation will host its second annual Black Entertainment Executives Pipeline program set to run from July 11-August 16, 2022. Twelve participants will have access to leading industry executives including Ty Cameron (President, Ebony Studios), Jelani Johnson (EVP, Content Strategy, MACRO), and Joe Aiken (Executive, Creative Artists Agency (CAA) in addition to hands-on experience. The six-week program will be offered in-person for those living in Los Angeles, CA, and virtually to reach potential participants across the nation. “This first-of-its-kind program is an invaluable resource for any Black professional or creative interested in pursuing a career as an executive in the television or film industry,” said Jaia Thomas, Esq., founder and president of Diverse Representation, according to a press release. “This is the only program of its kind in the...

Samantha Dorisca

Jun 29, 2022

Greenwood Acquires The Gathering Spot To Set Minorities On A Bold Path To Financial Freedom

Since its launch, Greenwood has prioritized Black and Latinx individuals and business owners through its banking services. Now, the biggest and Black-owned digital banking platform is looking to further support the community with its latest acquisition. According to a press release, Greenwood has acquired The Gathering Spot — a private members-only club for Black professionals.

Ngozi Nwanji

May 10, 2022

How The 'Beyoncé of Marketing' Created A Culturally-Unique Company To Offer Black Folk A Seat At The Table

For many professionals navigating creative spaces, it can seem difficult to find your own lane in such a saturated market. But for Browned 2 Perfection (B2P) founder Junae Brown, being her own boss was always a part of her master plan to dominate the marketing industry. Brown — a Harlem native whose been dubbed by her peers as the “Beyoncé of Marketing” — knew early on in her life that she always had a knack for marketing and event planning. Coming from a strong-spirited entrepreneurial family, Brown tells AfroTech that seeing so many people around her take charge of their own lives inspired her to want to do the same. Being the planner of her friend groups and family was a natural talent for Brown, and after serving as the President of Student Activities at her alma mater — Five Towns College — she realized that she had great potential to succeed in the marketing industry. “I really love being able to take something from point A to point Z,” she tells us. “Most people that I...

Njera Perkins

Jun 23, 2021

More Black Executives In Corporate America? Valence Wants To Make That Happen

Since opening its platform for applications in March 2020, Valence’s membership has exploded. They managed to build an impressive network of Black professionals and creatives spanning industries such as tech, entertainment, sports, and finance. Many large companies now recruit through the platform in an effort to pull in more diverse candidates. “We came to market with a real focus on building community, ensuring that the community had access to one another on the platform, access to opportunities through jobs and companies that were offering those opportunities, and access to capital through the valence funding network,” explains Emily Slade, one of the Valence co-founders. Now, Valence is going a step further to help Black professionals thrive and ascend the ranks in their chosen industries through BONDS — their new mentorship program for Black professionals at or near the executive career levels. What is Valence BONDS? “It’s a membership-based community that’s really focused on...

Colleen Williams

May 11, 2021

LinkedIn's VP of Engineering Sabry Tozin Says Getting a Seat at the Table Starts With Intentionality

Eighty-one percent of Black professionals say that seeing other Black professionals in leadership positions make them feel like their workplace is inclusive and equitable. Sabry Tozin, VP of engineering at LinkedIn, shared this statistic amongst others in his recent Building Pathways to Workplace Equity report. The report highlights some challenges that Black professionals face in the workplace today. This report is a part of LinkedIn’s Conversations for Change, a series of reports and discussions focused on diversity and equity in the workplace. Tozin has been working in Silicon Valley for about 20 years, first getting his career started through conferences hosted by the National Society of Black Engineers. He got his first tech job in the late 90s and went on to work for companies like Accenture, Fox, and Netflix before joining LinkedIn in 2017. This main stat was the most shocking to Tozin because it’s such a big number he says, yet there are few Black and minority professionals...

Michelai Graham

Mar 12, 2021

Black HBCU Graduates Are Securing Jobs at a High Rate, But Why Not in STEM?

Black professionals are groomed to be resilient and steadfast, especially when it comes to entering the job market. When the coronavirus pandemic hit last year, the economy was sent into disarray. At its highest, the unemployment rate was up to 14.7% last April, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports, and 16.7% of the Black population was without work. The numbers are stark, but graduates from historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) have continued to find a soft spot in the economy as they enter the job market for the first time. HBCUs were created to educate Black Americans when other institutions wouldn’t. Today, roughly 85% of HBCU students are still Black. Since 2016, the hiring rate for HBCU graduates has climbed an average of 5.9% year over year, LinkedIn shared in some new research, but there was a sharp decline last year for obvious reasons. The hiring rate for HBCU alumni fell by 11.9% in 2020, compared to a decline of 16.2% for all national LinkedIn...

Michelai Graham

Feb 19, 2021

3 Tips to Making More Connections in AfroTech World

As we approach ten months into the global pandemic and nationwide halt on social gatherings, most people have adapted to using online means of interaction. Attending online workshops and conferences can put individuals in spaces with people they possibly would not have had the opportunity to meet. Just as in-person networking required preparation (and a pep talk) before approaching someone you admire, there is a science to building connections online. Before the week ends, here are some tips for making more connections during AfroTech World. Do your research In AfroTech World, a person’s name and company is displayed above their avatar. Take a moment to search for them on LinkedIn. Doing this will help you find a common ground to approach them in conversation. Compliment the work they did on their latest project, comment on the sports team they’re wearing in their profile picture, commend them for a question or comment they made during the conference, etc. Also, visit the AfroTech...

Abriana Walton

Nov 12, 2020