The C Suite: Women On the Move

BossChix Network loves celebrating the accomplishments of women. It’s the most important part of our mission. So we have decided that from time to time, we will highlight BossChix that are on the move. Check out our first group of women now.

  1. Bozoma Saint John – Uber

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You may not know her yet, but now you will. Bozoma Saint John is no stranger to being poached, and she’s always on the move. Her career path has included some big stops along the way, from Spike Lee’s Spike DDB to PepsiCo, Inc., to Apple Music. And while in her role as Head of Global Consumer Marketing at Apple Music Bozoma caught the eye of industry insiders and caused a stir on social media, with her sincere enthusiasm and unparalleled stage presence, when she had the audience sing along to “Rapper’s Delight” at Apple’s 2016 Worldwide Developers Conference. Her track record of pushing that proverbial envelope into unchartered territories was just what Apple needed for their debut of the redesigned Apple Music streaming service.

And as of June 2017, Bozoma has added Uber to her impressive list of career destinations, joining the C-suite sweet spot, in her new role as Chief Brand Officer. And Uber hired her for good reason. In her new role, she will be working to change the narrative around Uber and return it to the leading edge technology brand that it once was. It’s no secret that Uber has come off of several months of unwanted press on a myriad of issues including but not limited to their drivers, their response to Trump’s travel ban, and the problematic behavior of Uber’s Founder and former CEO Travis Kalanick. Uber sits exposed and vulnerable, and its workplace culture is said to be unhealthy to say the least. Bozoma certainly has her work cut out for her, but if anyone can push through with grit and finesse, it’s her. Losing her husband to cancer in 2013 did not stop her from stretching and growing, and she is an inspiration to us all.

Read more about Bozoma Saint John in this piece by the NY Times.


2.  Rosalind Brewer – Starbucks

Rosalind Brewer was appointed as the first woman and first African-American Chief Operating Officer (COO) at Starbucks in early September this year. Rosalind is on the move, with unprecedented momentum, after leaving her most recent role as the first woman and African-American CEO of Sam’s Club, a Walmart subsidiary, to join Starbucks. According to Fortune, a chance encounter in 2016 with Howard Schultz, then the Starbucks CEO, got the ball rolling. Schultz was originally scheduled to hold a panel discussion with Walmart CEO Doug McMillon, but instead he got Rosalind Brewer when McMillon was called away last-minute.  Well, Rosalind got the attention of Starbucks leadership that fateful day and she eventually joined their board before ultimately being hired last month to blaze trails as their new group president and COO.

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Fortune might call this something that happened “by chance”, but it’s popularly known that one of Rosalind’s personal and professional mantras is based on that of prioritizing relationship building. So it’s more likely that Rosalind Brewer is one talented and methodical woman who never wastes an opportunity, and the rest is history. Through the years, Rosalind has worn several hats at once, namely as a member of the board of directors at Lockheed Martin and chairing the board of trustees at Spelman College, her alma mater.

Rosalind’s story is a personal favorite to report for a couple of reasons – First, I love Starbucks. No seriously. I am a daily Skinny Cinnamon Dolce latte consumer, sometimes twice a day. Second, Rosalind “Roz” Brewer is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated. And as a proud member myself, I am always thrilled to see a fellow member making moves in the business world and community!


3.  Sloane Stephens – US Tennis Player
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Sloane Stephens, the 24-year old right-handed tennis extraordinaire, most recently won her first major title at the 2017 U.S. Open. This is a spectacular feat considering she spent much of the last year recovering from a fracture in her foot requiring surgery. So not only is she beautiful, but she is resilient as hell. And this comes as no surprise as athletic prowess runs through her veins and family history. Her mother, Sybil Smith, remains to this day Boston University’s only All-American in women’s swimming Division 1, and the first African-American woman in the nation to hold that title since 1988.

Sloane’s U.S. Open win puts her in good company right there along with the Williams sisters, whom she holds in the highest regard and has only praise for. How very empowering. But Sloane hasn’t had the easiest road, aside from her injuries and setbacks, she lost her birth father and once NFL great John Stephens in 2009. She’d received the news of his death by car crash in the very same stadium she won in this year. His athleticism was passed on to Sloane for which she is eternally grateful. Her strength and feistiness and the fight built in her is truly inspiring. We salute her, for being another African-American woman making tennis great again, and for proving that perfection can come in imperfect packages.

4.  Robin, Jasmine, and Jenae Harris – HuesBox FoundersBossChix on the Move

Two generations of African-American women, Robin Harris and her two daughters, professor Jasmine and attorney Jenae, launched HuesBox in November 2016. Frustrated with the lack of product selection for women of color, in a booming but traditional subscription beauty box market, these ladies decided to tackle that problem and become the solution. And thus HuesBox was born, focusing on introducing new and innovative beauty and self-care products designed by minority-owned small businesses, for African-Americans, Asians, Native Americans, and Latinos. Just one year post-launch, they have made $20,000 in revenue, added a new product line devoted to men of color, and have been approached by several angel investors looking to help them take their business to the next level. Kudos to these groundbreaking trendsetters for tapping into a much-needed market!

Answer a few questions about products that would suit you and sign up for your monthly box here.

Note: There was no compensation provided for including HuesBox in this blog post

5.  Patrice Andrews, Winifred Bowen, Cassandra Deck-Brown, CJ Davis, Gina Hawkins, and Catrina Thompson –  North Carolina Police Chiefs Making History

Talk about the ultimate sister circle. Can you imagine being a woman of color and having 5 other women of color that you can turn to and relate to, and who have the exact same high profile job that you do? Now imagine that happening in a state that has had a long history of racial discrimination. Take it a step further and imagine this high profile job being in a profession where women don’t get promoted enough as it is. As Huffington Post notes, they’ve broken a glass ceiling!

Well, Catrina Amelia Thompson and Gina Hawkins, CJ Davis and Patrice Andrews, Winifred Bowen and Cassandra Deck-Brown don’t have to imagine it anymore. These African American women police chiefs have just that. We should all be grateful for their service. Because this is one for the history books, North Carolina’s to be exact.


Look out for these BossChix making moves!

Who did I miss? Are you a BossChix on the move? Share your BossChix moves to be featured in our next C Suite update!




Day 23: BossChix Network 31 Day Goal-Getter Challenge

BossChix  Network  31 Day Challenge

Day 23: Update your LinkedIn profile. Make sure that it reflects your most relevant skills, additional certificates, training, or projects that you have completed.

This goes without saying. Your bio should be updated regularly and should reflect your most relevant skills and recent accomplishments. Don’t wait until someone needs your bio, resume, or LI profile to create it. Stay ready!

Day 23: BossChix Network 31 Day Challenge - Get LinkedIn

Day 7: BossChix Network 31 Day Goal-Getter Challenge

Word of the day is Focus. Rich Dad, Poor Dad author Robert Kiyosaki calls it F.O.C.U.S (follow one course until successful). For at least 90 minutes today get rid of the distractions and concentrate on getting the right things done and being productive. Resist the urge to check Facebook, Instagram, email, and other “weapons of mass distraction”.

BossChix Network 31 Day Goal Getter Challenge: Word of the day is FOCUS

The Ultimate “BaeCation” – Vacation Ideas for Your and Your Significant Other

Editors Note: Please enjoy this post about baecations by guest blogger Kiki Baxter of Text Me When You Land. This is the second in a series on vacation ideas for Summer 2017. Missed the first two posts? Read about planning a Girls trip here and a family trip here.


From wanderlust to wanderlove, traveling with your significant other is an adventure girl’s dream come true! Between the Insta-worthy private getaways, jet setting to exotic places, or simply just being together, having your bae by your side makes it all the more special.

We’ve got you covered with these five ultimate bae-cation getaways that will rank high on any adventure couples’ bucket list! From snow to sand and everywhere in between, check out these global getaways for all types of romantics!

Baecation Idea # 1

Soul Mates in the Snow – Switzerland

Snuggle up in your own private log cabin like this one in the south of Switzerland that features an outdoor jacuzzi. Stroll together through the quaint surrounding towns enclosed by unbelievably picturesque mountains and valleys. Enjoy the privacy of this remote area of Switzerland, while enjoying all there is to offer. Hiking, fine dining, skiing, shopping, and so much more. Don’t forget to indulge in their world renowned chocolate on this rustic retreat!

Baecation Idea #2

Beloved Beaching Baecation- Mexico

If a romantic sunset stroll on the beach is your kind of fantasy, then Mexico is the destination for you. Cancun boasts some of the world’s best all-inclusive beach resorts, including luxury suites, spectacular pools and beaches, and endless vacation amenities. Rated #1 on TripAdvisor, Le Blanc Spa Resort is an “adults-only oasis of perfection,” boasting a sophisticated all-inclusive resort experience with world-class amenities. Muy bien!


Baecation Idea #3

Spiritual Soul Mates – Bali

With picturesque beaches from coast to coast to endless options for exotic accommodations, there’s no question why Bali is affectionately known as “Nirvana on Earth.” If Bali is your spiritual couple’s dream destination, enjoy an array of yoga, meditation, and ayurvedic centers to recharge your soul with your soul mate. Open-minded? Consider a tantra workshop or retreat like this one to find a deeper connection with your partner.

Baecation Idea #4

That’s Amore – Italy

How about a wine tasting through Tuscany, a private gondola ride in Venice, and a visit to Verona to see Casa di Giulietta (Juliet’s house, from Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet , that is!)? Italy is a lover’s dream! And what better way to cozy up with your love than in a castle hotel like this one in the heart of wine country?

Baecation Idea #5

Culture – Morocco

Melt into a cultural fondue of unique Mediterranean architecture, cuisine, and music. Spend your days strolling through traditional marketplaces, exploring ancient Kasbahs (castles), and trekking on camelback through the Sahara. Cool off under a waterfall and a splash in the ocean or treat yourself to a traditional steam bath. An experience for your eyes and palate, Morocco has it all for the cultural romantics, and you can find an authentic experience by booking your stay at a Riad (traditional house) like this one in Fes.

6 Signs You Are Too Soft At Work

How would your coworkers describe you? How would your boss describe you?

There is significant value in knowing the real answer to this common interview question. Whether you are job hunting or not, understanding how you are perceived in the office can make – or break – your career progression and overall office experience.

On a professional level, how we are perceived at work can shape the support we receive, our productivity, and, ultimately, our likelihood of promotion or advancement. In fact, thought leaders on the importance of social currency for women in the workplace assert that career progression for women is largely dependent on their ability to manage their work reputation. Women that are viewed as too nice or not assertive enough, for example, may come across as being unable to handle adversity or offer up constructive criticism to direct reports and, therefore, may be passed over for promotion to executive level positions.

On a personal level, your work reputation can determine whether you enjoy the camaraderie and cooperation of your colleagues – or if you will be eating lunch AND working on that tough project late into the night alone.

So how do you know if you have a reputation for being too soft?too soft at work

6 Red Flags That May Mean You Are Too Soft and Need To Toughen Up

  1. Your Team Members/Direct Reports Never Meet their Deadlines

If the deadlines you set are consistently missed, there are two things to consider. Either your deadlines are unreasonable or you are not being taken seriously.

To find out which is the case, have an open discussion with your team member about projects that have gone past deadline. Find out if your team member simply struggled with the project and was hesitant to communicate or if they lack fundamental understanding of deadlines and accountability. Cite any negative impacts from the late projects such as overtime hours paid or clients lost, then open the floor for feedback on what went wrong. On the next project, work directly with team members to identify fair milestones and timelines. Hold team members accountable if deadlines continued to be missed, either by having them interface directly with the client and/or formally documenting their performance and impact to the team and organization. For the latter, follow your HR team’s protocol.

  1. The Majority of Tasks for Key Projects Land on Your Desksigns you are too soft at work

Does it feel like you are shouldering the brunt of the work? It is hard to know for certain what your co-workers or even direct reports are (or are not) working on. Your best bet is to get a good understanding up front of all project tasks and who is accountable for them. Seeing a list of tasks and ‘responsible party’ names can give all team members an ‘in-your-face’ snapshot of fairness of duties. If it’s obvious you are, in fact, doing most of the work, it’s time to sit down with your manager. Explain how the workload is impinging upon your ability to produce quality work and ask for support in a redistribution of duties. Be sure to frame communication on this topic with your manager through the lens of what is best for the organization.

  1. Others Try to Take Credit for your Work

Don’t get angry, but don’t let this slide. On a first offense, speak directly with whomever is claiming your work. Say something like this:

“I noticed in the meeting you said you found and corrected the error in the demand forecast formula for Q4. I know you’re aware that I discovered the error and fixed it. Can I ask why you said that?”

Will you receive a sensible answer? Probably, not, but the point here is that letting the Credit Taker know you’re going to call them out is likely enough to get them to stop. As we discussed on day 13 of the Goal Getter challenge, this is especially significant for women in the workplace.

If the behavior repeats itself, start cc’ing key players and the Credit Taker on some of your critical deliverables and accomplishments for a short time. This will make it clear to the Credit Taker that you plan on standing up for your work in front of an audience.

  1. You Always Agree with your Boss and Colleagues…Even if You Don’t Always Agree with your Boss and Colleagues

While it is certainly convenient to be on the same page as your boss and co-workers, that is not what a good company hires you for. Your real value lies in your approach to solving problems and your fresh ideas for improving processes. These are the contributions that build the foundation of career advancement, so offer them!

What is important here is to ask yourself why you are agreeing, even when you disagree. If you are withholding thoughts because you are nervous or shy about sharing your real perspective, remind yourself that it’s your job to contribute to your company’s success. If you don’t speak up because the office environment does not encourage it, continue to share your ideas, but consider looking for work at a company who better values their employees’ contributions.

You could be labeled as too soft if you do not speak up in times like these – when it matters.

  1. You are Consistently Left Out of Critical Communication

Whether it’s something as significant as a rescheduled meeting or as simple as a “Cookies in the Breakroom!” memo, if you’re consistently the last one to know, you need to speak up.

Assume the missed communication was an oversight and casually ask the email originator to be included on the next similar communication. If the problem persists, loop in a manager explaining the negative impact the lack of info has on your work. Again, frame your issue as a concern for the organization.

  1. Your Requests for Resources and Support Go Unaddressed

Whether its sufficient time, equipment, budget or manpower, if you have clearly communicated your needs to get the job done and they’ve long gone unmet, it’s possible you need to strengthen your stance. too soft at work 3

If you haven’t already, really do your homework here. Be able to draw direct expectations of how the resources you are requesting can improve the business. Conversely, illustrate how continued lack of such resources will impair the business. Present your case, then listen carefully for opportunities to compromise. If there are none, start updating your resume. You want to join a company that recognizes the importance of equipping team members with the tools to succeed.

Key Takeaway:

Don’t be afraid to ask a friend or mentor for their take, if you find yourself in one – or more- of these situations. These experiences are more common than you think and hearing how someone else has handled them can help you frame your approach. Or, if you have successfully navigated one of these challenges yourself, why not check Day 29 of the BossChix Network 31 Day Challenge off your list by reaching out to someone in your network and sharing your story?