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EP.019 – Seeing Value In Diversity with Dr. Avis Jones-DeWeever

According to a recent Fortune article, “When Ursula Burns quietly shut off the light to her office as Xerox CEO at the end of 2016, her departure also cast a light on a sad statistic: There are currently zero African-American women running Fortune 500 companies.”

You can find conversations and articles like this one about women in leadership and diversity throughout the web.

Well, my guest on this episode of The UV Effect Podcast  just so happens to be one of the foremost experts on both subjects.

Dr. Avis Jones-DeWeever is a Diversity Consultant and Women’s Empowerment Expert.  She’s the Founder of the Exceptional Leadership Institute for Women and the President of Incite Unlimited, a Washington, DC-based boutique consulting firm specializing in diversity consulting, communications strategy and the development and implementation of impactful research.

In this episode, we discuss the struggles in the workforce and in society as a whole when in comes to the lack of diversity and women in leadership.

Dr. Avis digs into our countries history and provides real data that clarifies some of the roadblocks we face and insights on how we can move forward more effectively.

Join me for another insightful episode of #theUVEffect with Dr. Avis Jones-DeWeever.

" There is nothing more powerful than fully knowing who you are."

Dr. Avis Jones-DeWeever

Questions I asked:

  • You are an advocate and an educator on the topics and issues of integration of diversity in the work place and really in society as a whole. You focus strongly on the integration of Women, African Americans, and African American Women; Why is that? Besides the fact that you are an African American Woman yourself of course, where did the inspiration come from to begin this journey of being an outspoken influencer of this topic begin?

  • For those who aren’t as woke to the struggles facing African Americans, Women, etc., can you elaborate on what the situation is really like for them when entering the work force and what you do as a coach, influencer and speaker to bring awareness and change to these struggles?

  • About year ago I was speaking about the overt; blatant, easily recognized; and covert; hidden, unseen; biases that the diverse members of society face when in business. I also spoke about how being a young African American female, I have seen that not just in society but also in myself, that because these biases are so pungent in the world we live in, we begin to take on these biases as our own. We begin to think they’re true and this hinders our confidence and our ability to step up and lead. What kind of overt and covert biases do you see when diversity enters companies and campuses and what kinds of effects do you recognize on the people these biases are directed towards?

  • Tell us about the Exceptional Leaders Institute for Women began and why it was such a pivotal addition to your focus and message.

  • I find that African Americas have so much value to bring to the table that can allow them to exceptionally stand out in so many fields but are often limited by their own selves and society. What unique value do African Americans bring to society that makes this such an important fight for you?

  • Tell us about your book, How Exceptional Black Women Lead.

  • Is there anything else you’d like to share?

In this episode you will learn:

  • It is possible to face injustices and still push through them and be successful anyway. [8:20]

  • [African-American women] are more likely, more than any other women in America, to be a member of the labor force. [10:36]

  • When you live within a society the is replete of various stereotypes, a lot of times, that subconscious processing attaches to stereotypical assumptions rather than reality .[18:44]

  • Most people live in neighborhood that are very much homogeneous. [19:10]

  • In order for you to ascend up the ladder, people need to be able to know who you are. [26:16]

  • The importance of mentoring to REACH the masses, not just to the masses [22:42]

  • It’s all about owning who you are; being confident in who you are. [28:12]

  • If you present yourself with a level of self-respect, then that is something that emanates out and other people, the right people, will get that and they will treat you with that respect. [28:19]



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