Marketing Exec Watchen Nyanue Shares Why Climbing The Corporate Ladder Is A Daily Choice For Black Women In The Workplace
It’s been nearly seven months since those who are fortunate enough to still have jobs have been working remotely. Yet, many people are still finding their rhythm and footing on the corporate ladder.
While recent reports have shown that 1 in 4 women have chosen to step away from corporate due to the global pandemic, there is still an opportunity for others to show up and take the next step up the ladder with the right support and resources.
Watchen Nyanue, Senior Vice President of Marketing Partnerships for the WNBA Chicago Sky and Founder and CEO of I Choose The Ladder, a career development company, has made it a priority to help women understand what comes with the territory of deciding to work in Corporate America – and how they can strategize to be successful – especially during the pandemic.
“Although it does not seem like it, working in Corporate America is a choice. It’s a choice that we make every single day. And if you’re going to make that choice, you want to make sure that you’re putting yourself in the best position to win,” said Nyanue.
After recognizing the privilege of having high-powered mentors from all nationalities throughout her career – and being called out on it by friends who didn’t have the same experience – Nyanue decided to create “I Choose the Ladder” to help others. “As someone who has been standing on shoulders to get me to any rung on the ladder that I want, I thought it was my responsibility to make sure that once I was where I wanted to be, that I was sending the elevator back down for other women who look like me,” said Nyanue.
Nyanue and her team host an annual event with leaders from various industries who candidly share their experiences and expertise to help Black women better position themselves as they show up at work. For Nyanue, being specific and intentional about focusing on Black women in the workplace is imperative given the lack of support many receive.
“I personally do not believe that we should tell other people’s stories. I’ve never been a woman of color in the workplace. I’ve always been a Black woman in the workplace. So, the problems that I know and the problems that I can solve for are the ones that Black women face. I’m not arrogant enough to think that I can solve problems that don’t really apply to me,” said Nyanue.
Weathering In The Workplace
One of the many problems that she is solving for is weathering in the workplace. For some Black women, there a number of pandemics that they have experienced personally and professionally. So for some, working remotely or going into the office during this time adds another layer of complexity – and stress.
To that point, Nyanue said, “The level of weathering that you’re going