Global Diversity Month: From Otherness to Building a Community

I am a 45-year-old Black woman, an immigrant whose life has spanned continents, from the Congo to the frosty expanses of Canada. I have spent the last 15 as project manager working groundbreaking tech projects, despite a very successful professional trajectory, my experience has also been shadowed by a looming sense isolation, a reminder that in spaces where I am the ‘other,’ true diversity means more than just presence—it demands voice, recognition, and respect.

At the beginning of my tech career, my diverse background was a strength. It helped me build teams that were not only efficient but also successful, and it allowed me to create real, meaningful relationships with my coworkers and clients.Yet, in places where everyone was expected to be the same, I often felt out of place. My very right to be there, as a woman, as a person of color, with my natural hair and tattoos, seemed to challenge the status quo. The corporate world is a machine that demands conformity, my very being was a form of quiet resistance.Eventually, the constant pressure led to burnout. It wasn’t sudden; it was a gradual loss of passion, leading me to a major turning point in my life.

Leaving the traditional corporate world behind, I embraced the digital nomad lifestyle, seeking freedom and autonomy over my work and life. I was determined to find a path where I could make sure my work reflected what I truly valued. Brazil, with its warmth and vivid culture, became my home and strengthened my vision, blending rich experiences with entrepreneurial pursuits. My company sprang from these changes—a clear answer to the burnout that nearly broke me. It was more than just changing jobs. It was about building something where being different is a strength, not a challenge. Where what I’ve been through, what I believe, and what I hope for the world shapes everything we do

My client base formed organically, predominantly comprising Black and POC women entrepreneurs. This convergence of like-minded individuals highlighted the power of authenticity in business—by staying true to my values, I naturally attracted clients who shared those ideals.

Each collaboration with these entrepreneurs is not just business; it’s a source of mutual inspiration. The future I see for my venture is not confined to the boundaries of traditional business models. Instead, I envision a collaborative platform, where diverse voices are not just heard but amplified.

Navigating the corporate giants as a Black woman to building a company from the ground up, my path has been anything but straightforward. It’s a testament to the power of diversity, not as a checkbox but as the very essence of innovation and growth.

As we stand in 2024, more connected than ever yet often feeling more isolated, the old paradigms of striving for a seat at the table seem outdated, even uninspiring. My vision is bolder—reimagining not just the table but what we build around it. Maybe it’s not a table we need but a community space, a neighborhood, a city designed for walkability and inclusivity.

This Diversity Month, let’s pledge to move beyond platitudes to meaningful action that embraces every story, every background, every individual. I challenge each of us to initiate projects or engage in dialogues that bridge divides, whether through hosting inclusive community forums, mentoring aspiring tech professionals from underrepresented groups, or supporting businesses that prioritize diversity. My commitment is to lead by example, expanding my company’s reach to support more entrepreneurs and projects that reflect our shared vision for a diverse, inclusive future.

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