Leaders, you have “a Stacey Abrams” in your organization. Yes, she is a Black woman. She works hard with fewer resources. She’s loyal, adds value to the org, and inspires others. You expect the impossible, and against all odds she makes the impossible happen. Yet, she’s undervalued, underpaid, and overworked. But guess what?! She ALWAYS delivers. The Stacey Abrams worked to register more than 800,000 new voters across ruby-red, Deep-South Georgia, who were subjects of long embedded voter suppression, all in time for the most important election of our lifetime.
1. Please pause and identify who she is at your company. If you don’t know, then you are already losing.
2. Next “put some respect on her name.” That’s right! Bring her in your strategy meetings with executives, introduce her to your board – actually – add her to your board. No more tired excuses like, “but we want someone that has board experience and prefer not to have an employee of the company on our board.” If that’s your thought, then you are already losing!
3. Amplify her voice by sharing the work she does when she is not in the room.
4. Trust her! She’s the expert in her field, not you! That’s why you hired her. She doesn’t tell you how to do your job.
5. Pay her appropriately. PAY HER!
6. Give her the proper resources that she needs to be successful. She’s a force, but she’s not Houdini! Give her headcount. Don’t you have a team?
7. Promote her NOW! Stop putting it off.
8. Get to know her and understand her worth and values. Build a respectful, fruitful relationship with her.
9. Understand when she gets frustrated and listen to her.
10. Give her credit for all of her ideas.
11. Invest in her development, so that she can be your successor one day.