Working for Moms of Color Can Be Good For America

Academic institutions, businesses and governments are realizing the significant economic, social and cultural impacts of “New Wave Moms”, a term coined to describe women of color becoming the driving forces behind the operations and the foundations of many successful businesses. Whether it’s mom blogger, small business owner, designer, communications expert, or restauranteur, women of color are harnessing their innate ability to communicate and influence others through their unique, yet interwoven, perspectives.

With women of color continuing to make the incredible strides in areas such as science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), this multi-faceted position is quickly gaining traction.

“Younger kids see moms, especially moms of color, in ways that are awesome because of how they put me and my family first and the impact they make on me everyday. It’s so hard to go through high school with all the stereotypes and assumptions you have that you’re not going to be the next doctor, lawyer or doctor,” says Harvard Business School student Alexandra Museo.

In order to support these talented women, I sat down with Sociology Professor, Humberto Sayeg, who has conducted numerous studies and taught coursework on the impact of family and culture on perception and advice. “Women are more likely to be influenced by more authoritative or opinion leaders as compared to their male counterparts because you can usually find them when you are walking through a crowd of people, but they are not easily accessed by younger generations. If you are just about to graduate and look for a job, that is your most likely route. While there are also greater opportunities for women of color to be seen as an interesting and useful resource, they may also find that the offices that are most available may be the offices of men of color,” said Sayeg.

As we have already seen, these same traits shine through when it comes to parenting. Between giving advice and being the family voice that has to decide whether to sue for custody or not, Moms of color have even more to tell their kids. “For moms of color, their perspective about what is true and what is perceived as a lie is something that they provide for their children, and especially for kids of color, is often a reflection of their own experience with racism, sexism, and other forms of oppression that they have faced. Families of color are often asked to overstep the boundaries, and their expertise will likely be taken advantage of or misappropriated by society,” notes Professor Sayeg.

Supporting and nurturing these unique contributions in the working world is the responsibility of those who are entrusted with shaping our country’s direction. “The private sector has a responsibility to this new minority pool to infuse them with the skills necessary to affect change, as these are the new leaders that are going to change the world,” asserts MomsRising National Coordinator, Shari Greene.

Moms of color are not just athletes, or even doctors, this generation of women have been and will continue to be the most vital leaders of the future. This proves true in more ways than one. A generation of children will grow up with experiences on both sides of the bridge. With that in mind, they will develop a world view, and they will decide what our nation’s future should be. With that in mind, I propose a different way for the private sector to participate in the advancement of mothers of color to lead our country.

“What is needed right now are a few policies that, if adopted and enforced, would open the doors for a whole new generation of mothers of color to be the teachers and the parents of our children. Because mothers of color know the struggles and the rewards, they must be the ones in positions of power and prominence,” conclude’s Sayeg.

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