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How 4 women of color demonstrate leadership in the workplace

Being a leader in the workplace is rewarding for everyone. But a woman of color has a unique and sometimes unfavorable experience of being her boss, whether in corporate America or a business owner.

While some succeed in executive positions, many women of color experience self-doubt, burnout, and even impostor syndrome in their positions.

CNBC Make It interviewed four diverse women in executive leadership to learn more about their individual experiences as leaders in the workplace.

Lisa Lewin

General Assembly, CEO

CEO, Lisa Lewin

Lisa Lewin

General Assembly CEO Lisa Lewin is well aware of the lack of representation at the executive level.

“The entire corporate ecosystem is, for the most part, [Caucasian cis-male] Lewin told CNBC Make It. “That doesn’t mean that everyone with that identity is always comfortable, but it certainly fits some identities more than others in terms of common default culture. .”

Many black women struggle to express their true selves in the workplace, but Lewin says being in management actually made them feel more comfortable.

“What does it mean to be in the C suite, regardless of gender or race? When you reach that level, it actually gives you the power to be a little more authentic. I can bring more possibilities.I’m the boss, so I can definitely be more authentic.”

Chelsea C. Williams

Founder and CEO of Reimagine Talent Co.

Chelsea C. Williams, Founder and CEO of Reimagine Talent Co., said:

Reimagine Talent Co.

All by herself, Chelsea C. Williams founded and funded Reimagine Talent Co., a workforce development and talent retention company, when she was still in her twenties. Now, 32, Williams’ business brings her seven figures. But it was no easy task.

Williams told CNBC Make It that he couldn’t fully accept his position as CEO at first.

“In my first year, I couldn’t call myself CEO. You could say I’m a strategist. I couldn’t sit on that title because what the world calls CEO “Because people are often not black women…especially young,” she says.

Williams recommends finding a therapist or “mindset coach” to help combat feelings of inadequacy at work.

“My therapist was critical in helping me establish my identity…helping me understand my worth and worth and how to show who I am. I don’t have to be aggressive or emulate men or the way they build their business.I can femininity, demanding certain things and leading this business. please.”

Christine Cruz Vergara

Handshake Chief Education Strategy Officer

Christine Cruzvergara, Chief Education Strategy Officer, Handshake

Christine Cruz Vergara

Christine Cruzvergara is a leader in Career Services, helping provide students with the tools they need to succeed and feel confident in the workplace. This, she says, was something she had to remember when transitioning into her current role.

“I am surrounded by a large number of people who do not have the same professional or educational background as me as I transition from a higher education career into technology. “And while I need to incorporate some of those tools into my toolkit, I don’t want to lose who I am and what makes me special at the same time.”

Cruzvergara also says that while leadership involves failure, staying true to yourself has been a big driver of her success.

“As a woman of color, I have to operate knowing that my margin of error is small, and that I need to be in the game every time I walk into a room,” she explains.

“On a more positive note, in my career, I’ve learned how important it is to fit in with your own confidence and know what makes you. Because that’s what helps you succeed.” That’s what I’ve come to do. Where I am, and that’s what takes me to where I’m going next.”

Lisa Skeet Tatum

Founder and CEO of LandIt

Founder and CEO of Landit

Lisa Skeet Tatum

For many entrepreneurs of color, fundraising can be the hardest part of owning a business. Lisa Skeet Tatum used to be a venture capitalist, but she still found it “difficult” to raise money.

“Entrepreneurship is hard for everyone. But when you’re a founder of color, there’s an extra layer. And of course funding is that top priority because you can’t scale. Without resources You can’t grow up,” says Tatum. “It was hard, but I was able to surround myself with great funders and angel investors.

To other women entrepreneurs and POC entrepreneurs, Tatum encourages you to be persistent in achieving your business and career goals.

“You have to get used to the word no. You have to be resolute and unwavering in your vision and commitment to what you do. You have to be driven to a greater mission. An entrepreneur in fact, you are passionate about service and are willing to do whatever it takes to provide on behalf of the people you serve.”

Want to earn more and work less? Register for the free CNBC Make It: Your Money virtual event On December 13th at 12:00 PM ET, learn how to increase your earning power from money gurus like Kevin O’Leary.

check out:

Stop Saying “I’m Sorry” at Work: Try These Phrases Instead, Says the CEO of a Career Consulting Firm

Do These 3 Things To Get The Most Out Of Your Next Work Meeting, Career Experts Say

These 10 cities are the best places to work from home in the US

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