Blog Post
April 18, 2024

Diversity is Our Strength

I launched Diplomatic Enterprises Consulting (“DE”) in April 2012 on the heels of a career transition and relocation to a new city. I’m a lawyer by training and education, but my experience beyond the practice of law spans several industries including sports and entertainment, education, small business, and politics. My search for career opportunities that would allow me to pursue my varied interests proved unfruitful. I applied to over a hundred jobs and grew tired of being told that I was either “overqualified,” “under qualified,” or flat out, “no” before I founded DE.

Over time, I grew and developed the company I wanted, doing the projects I wanted to do, with and for the people I wanted to. I’ve collaborated with athletes, creatives, entrepreneurs, small businesses, and higher education institutions on everything from commercials to building corporate giving offices, from creating brand ambassadorships to intellectual property protection and crafting operational strategy. Taking a step back, one common thread that I noticed was the heavy presence of Black women.

I always envisioned most of my clients would be minorities, but I would be lying if I said they were the specific targets of my customer acquisition strategy. When I launched DE the only “targets” of my customer acquisition strategy were paying clients. How it happened was that from the early stages of my life, the people most likely to bet on me were Black women. The people who were most willing to see my diverse experiences as an asset, who saw my tenacity as something they could harness, and who felt safe (enough) to let me help them become the best versions of themselves were Black women.

As the business grew, I found that the points of contact for my larger clients were almost always women and more often than not, Black women. What I also found was that they gave me a voice in a room that was not always willing to hear theirs and championed my ideas when others in the room doubted the kid (I was, and often still am, the youngest executive in any meeting). Black women are overworked, underappreciated, and underpaid in nearly every facet of industry. Even in entrepreneurship where most believe great ideas will win out, their companies are funded at a fraction of the price and frequency than any other demographic. When you see a successful Black woman, understand she probably went through hell and back several times before she got to a position where we could see her. While it may have been happenstance that my client based developed in this manner, when I noticed, I decided to be more accountable and more intentional about what I do and how I do it. I had to be mindful of who hired me, why I had been employed, and how I could deliver the results they were looking for.

I’m dope at what I do. Full stop. No cap. All facts. But none of this would be possible without the many Black women in my life who’ve always been there to support me. My mom, who stayed up with me in the middle of the night when I suffered asthma attacks. My kindergarten teacher, Ms. Juanita Mond who was the first, and for a long time the only, teacher who saw my precocious behavior as a sign of my potential for greatness and not an indicator of my inability to learn. DE’s first two clients were companies and brands helmed by Black women, which I still count as strategic partners to this day.

This is not the Oppression Olympics and there are no medals for survival of the marginalized fittest. Times are hard and the rent is due for everyone, but as the attacks on diversity, equity, inclusion, and “woke culture” (whatever that is) continue to proliferate, if you’re a Black woman in this country, chances are you still have it worst than the similarly situated man next to you. I strongly believe that most of us are doing the best we can, however, in many instances it’s not enough. At times it can be difficult to bring the finish line into focus when you’re busy running your race, or you see what you believe to be others passing you by. This race is not a zero-sum game and there is an opportunity for all of us to win if we work collectively.

At DE, we don’t have a DEI office because creating social impact through diverse, equitable and inclusionary methods is ingrained in what we do and informs how we do it. While others are shrinking their impact for the collective good, we aren’t. We earnestly believe that we’re stronger together and that if there aren’t enough seats at the table for marginalized voices to be heard that we should build a bigger table. If you’re looking for a team willing and able to help with that mission, join us.

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