WOCA 2022: How WOC Support One Another at Work

The pandemic has led to job changes and opportunities for many, but women of color still feel like they are competing with one another for scarce opportunities.

While this might be the case, it is important for women of color to uplift one another and show their support for one another in the workplace. At Fair360, formerly DiversityInc’s 2022 Women of Color and Their Allies event, experts on a panel titled “How WOC Support One Another at Work,” focused on supporting each other through mentorship, sponsorship and other avenues.

Pilar Ramos, EVP, General Counsel & Corporate Secretary at TelevisaUnivision, said women of color can support one another by embracing the fact that “we’re representing a broader demographic, whether we like it or not.” 

Dr. J. Nwando Olayiwola, Chief Health Equity Officer and Senior Vice President at Humana echoed this sentiment, saying that bringing down another woman of color in a meeting is not good for any woman of color. 

“Even if I don’t agree with you, I will never do that publicly,” she said. “Take it somewhere else. We’ll talk about it and disagree, but keep that safe space. Know that if you’re in the room, if I’m in the room, you are supported, you’re valued, you will be heard.” 

To support other women of color, Dr. Olayiwola said women of color should be looking at what strengths their cohorts have in the workplace have and understanding them so that when an opportunity arises, you can help elevate another woman of color and her strengths.

At Humana, Olayiwola said she has recognized the strength of women of color within her organization through network resource groups and through a women of color group called “Thriving Thursdays” that meets regularly.

“I’ve learned a lot about women of color in my organization who have skills and strengths I could deposit somewhere else if the opportunity comes up,” she said.

Olayiwola added that Humana demands excellence and that excellence has been realized through women of color. She shared that when she got to Humana, she had the opportunity to build a team.

“The team that I built is 70% women of color,” she said. “Eighty-three percent of my leaders are women of color.

“Every single one of them is a leader and a boss in her own right. It’s not that we did them any favors or anything like that. They are excellent all the time.”

Watch all the sessions from our 2022 Women of Color and Their Allies event here!