Working in the communications industry over the last nine years has been incredibly rewarding and filled with so many professional adventures. I’ve had my fair share of successes and challenges. And through it all, it’s been the connections that I’ve made that have kept me sane and on the path for continued growth and business expansion.
The communications industry employs many women of color, but when it comes to that elusive C-suite, there is still a lack of diversity in leadership roles and executive level opportunities.
ColorComm is a modern network designed especially for women of color in all areas of communications – Public Relations, Corporate Communications, Advertising Print Media, Broadcast and Digital.
When I first heard about this organization, I immediately thought back to my early days in marketing and wished that this incredible sisterhood of women had existed back then.
Sometimes in life though, you can’t plan when amazing things will happen. It’s all about timing and letting fate naturally step in. Or at least that’s what happened when ColorComm’s founder Lauren Wesley Wilson decided to host a special luncheon one day.
It started with a luncheon and turned into a community…
In May 2011, Lauren and a group of 34 women gathered for lunch at an upscale restaurant in Washington, D.C. Several luncheons later, these invite-only events, featuring unparalleled networking and top-level guest speakers, quickly became the most sought-after ticket in D.C. and beyond for professional women of color in communications.
Based on feedback from participants who expressed a desire for more opportunities to connect, ColorComm evolved into a membership organization. Today, the org boasts chapters throughout the country and provides ongoing programs, networking, and conferences in order to create the most meaningful, dynamic experiences for their exclusive member community.
As ColorComm prepares to kick off their Dallas chapter on June 1st, I jumped at the chance to learn more about this formidable organization and its fearless founder:
JB:// Why is Dallas the perfect city for ColorComm?
LWW:// Dallas is a vibrant, diverse, and eclectic city. I’ve gotten to know this city years ago while serving as the Communications Director for Dallas Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson. My family is also from Dallas. This city holds a special place in my heart and I look forward to building a strong community of communicators here.
JB:// What can we expect at the June 1st event?
LWW:// ColorComm’s signature luncheons are like no other. The event provides the opportunity to see diversity in the communications, marketing, and advertising industry. The goal is to build business partnerships, relationships and real connections. Each city that we launched started with a signature luncheon. ColorComm started over a lunch and turned into a community of more than 1,000 members and access to a greater network of more than 100,000 professionals working in communications. We are proud of our reach and look forward to this expansion in Dallas.
JB:// What have been the biggest lessons learned since that first luncheon back in 2011?
LWW:// Building a community starts with the individual. Take the information that you hear and use it to learn, act, and implement change.
JB:// What can we expect to see from ColorComm over the next year?
LWW:// I would like ColorComm to go global! Many cultures around the world experience similar issues in our industry. I would love to see this organization build communities in emerging markets.
JB:// Who or what inspires you?
LWW:// Linda Spradley Dunn who runs the Odyssey Conference inspires me! She is a force!!
JB:// Your style crush?
LWW:// DJ, model and entrepreneur Hannah Bronfman
JB:// Favorite city for fun?
LWW:// Los Angeles!
JB:// A piece of advice for professional women of color just beginning their careers in communications?
LWW:// Work hard. Speak up. Develop mentors, sponsors, and godmothers. Go above and beyond with every task you receive. Make yourself valuable; always ask questions; smile; dress appropriately; go to networking events; develop mentors who don’t look like you; understand what your boss cares about; show interest; be eager; and always remain hungry!
Join Lauren and guest speaker Tonya Veasey for ColorComm’s Dallas official launch event tomorrow at Sambuca’s. Tickets are limited. RSVP here.