Black moms who work outside the home are essential parts of their families and the labor force as a whole. Since the pandemic, though, the spotlight is often on the childcare difficulties Black moms have faced and how many are leaving the workforce altogether. While these struggles are absolutely a critical reality, it’s also essential to recognize the many Black moms who continue to make great strides in their careers.
You’re likely already familiar with high-profile Black moms who work outside the home like Beyoncé, Michelle Obama, Allyson Felix, and one of The Mom Project’s strategic advisors, Serena Williams. Still, there are so many others that also deserve some attention. Whether they’re holding C-suite positions at major companies, running their businesses, or fighting to make their industries more equitable for BIPOC, here are some real-life amazing women who bring BlackMomMagic to the workplace (and beyond).
Current Head of Global Marketing at Clubhouse
Maya graduated from college as a single mom after having her first child at 19 years old. When she was interning, she discovered she was overlooked for an opportunity by a supervisor for the fact of being a mother. Therefore, she kept her child a secret for three years after starting at a new company.
Despite the rocky start to her career as a Black mom, Maya pressed on. Her performance impressed the people she worked with because Harpo Productions hired Maya after working as a Regional Field Director for the Obama campaign in 2008. She started as an Affiliate Relations Coordinator to move on to a Director of Marketing and Social Media in under six years. Maya then went on to serve as the Vice President of Marketing at OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network before moving to Netflix, where she served as the Director of Social Media before transitioning into the role of Editorial and Publishing Director. As of March of 2021, Maya has served as the Head of Global Marketing at Clubhouse.
And she did all of this while also being a mom. Not only that, but motherhood has also positively influenced how she manages her direct reports. She told Fast Company, “I make it a point to say: You have space here to be a parent and to work. You can’t be great at work when your family life is not great, or you feel like your kids are struggling because as a parent, you’re only as happy as your kids are.”
Mother, Activist, & Author
Jodie Patterson is a mother of five. At the same time, she has been a social activist for decades. Her role as a mom led her to become an LGBTQ+ advocate recognized for her work by Hilary Clinton GLADD, and several well-known publications. It started back in 2009, when her 3-year-old Penelope told her, “I’m not a girl. I am a boy.” In her best-selling memoir, The Bold World: A Memoir of Family and Transformation, Jodie explains that this declaration led her family to completely transform their thinking to understand better and support her transgender son.
Since her son came out as trans, Jodie has been advocating for him and the LGBTQ+ community in so many ways. She’s a Board Director with the Human Rights Campaign where she collaborates with the organization’s Transgender Equality Council. Also, Jodie is a member of the Mount Sinai Institute for Health Equity Research Task Force, Mount Sinai’s Center for Transgender Medicine and Surgery Advisory Board, and the Ackerman Institute’s Gender & Family Project. As if that’s not enough, she’s also recognized as a Champion of Change by the United Nations.
Jodie’s work is incredible and vital across various communities, and she got to where she is today because she’s a mom.
Jasmine Simms & Dr. Tammira Lucas
Founders of Moms as Entrepreneurs
Jasmine Simms and Dr. Tammira Lucas are both Black moms and entrepreneurs, and since 2014, they’ve been working to help other moms do the same. Jasmine has been in the spa and beauty industry since 2011 where she’s opened her businesses and served as a consultant for other new companies, and Tammira has founded and co-founded several organizations and has served as adjunct and assistant professors in business at three universities. These women are determined and driven, and they were tired of the narrative that “moms are unwilling to risk or assume the pressures of being a mom and an entrepreneur.” Hence, they teamed up to support other moms with dreams of opening businesses.
In 2014, they launched Moms as Entrepreneurs, a non-profit organization out of Baltimore, MD, that provides training, tools, and resources to moms interested in becoming entrepreneurs. As of now, they don’t have any upcoming seminars or events, but they’ve still done so much to help moms over the last seven years. In May of 2020, the organization held a virtual Mother’s Day fundraising event to provide much-needed assistance to mom-owned businesses impacted by the pandemic.
At the time, Tammira told Black Enterprise, “We..realize that while these women are trying to find relief for their businesses, they are also trying to be teachers and mothers. We knew we had to help. If we aren’t able to save mom-owned businesses, women-owned businesses, in general, will see a decline and push our hard work of elevating women-owned businesses back by decades.”
To date, Moms as Entrepreneurs has helped launch more than 100 mom-owned businesses.
Managing Director, Head of National Sales at JPMorgan Chase & Co.
Raquel Oden is a wife, a mom, and is wildly successful in the finance industry. Throughout her career, she has worked with the investment banking company UBS, Merrill Lynch, JPMorgan Chase Bank, and in 2020 was named Managing Director and Head of National Sales at JPMorgan Chase & Co. She’s a member of various professional organizations and has been recognized by Wealth Management Magazine, InvestmentNews, the United Way, the Wall Street Alphas Foundation, and more.
While her professional success is admirable (to put it lightly), what she does with her position of power makes her so incredible. Raquel has made it her mission to create a more equitable workplace filled with diverse talent throughout her career. As a graduate of an HBCU (historically black colleges and universities) and as a woman, she’s aware of how hard it is for minorities, specifically WOC, to get into the finance industry. To help rectify this, she has championed new recruiting strategies at the companies she’s worked for, such as JPMorgan Chase, seeking new talent from ivy league schools and HBCUs to ensure more opportunities for Black students.
Additionally, as a manager herself, she has overseen thousands of employees over the years, which allows her to prioritize diversity and inclusion. Raquel told The Network Journal, “Historically, hiring women and minorities into the wealth management business is something we have not been able to do. But, I hire more than 1,700 advisors a year, and I’ve made it a commitment to put diversity at the forefront of my job.”
These women are doing amazing things and making the professional world a little better for moms who work outside the home. Their work is essential and helps drive change for women and moms everywhere. These inspiring ladies are what BlackMomMagic is all about.
It’s about more than jobs. We’re making progress.
The Mom Projects connects skilled, diverse talent with family-friendly employers that respect work-life integration and provides career support and connection to our community of talented moms and allies.