Women’s empowerment is the latest buzzword allowing businesses and brands to monetize empowering women and more specifically women of color. For many, this may include a host of activities, panelists, and seminars catered to empowering women to take charge of their finances and pursue an entrepreneurial journey.
For four African American women, women’s empowerment meant something totally different. The founding members Lyndsay Christian (with a media background in TV Reporting and Public relations), Joi Adams (who works in high-level government tech fields), Shawanda Green (who works in corporate consulting and advertising), and Ericka Hatfield (who has a communications and tech background); all came together to form the Bougie Brunch Group.
The Bougie Brunch was hosted after the group of women noticed a need in the amount of time they had to spend together to network and grow their relationships. As friends, the bunch only had time to properly fellowship, and keep up with one another on holidays and birthdays.
After a social brunch gathering, the women decided to plan another with a few exceptions. Each founding member proposed a monthly brunch where they could properly network and fellowship together, however, requiring each member to invite five new friends, and the movement grew. The group of women uses their platform to uplift, encourage, and support women in professional development and entrepreneurial endeavors, connecting them across various industries in various cities.
“We needed this networking experience because as women in corporate America we rarely had the connections we needed inside the office space,” said Shawanda Green, who works in corporate consulting and advertising.
Immediately after their inaugural Bougie Brunch, they saw the need for the experience for women of color as a community.
“Women who attend the Bougie Brunch can expect to not only feel empowered but also connected,” said Shawanda. “Most women of color are talented and do many things, but lack the resources and persistence to get into certain fields and progress, so the women who attend connect and empower one another.”
The bimonthly event is sponsored by major corporate brands who genuinely cater to women of color such as Miss Jessie’s, Google, Y&R, Etsy and more.
“Our corporate sponsors keep us rooted in the fact that we need to be in other places,” said Shawanda.
The brunch allows corporate sponsors the opportunity to have live interactions with potential employees, as well as allows prospects the opportunity to get new headshots and grow a greater network for employment, ideas, and professional or personal growth.
Over the next couple of months, you can catch the Bougie Brunchers in Houston, Washington, DC, and NYC. Previously the group has hosted brunches in Houston, NYC, and DC featuring network opportunities with brands like Y&R, Google, L’Oreal, Etsy and many more who are on-site at the event to recruit attendees for opportunities within their respective companies.
“The brunch truly allows women of color to empower one another. We are not only inclusive to those in the corporate space,” said Shawanda. “We really pride ourselves on connecting women within the corporate space, but also reaching back to those who aren’t in the space, or are looking for better opportunity to break into corporate America.”