Hey Glow Gang!
It's been a big couple of weeks. There's so many cool & exciting stories about women of colour to share! It took aaaages to pick what stories to spotlight in this week's newsletter - not complaining though, this is a good thing for sure!
Let's get glowing
P.S. Are you in London?! Hit reply and let me know if you are. I'm here for the next few months and am keen to arrange some meet ups + support your favourite women of colour founded local businesses/your business!
The Perfect Colour Match 🎨
Health and wellbeing
Skin tone softies 🤎 For the first time ever, women of colour who have had a mastectomy (in the UK) will be offered soft prosthetics in a range of skin tones.
The prosthetics, aka ‘softies’, are a lightweight fabric breast shape and worn in a bra. Research shows the trauma of breast surgery can be lessened if the patient has an appropriate softie. We are here for the inclusivity + anything that helps lessen the trauma of breast cancer recovery.
Changing the world, one snack at a time 🍪 Partake Foods just raised $11.5 million (USD) in Series B funding - one of the largest raises by a Black woman for a food and beverage company.
The Black woman founded, and majority women of colour funded, company is on a mission to supply allergy-friendly meals to food-insecure families across the US. Partake Foods or superwoman?! 🦸🏾♀️
Extra Nuggets 👀
- Amplify Iran 🇮🇷 Schoolgirls and young women continue to fight for their rights in Iran. Spread the word 🗣️
- Checkmate ♟️Zimbabwe’s young chess queens are transforming the trajectory of their lives, one move at a time.
- Celebrate Black History ✊🏾 Black History Month (UK) is here. Check out the (online and irl) events here.
- Reach for the stars ✨ Katya Echazarreta shares her journey to becoming the first Mexican-born woman to travel into outer space.
- Double the fun 🥳 The Joy Luck Club is coming back for round 2!
What we’re loving this week:
Make - Cucumber kimchi - recipe c/o Vicky Pham. A delicious snack to spice up your life 🤌🏾
Watch - Truth Be Told. The Apple TV series features Octavia Spencer as the lead, and is all about true crime podcasts + the pursuit of truth and justice 👀
Support BIPOC Women Owned Businesses
Damn Gina Silk Hair Wrap
$65 (AUD) - Worldwide shipping available
Rebecca Leppard: Giving Women The Upgrade We Deserve!
Meet Rebecca Leppard, founder of Upgrading Women.
Upgrading Women is a global organisation driving equity in the tech industry.
We sat down with Rebecca to hear about why she started Upgrading Women, how she juggles it all with being a busy mum of 3 and her hot tip for how you can blaze your own trail. Let's go!
Tell me a bit about yourself!
My name is Rebecca, which is highly unusual for an Indonesian girl. I've been a scriptwriter since I was 9 and a public speaker since I was 12. One thing I cannot do is to hand-draw but I am a fabulous designer. Check out my website if you don’t believe me. Haha.
When and why did you decide to set up Upgrading Women?
I arrived in the UK in June 2020 and I only got the right to work in July 2021. Six months later I built Upgrading Women. I figured, why keep searching for something that would be perfect for someone like me if it were not tailored by someone like me. I wanted to build a company that I myself wanted to be in and make it a second home for those who work with me.
Who is Upgrading Women for/who can access your services?
We are based in 4 time zones and serve the global market. I built Upgrading Women for high growth companies to help them retain their female top talents. I encourage companies to invest in their female employees' development. I tell my clients: you have a training budget, spend it on your female and underrepresented employees. That is the way you concretely show them your appreciation and your loyalty to them. And what will you get in return: a cohort of highly engaged, highly productive female talents ready for their next level in your company. You never have to look elsewhere to fill leadership positions.
What do you hope to achieve through Upgrading Women?
No women left behind. I want Tech companies that are male-dominated to be more balanced in the hope that the way we work and the products we create are made with everybody in mind. Not just for the young white men. From the medical to law to architecture, everything has always been built with the least consideration to what happens when the female bodies use them.
What’s been the biggest highlight and challenge of building Upgrading Women?
The challenge is that I am a mother of 3 who only a few months ago managed to wean her baby off. Our childcare cost is higher than our rent and utility bills combined.
The highlight is that I started in February and by August we won an outset grant from Portsmouth City Council, where I am based. It truly cemented my confidence that I am not only day-dreaming, I am validated. It was the second thing that made me jump up and down since the pandemic. First was my visa that allowed me to work in the UK then this.
What are your top tip(s) for BIPOC women who are wanting to blaze their own trail and make a difference in the world?
Access to funds is limited for us WOC and unless you went to Ivy League where your high-net-worth network is built in, you must learn the art to network your way up. That is my growth hack as a WOC and an immigrant too. I try to bring value everywhere I go and people start to notice and appreciate me despite what credentials I don’t have.
Natalia Garcia is the founder of Kindling & Sage Magazine.
Kindling & Sage features work from Blak, Women of Colour & Gender Diverse POC in Australia. It's a brilliant publication!
After releasing 3 issues of Kindling & Sage, Natalia needs our help to make issue 4 happens. If you have the means, you can donate here or shop the Kindling & Sage merch sale. Proceeds from merch sales will support the creation of Issue 4 of Kindling & Sage magazine and ensure contributors get paid.
Know that you can start late, look different, be uncertain and still succeed.
Nominate A Shoutout
Tell us about someone doing cool shit.
It can be you, your friends or family or someone else you know. Whether you’ve just started a book club, are creating artistic makeup looks for fun, or are doing some research and want to hear from women of colour. We want to share thing cool things you’re doing with a community shoutout!
Please send your nominations to email@example.com or DM us on our socials :)
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