On November 16, 2018, SoSheSlays headed to LA Create Space for the SHE Is Speaker Series: A Conversation with Karen Civil. The SHE Is Speaker Series focused on women in business and how they navigate in a male-dominated industry, offering an opportunity for women to expand their careers in an atmosphere of collaboration, support, and growth.
The evening started with a networking happy hour. As guests arrived, they were greeted with small bites and good conversation. The panel started soon after and was hosted by broadcast journalist Roqui Theus and featured, Owner of La Create Space, Marisa Johnson, Director of Operations at Octagon Basketball, Tiffany Williams, Snapchat Mobile Release Manager Olamide Olatunji, and Former White House Digital Strategy Intern, Crystal Miller. Each woman shared how their previous experiences guide them in their careers and what lessons they’ve learned.
Host, Roqui Theus, kicked off the conversation by sharing that as a broadcast journalist she faced many stereotypes, but found that by being authentic to herself, she was able to flourish in her male-dominated industry. Roqui shared that people knew what to expect from her and appreciated it. Because she continued to be herself, she could always deliver.
La Create Space owner, Marisa Johnson addressed how women in the workplace can often feel invisible in a male-dominated industry. “I found many of my male counterparts were caught up in their own egos and often could not close the deal we were negotiating. I would find the other woman in the room and we would find a way to make both sides feel heard.
Olamide Olatunji shares her story of starting over. She initially went to school to become a doctor or lawyer under her parent's influence but found it wasn’t what she wanted to do and started over. Olamide found her own way to learn to code, instead of going back to school and eventually was given the opportunity to be a Mobile Release Manager at Snapchat.
“I had transitioned from a bigger corporate environment to a smaller one and I found I was shrinking myself down,” said Director of Operations at Octagon Basketball, Tiffany Williams. She was working in an environment where she felt her voice wasn’t being heard, but realized “I was worried about what people would think of me, but once I got out of my own head, I realized no one else was thinking about it.”
Crystal Miller worked as the Former White House Digital Strategy Intern, where details were critical. She shared that taking note of everything can save you in any situation. Once you have it documented and have evidence. You can always feel safe in any environment.
Global Marketing Content Creator, Karen Civil, started off her keynote by sharing that at an early age, she learned a lesson that takes other years to learn: No one else can see your vision as you do. “I wanted to run my own Backstreet Boys Fan website and my parents didn’t understand it, but it was okay because it wasn’t for them.”
From leaving a successful show with Funkmaster Flex to leaving her job on Wall Street and launching KarenCivil.com, Karen Civil sees no issue with starting over. “The value is in my starting over and believing in myself. I don’t care if I have I have to start from scratch. It may mean I have no money or whatever, it doesn’t matter.”
As Karen was figuring out her path. She worked a number of different jobs. At one point, Karen had a job working on Wall Street. “I had a job, health benefits, and a computer with internet. Working at that job helped me build KarenCivil.com.”
Karen knew that she wasn’t going to work on Wall Street forever, but she also needed to support herself. “Your job is not your career. It’s something that you have so that you’re able to get by. Use it for what it is.”
The SHE Is Speaker Series: A Conversation with Karen Civil was full of woman who slayed! Story after story, each woman told a story about overcoming adversity and making her own path to greatness. Find and follow each of these amazing women below. If you are in the Los Angeles area, stop by LA Create Space and take advantage of their production studio, conference room, or event space. You can book your space at https://lacreatespace.com