The gap in our networks
While we all have access to specific networks, many of us are not born into networks which can help us climb the socio-economic ladder. Being connected helps us gain access to more information to make decisions, strategize our educational and career oriented paths, and establish relationships with decision makers of various institutions. Societal inequities are amplified when information is not shared and our access to advice and expertise is limited by our own personal networks. The lack of availability of advice/mentoring and less access to information about certain opportunities, societal inequities are amplified in these cases as well.
This is where Werk Your Net comes in. I am lucky to have understood the importance of networking and having the to be abilityle to refine this skill throughout my life, starting from the time I was seven. However, most of us still struggle with reaching out to people out of our immediate social circles, and it can feel impossible to reach past our comfort zones in order to forge these new connections. Yet, gaps in our network significantly impact people from marginalized communities with backgrounds similar to my own because we are often not connected to opportunities and people within our own immediate circles who can help up progress up the promote socio-economic laddermobility.
NOBODY IS INHERENTLY "DIVERSE"
Debunking a common misconception of what "diversity" as actually means
“Diversity” is equal to a collection of experiences put in association with one another and the advantage gained by sharing those experiences, not a label for who is or isn’t ‘diverse.’ Being a minority and being friends with people of the same background does not mean your network is diverse.
ARE YOU ACTUALLY "WELL CONNECTED?"
How diverse is your network really?
Everyone also has a deficit within their own networks no matter how “well-connected” we are, especially as we often pursue relationships with those who we find similar to us. However, the gap in our networks stems from a mixture of historical events, generational wealth, and systemic oppression (including the Atlantic slave trade, housing discrimination, Chinese exclusion act, etc.…). This built an infrastructure that gives some groups privilege and benefits over others. In order to bridge this divide, we need more equitable practices in place to decrease discrimination towards minorities and increase our opportunities to move up the socio-economic ladder.
While hiring firms, educational institutions, scholarships, and other decision makers are responsible for finding more ways to make their organizations more accessible, it doesn’t mean that people who are not being included in the conversation need to sit and wait for them. You can start from wherever you are and build a wider network that will help you achieve your goals.
WHO IS WERK YOUR NET FOR?
Bridge your network gap
Werk Your Net is just like any other networking book. However what makes it different from the rest is that it takes in account the realities and obstacles many of us face: when we are women, people of color, immigrants, come from lower socio-economic backgrounds, identify as LGTBQ+, have a disability, or have any identity that does not fit the "traditional" mold.
My primary audience: is anyone who may not be “well connected,” but has a special eye for those from marginalized backgrounds includes a special eye towards minorities. These are students from low income backgrounds, people of color, women, immigrants, LGBTQ+, people with disabilities, etc. This book can be useful to those who don’t know where to start, might have an idea but are unsure how to make it a reality, have been rejected from the spaces they have been trying to get into, or are simply trying to find the information they need to get where they want to go.
My secondary audience: includes institutional leaders who genuinely want to make an impact to not only increase but retain diversity within their own networks. Being “well connected” in the professional and academic space doesn’t mean you have all the connections; you probably would benefit just as much as those traditionally seen as not “well connected.” I hope to challenge and inform the majority and those in positions of power to empathize with marginalized people and learn how to analyze our strengths, especially those which are often not recognized in a traditional sense.
I hope to show you how to assess candidates of different backgrounds without reducing us to merely a “perspective” or a number within a dataset. If you listen to us closely, you’ll find much to appreciate from our unique experiences, identities, and backgrounds, which will allow us to contribute solutions that are often overlooked by homogenous groups.
Let me help you bridge the gap in your network. Your network always has room to expand and diversify. Why wait when we can start right now.