One of the first questions I hear when people read the name of our project is “Why ‘womXn’?”
We use the term “womxn” to reflect the fluidity of gender identity, so our language is inclusive of individuals who identify along the female and femme area of the gender spectrum and those who resist binary gender labels. We seek to be inclusive while also providing research and solutions that will also help Black womxn and the organizations that they work in.
Whether you identify as cisgender, transgender, femme, or gender non-binary, this research is for you.
Delving into the professional/work lives of Black Womxn in business
There are three key phases to this work:
- Phase One: Research and analysis
- Phase Two: Dissemination
- Phase Three: Implementation
Phase One: Data, Data, Data!
In this initial phase, we are gathering data primarily through our BWT survey (coming May 10th!) and focus groups that will be taking place virtually all over the country and across sectors.
Who are We Surveying?
Step one of our research will include having a wide data set of survey participants from across a number of sectors including sports & entertainment, tech, government, higher education, for profit, and non-profit. Our goal is at least 1000+ participants in the survey, so when the survey is released, we will need your help to get the word out!
As each person completes the survey, they will be given an opportunity to win a piece of BWT merch (link to store) And further, they can volunteer for the focus groups we will be conducting in the summer that will help us deepen our understanding and solutions of what Black womxn need to thrive.
What Happens When the Survey is Complete?
After we wrap the survey portion of our research at the end of May, our focus groups will begin in June. Groups of Black womxn from every level of American corporate, organizational life—from administrative to leadership—will come together to further discuss the issues Black womxn face in the workplace and to compare ideas on what it means to survive vs. thrive in their professional lives.
Who is Leading this Research and Focus Groups?
In an effort to walk our talk and also to protect the authenticity of our focus group spaces, our project is fully Black-womxn-led. The business of doing this research is led by a Black womxn, Ericka Hines. Her research team is headed by a Black womxn (Dr. Mako Fitts Ward), and all of her focus group facilitators are Black Womxn who are committed to this work. The validity of the data and the connection between focus group participants are important, and Black womxn leading Black womxn provides a siblinghood that aligns with our principles and reinforces and supports the humanity of Black womxn who are risking vulnerability to move our work forward.
What Comes Next?
When focus groups conclude, we will move into analysis, and this sifting through our raw data set will likely carry us through the end of 2021 with some of our earliest, high-level findings released sometime in Fall 2021.
Stay in the Loop
Want to stay in the know about Black Womxn Thriving every step of the way? Be sure to connect to us on Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn for updates as we move ahead because when the survey releases in a few weeks, we will need your input!