See It to Be It : DEI Consultant (w/ Dr. Nika White)

Amy C. Waninger welcomes national authority and fearless advocate for diversity, equity and inclusion Dr. Nika White to See It to Be It this week. As an award-winning management and leadership consultant, keynote speaker, published author, and executive practitioner for DEI efforts across business, government, non-profit and education, Dr. White helps organizations break barriers and integrate diversity into their business frameworks. Check the links in the show notes to connect with Dr. White.

Dr. White’s on LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram – connect with her.

Interested in her books? Find out more about them on Amazon.

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Zach (00:00): Living Corporate is brought to you by The Access Point. The reality is, this is the largest influx of black and brown talent corporate America has ever had. And as a result, a variety of talent entering the workforce are first-generation professionals. The other reality, most of these folks, aren’t learning what it means to navigate a majority white workplace in their college classes. Enter The Access Point, a live weekly web show within the Living Corporate network that gives black and brown college students the real talk they need, and likely haven’t heard elsewhere. Every week, our hosts and special guests are dropping gems. So don’t miss out. Check out The Access Point, airing every tuesday at 7:00 p.m. Central Standard on

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Amy C. Waninger (00:56): Hey everybody, this is See It To Be It from Living corporate. Living Corporate as a digital media network that centers and amplifies black and brown people at work. My name is Amy C. Waninger, and I’m the host of See It To Be It. When I was growing up in rural Southern Indiana, I didn’t know people who went to college or who worked in professional roles. I didn’t know what those jobs look like, much less, how to break into them. But this show isn’t about me. It’s about my guests. I bring you career stories from everyday role models, in jobs you may not know exist. More importantly, the folks I interview share their perspectives as black and brown professionals in jobs and environments, where they may be the only. My guest today is, Dr. Nneka White, who owns her own management consultancy firm. But before we get to the interview, we’re going to tap in with Tristan for some career advice.

Tristan (01:51): What’s going on Living Corporate? It’s Tristan back again to bring you another career tip this week. I want to talk about some of the common outreach mistakes you might be making. Have you ever reached out to a recruiter, someone on LinkedIn, or just someone you want to connect with, and they never responded? Believe me, I’ve been there. There’s a couple of common mistakes that many of us make when we reach out that may be blocking us from our blessings. First, sending a generic message. I can almost guarantee that you don’t like to receive generic messages. So why would you send one? Make sure that each message you send out is tailored to the person that you’re reaching out to. This goes for both email and LinkedIn.

(02:30): The next mistake is asking for something in your initial email, besides time. Outside of requesting 15 to 30 minutes of their time, you shouldn’t be asking for a referral, or to be considered for open roles. Instead, figure out where you can provide value and give your contact some time to get to know you, what challenges you’re facing, and how they can assist.

(02:51): The final mistake is thinking that the purpose behind every connection is that the person will get you a job. If is what you think you’re setting yourself up for failure. Your contact is going to think you’re only trying to use them. And no one likes to feel used. Make sure you display genuine interest in the person, what they do and the industry you’re trying to go into. Remember each interaction is a chance for you to gain information and insight that can help you tailor your resume, help you with answers in your interview, and even prepare you for conversations with other professionals within your industry. Landing the referral is just a bonus of developing genuine relationships. With unemployment levels being so high, that means the market is quite competitive, so networking is an even more vital part of your job search. Watch out for these mistakes and make some adjustments in your outreach to increase your chances of a response.

(03:47): This tip was brought to you by Tristan of Layfield Resume Consulting. Check us out on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook at Layfield Resume or connect with me, Tristan Layfield on LinkedIn.

Narrator (03:59): Living Corporate is brought to you by The Leadership Range, a podcast within the Living Corporate network, hosted by globally certified and Fortune 500 executive coach and leadership development expert, Neil Edwards. The Leadership Range is focused on having real, raw, soulful, and accountable conversations about inclusive leadership, allyship, professional development. Every week is a new episode, with new learning, and new actions to take on, to grow inclusively. Make sure you check out The Leadership Range everywhere you listen to podcasts.

Amy C. Waninger (04:32): Welcome back to See It To Be It. My guest today is Dr. Nneka White. Dr. White is a national authority and fearless advocate for diversity equity and inclusion. As an award-winning management and leadership consultant, Keynote speaker, published author and executive practitioner for DEI efforts across business, government, non-profit and education, Dr. White helps organizations break barriers and integrate diversity into their business frameworks. Her work has led to designation by Forbes, as a top 10 DNI trailblazer. And it is an absolute honor to have her on the show, and to call her a friend. Welcome Dr. White.

Dr. Nneka White (05:13): Thank you so much, Amy. I am thrilled to be here as your guest. And I’m so honored that you thought of me. So thank you.

Amy (05:19): Oh, I think of you all the time. Not just in relationship to the show, but I love following you on social media. I learn a lot from you. And I love the energy that you exude, especially in a space that can be very, very difficult and very exhausting as someone who also works in this space.

Dr. White (05:40): Exhausting is a good word for this work. While it’s rewarding, it really is hard work. And I don’t think that people necessarily realize that. So, I appreciate you bringing that to the fore.

Amy (05:53): Absolutely. So tell us a little bit about the work you do and how your consulting firm is unique in this space?

Dr. White (06:04): Sure. So my management consulting firm, we intersect the work of diversity, equity, and inclusion with leadership and business. We work with all types of clients, different industries, different sizes, private/ public sector. And primarily, we help them to integrate into their business framework, strategic diversity, intentional inclusion, and a lens of equity. And what that looks like from client to client can vary based upon where those organizations are within the continuum of diversity, equity, and inclusion. But I like to say that our primary focus is in two key areas. One of which is DEI strategy work and the other would be instructional design, content creation, and so, facilitation of learning and development experiences, that fall under the broad umbrella of diversity, equity and inclusion.

(06:57): So, as part of the second half of the question, what makes my firm unique is, I have grown to understand that there are a lot of DEI practitioners that have structured their business in a similar fashion. So I don’t know how unique necessarily these points are, that I’ll share, but it’s certainly something that I take a lot of pride in.

(07:18): We are a boutique consultancy. So for us, we truly understand that there’s not a one size fits all approach. The work of diversity, equity, and inclusion is really personal for us. We have deep convictions about it. And so, that extends to how, which we like to collaborate and partner with our clients as extensions of their internal team. For us, it’s all about impact. And we are quite communicative about there being a keen difference between activity versus impact. So even how, which we execute and provide solutions to address client’s challenges and opportunities from a DEI perspective. We really like to get to the crux of the matter, peel back all the layers, identify those root causes of issues that could be compromising inclusion, and solving forward in that way. And that can look different from client to client, but it’s mostly about looking at policies, culture, systems. And allowing that information to help inform a path forward plan that can lead to greater sustainability

Amy (08:22): And you didn’t start out your career in DNI? And I was wondering if you could share the story about how you got into this work, where you started, and how you made this transition?

Dr. White (08:33): Sure. I’m happy to share that story, Amy. So you’re right. I often jokingly say that the work of DEI somewhat found me. But my background is marketing and communications, and I had a long tenure working in that space, and I really enjoyed it. I thought that I was going to be in that space for the long haul. Everything about it was what I felt was in my element. The on time, on budget, on strategy it was what my undergraduate degree was in. And so, after spending some time working within an ad agency environment as a marketing communications professional. I really started to ponder why there aren’t others who look like me as a black female that were taking advantage of what I saw as a very fulfilling career path. And when I began to consider that and the work of marketing professionals, which is to be smart marketing partners, to our clients, consumer constituencies, who represent diverse America. It just begged the question, why aren’t communication firms, advertising agencies being much more intentional to create a greater level of deepened commitment, to realizing the strength of diversity, equity, and inclusion? And the agency that I worked for at the time, it was headquartered in Greenville, South Carolina, but it also had a presence in an office in New York.

(09:57): So I was in between both offices. And it always was amazing to me to even go to the New York office and see that the advertising capitol of the world, New York was even challenged with diversifying this industry. And so, I saw that as a business case. I knew that at the time, the big hairy, audacious goal to be had, for the agency I worked for, was to become the most admired agency. And so, I thought, if that’s our goal, why are we waiting for someone to place a mandate that would require us to have to go through certain changes? Because the industry dependent upon it, why not be proactive, and intentional, and leverage that as a way to help catapult us to the next level. And to be able to compete effectively with some of the other agencies that were much more further ahead in their approach to diversity, equity, and inclusion.

(10:48): So, Amy, I literally sat down with the president and CEO, who was very hands-on at the time. He was quite accessible and I had a good rapport with him. And I shared this epiphany that I’m sharing with you. And he listened intently, asked very thought provoking questions. And at the end of that conversation, he said, Nneka, I agree, we’re going to do it. And you’re going to lead it. Now tell us how. And I was prepared for everything of that conversation with the exception of tell us how. But I did have the wherewithal to immerse myself into this space and to certainly aligned with other practitioners that were accomplished in helping to realize successful results for the respective organizations that they work for. And so, that’sreally where it started.

(11:34): And so fast forward, I was doing this work for the agency. And then several years later, the opportunity presented itself for me to move directly, full-time, into this role at a VP level on a larger scale. And the rest is history. I then started noticing that there was such a demand, and need for diversity, equity, and inclusion. So I started really executing my exit strategy to be able to do this for myself, and the entrepreneurship perspective. And the rest is history.

Amy (12:06): I love your story because it starts with you seeing a problem, and speaking up, and just having the courage to say this needs to be fixed.

Dr. White (12:20): That is precisely how it happened. And I tell that story often, especially when I’m working with organizations that are not far enough into their journey. But there are some champions internally, that really want to be able to see this work, come to fruition and be operationalized. And so, I share my story to say, all it took was for someone to see the opportunity of the strength of DEI, to see the business case, to raise their hand, and then be willing to choose courage over comfort. To say, Hey, we are in this space and we should be, so now what are we going to do about it? I was fortunate that I was met with great positivity, from the organization that I worked for. And we were able to slowly but surely begin charting out this pathway of success. And so, that’s where it starts oftentimes, it’s just someone raising their hand. And so hopefully this is encouraging someone that’s listening to this.

Amy (13:16): Absolutely. Raise your hand. And I love that courage over comfor. If we could all live our lives in ways that were courageous over comfortable. Think of what we can accomplish. I think that’s such a beautiful sentiment.

Dr. White (13:30): Yes. It’s so important to this work as well. As you know, Amy, because it’s, it’s complex, it’s not always easy. And, as DEI practitioners, we’re often finding ourselves holding space of solidarity, for people to engage. And people have different mental models around this work. Not everyone is starting at the same place. And so that takes a level of courage. And then, just the whole entire work of being a voice for the voiceless, for those that are vulnerable, that takes courage because there’s risk involved in that. That’s the very reason why sometimes when we talk about allyship, we often hear people refer to it as being an accomplice. RThere’s a risk involved in that.

Amy (14:16): Yes, absolutely. Because if someone’s in danger,r and you put yourself between them and the danger, now you’re in danger.

Dr. White (14:25): Absolutely. And I’m so glad that you use that word, very specifically in the context of DEI. Because I don’t think that sometimes people will correlate danger to the lack of belonging, and lack of psychological safety. But it impacts health. It impacts, you know, people’s mental state. There’s so much that can compromise a person’s ability to show up at their best, that it is dangerous. It’s dangerous, even for organizations to not think intently about the value of DEI, if they want to remain relevant, and to again, have that competitive advantage, and be able to attract and retain the best talent. There’s so many reasons that, there are business risks, associated or even just risk to the moral imperative of organizations that want to be found caring deeply about humanity and community. So I appreciate the use of that word.

Amy (15:22): Well, I think the opposite of safety is danger.

Dr. White (15:26): Yes. It’s true.

Amy (15:26): And we talk about needing psychological safety, financial security, job security, physical safety. These are real issues happening all around us every day in the workplace, for black and brown people, for LGBTQ people, for women, for people with disabilities. There’s a lack of safety. And to me, it says well, we’re in danger and we need to do something about that.

Dr. White (15:57): Absolutely. And I think language is so important. And so I pay attention to the words that are being used in the context of DEI. I think that we have to be thoughtful about how, and which we talk about the implications, because words matter. And I think that it has the ability, if we’re thoughtful with our words to help provide the clarity that’s needed. And to help people to be called to action in a way that’s a bit more urgent than perhaps just being nonchalant about the state of our society right now.

(16:32): And I think that’s what we need. We need people that are willing to act with urgency. And that requires clarity. I often say that resistance is a matter of lack of clarity. So if we can help bridge that gap through our thoughtfulness of our words, and how we talk about it, or frame it, that’s important.

(16:50): You were just asking about my background, and how I gravitate it to this space of DEI. I so appreciate my marketing and communications background, because I often share that I leverage that skillset to the work of DEI every single day. Because it’s not just about helping people through these learning and development experiences or through strategy conversations to understand the constructs of diversity, equity, and inclusion, and theory, and practice. But it’s also about how are we positioning this.How are we developing the DEI brand assets? The mission and the vision to help people to have this common language upon which we can coalesce around, which helps with the clarity piece. And so, I think that the marketing and communication side of things is critically important to the overall effectiveness of being able to get the buy-in that’s needed to sustain effective impact.

Amy (17:43): Yes. And I think marketing is really applied empathy.

Dr. White (17:49): Oh, it is. Yes.

Amy (17:49): You’re trying to get into the mind and the heart of the person that you want to influence. You’re trying to figure out what’s important to them and why. And then position what you’re offering in a way that speaks to what’s on their mind, and in their heart.

Dr. White (18:06): Yes. You’re appealing to people’s emotions. And as I mentioned before, this work of diversity, equity, and inclusion, it is really personal for a lot of people. It’s because it’s their lived experiences. And it doesn’t get more personal than that. And so, I really appreciate you bringing that to the fore. And I’m finding Amy, that, many brands are becoming much more thoughtful about how they need to align their corporate communication strategy, their branding campaigns to help their brand, to be perceived as one that really understands the value of diversity, equity, and inclusion. And I think that’s important as well. There’s a lot of brands out there that are being criticized for coming across as very performative. And so, I think that it requires organizations to make sure that they are aligning the professionals that are charged with this responsibility. To ensure that they also operating with the lens of equity, and inclusion, because it shows forth in the messaging and how, much your casting people for your different campaigns and promotions. But, I see a lot of value into incorporating a lens of DEI into the marketing communications piece.

Amy (19:23): Yes. We’re seeing a lot more specific to the marketing communications piece. I want to see companies do more of the work before you claim the work. This is what I would love to see them, but I have noticed as I’ve been watching TV more lately, that we’re seeing a lot better representation of diverse families of diverse consumers. Dad’s doing laundry and the interracial gay dads with the kids washing the dishes or whatever the thing is. And I do love to see that because I think that for people to see themselves represented, even if it’s only for 15 seconds in the middle of 60 minutes or whatever, I think it makes a huge difference. And I think it shows that these companies are aware that there’s a changing marketplace. I’m hopeful that they will get their insides right with their outside messaging as well. And make sure that their leadership, and their employee opportunities, and promotional strategies, and pay equity is all aligned to what they’re putting out into the world. But time will tell

Dr. White (20:36): Yes time will definitely tell. But you’re so right, aligning words with action is a necessity for brands. Because again, I think that the regular consumer is they’re able to sniff that out. They can tell if it’s performative or if it’s just words that are ringing hallow. And so, brands are having to learn the hard way. So I think is critically important. My friend, Katie Martell, she refers to it as it being woke washed. And so, I so appreciate her message and she’s doing a lot of educating to chief marketing officer type professionals, just to help bring that point to the fore. Because it’s important and it is impacting how and which people are perceiving those brands and those organizations

Amy (21:24): Definitely. Now I want to switch gears just a little bit. I want to go back to your transition from an employee doing DEI work, to being an entrepreneur, doing DEI work. And I bring this up for a couple of reasons. Number one, there’s so much pressure on people now, that if you’re on, and I know you’re on Twitter, LLC Twitter. It’s like, you have got to have a hustle and you’ve gotta have a business. And I don’t care how hard you’re working. If you work 80 hours at your day job, out of 120 do that and start a business. So it’s one aspect of this. And number two is in the last, probably six to nine months, we’ve seen a lot of people hang their shingle as DEI consultants because there’s been such a demand for this. Can you just explain to our listeners, what’s different about being a DEI practitioner inside a workplace versus running a DEI consultancy?

Dr. White (22:25): It’s such a great question, Amy. I think I’m going to start with a response to, just by reacting to the fact that you’re right, there’s such a influx of new talent that’s appearing within this space. And I have a couple of thoughts of palette. The first is, while I’m excited that there’s now this increase of credibility, and interest, and popularity, into the discipline of diversity, equity, and inclusion, I have to be honest and sharing that I’m also a little concerned and protective. And I say that because, overnight, it seems like hundreds, if not thousands of DEI experts have appeared. And I am a firm believer that this work is not for the faint of heart. There is certainly strategy, and skill sets, and experience, and know how, that allows someone to be able to operate effectively, in this space. And I don’t want that to be missed.

(23:27): And so, I think that as practitioners, we have to do a really good job of helping to see that point and support each other. As so many of us are finding this as a fulfilling career path. So to your question, I just had to get that out there. Because it’s been something that’s been weighing heavy, [over talk 00:23:44] but to answer your question regarding how is it different working internally as a lead for DEI within an organization versus doing this work from a consultancy perspective. And I will tell you that now I’m on this side, I will never go back [inaudible 00:24:02]. I say that for a couple of reasons. One of the motivators for me to step outside of, doing this work internally for an organization, to doing it as a consultant, running my own business was because, again, I have deep convictions about this work and I want to be true to the work.

(24:25): I don’t want to dilute the work. And so, sometimes it can be hard if you are a W2 employee to manage up, and to say what you need to say and have it to be received and to operate at a pace that you can feel good about. I am perfectly okay with organizations being on a journey. And that’s what this is. It’s not a destination. It is a journey. People are at different points within the broad spectrum of the continuum of DEI. But one of my biggest frustrations is when organizations will enter into this space without truly counting the costs and understanding what type of readiness is required. And so for me, I feel very empowered when I’m on this side as a consultant. When I need to go in and express what needs to be expressed, holding people accountable, not giving people passes, but really saying, having the hard conversations, if you will.

(25:32): And then walking out of there, knowing that I can sleep at night because I did not dilute the work because the work is so important to me. And I’m not saying that everyone has to execute it the same way, but I think that philosophically, there are some foundational principles that you have to really truly believe in, if you want to be found credible in your rigor and your due diligence for executing and implementing this work throughout organizations. And that’s not always an easy place to be when you are internally as a W2 employee. Because again, there’s all these risks involved and you perceive people are going to see me in a certain light, or they’re not going to buy into it. Or I need to kind of appease certain leaders in the organization by not being too heavy handed with this message or that message.

(26:18): And I didn’t like that. I didn’t like the politics of all that. I didn’t like the complexity of all that. And I’m not saying that even as a consultant, there’s not a level of thoughtfulness that goes into how in which you are sharing the message, and your coaching, and guiding, and consulting. But there’s less risk involved when I’m on this side, because I’m not just relying upon one particular client, if you will. And the same way that clients will vet NWC, my firm, we’re also vetting them to see if there’s a good match there. We ask our questions as well. And we don’t proclaim at all to be a one size fits all approach, or for every organization. There are certain things that we look for that allows us to be an effective partner. And so that’s the main difference that I have seen being on the outside versus working directly internally.

Amy (27:05): And for all of that. How easy, or not easy, but how much freedom there is in having that clout as a consultant. Because you can go in and I don’t think that’s just true in DEI. I think that’s true in a lot of fields.

Dr. White (27:19): That’s true, you’re right.

Amy (27:19): If you go in as a consultant, they’re paying you three times as much, so they listen to you. As opposed to, as soon as they hire you and you’re sitting in their office, and their chair and using their hardware. Now, it’s oh, that’s cute, but no, we’re not doing it that way.

Dr. White (27:36): Exactly, exactly.

Amy (27:38): But even for all of that, being an entrepreneur is hard work, because it’s not just about being good at the work. You’ve got a whole back office to run on top of doing the work.

Dr. White (27:51): Yes. I tell my team often and, not to put the burden on them at all because I chose this life. I chose the route of entrepreneurship. And so, I own that, but we have conversations frequently about the weight of entrepreneurship. And the reason why is because I wanted my team to fully understand that in order for me to be at my best as a leader of the organization, to take us to the next level. I can’t always be in the trenches of the day-to-day. I have to also be able to have space, to create, and to think, and to grow the business to the next level. And that’s different. And so, even as I was sharing with you before Amy, we are overnight going to be doubling the size of our team. And in preparation for that, part of what I’ve been articulating to my existing team is that, this is a way for me to help build my leadership bench so that I can serve in a true fashion of a CEO.

(28:50): I don’t take it lightly that my colleagues, my teammates who make me smart every single day. That they rely on me to help support their families. And I don’t want to let them down. And so, while I chose this life of carrying the burden of entrepreneurship, the weight is heavy and I just want them to have that perspective. So while each of them as they are assigned to different account teams. That’s what they have to worry about, is all those account teams. I have to worry about all of the account teams, grooming, and preparing my leadership bench for greater upward mobility. So that I can, again, at some point in time, feel confidence stepping away from the day-to-day being in the trenches. And that’s real. And so, was in a moment of vulnerability.

(29:37): I shared that with them, and I’m glad that I did. Although I hesitate a little bit in the beginning. I’m glad that I did, because I think it allows them to appreciate more the need for them to be on this trajectory of problem solving on their own, leaning on each other, where they can as thought partners. So that it does free me up where appropriate, to create, and to grow the business. And to make sure that we’re thinking about the future. So anyway, but yes, entrepreneurship is terribly hard. It’s not for the faint of heart. And yes, it can be painful, but it also can be incredibly rewarding.

Amy (30:15): Absolutely. And thank you for opening up and for sharing that with us. I think that a lot of us, it can be very lonely being an entrepreneur. It can be even lonelier being a CEO. So as a solopreneur, there are other solopreneurs that are out there doing, what you’re doing. And you can have those moments where you can fall apart with each other. I think as a CEO, and I’m a CEO of my business, but I don’t have W2 employees like you do. So there’s not that same, and there’s a reason I don’t, it’s because it terrifies me. It scares the ___ out of me. To say, okay, well, I’m going to be responsible for what other people’s kids eat. I’m still trying to make sure my own can. And that’s a scary thing, but where do you go for community as the leader of an organization with employees? You can’t have a bad day. So how do you do that? Where you go?

Dr. White (31:13): So let me debunk the myth of you can’t have a bad day. I think that part of growing as a professional, and even as an entrepreneur, is to give ourselves grace to where we do give ourselves permission to have a bad day. And so, it’s a matter of being communicative. And the same way that sometimes my teammates might have a bad day, they understand that I may have a bad day. And we navigate that with the level of respect, and we extend grace and accept grace to each other where needed. But I think that part of giving ourselves permission to have a bad day is also allowing ourselves to be vulnerable, to communicate that in whatever way it makes sense. Even if it’s just to say, I’m going to step away from my desk for the next hour, I’m going to take a walk, or I’m going to just kind of unplug for a moment.

(32:07): And that type of language, my team understands. And we all give each other that type of space and permission to do that, because this work is hard, first and foremost. And we have to make sure that we are at our best so that we can be effective at the work. So in terms of community, the community comes from my team. I draw energy from them because again, we all have that understanding of how to support each other. But then equally important there are other entrepreneurs that I connect with on a frequent basis, just to be thought partners. Some are in the industry, some are outside of the industry. And again, it’s just tlike you mentioned it can be really lonely. So knowing that there are others who are navigating the complexity of business growth and entrepreneurship, that community really helps to ground me.

(32:55): And so, I think that’s critical. And I also have individuals that are in my corner and my network that are really astute from a business coaching perspective. My husband is one of those. He’s been an entrepreneur much, much longer than I have. And so, I can bounce ideas off of him. I can say, Hey, I need you to coach me through this. And I think that’s important. So, the bottom line is that this work is hard, as we’ve already articulated. And so it certainly behooves every business leader and entrepreneur to find that community, and to not be afraid to see that as a safe space, to be vulnerable, and transparent to say, I need help. I need some best practice sharing. Let’s kind of crowd source around this. And that’s okay.

Amy (33:40): Thank you so much for sharing that. And for challenging the notion that you can’t have a bad day. A lot of times I feel like, I know that we’re also busy comparing our insides to everyone else’s outsides. But sometimes I think, oh my gosh, do I even know what I’m doing?

Dr. White (33:58): Well, let me tell you, imposter syndrome is real. It shows up for me on a weekly basis.

Amy (34:03): Oh my goodness.

Dr. White (34:03): I know. I put something on social media the other day, and it was encouraging and inspiring to a lot of people. So I appreciated the commenting in that regard, but really it was for me. And I’m paraphrasing here, but it was something along the lines of, I bet on myself, because how can I expect others to bet on me, when I don’t bet on myself? And it’s not because I always feel completely competent walking into that situation. But it’s because I feel we have to be willing to trust ourselves, bet on ourselves, if we want others to also see us in that light. And that’s an important aspect for entrepreneurs. Imposter syndrome is real,

Amy (34:42): I’ve got to tell you, Dr. White, I would bet on you any day of the week.

Dr. White (34:46): Oh, you’re so kind, Amy. I appreciate that.

Amy (34:48): Yes, I’ve been watching you for a long time, and you are the real deal, and an inspiration. Whether you intend to be an inspiration for others or not, you truly are.

Dr. White (34:59): You’re so kind. Thank you. Thank you so much for saying that. And I feel the same about you, Amy. I’m so glad to have you on my network. It’s so funny how, we have all of these connection points and like BFFs from a social media perspective. And sometimes we don’t, we have never even met the individuals, but there’s just always this like-mindedness with the content that’s being shared. And even before you and I had a chance to have a formal introduction, I felt that way about you. So it was just such a gift, and a treat, for us to now actually be in communication with each other, beyond social media.

Amy (35:28): Absolutely. It’s funny because I have friends that I know so well through social media, particularly Twitter. That I forget, I’ve not met them in real life.

Dr. White (35:40): I know.

Amy (35:40): And so then, I see them at a conference, or I’ll be somewhere, and I’ll like, sit down next to them like, Hey, how are you? I’m like, oh my gosh. And then it’s, oh, that’s right we haven’t actually met.

Dr. White (35:52): Yes, I know. I know. Isn’t it a great though? That’s one of the beautiful aspects of social media. Is that you can have this whole population of people that you feel this kindred spirit with. And you’ve never even met them in person.

Amy (36:04): And someday when we can all travel safely again, we’ll have to get together and have that community in person.

Dr. White (36:10): Absolutely.

Amy (36:10): At least for a little bit. So Dr. Nneka White, thank you so much for your time today. For sharing your expertise, for your vulnerability and for being on the show. I’m so grateful to have you.

Dr. White (36:23): Well, I am so grateful that you thought of me, Amy. I don’t take it lightly. You could have had anyone. And I know that you have some tremendous guests that come on your show. And so, I’m just grateful to have been able to share this space with you. So thank you.

Narrator (36:37): Living Corporate is brought to you by The Break Room. Have you ever felt burnt out depressed or otherwise exhausted by being one of the onlys oat woek? You know what I’m talking about. Hosted by black psychologist, psychiatrist, and PhDs. The Break Room is a live, weekly web show in the Living Corporate Network that discusses mental health, wellness, and healing for black folks at work. Name another weekly show explicitly focused on mental health, wellness, and healing for black folks at work? I’ll wait. This is why you got to check out The Break Room airing every thursday at 7:00 p.m. Central Standard time on

Amy (37:19): Okay, how much did you love Dr. Nneka White? What I loved about this interview was, I guess that I learned that even the rockstars among us, even the people that I think really have their stuff together, and probably never have a moment of self doubt, actually do. And they push through it and they get the job done anyway. And I’ve got to tell you that was probably exactly what I needed to hear today, as I was doing this interview.

(37:48): If you enjoyed this episode, if it was as valuable to you as it was to me, don’t forget to subscribe, to Living Corporate and share us with your friends and colleagues. You can also meet your favorite guests, and join the conversation on our Slack channel And you can really help us out by leaving us a six star review, wherever you get your podcasts.

(38:14): If you’re new, you’re probably thinking, well, Amy, they’re only five stars. Okay. Give us all those stars, but then go the next step by leaving just a couple of sentences in your own words, telling us what you liked about the show or what you enjoyed about our guest. Don’t forget to visit to learn more about our other podcasts, videos, web shows, and more. See It To Be It is brought to you in part by Lead At Any Level, a certified woman and LGBT owned business, dedicated to helping organizations build inclusive cultures and diverse leadership pipelines. Lead At Any Level, leaders can be anywhere and should be everywhere. Learn That’s it for this episode of See It To Be It. This is Amy C. Waninger, and I’ll see you next week.

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