Why Nursing Jobs are High in Demand

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Nursing Jobs

The United States is experiencing a shortage of qualified nurses. Perhaps the most unsettling result of the nursing shortage is that patient care may be adversely affected.

Another point of concern is that the shortage is occurring just as the massive Baby Boomer generation is aging into their senior years, when they will likely require more healthcare. Compounding the problem, a large number of Baby Boomer nurses are nearing retirement age.

The Nursing Shortage: Current and Projected Figures
According to data published by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN), the shortage of qualified registered nurses (RNs) will remain into the foreseeable future.

Due to growing demand, the healthcare job market is rapidly expanding. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that healthcare accounted for one out of every five new jobs created in 2012.

The BLS reported that registered nurse (RN) is a fast-growing occupation with an increase of 16 percent projected through 2024.

The nursing shortage is projected to continue nationwide, especially in the South and West, according to a report in the American Journal of Medical Quality.

Health Affairs reported that the nursing shortage will grow to 260,000 RNs by 2025—twice as large as shortages that have occurred since the mid-1960s.

Factors Leading to Nursing Shortage
Along with the aging of the Baby Boomer generation, a number of other factors have contributed to the looming shortage:

Opportunities expanded—Nursing was traditionally a female occupation. Because of limitations placed on women, it was one of the few professional fields open to them. Now, women are free to pursue whatever career they choose, and fewer are choosing nursing.

Not enough student nurses—Nursing school enrollment is not growing fast enough to meet demand.

A shortage of nursing educators—Applicants are being turned away from nursing schools because of a lack of qualified educators.

The recession—Many nurses who would have retired during the recession stayed on the job. Others who worked part time switched to full-time status.

States and Specialties Facing Nursing Shortages
In as many as 30 states, healthcare organizations are finding it difficult to fill nursing positions. For example, the American Journal of Medical Quality reported that by 2030, states such as Kansas, Missouri, and Iowa will lack sufficient numbers of RNs (shortages of 3,827; 1,757; and 1,243 respectively).

One area of specialty that is particularly under-served is neonatal intensive care nursing. A study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association Pediatrics found that NICUs were understaffed for 32 percent of their patients. The study of 560 NICUs found that while the average number of beds was 30, the average number of nurses per shift was 12, even though standards would have required 15.

Turning the Tide
Fortunately, nursing schools, healthcare organizations, and nursing associations are taking steps to increase the number of qualified nurses available to care for patients.

Improving retention—Nursing can be a stressful job at times, but a number of organizations across the country are working to boost the number of magnet-like hospital programs, where improved communication, increased staffing levels, and more autonomy can help give nurses better job satisfaction and in turn, increase the rate of retention while decreasing nurse stress levels.

Encouraging educators—Many states are focusing on scholarships, grants, and awareness programs aimed at increasing the number of nurse educators. By encouraging current RNs to return to school for advanced degrees, they hope to reduce the educator shortage and enroll more applicants in nursing schools.

Attracting new nurses—Creating awareness also extends to children and men. Campaigns aimed at middle and high school students help them learn about the positive aspects of a nursing career. At the same time, reaching out to men may help increase the number of nursing school applicants.

Source: villanovau.com, By Bisk on behalf of Villanova University

A Latina Google Strategist’s Views On Authenticity, Embracing Your Identity And The Power Of Instagram

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Dannie Fountain is known as a builder, whether she’s rebuilding her own identity or building a brand, she has a reputation for how tightly she can weave a story that just feels right.

While the skill set was there during her teenage years it was her freshman year of college that challenged her ability to put them to the test.

“I was adopted at 16, changing my identity all over again, and removing my ability to access the historical information that had been shared, because I no longer had access to their source – my mother’s anecdotal nuggets,” explains Fountain. “My identity changed once again during my freshman year of college. Through some health-related decisions, tough conversations, and a DNA test, I discovered that the wholly-British descent I’d been raised to understand was actually pretty off.”

The unexpected medical tests led to Fountain discovering that she was Latinx and deciding to melt into an identity that had always belonged to her.

Now as a strategist at Google and as an independent marketing consultant, Fountain uses her storytelling skills to support brands and their larger missions.

Below she shares how she champions inclusivity in all the spaces she inhabits, what advice she has for other Latinxs, and how she balances both her corporate job and side hustles.

Vivian Nunez: What made you join the team at Google in addition to working for yourself? 

Dannie Fountain: Truthfully, I wasn’t looking for a job when the Google opportunity happened. I was surviving (nay, thriving) in the rollercoaster of “feast and famine” that is entrepreneurship and I truly was in love with my life. When the Google opportunity first cropped up in my inbox, my reaction was one of imposter syndrome – who am I to believe I’m important/talented/brave/strong/cool enough to pursue an opportunity like this? But Google has this kind of kinetic power, one that won’t let you say no. So I pursued it, and the more I pursued it, the more I fell in love. Now, nine months later, I can truly smile when I say Google is my corporate home and the first place I’ve ever worked where I’ve unapologetically brought my whole self to work every single day. 

Nunez: How have you navigated the transition to an in-house, full-time job? 

Fountain: I’ve always been a “side hustler” in some form of the word – whether it was running my marketing consulting firm while in college or running my second business while maintaining my first. But this transition from freelancing to working at Google was an interesting one. Before I came to Google, I was on the road nearly 24/7 for speaking engagements and work. Not only was I coming back into a space where I had a boss again, but I also was going to have an apartment of my own for the first time in nearly 2 years.

The transition was smoother than expected in some ways (i.e. I have fallen in love with having a commute again) and harder in others (I didn’t actually stop traveling as much and so I still feel like I’m on the road all the time). Having coworkers and the resources to do all the things I’ve dreamed of doing is incredible – I love the opportunity for casual collision that sparks these moments of innovation that profoundly change the way I think about marketing. I’m beyond grateful for the access and opportunity I’ve gotten in the nine months I’ve been at Google. But at the end of the day, I’m a Googler and still a freelancer, so really not much has changed.

Nunez: How important is it for you that others understand that you are proudly Latina?

Fountain: In some ways, I feel so much shame for identifying as Latina. My grasp on culture and history is limited. My grasp on language is weak. My appearance is that of a white woman. It took me taking an actual DNA test and seeing the results with my own eyes before I’d actually start checking the “hispanic or latino” box on things, let alone verbally speaking that identity aloud.

But I also recognize my privilege. I know that I have the power to walk into a room and be presumed white and there is so much responsibility in that presumption. There’s this profound sense of urgency to make it unequivocally clear that [Latinx] is who I am, all in, 100%

Continue onto Forbes to read the complete article.

Manufacturing: A High-Paying ‘New Collar’ Career

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Women in Manufacturing

We’ve heard of white collar jobs and blue collar jobs, but “new collar” jobs? There’s a new trend in employment, and it’s in career fields that don’t necessarily require a college degree but require a specific set of highly technical skills.

In manufacturing, there is a tremendous opportunity for new collar workers to be well paid as they fill hundreds of thousands of vacancies. And the time to take advantage of this opportunity is now.

“Today in America, manufacturers need to fill some 364,000 jobs. Over the next 7 to 8 years, we’ll need to fill around 3.5 million, according to a study from Deloitte and the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) Manufacturing Institute,” says NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons. “But two million of those jobs could go unfilled because we haven’t upskilled enough workers.”

IBM CEO Ginni Rometty was the first to urge politicians and business leaders to not think in terms of white or blue collar jobs, but to broadly consider these future unfilled positions as “new collar” jobs—jobs that don’t require a traditional 4-year degree but do require a good amount of skill. Manufacturing is a great new collar career choice, and here’s why.

Well paying positions. According to the National Tooling & Machining Association (NTMA), those in a manufacturing-related job in America tend to make an average of $15,000 more per year than other job fields. This extra amount of money alone can pay for rent, a new car, or help to significantly pay off school or other related debts, while still having money left over each year. More money for vacations, or saving to get to retirement faster.

Flexible work environment with a changing technological and social landscape. Machinist jobs are well known to have a casual dress code, which is usually comprised of thick t-shirts, jeans and hoodies, due to the work environments they expose themselves to. There are also lots of young machinists working today who have tattoos, piercings, and an overall unconventional look, which is completely fine with most manufacturing shop floor employers.

There is also the flexibility in being able to bring these skills to any manufacturing shop floor.

With the industry getting younger, it is also easier for people in this job field to not only find their niche community within the realm social media, but for employers to reach new talent via the platforms of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and beyond.

Less time in school after high school, and you can often learn the trade during high school. While there is a serious need of resources for STEM learning (science, tech, engineering and math) for youth these days, there are some resources that can be highlighted as great examples.

For any classroom environment, it is highly recommended that educators check out the video platform called Edge Factor, which has an abundance of resources to let young people discover what they would like about working in this industry. There is also the Cardinal Manufacturing program from the Eleva-Strum School District – it’s a real machine shop high school kids can work in, and that school district also has a very progressive Digital Learning Initiative to keep these kids up to pace with current technology.

The great news is that to get a job in the manufacturing field working at a machine, a college degree is not necessary. Most employers will look for certifications, or may even offer an apprenticeship, to get new talent through the door. To gain certifications, there are online colleges, community colleges, and even vendors who offer these valuable certification learning resources, as well as the program Workshops for Warriors for military veterans.

Source: monster.com; Alliance for American Manufacturing; nam.org

How A Love For Math Turned Into A Career In Venture Capital

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When Anarghya Vardhana, a principal at Maveron, was growing up, the most common language spoken in her house was math. Her father was an engineer and her grandfather, a math professor. That formed her dream of solving the Riemann hypothesis, the theory that prime numbers follow a pattern and led her to study math at Stanford University.  She envisioned working in number theory and teaching at the university level. Then everything changed.

“I realized that I wanted to make an impact,” said Vardhana. “Maybe I could solve this amazing math problem; but even if I did, I would not really see the impact of it on people during my lifetime.”

The iPhone had launched and Vardhana got excited at the idea of combining technology, science and math with business to create something that immediately got into the hands of people and changed how they lived.

“I could still love science, math and technology, but do it in a different way,” explained Vardhana. “

That skill set took her from a first job at Google to an early stage startup in product management. She had some exposure to venture capitalists (VCs) but never thought it was a job for young people or someone who hadn’t sold a company. As she struggled with how to align her passions and professional interests, her sister urged her to become a VC.

Then only in high school, her sister outlined four points why:

1) Relationships are important to you and early stage venture is relationship driven.

2) You love researching and developing a point of view. VCs think around the corners to develop a thesis around where the world is headed.

3) You know technical process.

4) You are the only woman on your product team. Less than 2% of venture dollars go to women. You could be part of making sure capital flows in a way that’s equitable to women and people of color.

Vardhana also saw that venture would allow her to mentor. As a VC you have a dynamic relationship with your founders, where at times, you are also a coach and teacher.

Continue onto Forbes to read the complete article.

This decade-old menstrual health company gets a Meghan Markle boost

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Around the world, girls miss school because of stigmas about menstruation, or because they don’t have feminine-hygiene supplies. Days for Girls wants to change that.

It’s late May in Calgary, and Celeste Mergens, the founder of Days for Girls, is capping off a remarkable month.

She has just flown from Australia to Canada to attend back-to-back events honoring her 10-year-old nonprofit, which provides reusable sanitary pads and economic opportunities to women in poor communities. The number of volunteers for Days for Girls now tops 50,000 in more than 1,000 chapters in 17 nations. And Meghan Markle, the new duchess of Sussex, has just given a powerful voice to the issue of menstrual health, highlighting it in her royal biographyand encouraging everyone to avoid period shaming.

“We are growing exponentially,” Mergens says. “This is the day we worked for.”

Founded in 2008, Days for Girls is one of a number of nonprofits that seeks to destigmatize menstruation and provide access to sanitary products so that girls can continue to attend school when they have their periods. In India, 23% percent of girls drop out of school because they lack access to toilets and sanitary pads. In rural Nepal, girls are sent to live in small, isolated sheds while menstruating. And in Ethiopia, a study found that 56% of girls were absent from school specifically because they did not have access to sanitary pads.

Days for Girls came about after Mergens traveled to the slums outside Nairobi, Kenya, while doing humanitarian work for a family foundation. After visiting an overcrowded orphanage, she emailed the assistant director, asking what girls did for feminine hygiene. “It turned out that they would sit on a piece of cardboard for days,” she says. “I knew we needed to change that.”

FIGURING OUT HOW TO ADDRESS THE PROBLEM

It took Mergens more than a few tries to figure out how to best address the problem. At first, she approached a nongovernmental organization and asked for donations of disposable pads for about 500 girls at the orphanage. She soon learned there was no place to properly dispose of the pads. “The chain fence adjacent to the latrines was filled with disposed-of pads that were rolled up in every little link of the chain link,” she says.

The next idea was to create a reusable white pad. “Volunteers sewed this first design,” Mergens says. “Three of them sewed till their fingertips bled.” While the basic idea was a good one, the pads didn’t fit well–and worse, after washing, they showed stains. “The girls explained how taboo it was to hang anything out menstrual-related [to dry],” Mergens says. She and her volunteers came up with a trifold, washable pad made with colorful fabrics that look more like washcloths. “We kept listening, and the design today is actually patented,” she says.

Working with a small group of volunteers, which soon became an army, Mergens began to distribute kits–containing washable pads, panties, a washcloth, and soap–to girls in Kenya. The work soon spread to other parts of Africa and Asia.

Ten years later, the organization works all across the globe, including the U.S. “We got a call first from New Orleans,” Mergans says. “Communities and schools group said, ‘You are talking about over there, but we have this need.’” In New Orleans alone, an estimated 3,200 girls lack adequate feminine-care supplies. The group also supplies products to U.S. prisons.

Continue onto Fast Company to read the complete article.

How Vimeo’s 34-Year-Old CEO Mastered The Nonlinear Career Path

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The gifts of the digital age are wildly abundant. We have in our pockets the ability to teach ourselves anything, meet people and build communities across the globe and an endless market for goods and services. This level of access and freedom means you don’t have to follow a traditional career path, but when you are thinking about designing your own, whether right out of college or during a career pivot, this unlimited possibility can be totally overwhelming. It’s the paradox of choice.

“You don’t have to follow a traditional career path. There’s no rule book or playbook for success. Write your own roles. Don’t take people’s paths as the way that you have to do things. You have to do it yourself.”

This is Anjali Sud’s advice for us. And as Vimeo’s CEO at 34, she is undoubtedly the master of the non-linear career. “I did everything from investment banking to being a toy buyer to marketing diapers online to coming to Vimeo to do marketing and finding myself in my dream job now as the CEO.”

But how do you create a strategy for building a non-linear career without a playbook? And, how do you advocate for your work when you’re new to a field or if you have the skills but not the experience? I sat down with Anjali Sud at Collision in New Orleans to learn about her journey to the C-Suite and what she’s learned along the way.

When you started your career, did you see your path as non-linear? How did this shift for you over time?

I wish I had known that careers aren’t linear. When you’re young and in school, you work so hard and there is sort of a linear path. You know? You find a major and you specialize in it, you try to get a job. And then when you get out in the workforce, there can sometimes be this pressure — especially when you look at people around you. I remember, right out of college, I wanted to be an investment banker and I couldn’t get a job at a big bank. I got rejected by every big bank. And so you start to feel like, “If I don’t get the job at Goldman Sachs, I’ll never be able to become an operator and do what I want to do.” When I look back at my career path it was incredibly not linear. I wish I had known that so I wouldn’t stress out so much about not having a perfect path or not getting that job interview. Instead, having the faith that you can affect your career path at any point and realizing that opportunities come from places you could never imagine. I wish I had known that. I think I would have been more chill.

When you realized you wanted to transition from finance into operations, you hit a couple of walls — namely companies who didn’t want to give you a shot without this experience. How did you navigate this and end up as an operator at Amazon?

I met with a bunch of startups in NYC and asked them what skill sets they thought were most transferable between finance and operations. One recommendation I got was to try business development as a good “transition” function. The reason is that business development often requires deal-making skills – something I had picked up in finance – but it also involves a deep operational understanding of the business and its growth strategy. So, I applied for a summer internship at Amazon in business development. I worked my butt off that summer and got a full-time offer to join the business development team, but instead asked to take on an operational role. Because I had gotten my foot in the door and proved myself, Amazon was willing to give me a shot as an operator, first in a merchandising role, and then in marketing.

Continue onto Forbes to read the complete article.

How Today’s Google Doodle, Dr. Virginia Apgar, Made A Big Difference

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Today is the birthday of Dr. Virginia Apgar, who has helped make many, many, many birthdays possible.  The pioneering doctor lived from June 7, 1909, to August 7, 1974, and is the subject of today’s Google Doodle. You can’t really go through medical school without knowing Apgar’s name, at least her last name. Here’s why.

In 1952, Dr. Apgar unveiled the Apgar score. Besides being her last name, Apgar stands for the following five domains “Appearance, Pulse, Grimace, Activity, and Respiration” of the score. Basically 1 minute and 5 minutes after a baby is born, doctors, nurses, and midwives will score the baby from 0 to 2 (with 2 being the best) for each of these domains. The following table from the KidsHealth website shows how this scoring is done:

You then sum the 5 domain scores to get a sense of the baby’s overall health. If you do the math, you will see that the total score can range from a 0 to a 10 with a higher score being better. A baby rarely scores a 10, because most babies have at least blue hands and feet when they are born (hey, life ain’t easy and not everyone is the best at everything). A score of 7 or higher is normal. Lower than 7 merits immediate medical attention such as potentially oxygen, clearing out the airway, or physical stimulation to get the heart beating faster as the U.S. National Library of Medicine describes. Time may be all that the baby needs, since low scores at 1 minute frequently become normal at 5 minutes. Sometimes a doctor, nurse, or midwife may check an Apgar score 10 minutes after birth if any questions remain.

Of course, an Apgar score is only an immediate assessment and usually does not forecast either good or bad health in the future. So putting your good Apgar score on your resume will impress no one. A high Apgar score doesn’t necessarily mean that everything will be beer and Skittles from thereon. Similarly babies with low initial Apgar scores can go on to have very healthy lives.

While it may seem routine now, using a standardized way to check a baby’s health was not standard practice before Dr. Apgar invented the score. Newborn care was a lot more haphazard, making survival among infants, especially those born prematurely, more challenging.

It was an accomplishment for Dr. Apgar even to get to a position to make such an important invention. Back when she graduated from Mount Holyoke College in 1929 and then from the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons in 1933, the “Apgar” score for the medical careers of women and minorities was very, very low. Very few were even allowed into medical school, let alone progress in their careers afterwards. But Dr. Apgar was a persistent pioneer, eventually becoming the first woman to achieve the rank of full professor at her medical alma mater in 1949. Things aren’t smooth sailing for women and minorities today in medical and academic careers. But you can thank Dr. Apgar for at least making some initial inroads.

Continue onto Forbes to read the complete article.

4 Ways to Get Rid of Your Bad Breath Once and For All

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Dentist

It’s something that none of us wants, but at some point we likely all experienced it. Bad breath, otherwise known as halitosis, is a condition that leaves you running for your toothbrush or worse yet, prompt others to run from you. June is Oral Health Month, making it a great time to nip this common problem in the bud. In fact, it’s so common that the National Institutes of Health (NIH) reports that up to half of the US population has suffered from it. That’s a big enough problem that knowing what causes it and how to get rid of it should become a higher priority.

“Having halitosis can be quite embarrassing and it’s something that nobody wants,” explains Dr. Michael Florman, a Los Angeles-based orthodontist and the chief executive officer of EverSmile, Inc. “Many people are just not sure how to tackle the problem, so they continue to suffer in silence, often afraid to talk and open up to those who come near them.”

The NIH reports that bad breath is caused by food residue and bacteria that accumulates in the furrows of the tongue. Those accumulations are then broken down by volatile compounds that lead to the unpleasant smell. Bad breath can also be caused by poor oral hygiene. Some of the same bacteria that causes the bad breath can also lead to cavities and gum disease. Additional things that contribute to bad breath include smoking and chewing tobacco, certain medications, and medical conditions such as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), which has the bad breath originating in the stomach, and also dry mouth (xerostomia), which occurs when people do not produce enough saliva. There are still other conditions that can cause bad breath, such as respiratory tract infections like pneumonia, bronchitis, postnasal drip, and sinus infections.

While there are many factors that can contribute to having bad breath, there are also things you can do to help rid yourself of it. Here are a few ways to help get rid of and prevent bad breath:

  • Good oral hygiene. Certain remedies are obvious to reduce or eliminate bad breath depending the etiology. Brushing your teeth regularly, flossing and scraping your tongue all reduce bacteria that cause bad breath. The only way to make sure that you have good oral hygiene is to visit your dentist regularly. Visiting your dentist will help determine if you are maintaining good oral hygiene, if you have gum disease or bad teeth.
  • Drink and snack better. Drinking water will help keep odor under control because it helps move those acids through the digestive tract. Be sure to drink plenty of water throughout the day, because bad breath can be a sign of dehydration. Also, eating a healthy snack will also help settle down odors from the stomach.
  • Try commercial remedies.Over the counter remedies such as using mouth rinses, toothpastes, and sugar free chewing gums all can help. Regular brushing and flossing removes bacteria and plaque from teeth and gums. One of the newest products on the market to combat bad breath is EverSmile Unlike other breath fresheners, WhitenFresh uses patent pending hydrogen peroxide and surfactants to kill bacteria that cause bad breath, gingivitis, and tooth decay. The gentle WhitenFresh formula is sprayed into the mouth up to four times per, each time reducing the number of the bacteria and odor causing molecules. WhitenFresh can be used when on the go, and makes an incredible added benefit to daily brushing and flossing routines. An additional benefit derived from using WhitenFresh is that it also whitens teeth.
  • Keep food in mind.If you want to avoid bad breath for a particular meeting or date, be sure to avoid eating those foods right before it that help to cause it. These foods include garlic, onion, and fish. If you eat these foods and plan to be around others, you can help mask it by chewing on some parsley, or chew some gum. Keep mind, however, that it will only help reduce the odor for a short time.

“Bad breath is not attractive, but it’s not something you are stuck with either,” added Dr. Florman. “Your best route to eliminating it is through good oral health care. If you still have it regularly speak with your dentist or doctor about what could be causing it so that it can be addressed. Getting rid of that bad breath will give you more of a reason to smile.”

EverSmile has created a line of products that will help those with braces, aligners, and retainers keep their devices clean. At the same time, they will be able to clean their aligners, whiten their teeth, and freshen their breath. The products are now available in 4,600 CVS stores around the nation. The line of products includes EverSmile WhiteFoam, which gently cleans aligners or trays, EverSmile OrthoFoam, which cleans under and over braces, and EverSmile WhitenFresh, which is a freshening and tooth whitening spray that kills bacteria that causes bad breath and tooth decay.

EverSmile products use patent pending EverClean™ technology, which cleans and whitens using proprietary surfactants, solvents, and hydrogen peroxide. It breaks up organic stain particles that discolor the teeth and dental appliances.

Dr. Florman, who practices in Los Angeles, is considered to be one of the top Invisalign providers in the country and has over 25 years of consulting experience for oral care companies including for Colgate, Arm  & Hammer, and others. Dr. Florman has invented multiple dental products has brought several products from inception to commercial success. For more information about the company and products, visit their site at: eversmilewhite.com.

About EverSmile

Located in Los Angeles, EverSmile’s mission is to create new and advanced oral care products that will change patients’ lives. Currently in development are our new sensitivity-free whitening agents, dry mouth formulations, low-abrasion toothpastes, and a complete children’s dental line. For more information about the company and products, visit their site at: eversmilewhite.com

Mellody Hobson Will Become Starbucks Vice Chair After Howard Schultz Departure

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Mellody Hobson, president of Chicago-based investment firm Ariel Investments, will be moving into a role as Starbucks’s vice chair following Executive Chairman Howard Schultz‘s departure on June 26.

A Chicago native, Hobson worked her way up after joining Ariel as a college intern in the 1990s, going on to become the company’s vice president of marketing, then a senior vice president, and eventually president at the firm. Ariel’s holdings include MSG Networks, Northern Institutional Treasury Portfolio, First American Financial Corp., and Kennametal, among others.

A member of Starbucks’ board of directors since 2005, Hobson has also served on the boards of Estée Lauder, DreamWorks Animation, and Groupon.

Throughout her career, Hobson has made financial literacy and community outreach a priority. Currently, she serves as chair on the board of directors of The Economic Club of Chicago, as well as chair of After School Matters, a Chicago nonprofit that provides teens with out-of-school time programs.

Continue onto Fortune to read the complete article.

First FedEx African American Woman Pilot Reflects Journey

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FedEx Airbus Captain and Line Check Airman Tahirah Lamont Brown recalls her very first time in the cockpit in 1992—a momentous occasion for any pilot, but especially for an African American woman entering an industry dominated by men.  Brown later became the first African American woman pilot for FedEx, and shares how hard work, creativity, determination and mentors helped her build her “office in the sky.”

FedEx:  When did you decide you wanted to be a pilot, and what about flying intrigued you?

Tahirah: I decided to be a pilot in high school. At that time I had only flown twice in my life, but the more I learned about aviation, the more fascinated I became. I enjoy traveling, meeting new people, and learning about different cultures. Aviation matched my personality. It was an epiphany for me. I decided this is what I want to do, and God put people in my path along the way that helped me achieve my goal.

FedEx:  How did your parents react when you told them about your plans? 

Tahirah: My mother was nervous. My father was supportive, but wasn’t sure I was serious.

FedEx:  As an African American woman in a field dominated by men, did you feel there were barriers to your dream? 

Tahirah: There were barriers, for sure. I didn’t know any pilots and didn’t know how to pay for flight school.

I worked two jobs to pay for college and for flight training. I also wrote my family a letter asking them for support. I promised that if they would help me now, I would pay them back when I had the money, and they helped me.

I met Bill Norwood, the first black pilot at United Airlines, while in Tuskegee, Alabama, at Operation Skyhook and he introduced me to OBAP, the Organization of Black Aerospace Professionals. That introduction provided me with the guidance I needed, and also helped me with scholarships for flight training.

FedEx: Describe your first flight and how it made you feel.

Tahirah: I still remember it vividly as it was exhilarating. I was twenty years old. My first flight was in a Cessna 172, a four-seat single engine prop plane. My instructor in college was with me, along with my supportive, yet reluctant father in the backseat. We took off out of Long Island and flew to Greenwich, Connecticut. I was on top of the world. I could not believe that my view was the sky.

We flew around as I tried to maintain wing level. I looked back at my dad and he was giving me the thumbs up, but I could tell he was getting a little queasy. I said: “you’re doubting me, right?” When we landed I felt like a child that was taking her first step–like the world had no limits. My father told me this was what I was meant to do. All his doubts were alleviated at that moment and going forward he only asked how he could help me.

Continue onto FedEx to read the complete article.

This Latina VP Believes This One Trick Will Help Build A Diverse Pipeline

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Carly Sanchez has led with a people first mindset since the beginning of her career in higher education, now as the Executive Vice President and Head of Talent Acquisition Strategy and Delivery at Wells Fargo she is able to scale her impact.

“[My role] encompasses the leadership of all team member hiring globally for positions across Wells Fargo at all levels, with an emphasis on targeted recruiting for diverse segments,” explains Sanchez. “I serve as the primary liaison to the Chief Diversity Officer for all human capital diversity issues.”

As a Latina, Sanchez understands the impact of having the right structures in place that would help facilitate not only the hiring of a diverse talent pool, but also its retention.

“I think it is critical for Latinas to serve as sponsors and actively engage in identifying and sponsoring talent for positions to advance careers of those coming through the ranks,” shares Sanchez.

The goal is to ensure that those who are talented and qualified have the opportunity to walk through the right doors and feel like they belong.

“I gain the greatest satisfaction from helping identify diverse talent and enabling their future path through education as an admissions officer and now through facilitating opportunities for career advancement through recruiting, hiring and D&I work,” says Sanchez.

Below Sanchez shares more about her day-to-day work, what her hopes are for Latina peer mentorship, and her advice to all who are navigating corporate ladders.

Vivian Nunez: How would you define your career’s mission and how do you implement it on a day to day? 

Carly Sanchez: My career mission is to optimize opportunities for talented individuals that will allow and enable them to maximize that talent in an environment that is conducive and values a diversity of perspectives and backgrounds. On a day to day level, my role now is less focused on individual positions for which we are hiring (although I still do stay involved in that) and now more focused on designing a strategy and organizational structure that will enable the businesses and functions at Wells Fargo to attract and promote the best most diverse mix of talent to support the work.

Nunez: How do you ensure that hiring is as diverse as possible? 

Sanchez: Outreach and sourcing of diverse talent pools is critical, building the pipelines in advance of the opening of a position. This enables us to build diverse candidate slates for review and increases opportunities for selection in an equitable process. Our team partners with many diversity focused organizations to build talent pools, targets potential sources of talent (for example, working with military bases for hiring of transitioning military etc.), partners with HR partners and hiring managers to identify where we may have greater opportunity to increase diversity at all levels of the organization, and consults on issues related to D&I including how Unconscious Bias can negatively impact our commitment to a diverse and inclusive workforce.

Nunez: What advice do you have for Latinas who are looking to break into spaces that are predominantly white? 

Sanchez: Mentoring and sponsorship can be critical as Latinas look to bring their talent to different challenging environments.  Identifying individuals who can help you learn more about the role and meet individuals working in these organizations is ideal. It is also important to research and educate oneself about the organization, including developing a detailed understanding of the mission, the day to day work and any available information on the organization. This demonstrates your true interest and commitment when you have an opportunity to connect.

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