Jennifer Lopez: From the Block to the Boss

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Jennifer Lopez cover story

By Jovane Marie

In the nearly 30 years since she danced her way onto our screens as a Fly Girl on In Living Color, Jennifer Lopez has evolved into an award-winning, record-breaking, history-making phenomenon.

A force to be reckoned with in every industry she enters—be it dance, music, TV or film—the star has also made strides in the business world, intertwining her marketability with her personal persona and riding her brand all the way to the bank.

The Business of Being J. Lo

The consummate boss lady, Lopez has leveraged a thorough understanding of her personal brand and identity to generate several multi-million-dollar business enterprises. It is a tactic that, according to the successful multi-hyphenate, is key to longevity.

“You have to remember the value of your individuality—that you have something different and special to offer that nobody else can,” she said in an interview with IOL.

Lopez’s marketability lies in her origin story and the hard work ethic that took her from the southside of the Bronx to the highest echelons of stardom. To quote her hit “Jenny from the Block”— “no matter where she goes, she knows where she came from”—that sentiment has endeared her to fans, and consumers, worldwide.

“Staying authentic to that image of an entertainer, mother, and woman of humble beginnings in a struggling Puerto Rican family from the Bronx is important, and it’s key to reaching a bigger audience of potential customers. That’s a big part of who I am, and my brand in a way,” Lopez said in a sales pitch to Silicon Valley.

Lifestyle a la Lopez

Lopez first flexed her business muscle in 2001, when she launched her eponymous clothing and accessories line, J. Lo by Jennifer Lopez. With an unapologetic focus on providing fabulous fashion choices for women of all sizes (including often overlooked curvaceous body types), the label has gone through several iterations over the years, expanding to include girls’ sportswear and housing decor. In 2010, she relaunched the brand in partnership with popular retail chain Kohl’s, capitalizing on their exclusive private brand strategy to ensure nationwide saturation of her vision. The collection, which includes a wide array of fashion running the gamut from statement pieces to chic comfort, is a testament to the entrepreneur’s personal taste (if she wouldn’t wear it, it doesn’t hit the shelf).

“It’s great to collaborate with Kohl’s in the creation of a full lifestyle

 Jennifer Lopez performs during a stop of her It's My Party tour at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas
LAS VEGAS: Jennifer Lopez performs during a stop of her It’s My Party tour at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images for ABA)

brand that represents my full style and essence,” said the entrepreneur, who is known for taking an active role in each stage of the production process. “I’m a mom. I work. I want comfort, but I also want to feel sexy and modern. I think a lot of women want the same thing.”

Production Paragraph

As Lopez’s star continued to rise on the charts and in theaters, she made yet another boss lady move that would further cement her status as a business mogul. Alongside then manager Benny Medina, the star co-founded Nuyorican Productions, a film and television production company, in 2001. The production house has developed a wide range of projects, from documentaries to primetime shows to online series, with Lopez often starring or serving in an executive producer capacity. To date, the entity is responsible for six films, 12 TV series (including award-winning The Fosters, which won two GLAAD Media Awards for its outstanding representation of LGBT issues), four TV specials, one online series, and nine musical releases.

The Smell of Success

Lopez’s long-term influence and impact on the fashion industry extends beyond clothing, accessories, and home goods. In 2002, she launched what would become America’s top-selling fragrance and the best-selling celebrity fragrance line in the world—Glow. The move jump-started the now common-place strategy of celebrities bringing their own namesake scents to the market. In the 17 years since its inception, Lopez has released 24 fragrances, with revenue in the billions.

No Time Off

The mid-2000s saw Lopez incrementally building her empire—starring in several films (including 2006’s Bordertown, which earned her an Artists for Amnesty Award from Amnesty International), producing several others under Nuyorican, releasing her sixth studio album, maintaining her lifestyle brands, and serving as the Chief Creative Officer for NuvoTV (a Latino community focused cable network). It wasn’t until 2008, after giving birth to twins Max and Emme, that she finally took a short hiatus to focus on her new family.

She was back on the grind less than two years later, when she joined the judging panel on the tenth season of American Idol. The comeback served as the spark of a resurgence predicated on her undeniably successful personal brand that—nearly a decade later—has yet to falter.

The Power of Branding

Jennifer Lopez Book Cover: True LoveArmed with an ambitiously sharp business mind, an innate understanding of her brand, and a ferocious work ethic, Lopez has established herself as an obvious go-to for major companies looking to connect to consumers via a relatable feel coupled with a healthy dose of glamour. L’Oréal Paris, Gillette Venus, Fiat Automobiles, denim powerhouse Guess, and luxury footwear Giuseppe Zanotti have all called on the business behemoth, who boasts one of the most powerful brands on the planet.

The numbers don’t lie: more than 150 million people, a whopping 75 percent of them millennials, follow the phenom on social media, privy to Lopez’s every post, project, and partnership. That fact alone points to her uncanny ability to connect with the masses using her high-profile status as a business asset for social commerce.

To Lopez, that universal appeal serves as the potential foundation for creating wide-ranging business opportunities that have yet to be realized.

“I want to build something that has never been done before,” she declared in 2015 at VentureScape, a venture capital conference in Silicon Valley hosted by the National Venture Capital Association. And she most definitely will. Her companies boast a track record of success that surpasses Stanford graduates (the stereotypical recipients of such funds) and is predicated in part on her willingness to take risks.

“I have found that taking risks, being true to myself, and making decisions with good intentions can exceed even my own expectations,” the mogul mused in her 2014 bestseller, True Love.

Beyond the Business

Lopez may have established herself as an entrepreneurial enigma through her mastery of multi-faceted platforms and her sheer intelligence in strategically building and managing her brand, but her talents and impact (obviously) extend well past the boardroom. The fervent go-getter was advised as her career was just starting to blossom to “make a moment of her shot” (a piece of wisdom bestowed by fellow actor Jack Nicholson while on set shooting the neo-noir thriller Blood and Wine in 1997).

She took the advice to heart, harnessing every opportunity to its full potential, smashing racial barriers, and side-stepping naysayers to become one of (if not the) most influential Hispanic performers in the United States. In 2018, TIME Magazine named her among its “100 Most Influential People in the World,” and for good reason.

The quadruple threat (singer, actress, dancer, and producer) has sold more than 80 million records in the last two decades, holding the record for releasing the first remix album—entitled J to tha L-O! The Remixes—to ever debut at No. 1 on the Billboard 200, as well as the highest first week sales for a Spanish album in the United States—her 2007 Como Ana una Mujer.

As an actress, she has blazed a record-making trail in Hollywood as

Keke Palmer, Jennifer Lopez and Lili Reinhart are seen on the film set of 'Hustlers' in New York City.
NEW YORK, NY: Keke Palmer, Jennifer Lopez and Lili Reinhart are seen on the film set of ‘Hustlers’ in New York City. (Photo by Jose Perez/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images)

well, capturing the nation’s attention in 1997 with her portrayal of Tejano superstar Selena Quintanilla-Perez in the namesake biopic Selena and demanding a salary that at the time made her the highest-paid Hispanic actress in history. Collectively, her films have grossed more than $3 billion, and she holds the distinction of being the first woman to have a number one film (The Wedding Planner) and the number one album (J. Lo) simultaneously in the United States.

Lopez has also left an undeniable mark in the dance industry, cementing her reputation as a powerhouse on the floor with her fierce choreography and the producing (and serving on the judges panel) of the wildly popular World of Dance, which features dancers and groups from all over the world competing for a $1 million prize.

Her influence goes beyond the glitz and glamour of Hollywood and the recording studio, however. Lopez’s list of philanthropic efforts rivals her professional achievements. From the founding of the Lopez Family Foundation, a global nonprofit “dedicated to improving the health and well-being of women and children and increasing available medical care,” to her service as the first national celebrity spokesperson for the Children’s Miracle Network Hospital and the BC Children’s Hospital Foundation, her care, concern, and support for her fellow man and women is evident.

With her tenacious can-do attitude, persistent work ethic, and unapologetic boss lady branding, Jennifer Lopez has built a successful, multi-tiered legacy that is sure to stand the test of time. And she is confident there is even more to come.

“You have to believe that you really have that power to make your life whatever you want it to be,” she said.

Spoken like a true boss.

9 steps to take right now if you’ve been laid off

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A few weeks ago, everything may have felt stable in your career. Now, with the coronavirus outbreak continuing to have a tremendous human and economic impact, you’ve suddenly been given the unfortunate news: You’re getting laid off.

Suddenly, you’re left asking yourself, “Now what?”

If dealing with a global pandemic isn’t enough, how do you bounce back from a career setback at a time when the entire world has come to a screeching halt, with entire industries facing destruction and other companies freezing hiring?

While your job prospects at this moment may seem bleak, you can still take steps to improve your chances of landing your next role.

SOLIDIFY RELATIONSHIPS
In the midst of a crisis, the connections we have with others often make all the difference. Now is the ideal time to set up meetings with colleagues to ensure you’re reinforcing the professional bonds you’ve built.

These days, that means hopping onto a one-on-one video chat instead of grabbing lunch. But you should use your remaining time still employed to explain your situation, share your plans, and explore ways you and your connection can help one another, now or in the future.

REDUCE SPENDING
Given the uncertain circumstances we’re in with COVID-19, landing your next role may take even longer than usual. You need to buy yourself as much time as possible. Reduce or eliminate any discretionary spending you can. This means cancelling extra spends like subscription and streaming services. Cut expenses related to activities that are prohibited or restricted due to social distancing measures—pause your gym membership, cancel expensive holidays, and avoid ordering out too frequently.

By bringing down your expenses, you not only alleviate financial pressure, but also allow yourself to job search with less desperation and more confidence.

ACCEPT WHAT’S HAPPENED, AND MOVE ON
Although you may be frustrated, or even angry at how this layoff occurred as a result of something completely outside your control, accepting you’ve been laid off will help you pivot as quickly as possible. Instead of ruminating too much about could haves and should haves, create an action plan for yourself.

Build a job search to-do list that could include updating your résumé, writing a cover letter template, asking for recommendations for your LinkedIn profile, polishing up your social media profiles, reaching out to industry contacts, and practicing interview responses. Use these guidelines to increase your chances at landing that next job.

CAPTURE YOUR MOST RECENT ACCOMPLISHMENTS
Make sure you’re taking stock of all your key accomplishments as you move on from your current role. Record all your significant accomplishments in a document somewhere, so you can eventually transpose them as bullet points onto your résumé. Ensure your résumé is updated and ready to send when opportunities arise.

Moreover, now is also a good time to ask your former manager for a recommendation, which you can feature on your LinkedIn.

REBUILD YOUR PERSONAL BRAND
In the middle of a professional setback, not to mention a global pandemic, your response will say a lot about you. While a layoff can understandably feel like a blow to your career narrative, facing adversity and setbacks are an opportunity to redefine your personal brand.

What actions will you proactively take to bounce back? What contributions will you make to others in need? Use this as a time to reinforce qualities like persistence, proactivity, and positivity that may be attractive to your future employer. For example, come up with creative ways to reach out to prospective employers. Self-publish articles on LinkedIn or Medium that convey your key skills and interests. Avoid speaking negatively about your former employer, and concentrate on your strengths.

REFRESH YOUR ELEVATOR PITCH
When explaining a layoff, people too often come across as defensive, bitter, or insecure. The best way to avoid this is to get comfortable with the fact that getting laid off is not a result of your actions. Take this time to remind yourself of your key accomplishments, skills, and the strengths you intend to bring to your next role.

From there, script out exactly what you’ll say when people ask what happened, so you can speak candidly about it and come across as focused on the future over the past. Make sure you have a clear 2-3 minute career narrative ready to go in response to the question, “Tell me about yourself.”

Start with a high level overview of the key chapters in your career, followed by a verbal summary of your goals, experiences, accomplishments, and transitions for each of those chapters. Afterwards, finish up by going through the characteristics of the job you’re seeking, and why the company and role is a perfect fit.

With this short summary, you can come across as polished and professional when someone inquires about your work history.

SHARE NEWS OF YOUR LAYOFF
While this involves putting your pride to the side, broadly sharing news of your layoff with others can help open the doors, whether that means someone reaching out to talk or offering information on an opportunity.

Be sure to do this only after you’ve clarified your desired role and refined your elevator pitch, both of which will present you as focused.

With current circumstances, you’ll want to do this delicately to avoid seeming self-centered amidst a global pandemic. Keep in mind that any person you reach out to may have been directly affected by COVID-19. Make it crystal clear you’re aware of the current outbreak, along with the immense pressures everyone is under. Avoid coming across as entitled or pushy at a time when people are dealing with their own struggles and priorities.

It goes without saying, you should be polite and understanding if people don’t have time to respond.

BEGIN VIRTUAL NETWORKING
With many cities on lockdown for the time being, you can’t exactly attend in-person networking events or invite someone for a coffee. However, you can still network quite effectively. People working from home may be more open to speaking with you because they’re yearning for human connection.

Set up informational interviews over web conference platforms like Zoom or Skype. Join the increasing number of online webinars, virtual job fairs, or virtual meetups to establish professional connections with others from your home office.

FIND A SOURCE OF FUEL
The world is filled with uncertainty right now. Every single person I know is uncertain about the future of the world, their careers, or someone they love. Bouncing back from a traditional layoff is already stressful. Trying to bounce back from it in the middle of a global pandemic? Even more overwhelming.

One way to combat this is to find a source of fuel to help you through this trying period in your career. That may mean ensuring you’re staying healthy, taking care of yourself, or finding a source of inspiration through books, podcasts, or career resources to lift you up. When I need inspiration, I typically turn to inspirational TEDx Talks about career transitions, or I tune into podcasts, like How I Built This, that remind me how most successful people have had to overcome adversity during their career journeys.

Recognize this period may be one of the most difficult times in your career. Sometimes just realizing something will be an uphill climb is comforting when your life and career is not going as expected. Ground yourself with the awareness this will likely be a marathon, not a sprint, so pace yourself.

Continue on to Fast Company to read the complete article.

COVID-19: Verizon’s V Team marches forward together

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By Christy Pambianchi, Executive Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer at Verizon

In a matter of weeks, coronavirus (COVID-19) has fundamentally changed the way we work, communicate, learn, and live. Its impact transcends all borders and boundaries, causing a mass and jarring overhaul of our systems and daily operations. Businesses are asking employees to work from home while juggling caregiver needs.

Schools are closing at an unprecedented rate requiring a new way of learning. Doctors and nurses are working around the clock to contain and combat the spread of the virus.

First responders are being dispatched to keep people safe and minimize panic. Families are feeling displaced as we practice social distancing.

Connectivity is key

In all these scenarios, there is one constant thread that connects everyone–the need for a reliable, powerful network. Connectivity is what allows our students to learn, our doctors and nurses to treat, our first responders to protect, and our families and community to stay connected.

For example, there has been a 25% increase in total voice usage across Verizon’s networks. For years we’ve seen a steady decline in the amount of time people spend talking to one another. This time of uncertainty has reignited a hunger to stay connected, voice-to-voice, with colleagues and loved ones.

Now, more than ever, our networks must remain operational as an essential service to healthcare, first responders, schools, businesses, and families. And to achieve that, to keep our customers and the world connected, we rely on our frontline workers whose job functions may require them to be physically present. Our highest priorities are the health and well-being of our employees, so we have implemented preventative measures to keep our frontline safe while they are in the field or serving our customers.

  • Across our retail stores, we have adjusted operational hours and implemented a pick-up only policy to reduce the number of people in the store. We also continue to direct people to our online services and have our stores support only critical needs.
  • We provided our call center employees with the right tools and training to work from home so they can continue to offer the best-in-class support to our customers.
  • And, for our Network team members, we have prioritized incoming requests to service only the most critical calls. We are also proactively connecting with customers to ensure there are no presumptive or confirmed cases of coronavirus residing in the home or business before dispatching any Verizon personnel.
  • While we recognize some of our employees have to be physically present due to the nature of their jobs, we have rapidly expanded our work from home strategy to encompass over 112,000 employees, which is close to 90% of our workforce.

    COVID-19 doesn’t cancel out kindness and empathy

    Overnight, companies have asked millions worldwide to adopt a new way of working that requires employees to assume a first responder mindset on top of triaging at home. Given the seismic and sudden shift, it’s unrealistic to set business as usual expectations.

    Many people are sharing their workspaces with kids attempting to do their schoolwork or trying to console toddlers and babies who are rightfully demanding attention. I can tell you as a mother to four children this has been an adjustment for everyone. We should start every conference call by reminding our staff members that it’s okay and even somewhat expected to hear their children or pets in the background. Above all, we need to be kind and receptive to each other’s circumstances.

    No one should feel like they need to choose between getting their work done and managing their health or that of a family member. That’s why it’s not enough to make sure our employees feel safe. We must support them emotionally and financially by infusing a sense of humanity across our policies so people can balance work commitments with realities at home.

    At Verizon, we will pay targeted compensation and benefits to our colleagues who are working from home, working in our retail locations, call centers, and network locations that remain open.

    Additionally, we launched a COVID-19 specific leave of absence policy offering 100% of pay for up to 8 weeks and then 60% of pay beyond 8 weeks for employees who are unable to work because they are providing care to loved ones or themselves.

    And, should any of our employees contract COVID-19, we are offering up to 26 weeks paid leave. We have also partnered with Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield to establish a team of nurses that will help Verizon employees diagnosed with COVID-19 understand their condition, address questions, identify resources, and coordinate care with doctors.

    We can’t predict what the next days will bring, but we can and must continue to care for our employees and bend as a company to remain responsive to their needs.

    Going beyond our walls

    From a health perspective, COVID-19 has been devastating, but there are symptoms of this pandemic that are far-reaching and go beyond maintaining the physical well-being of our colleagues and loved ones. As more local and national authorities issue work-at-home orders and promote social distancing as a way to curb the spread of the virus, there are unintended consequences to doing the right thing.

    One of the consequences is an increase in domestic violence, as partners and children are now tethered even more to their abusers and isolated from resources that could help. Our VtoV Employee Relief Fund was created to help Verizon employees get back on their feet after being displaced from their homes following a natural disaster or personal emergency such as domestic violence.

    As we extend support to our employees and their families, we are also conscious that this pandemic is hitting our most vulnerable community members even harder and deepening the social divide.

    As of today, we have committed $2 million to the COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund in support of the World Health Organization (WHO) ‘s global response. This is in addition to $5 million to No Kid Hungry and $5 million to Center for Disaster Philanthropy (CDP) COVID-19 Response Fund and Direct Relief. We’ve tripled the data allowance for the 90,000 students and teachers in our Verizon Innovative Learning schools across the country, an increase from 10GB to 30GB for the next two months.

    We know small business owners are feeling very uncertain about their future, so Verizon recently launched a new program, Pay it Forward Live, which is a weekly streaming entertainment series that will include music, gaming, and comedy. Verizon will donate up to $5 million to support small businesses and encourage viewers to champion their favorite stores, as well.

    Verizon employees have also raised their hands to support the communities hit hardest by COVID-19, so we curated opportunities for V Teamers to virtually volunteer. These opportunities include providing tech training to older adults so they can connect with loved ones, becoming a homework buddy to students in low-resourced schools, and offering a lifeline to people feeling isolated and depressed.

    Beyond helping our own, there’s a critical need for collective action. Every business, community, and individual has to look beyond their respective needs and pay it forward. It doesn’t matter the scale or the type of contribution. Small united efforts can add up to big wins that change the tides.

    Forward together

    There’s a line in Verizon’s Credo, “We run towards a crisis, not away.” The talent we have within our walls, across our jobs, and throughout the world is best-in-class but we also attract people who have an outstanding sense of service.

    We don’t step back when the world needs help; we lean in and march forward. We know communities are relying on us to stay connected, and we will deliver because we are Verizon. It’s what we do.

    #ForwardTogether

    Ways to Stay Productive When You Work from Home

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    Globally, there has been 1.5 billion people who have been ordered to work from home due to the coronavirus pandemic. Many executives and managers are finding that managing remote workers blindly is is like conducting an orchestra without seeing or hearing the musicians. One company, TransparentBusiness, provides the solution that will allow a business to remain productive and profitable, while protecting their employees from the virus risks.

    “Our TransparentBusiness platform, designated by Citigroup as the Top People Management Solution, makes remote work easy to monitor and coordinate, allowing many businesses to operate efficiently despite the shelter-at-home orders,” explains Alex Konanykhin, co-founder and chief executive officer of TransparentBusiness. “The goal is for companies to be able to allow their employees to work remotely, but yet still ensure they are being productive. That’s exactly what our collaboration software provides, giving business owners the peace of mind they need to give the green light to work from home.”

    Employee engagement has been an issue with many companies, and the ability to work remotely is believed by some to be a solution to the problem. Employees who work remotely three or four days per week report that they feel the most engaged with their team.

    In addition to improving employee engagement and providing a way to reduce the risks of spreading viruses, there are additional benefits to allowing employees to work remotely. These include improving employee retention rates, saving commute time, offering a better work-life balance, increased productivity, lower costs, and having access to a large pool of talent. Working remotely allows more flexibility, as well as prevents people from unnecessary distractions in the workplace.

    While many companies are aware of some of the benefits of allowing their employees to work remotely, they are hesitant to allow it because they feel there is no accountability. That’s where TransparentBusiness comes in, providing the solution to that problem. TransparentBusiness offers a unique tool that will allow them to bridge the gap between working from home and still being a connected part of the team. The software offers such solutions as:

    • Being able to see all team members as they are working in real time. Employers don’t have to wonder if the employee is working or being productive, because the software will provide them with the immediate information they need.
    • Smart management and collaboration, providing an efficient way to collaborate and offer immediate feedback.
    • Increased productivity, ensuring that every billable minute is tracked, which helps to eliminate overbilling problems.
    • Performance monitoring that includes billing and cost data for the company or for a specific team or project that is being worked on.
    • Efficient communication capabilities, including multilevel chat options.
    • The ability to manage remote workers from one central location, while receiving all of the information that is needed to verify billable hours and productivity.

    “TransparentBusiness is the ideal solution when having your employees work from home, or to make it easier and more cost-effective to work with freelancers,” added Silvina Moschini, co-founder and president of TransparentBusiness. “TransparentBusiness is a win-win solution for employees and employers.”

    There are various ways that businesses can help employees stay productive when working from home. Some tips to help with that transition include:

    • Businesses can start the transition by identifying company goals and how they will be achieved. What is it they want their employees to accomplish while working from home?
    • Set the timeframes and deadlines that you want to have these items achieved in. Be realistic, especially since you are new to transitioning your workforce to working from home. The timelines can always be adjusted later.
    • Make the announcement to your employees that they will be transitioning to working from home. Share with them what the goals are, as well as the timeframe you have you settled upon.
    • Ensure you have the right software to help you make it a smooth transition, keep your employees working efficiently, and be able to track accountability. Opting for a software program such as TransparentBusiness will help improve task management, time management, team communication, productivity tracking, and more. TransparentBusiness has been designed to meet the needs of a remote workforce and increase productivity.
    • Know the difference in remote working tools, such as Zoom and GoToMeeting, DropBox and Google Docs, Skype and Whatsapp, and more. These remote working tools serve an important purpose and will make working from home easier and help keep people more efficient and productive.
    • Share with employees how they can be more productive working from home, by doing things such as setting regular hours, having a plan for the day, having a good location in the home where you can work from, and taking breaks when you need them.

    One look at the data and trends and it is easy to see that working remotely is the future of how business will be conducted. It is estimated that two-thirds of employees around the world work remotely at least one day each week. In some countries, such as Switzerland, it’s estimated that 70% of the professionals work remotely at least one day per week. An estimated 53% of the workers there work remotely for half of the week. This is a trend that is taking place worldwide. It’s predicted that soon, half of the U.S. workforce will work remotely, at least part time.

    TransparentBusiness has been expertly designed to cover all the bases and provide businesses with a unique solution to holding employees accountable who work remotely. The software is available for purchase through ADP, making it easy to streamline the process of adopting its use. It has also been designed with the same software as a business service model, making it easy to understand, efficient, and thorough, providing meaningful insight to business leaders worldwide.

    Co-founded by Silvina Moschini and Alex Konanykhin, TransparentBusiness recently received a second round of funding, for a total amount raised of $6 million. Moschini was dubbed “Miss Internet” in 2003 by Fortune, and has made hundreds of appearances on major media outlets. Konanykhin has been referred to as the “Russian Bill Gates” and is also the founder if KMGi, an advertising company started in 1997 and known for innovation.  For more information about TransparentBusiness, visit the site: https://transparentbusiness.com/.

     

    About TransparentBusiness

    TransparentBusiness is a unique solution for businesses, helping to provide them with the tool they need to allow their employees to work remotely. The software offers full transparency and real-time coordination, boosts productivity, and eliminates overbilling. For more information about the software, visit the site: https://transparentbusiness.com/.

     

    Sources:
    CNBC. 70% of people globally work remotely at least once a week. https://www.cnbc.com/2018/05/30/70-percent-of-people-globally-work-remotely-at-least-once-a-week-iwg-study.html

    Forbes. 50% of the U.S. workforce will soon be remote. https://www.forbes.com/sites/samantharadocchia/2018/07/31/50-of-the-us-workforce-will-soon-be-remote-heres-how-founders-can-manage-flexible-working-styles/#5242d43c5767

    Career Opportunities

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    There are many nationwide companies hiring now for remote work and more. Professional WOMAN’s Magazine connects you with our Job Postings Board.

    Click here to view the many current job openings for companies looking for candidates now.

    7 Ways To Make Your Online Virtual Conference Successful

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    The COVID-19 global pandemic has upended the conference and events industry. While some events have been canceled or postponed, others are being moved to an online, virtual setup in order to safeguard the health of attendees and presenters.

    Virtual conference events aren’t new (indeed, some very large ones are held each year). However, they are unfamiliar to many meeting planners, and it’s important to understand that the keys to a successful virtual conference event are a bit different than those for a traditional live event. Keynote speakers need to recognize this, as well, since keynote programs that work well onstage might not translate well to an online format.

    As a keynote speaker who’s headlined both live and virtual conference events for over a decade, here are 7 tips I’ve learned about how to make digital events successful, from large online gatherings to small eLearning sessions:

    1. Use video if at all possible.

    Even when delivered by the best speakers, it can be difficult to hold a virtual audience’s attention with a slide-based presentation, alone. Most webinar platforms support videoconferencing, and virtual conference speakers should absolutely make use of that capability. When your audience can see the speaker at a virtual event, it makes for a more engaging, more personalized attendee experience. If video is not available, then consider shortening the speaker sessions from a standard one-hour keynote to something more abbreviated, in an effort to maintain audience engagement throughout the entire presentation.

    2. Carefully consider the best available audio option.

    One surefire way to disengage a virtual audience is to subject them to poor audio quality. If they’re unable to hear the speakers clearly, they’ll tune them out (if not actually disconnect from the live feed). In contrast to a live event, with carefully controlled, professional A/V equipment – audio quality for a virtual session can be negatively impacted by a wide variety of factors: the quality of the speaker’s microphone, the platform used to capture the audio (landline phone, cell phone or VOIP), and network quality/connectivity (for cell and VOIP audio). The most reliable, high quality alternative is a landline phone – encourage your speakers to use that device, if at all possible. If a landline isn’t available, the second-best option will vary depending on the speaker’s equipment setup and connectivity. Test out those different options well before the event, and select the one that provides the best listening experience for the audience.

    3. Make sure your speakers have customized their presentations for a virtual audience.

    A speech that works well in a live venue may not translate perfectly to a virtual one. Speakers may not at first realize it, but gestures and other visual cues that they (sometimes unknowingly) use during a live speech won’t work in the virtual event. For this reason, speakers skilled in virtual events will utilize special materials for that delivery medium, such as a modified slide deck which helps convey information or emotion that wouldn’t otherwise be communicated effectively across a digital medium.

    4. Keep the session interactive.

    Depending on the size of the audience, the degree to which the virtual session can be made interactive will vary. Even large virtual conferences, however, can be made more interactive simply by using the audience polling features which are available in many online event platforms. Explain to the audience how to submit questions via the platform, and encourage them to do so, be it during a designated Q&A period at the end of the session, or during the program. Make sure speakers keep an eye on questions as they are submitted, so they can address some of them on the fly during their prepared remarks.

    5. Do a comprehensive A/V check – and take it seriously.

    Most speakers can do A/V checks at live events in their sleep, as it’s an exercise with which they are exceedingly familiar. That’s not the case with virtual events. Even if a speaker has done virtual sessions in the past, there’s no guarantee their next virtual event will use the same technology platform as their last. Great speakers leave nothing to chance when preparing for an event, and that approach is especially important with virtual sessions. Check everything in advance – audio/video quality, screen sharing, host-to-speaker private messaging, audience Q&A – and do it all with the same equipment and internet connection that the speaker will be using on event day.

    6. Plan for technical issues.

    Live events are conducted in well-controlled environments, where skilled A/V technicians are overseeing the entire endeavor. That’s not the case in a virtual conference event, where there are a host of potential breakpoints (network connectivity among them) that nobody has to even think about when putting on an in-person meeting. Develop contingency plans for whatever technical issues might crop up during the session. For example, if speakers are using slides, have them send their presentations to the event host in advance – so if the speaker loses connectivity, the host can at least step in and advance the slides for them.

    Continue on to Forbes to read the complete article.

    WBENC: Building a Dynamic Ecosystem for Women of Color Entrepreneurs

    LinkedIn
    Smiling young African American businesswoman leaning on a table in her office

    The Women’s Business Enterprise Council (WBENC) first launched the Women of Color Program in 2017 to create an effective and successful business ecosystem designed to engage, advise and drive the growth of women of color women-owned businesses.

    Since then, hundreds of women entrepreneurs have attended in-person sessions at WBENC national events, designed to address the challenges faced by many women of color business owners and provide resources and programming to address those challenges.

    As an outreach and development program, the WBENC Women of Color (WOC) program is open to all women business owners—both WBENC-Certified Women’s Business Enterprises and those not yet certified.

    “The growth of women of color-owned businesses and creating an ecosystem that serves as a Sister Circle for businesswomen is my main focus. To drive and connect the growth of inclusive entrepreneurship and economic development for the Women of Color Community has been a lifelong passion,” says Jade Melvin, Senior Manager of Strategic Programs at WBENC.

    “We are thrilled to invest in the development of women of color entrepreneurs to advance this dynamic segment of the women-owned businesses landscape,” says Pamela Prince-Eason, President & CEO of WBENC.

    Confronting Challenges with Solutions
    The WBENC Women of Color Program is cultivating a business ecosystem for women of color through seven program pillars:

      1. Community Building: WOC is a tight-knit community, sharing resources for accelerating growth, strategizing to overcome problems, and meeting new customers.
      2. Market Access: WOC identifies and leverages regional network areas that focus on the advancement and development of WOC businesses and connects them to the WOC community.
      3. Resources: WOC provides support throughout the year with resources in education, support, leadership development, mentorship and provides materials to help strengthen and enhance WOC businesses’ capacity for doing business with corporations.
      4. Human Capital: WOC empowers and advances women-owned businesses by providing education, inspirational speakers, facilitators, consulting, trainings, subject experts, coaches and more, for aspiring WOC leaders. The program also connects women of color entrepreneurs to pipelines of talent and emphasizes the importance of developing their teams as their most valuable asset.
      5. Innovation: WOC facilitates innovation and growth by building bridges with the next generation of women-led firms and entrepreneurs through partnerships with universities and the WBENC NextGen Program.
      6. Policy: WOC partners with government advocacy organizations including Women Impacting Public Policy (WIPP) and the National Women’s Business Council (NWBC) to promote federal legislative priorities that are necessary for sustained women-owned business success.
      7. Capital: WOC researches and communicates access to capital programs and other outside resources and opportunities for women entrepreneurs to the network on a regular basis.

    How to Get Involved

    WBENC is expanding the Women of Color program to include opportunities throughout the year, including introduction of the Women of Color City Tour, a premier networking event for women of color business owners interested in doing business with corporations and/or government entities. Learn more at wbenc.org/WOC

    About WBENC
    WBENC is the largest third-party certifier of businesses owned, controlled, and operated by women in the United States and has a mission to fuel economic growth globally by identifying, certifying, and facilitating the development of women-owned businesses. WBENC partners with 14 Regional Partner Organizations (RPOs) to provide its world-class standard of certification to women-owned businesses throughout the country. WBENC is also the nation’s leading advocate of women-owned businesses and entrepreneurs. Throughout the year, WBENC provides business development opportunities for member corporations, government agencies and close to 16,000 certified women-owned businesses at events and other forums. Learn more at wbenc.org.

    Leading Digital Innovation Expert Poised to Help Women-Led Businesses Thrive Amid COVID-19 Restrictions

    LinkedIn
    Woman is seated on outside stairs looking confident

    TransparentBusiness, a leader in providing the software and management platform for remote working, is helping companies transition now and for the future.

    Unlike anything we have all seen in our lifetime, life as we know it has come to a screeching halt. Schools have closed, all events cancelled, lockdowns and restrictions. Plus, businesses are stumbling. Whether or not businesses will be able to weather this storm largely depends on how well they can transition to a remote workforce.

    Millions of people are being told to work from home, and one woman, co-founder of TransparentBusiness, is on a mission to help women-lead businesses make a smooth transition and thrive during this time.

    “Work is something you do, it’s not somewhere you go,” explains Silvina Moschini, co-founder of TransparentBusiness, digital innovation expert, international speaker, and entrepreneur. “Right now we are being forced to change the way we work, but that doesn’t mean businesses have to suffer. Productivity can be just as high and businesses can thrive. Working remotely will save many businesses during this time.”

    Moschini is offering unlimited and free access to the TransparentBusiness remote working and management platform while the COVID-19 restrictions are in place to women-led companies. They will also help the companies to deploy work-from-home programs. By offering the free service and support people will be able to make a smooth transition to allowing their employees to work from home.

    The TransparentBusiness software is an emergency preparedness and pandemic response tool. The software helps companies allow their staff to work from home, and yet still be productive, and have accountability. Companies that use this recession-resilient software will find that it helps them boost productivity and transparency, offers cost-cutting solutions, and provides a real solution to transition people to remote working.

    “Women need to support women during this critical time,” added Moschini. “I want to help as many female-led businesses as I can. Not only will I help people transition their team to using the software, but I can answer all the questions people have on how to make that transition a major success.”

    While many businesses are scrambling to allow their employees to work from home due to the COVID-19 restrictions, working remotely is seen as the future of business. Increasingly, more businesses are turning to allowing their employees to work at least part of the time remotely. This move helps to provide more convenience, recruit and retain better talent, reduce overall company costs, and improve productivity and team morale.

    Moschini is a digital innovation expert, international speaker, and award-winning serial entrepreneur. She also serves as a mentor to young female entrepreneurs around the world. She has won awards for her leadership skills and global initiatives. Moschini is one of the most foremost experts on the digital economy and is a leader in transforming the global workforce. She is also the founder of an ecosystem of companies that are harnessing the cloud to connect businesses.

    Working remotely allows more flexibility, as well as protecting people from unnecessary distractions in the workplace. While many companies are aware of some of the benefits of allowing their employees to work remotely, they are hesitant to allow it because they feel there is no accountability. That’s where TransparentBusiness comes in, providing the solution to that problem by making remote work easy to monitor and coordinate. For more information about the software, visit the site: transparentbusiness.com/.

    About TransparentBusiness
    Designated by Citigroup as the Top People Management Solution, TransparentBusiness offers full transparency and real-time coordination, boosts productivity, and eliminates overbilling. For more information about the software, visit the site: transparentbusiness.com/.

    Two Upcoming Webinars-Business Resource Group Leadership Development and the Impact of Supplier Diversity Outreach Activities

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    NUDC-web series

    Join Us for Our FREE Webinars on 3/25 and 4/21!

    MARCH:

    Wednesday, March 25, 2020 10am PDT/1pm EDT

    Developing Business Resource Group Leadership

    Kristine Maciolek Small, PPL Corporation and Deb Dagit, Deb Dagit Diversity

    Business/Employee resource groups can be one of a company’s hidden treasures, helping to identify new sources for the talent pipeline, shining a spotlight on current and high potential leaders and creating a cross-functional multi-level team of advocates to help retain valued employees. BRGs are also a key component of a successful diversity and inclusion strategy, helping to improve culture, serving as advocates and allies for awareness and change.

    Successful BRGs have effective leaders who know how to connect and collaborate with members, colleagues and more importantly, the company’s leadership.

    Join Kristine Maciolek Small, PPL and Deb Dagit, Deb Dagit Diversity, to understand how leadership development opportunities for BRG leaders and members can improve professional skills and foster BRG collaboration across demographic and business lines, thereby increasing the effectiveness of not just the BRGs, but the enterprise. Register today!

    This webinar will offer useful insights and ideas for BRG leaders and members, human resource professionals, business managers and both formal and informal executive sponsors.

    APRIL

    Tuesday, April 21, 2020 10am PDT/1pm EDT

    Impact Analysis: Supplier Diversity Supporting Activities
    How does data inform the impact of outreach activities to advance opportunities for diverse suppliers?

    Jose Espinoza, CalWater
    How do you prioritize activities? Why measure impact? What does impact look like? Join Jose Espinoza, as he reviews a data-driven program: the importance in measuring impact, top-five activities; he will share tips for supplier diversity managers, advocacy organizations, and diverse suppliers. He’ll conclude with how to implement a similar approach.

    In addition to going beyond demonstrating diverse spend, this webinar will illustrate the importance of each step in the supplier diversity process including why it’s important to know where diverse suppliers are coming from, so you can identify barriers. More importantly, when you have current metrics on suppliers, those metrics can be used to encourage supplier diversity growth. Register today!

    The webinars and the work of NUDC is made possible in part by grants from Academy Securities, ACT-1 Group, AG Tools, Alcoa Traffic Control, American Association of Blacks in Energy, American Water, Anonymous, Arnita Smith, Burns Environmental Services, Inc., C.L. King & Associates, California Water Association, Center for Energy Workforce Development, Conitsha Barnes, Connecticut Water, Consumers Energy, Damian Rivera, Diversity Comm, Donna Ruff, Dr. Alexander Washington, Duke Energy, Edison Electric Institute, Exelon Corporation, Gainesville Regional Utilities, Gunster, Heather McCreary, Hispanics in Energy, Jesse Castellanos, Liberty Power, Loop Capital, MFR Securities, Multicultural Media, Telecom and Internet Council, New York Power Authority, NRG Energy, Osceola Consulting, Pacific Gas and Electric Company, Penserra, Philadelphia Gas Works, PJM Interconnection, PPL, Ruben Strategy Group, S&H Metal & Fabricating Co. Inc., Salesforce, Sanjay Kucheria/Trinus, Southern California Edison Company, Southern California Gas Company, Southwest Gas, SouthWest Water Company, TAS Strategies, TechSoup, The Dowling-Woo Company, The ELITE SDVOB Network, Utility Workers Union of America, Yolanda Pollard; Support for the Diversity Toolkit also received from the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Economic Impact and Diversity; the Supplier Diversity webinar series is sponsored in part by generous support from Pacific Gas and Electric Company.

    What Effective Managers Do to Organize Their Time

    LinkedIn
    Busy woman looking at watch and concerned she is missing deadline

    By Vartika Kashyap

    Do you often find that there are never enough hours in the day? As a manager, are you able to give time to help your team each day? Can you adjust when something urgent comes up?

    If not, you probably need some useful time-management hacks that you can use right away to achieve your goals.

    Time-management is all about bringing the joy back to your life. And experiencing every bit of joy that you deserve.

    The phrase “Time and Tide wait for none” explains the importance of time to succeed in all aspects of life. How you value your time-management dictates the quality of your life.

    Particularly, for project managers, it is important to possess these skills to be successful.

    Read below for how managers organize their time.

     

    They have an ideal morning routine

    Starting a morning routine is involves trial and error, which greatly affects your life. Tony Robbins also uses a morning routine to prepare him for a productive day. High performers find good routines for themselves and stick to them.

    As managers have a lot on their plate, they should design their morning habits to help start the day right off.
    • Rise early to get the rest of the day under control.
    • Visualize the good things that will come to you for the day, while detaching yourself from the negative self-talk.
    • Get some exercise to increase your overall energy levels to fight depression and anxiety.
    • Consume the best food possible that includes good carbs and fiber, plus some protein.
    With a good morning routine, you will be prepared to face anything that comes to your way.

    They categorize their priorities

    All the projects you work on with your team need clear priorities. Take time to sit down, know how to set priorities and categorize your priorities based on the time you have. One of the biggest challenges for project managers is to have the right kind of project insight to manage the team’s workload. It becomes a problem when everything feels important and you have to make categories of the tasks based on their priorities.

    So, here’s what you can do:
    • Know what is important and what is not
    • Get organized
    • Delegate well
    • Be flexible and adaptable
    So, overall, knowing how to prioritize work will affect the success of your project by time-management and role as a manager.

    They use a to-do list in the right way

    Keeping a properly structured to-do list the evening before will make it easy for you to focus your time on important activities. Everything you add to your to-do list needs to be important. As you complete the tasks, check the items off your list, and you will feel more powerful.

    They eliminate distractions

    Sometimes the world around us makes it difficult to maintain focus. In this age of constant distraction, managing your mind from wandering is equally important when it comes to managing your time. Apart from scheduling your lives to every second, the idea of keeping distractions from coming in should also be looked upon.

    Make it a ritual to set boundaries for the day to structure your time. Have a plan for the day to eliminate distractions to focus on the quality of your work.

    They work smarter, not harder

    The bitter reality is everyone has 24 hours in a day with each hour defined conveniently for our job, relationships, family, personal life and hustle and bustle. But the successful people are those who work smarter in these hours that keep them stay afloat.

    Nobody can be efficient with their time if they do not think before taking any actions. Set a plan and strategy for your workday on a work-tracking software, take a look at your daily tasks, control your habits to improve time-management skills and don’t let your day control you.

    They create time estimates for more productivity

    If you are use a dedicated time-management software, you can log your time estimates to track how you spend your time working on different tasks. With accurate time estimation, you will know how long your project will take and if it will be delivered on time. With a time-tracking tool, you get to make better time estimates for all tasks to manage time efficiently.

    They break big projects into small tasks

    Project managers often feel demoralized seeing large projects before they even begin working on it. They find it difficult to consume to work on large projects and delegate it to the team. But the best way out to conquer large projects is to break down the large projects into small components to make it doable. By this, you can possibly get everything done on time, as time-tracking online is much simpler for smaller tasks.

    They commit to work-life balance

    How do you maintain a well-balanced life to master your life? You definitely need to delegate your personal and professional time. While it is important to manage time, you will have to restructure your life around your strengths and weaknesses. Here’s what you should do:
    • Balance your personal and professional goals
    • Become the master of estimating time by making timesheets
    • Set boundaries to be more balanced

    They beat procrastination
    Are you always procrastinating? Addressing time-management and procrastination is a simple act of self-care. If you are struggling with managing time well, a small change in avoiding procrastination can be beneficial for delivering your projects on deadline.

    This act of self-management can lead to a more productive life.

    Source: proofhub.com

    Internet companies won’t disconnect people for unpaid bills for 60 days, FCC says

    LinkedIn
    Mother and two children in the kitchen on the computer

    The Federal Communications Commission has won commitments from phone and broadband providers to support the swelling numbers of adults and children working and attending classes from home, respectively, amid the coronavirus pandemic.

    A group of broadband and telecommunications firms signed up to the FCC’s “Keep Americans Connected Pledge,” which asks connectivity companies to postpone termination of services for the next 60 days on homes or small businesses because of an inability to pay bills because of the outbreak.

    Among the companies to endorse the pledge are major and minor internet providers including AT&T, Comcast, Charter, Cox, Google Fiber, Sprint, Verizon and T-Mobile.

    FCC commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel asked the FCC to go farther by asking companies to also lift and eliminate data caps and overage charges, and get hospitals connected and make sure there are hot spots for loans to school children.

    Internet service providers are beginning to advertise temporary discounts, including for students whose schools are closed because of the coronavirus.

    Charter Communications said Friday it would offer free broadband and Wi-Fi access for 60 days to households with K-12 or college students who do not already have a broadband subscription. Cox Communications said it was offering one month free service to new customers of its low-income service beginning Monday, and increasing the service’s speed beginning Tuesday.

    AT&T said Thursday it was waiving internet data overage fees for customers who did not already have unlimited home internet access. Comcast said it would give its Internet Essentials service away for free for 60 days. (Comcast is the owner of NBCUniversal, the parent company of NBC News.)

    The FCC said Friday that Chairman Ajit Pai was “calling on broadband and telephone service providers to promote the connectivity of Americans impacted by the disruptions caused by the #coronavirus pandemic.”

    Continue on to NBC News to read the complete article.