In honor of Women's History Month, this March we'll be showcasing Envision female speakers and role models who have and continue to make history. Women throughout the past have worked hard and sacrificed to do great things. Join us this month in celebrating them! Please share our posts through out the month and use #WomenWednesday to commemorate the amazing strides these women have taken!
Today, we highlight Bianca J. Jackson, MBA, PMP, who is an award-winning technology project manager, career and leadership consultant, and social entrepreneur. She is the Keynote Speaker at Envision's Junior National Young Leaders Alumni Conference in Boston. Pouring into the youth and young adults of today is just one of her passions. She shares her knowledge about emerging technologies such as virtual and augmented reality, how to create the life you want and be happy, and how to start your side hustle. Bianca has first-hand experience working with young adults through running service organizations and projects. After working for Fortune 500 giants such as Marriott, UnitedHealth Group, and USA Today, she decided to take her transferable career and leadership skills to start two businesses. We asked Bianca some questions about how you got to where she is now. Check out her answers below!
Did you always know what you wanted to do in your professional life? If not, how did you find yourself pursuing this career? If so, what made you so set on your pathway?
When I was a kid, I wanted to be a teacher. But what happened is that I fell in love with computers. My fifth-grade teacher suggested that we ask our parents for computers for that Christmas, and like any impressionable 10-year-old I did as I was told. Little did I know how that one decision, that one gift, would change my life. I tried to get my hands on everything technology related. I went to schools to learn how to code, how to build databases, and how to build websites. In my corporate career, I was a technology project manager for big name companies in the United States. Now, I use the same technology skills to run my businesses.
What obstacles have you faced as a woman (particularly in a male-dominated field)?
I experienced a lot of sexism and racism. Being a black woman in technology, I often joke with people and say that I felt like a rainbow here -a unicorn dancing under the moonlight. In tech, women represent one of four employees. Women of color in tech represent two to three women out of every 100 people. Needless to say, I was a four-leaf clover. In certain environments, there would be jokes, inappropriate comments, and just complete disregard sometimes for the things that I had to say and contribute.
What’s your favorite piece of career advice you’ve ever received?
Don't be afraid to stand up for yourself.
What advice would you give to young women interested in a similar career path, which might help prepare them for the barriers they may face along the way?
The same advice don't be afraid to stand up for yourself.
What are your future career goals, and what steps do you plan to take to reach them?
My future goals include continuing to scale my businesses and eventually living on a beach with my family. Currently, I'm exploring opportunities to scale the businesses that I have as well as start new business opportunities to expand my streams of income from 3 to 20.
What woman in history is your biggest inspiration and why?
Lisa Nichols. She's a motivational speaker who tells a story about being on public assistance to developing herself and becoming a multi-millionaire. She's an inspiration because she didn't make excuses for her situation instead she took the resources that she had and just continued to build her empire.
If our scholars are interested in knowing more about you and your career, where else can they learn about you?
They can learn more about me from my website BiancaJJackson.Com. Also feel free to follow me on Instagram (@biancajjackson) or LinkedIn (www.linkedin.com/in/biancajjackson).