How to navigate the workplace as a black woman

Author Sihle Bolani
Author Sihle Bolani

Why did you decide to write the book?

I realised a lot of people are currently experiencing the same challenges I’d gone through and decided I’d be the person who’s vocal about it and willing to deal with the repercussions. The most important thing was for our story to be told by one of us in the most authentic way.

What do you hope people take away from the book?

I hope it becomes a catalyst for the right kind of conversations and questions we should be asking. We need to start challenging the status quo and unpacking critical issues that affect us. For example, what do they mean when they say there’s a limited amount of space for black people to be promoted into any position of power, yet we live in a predominately black country.

Tips for the young black women going into corporate:

•      Go into it to knowing the corporate world isn’t your friend. Don’t expect kindness or fairness because it won’t be your reality.

•      Go with every intention to be excellent for yourself and being the best version of yourself.

•      Be attentive! Pay attention to everything around you. You learn so much about corporate SA when you analyse how people interact and understand dynamics.

•      Align yourself with people in your organisation who can assist in your growth. You need support.

•      Get a mentor outside your organisation to guide you.

Read more on the conversation with Sihle in the Entertainment section of the March issue.

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