Raven Jemison Shares Journey As Black, Queer Woman In Sports Arena In New Book ‘More Than Representation’
Ahead of the release of her new book, More than Representation: The Cheat Codes to Own Your Seat at the Table, Raven Jemison, executive vice president of Business Operations for the Milwaukee Bucks, spoke on WGTD’s Morning Show on Oct. 2 about her journey in the workforce as a Black, queer woman.
The book is dedicated to her known and unknown ancestors and is intended for those who come after her as “It has not been an easy journey,” the Tuscaloosa, Alabama, native shared.
“There has been a lot of twists and turns, but I wouldn’t trade it for a minute when I think about what I learned at each one of those turns,” she added.
She discussed the importance of acknowledging Black, indigenous, and women of color who sit at the intersection of marginalization.
Jemison, who shared that she is the granddaughter of a preacher, said that as a Black, queer woman, she sits at the intersection of three marginalized communities with very little representation.
“Being a Black person in corporate America or as an entrepreneur comes with its own challenges,” she said. “Sometimes you’re the only person in the room that looks like you or [has] lived experiences like yourself.”
She stressed that being a woman, on top of that, comes with its own different experiences.
“In corporate America, there’s a lot of men in the C-suite,” she explained. “There’s a lot of men [at] the executive table,” and there could be only one woman.”
Jemison’s credentials span across the corporate sports industry. She has driven revenue and strategic business initiatives for the NBA, NFL’s San Francisco 49ers, MLB’s Pittsburgh Pirates, and NHL’s Florida Panthers.
“If you look like me, or if you love like me, I hope that when you read my story, maybe you see some things that you can take from it,” she noted.
The Milwaukee Bucks exec also addressed how some Black women are seen as “aggressive” or “hard to work with” when they state a point with passion.
“It’s hard enough to exist in corporate America, doing the work,” she said, and to add the weight of things such as being someone totally different, code-switching, and looking like what “straight” might be, was, she said, exhausting.
The sports professional believes workplaces must remove barriers and provide inclusive environments for people to show up to their jobs and be productive.
Jemison shared her corporate life cheat codes on her Instagram:
- Know yourself to know your worth.
2. Find your people.
3. Pause, reflect and re-invest.
4. Understand that politics isn’t only for politicians.
5. Collect advocates.
Bonus cheat code: Make the most of your turn.
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She will bring her experience to the Kenosha Area Business Alliance’s ‘Inspire” leadership development and networking event on Friday, Oct. 13, at Journey Church in Kenosha, where she will be a principal speaker.
Inspire is next Friday, October 13! This is your last chance to register yourself and your teams for this must-attend leadership development event in Kenosha. Learn more at https://t.co/a12lILcT1p! pic.twitter.com/EPXWQ2DuDE
— KABA (@KABAConnectHere) October 3, 2023
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