'Take Care' Panel Discussion Tackles Professional Anxiety and Workplace Bullies at Women of Power Summit
Women of Power Summit

‘Take Care’ Panel Discussion Tackles Professional Anxiety and Workplace Bullies at Women of Power Summit

(Image: BLACK ENTERPRISE/The Tyler Twins)

BLACK ENTERPRISE‘s Women of Power Summit is aimed at fostering the continued growth and elevation of women in business. As part of this year’s summit, a panel tackled issues related to workplace anxiety and bullying.

Image Credit: The Tyler Twins – Black Enterprise Women in Power Summit – Las Vegas 2022

“Take Care: Dealing with Professional Anxiety, Burnout, & Bullies” brought together four professional women who provided attendees with a new bag of tricks to deal with common workplace stressors.

Herschenia Arianne Brown, founder of Mind Over Matters Holistic Mental Healing, moderated the discussion between Shavonne Gordon, head Of enterprise diversity recruiting at Capital One; Minda Harts, founder and CEO of The Memo and author of Right Within: How to Heal from Racial Trauma in the Workplace; and Sabrina Madison, founding CEO of Progress Center for Black Women.

Brown started the empowering chat by asking how many people in the audience have suffered or are suffering from workplace anxiety and bullying. Judging by the hands raised in the audience, it was clear the topic rang true for those in attendance.

Linking to the Supreme Court hearings of Katanji Brown Jackson, the ladies explained how the hearings were a perfect example of the microaggressions and workplace bullying many Black employees deal with on a daily basis.

“I had normalized the treatment. That is just the way it is for Black women. I normalized the micro aggressions,” Harts said.

While reassuring the audience that long gone are the days where Black staffers are made to feel silenced at the workplace, the Right Within author explained why “We don’t have to suffer in silence anymore. We can create boundaries,” Harts said.

The ladies also tackled topics related to toxic workplaces and how they are an epidemic. When they were asked why Black women have seemingly normalized workplace mistreatment, Gordon shared how Black women have always been in survival mode.

“You just learn what you can to survive,” Gordon said. “Survive in the environment that we are a part of.”

The ladies gave tips on dealing with toxic work environments like getting a career coach or mentor to help navigate the trauma these types of settings can cause. They encouraged attendees to find their voice and once they do, help someone else struggling to find theirs.

“Pass on new tools of thriving instead of adapting to the toxic behavior,” Gordon said.

One main tip: start working on your exit if feeling weighed down by an unhealthy workplace.

“Don’t create that boundary for yourself that says you can’t leave,” Gordon said. “Is it time to write my exit plan?”

Warning signs to look out for when feeling burnt out include exhaustion and fatigue. Therapy and mental health professionals are a phone call away; all of the panelists urged attendees to speak to someone instead of keeping emotions bottled in.

“Therapy is not a bad word,” Madison said.

The ladies ended the discussion by reminding the women in attendance to set healthy boundaries at work.

“You belong in every room you go into but not every room deserves to have you,” Harts said.