“I may look confident but at many points in my career I gave up my voice. My courage was diminished, and managers stepped on me. I let those things happen because I gave my power away. I gave my light away,” said Daisy Auger Dominguez, Author, Human Resources Executive and Workplace Inclusion and Equity Leader.
Daisy has centered her career around the work of inclusion. “And part of the reason why I do this work, is that I don’t want other people to have to suffer in that darkness. I want there to be light and joy in organizations. Because I’ve seen what it looks like when people feel seen and understood. They walk with a pep in their step.”
Be Aware of the Tightrope
Conventional career advice doesn’t usually work the same way for women or women of color. And we are more likely to experience microaggressions. Daisy said “No one gave me a decoder ring when I when I joined new organizations. So, people are talking around me and I’m trying to decipher whether it’s an insult or not. I’d think, are those daggers that are coming my way or is that just a joke? How much of myself do I bring to the table?”
It consumes a lot of mental energy. She added, “And it’s about learning how to navigate that tightrope we manage, particularly as women of color, every day.” But it doesn’t have to something you endure solo.
Find Your Friends and Allies
The people you surround yourself with, matter to your career. Daisy said, “The advice that I give to women and other people of color, is to find your partners. The people that will be on this journey with you. And they can be at all levels and organizations because we can lean on them at different points. Sometimes, I need that executive leader to credentialize me, to gain the commitment I need to move forward.”
People who will extend their social capital for you, such as sponsors and mentors, are important. She added, “And sometimes I need that colleague to just confirm for me that I’m not going crazy. Or I need that cross functional colleague to partner with me. So, that we can combine our expertise and get something done.” Absolutely.
Manage Your Energy
The ongoing work to assess who your champions really are puts you at a different level of energy. So, how do you keep that smile on your face, while you’re on the tightrope? Daisy laughed, “That’s my whole life! This smile is hard earned. So is being able to walk into a place and not give the side eye to everybody who says something that’s offensive. It takes time and experience.”
Ask for Nice Things
People who rise in their fields, do so with support networks. So, ask for everything you need to be successful. Daisy said, “We have been socialized to not admit that we need help. But here’s the thing, the men around me are yelling for what they want, all day long. And they get it! So, ask for what you need. I’m not saying that you need to be abrasive or use the same aggressive bravado. Do it in a way that feels genuine for you. But you must push yourself out of your comfort level to ask for what you need. Because the worst thing that can happen, is that someone says no, that’s it.”
Manage the Self-Talk
A lack of representation or validation at work can lead to a whole lot of self-doubt. So, Daisy reminds us to put asking for what we need into perspective. “We build up these things in our minds like, ‘they will not respect me. Or they will not value me.’ But goodness gracious, I spend all day sorting through all types of demands and requests that would baffle you. And I don’t think less of those people.”
Ideally, you’re in a healthy work culture that rewards bravery. But if you lack psychological safety at work, consider refining your ask with allies. Or as part of an Employee Resource Group to mitigate risks. Daisy added, “I have never fired anybody for asking for things they believe they need. On the contrary, I’m constantly reminding women ask for more. Because if you ask, you might get it.”
Listen to What Your Body Says
Between a demanding career and new book tour, Daisy’s schedule is intense. And we discussed how self-care fits in. “It’s taking care of me and stopping to listen to my body because I’m not naturally good at that. I will go, go, go and then my body gives up. My body has been telling me my entire 48 years on this earth, when I need rest and replenishment, because without it I breakdown physically.”
It can be hard to resist the urge to work through exhaustion. She explained, “I have learned in the last year to really admire how brilliant my body is. It often tells me, ‘you won’t do it for yourself so, I’m going to shut you down. And then you’re going to sleep for the next 12 hours straight.’ So, I’m trying to really listen to what my body needs before it gets to that point.”
Take a Meditation ‘Nap’
Daisy said, “I now take a 10- or 20-minute meditation nap during the day. I learned this technique from Shoshanna Hect who’s a dear friend. It’s not that long but when I start feeling my energy and spirit kind of wane, sometimes I just need to close my eyes and shift.”
Honor Your Creative Callings
She added, “I also love to write and anything that shifts me from what I’m doing at the moment. I spend hours listening to employees, our leaders, my teen and sometimes, it’s just about shifting my energy and attention.” She sends an update for her team at work each Sunday. “That’s my love note to them every week with my reflections. And 20 to 30 minutes of writing, brings up my creative spirit and helps me think differently. That’s part of my self-care.”
And Make Space for Fun
“I believe in all forms of self-expression and self-care. So, I’ve learned to carve that time out. And some of that time is with others and some of that time is just with me,” Daisy explained. And she embraces having a mix of activities.
“My other self-care includes facials and massages. Although I haven’t been able to do many of those because of Covid. It’s also finding that really great dress or skirt on sale, because I love fashion and beauty. Sometimes it’s knowing that I’m going to sit down with my family and watch a fun movie.”
Empower the Next Generation
We discussed the generational impact of moving into leadership. “Dr. Ella Bell, who is a mentor of mine, wonderful human and has been doing this work before me said, ‘here’s what’s happening in organizations Daisy. You didn’t grow up in a family where dinnertime conversations included topics like how to negotiate workplace culture and decisions.’ So, now I do that with my 13-year-old. And at dinner, I talk about what’s happening in the workplace. Things I find challenging, where I mess up and the battles that I win. She’s going to go into any area of her career with confidence that I didn’t have.” Beautiful!
Many thanks to the talented Daisy Auger Dominguez!
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Daisy Auger-Domínguez is Chief People Officer at Vice Media Group and author of Inclusion Revolution. Auger-Domínguez kicked off her career at Moody’s Investors Service as a Credit Risk Analyst, Global Manager of Philanthropic Programs and as it’s first head of Diversity, Inclusion and Talent Acquisition. Auger-Domínguez has since designed, led and scaled organizational transformations at The Walt Disney Company, Google, and Viacom, and founded Auger-Domínguez Ventures, a workplace consultancy. Her writing has been published in Harvard Business Review, and IDEAS.TED, and she has been featured in Hispanic Executive, The New York Times, Forbes,and ADWEEK. A dynamic speaker and start up advisor, her professional and civic contributions have earned her recognition, including Hispanic Executive, Top 10 Leaders; 25 Most Powerful Women, People en Espanol, and the New York City Council Leadership in Community Service Award,.
Daisy serves on the boards of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, Brooklyn Children’s Museum, Robert Sterling Clark Foundation, and St. Ann’s Warehouse.Tags: Achieving Goals, Career development, Career Development for Moms, manage microagressions, Manage Stress For Moms, Moms Career Growth, Work Life Balance For Moms, work life integration for Moms