Coming in January 2010

It is with great pleasure that I announce the pre-launch of the newest project for Empower Me! Fearless Woman Magazine is the preeminent publication and blueprint for today’s upwardly mobile professional woman. The magazine is scheduled to launch in January 2010 and will be a quarterly publication. I have always admired publishers and the magazine industry. Sometimes they had hits, sometimes there were misses. I never stopped looking for “that” magazine that speaks exclusively to me and the type of women I admire and network with. So many have come and gone, and while there are a few remaining, I felt that there was lacking an intelligent, no-nonsense,unfettered down hard hitting magazine for the professional woman. Yes, each magazine on the stands now contains elements of what I was seeking. But no magazine has ever served as a catch all for the upwardly mobile professional woman. Do I propose that Fearless Woman Magazine will be that catch all? Maybe. But it will serve the purpose for the intended audience.

Have you signed up on the website yet? If not, you should. You can sign up at the website to receive updates and the Fearless Networking newsletter.

We are also announcing an open call for writers. We are currently looking for new and experienced writers with the ability to resonate with our core audience. If interested please contact us at: info or indicate that you’re interested in the message box when you sign up at the website. You may download the Writer’s Guidelines at this link. For a media kit, editorial calendar or advertising information, please contact us via email at info @

I don’t know what the future holds for myself or this publication, but what I do know is that I am very excited. The more we plan and the more we pull it together, it is that much more real to me. I choose to believe that there is a place for this magazine and that with technology and good old fashioned ingenuity we will be able to bring you relevant content, resonant (and responsible) advertising, and aplethora of tools that will empower and motivate each of you to action. A fearless woman, an upwardly mobile professional woman always has her mind on her career and isn’t afraid to take risks to achieve their goals. That is an EMPOWERED woman.

Til next time.

Adrienne Graham

Did you know? (Gathered from

Firsts in Business

* Kate Gleason: First woman president of a national bank (1917)
* Linda Darnell: First woman to sell securities on the New York Stock Curb Exchange (1941)
* Muriel Siebert: First woman to own a seat on the New York Stock Exchange (1967)
* Katherine Graham: First woman CEO of a Fortune 500 company (The Washington Post Co; 1972)
* Catherine B. Cleary: First woman director on General Motors board of directors, which was the nation’s largest industrial corporation (equivalent to number one on the today’s Fortune 500 list; 1972)
* Marsha Cohen: First woman CFO at a “big four” accounting firm (PricewaterhouseCoopers; 1997)
* Andrea Jung: First Asian-American woman and first woman of color to become CEO of a Fortune 500 company (1999)

Firsts in Their Professions

* Ann Franklin: First U.S. female newspaper editor (1762)
* Arabella Mansfield Babb: First woman admitted to the bar (1869)
* Louise Bethune: First American woman architect (1881)
* Sally Ride: First American woman to orbit the earth (1983)
* Eileen Collins: First woman to pilot a spacecraft (1995)
* Cristeta Comerford: First woman executive chef of the White House (2005)

Firsts in Government

* Mary Katherine Goddard: First woman postmaster (1775)
* Victoria Chaflin Woodhull: First woman to be a presidential candidate (1872)
* Belva Ann Lockwood: First woman to argue a case before the U.S. Supreme Court (1880)
* Suzanna Madora Salter: First U.S. woman mayor (Argonia, Kansas; 1887)1
* Jeannette Rankin: First woman elected to U.S. House of Representatives (Montana; 1916); First woman in Congress (1917)
* Florence E. Allen: First elected U.S. woman judge (1920)
* Hallie Ferguson: First woman governor of a U.S. state (Texas; 1924)
* Ruth Bryan Owen: First woman ambassador/diplomat to a foreign country for the United States (Denmark and Iceland; 1933)
* Hattie Wyatt Caraway: First woman elected to U.S. Senate (Arkansas; 1932)
* Georgia Nesse Clark: First woman treasurer of the United States (1949)
* Shirley Chisholm: First African-American woman to serve in Congress, and first African-American woman to run for President of the United States (New York; 1968, 1972)
* Sandra Day O’Connor: First woman justice of the U.S. Supreme Court (1981)
* Penny Harrington: First woman police chief of a major U.S. city (Portland, Oregon; 1985)
* Madeleine K. Albright: First woman Secretary of State and highest ranking woman in the U.S. government (1997)
* Condoleezza Rice: First African-American woman to be appointed to Secretary of State (2005)
* Nancy Pelosi: First woman to become Speaker of the House (2007)

Firsts for Women in Education

* Elizabeth Blackwell: First woman to receive a medical degree (Geneva Medical College; 1849)
* Lucy Hobbs: First woman to graduate from dental school (Ohio College of Dentistry; 1866)
* Frances Elizabeth Willard: First woman to become a college president (Evanston College; 1871)
* Helen Magill White: First woman to receive a Ph.D. in the U.S. (Boston University; 1877)
* Ruth Simmons: First woman of color and first African-American to become a college president of an Ivy League University (Brown University; 2001)
* 1978: The first year that at least 50% of all women over the age of 16 participated in the labor force.
* 1984: First year that more women than men receive bachelor’s and master’s degrees

Here is a break down of women in top decision making/reporting positions in the Fortune 500.

* Top women legal officers of Fortune 500 companies consists of 75 white/Caucasians (non-Hispanic), 6 African Americans, 2 Hispanics, and 1 Asian Pacific American.

* Only three Hispanic Women made it to this year’s <a href=”; target=”_blank”>Forbes World’s Most Powerful Women</a>

* Only one African American Woman is the CEO of a Fortune 500 company (preceded by a Caucasion woman who groomed and mentored her for the role)

* Only two Asian Women are CEOs of Fortune 500 companies (Indra Nooyi & Andrea Jung)

* No Latinas hold a CEO spot in Fortune 500 companies

* Only <b>15 women</b> period <a href=”; target=”_blank”>hold the CEO spot in Fortune 500 companies</a></i>

We’ve got some work to do!

<a href=”; target=”_blank”>Watch Mentoring the Next Women CEOs</a>.

23685003Hi ladies.

I have a challenge to you. It’s a big one. The reason for us being here is to network and learn from one another. To grow and gain knowledge as well as give of ourselves and time. We sometimes get lost in our own little microcosm of the world and forget that others look to us for guidance and advice.

I’m asking everyone to sit down and take an inventory. Look around you and figure out who in your network needs help or may benefit from knowing someone you know. Make a list of people you can faciliate introductions to. Choose wisely. Think about the needs of the people within your inner circle and think about how someone else in your network can help them. It could be a job lead, recommendation of a client, help with a class, a volunteer opportunity, anything. The key is to facilitate the connection and let networking nature takes its course.

I also ask that you find a young woman, like a college student, and become her mentor. Take her under your wing and help her by giving her your time and insight into your expertise. In talking with my interns, they expressed that they (and other young ladies in their age group) want guidance, they want a mentor that will help them navigate through the corporate jungle. And I don’t blame them. We all send so much time with our head down and nose to the grindstone, we sometimes forget to extend a hand to our upcoming generation. It can be as simple as taking them out to lunch once per month and letting them pick your brain. Make yourself available via email and phone before or after work hours. To make things better for the next generation, we must help in grooming them to prepare for the world of business.

So tell me ladies, are you up to the challenge? Be sure to come back to the blog and give us an update.

Adrienne Graham

edu_Ursula_M_BurnsI have been so busy with my son’s graduation but finally had time to catch up on news today. On Thursday, Xerox CEO Anne Mulcahy officially passed the torch to Ursula Burns. I have been watching the grooming process for a while now and it was a given that she would get the top spot. I am so very proud to see that she has finally gotten it. Here is the link to the article. She is the epitome of an Empowered Black Woman! Sisters, hers is an inspirational story and proof that you CAN make it happen.

Ursula Burns Named Xerox CEO

Former president takes helm at tough time for company
By Renita Burns – May 21, 2009

Xerox Corp. named Ursula Burns chief executive office Thursday. Burns, who currently serves as president, will replace Anne Mulcahy July 1.

Anne “leaves the CEO role having created a rich legacy that I am honored to build on,” said Burns in a statement. “It is humbling to follow such a great leader and to serve as CEO of such a great company. I’m grateful for the opportunity and, like Anne, focused on creating value for our customers, our people, our shareholders and our communities.”

Burns faces mounting challenges as Xerox recently cut 3,000 jobs to reduce costs, instituted a hiring freeze, and suspended matching contribution to employees’ 401(k[b1] ). Showing further signs of strain under tough economic conditions, the company’s first quarter revenue fell [b2] 18% year-over-year.

The move was not unexpected since Burns, 50, was seen as Mulcahy’s heir apparent since she was named president in 2007.

Mulcahy, 56, is credited for leading the company in a multibillion-dollar turnaround, despite her retirement she will retain her post as chairman.

Mulcahy will continue to chair the Xerox board. The announcement made at the annual shareholders meeting.

“Anne has focused intently on developing the next generation of leadership at Xerox, with Ursula Burns prepared to strengthen Xerox’s industry-leading position in the marketplace,” said N.J. Nicholas, Jr., lead independent director of Xerox’s board of directors.

Burns has spent almost 30 years with the printer and copier maker. She joined Xerox in 1980 as a mechanical engineering summer intern and later assumed roles in product development and planning. As she rose through the ranks of the Norwalk, Connecticut-based company, she led several business teams including the office color and fax business and office network printing business. In 2000, she was named senior vice president of corporate strategic services and later took on the broader role of leading Xerox’s global research as well as product development, marketing and delivery.

She is a regular on Black Enterprise’s 100 Most Powerful Blacks in Corporate America list, and Xerox has been a staple on Black Enterprise’s Best Companies for Diversity list since it’s inception in 2005.

Here are a few more links to read.

120X120Buck the system and circumvent the Glass Ceiling and the Ol’ Boys Network…without asking permission. Learn the ABCs of networking from the woman who personifies networking! Become the networker you were born to be and be fearless doing it.

Atlanta, GA (PRWEB) May 22, 2009 — Let’s face it, it’s all in WHO you know, but also the ACTION you take. The book Go Ahead, Talk to Strangers- The Modern Girl’s Guide to Fearless Networking is a guide for women to elevate their networking game and be fearless about it. Networking is a team sport; and if you don’t get in the game, you’ll come up short on your career aspirations. Now you can learn how to network fearlessly at the in-demand live Fearless Networking Webinar on June 6th and June 9th.

Written by much sought after Recruitment Consultant and Networking Strategist Adrienne Graham, Go Ahead, Talk to Strangers is a practical guide that gives readers key tips and personal networking experiences designed to show that all women can become fearless networkers. Women find it difficult to make time to network because they don’t make the time to fit it in their hectic schedules, or they fear that it won’t benefit them. Most don’t know how to network effectively, so they feel it doesn’t work for them. But with the economy in shambles and jobs (and companies) being obliterated daily, networking allows people to build key relationships they can tap into in a pinch. “People are more willing to help people they know and have a relationship with,” says Graham. “This book inspires women to actively build relationships and take ‘who they know’ and turn it into a competitive advantage. The webinar allows them to immediately put what they learn to work for them”.

People are more willing to help people they know and have a relationship with
This book inspires women to actively build relationships and take ‘who they know’ and turn it into a competitive advantage. The webinar allows them to immediately put what they learn to work for them

If you are ready to become a Fearless Networker, reserve your space for the Fearless Networking Webinar on Saturday, June 6th at 9AM EST or Tuesday, June 9th at 6PM EST. Women can tune in to learn the strategies to become a powerful and empowered networker, followed by a Q & A session. Networking Strategy Coaching and a Fearless Networking Bootcamp are also available to individuals and groups who want to become better networkers. To get your copy of the book, learn about the author, or learn more about coaching and the Fearless Networking Webinar, visit

About The Author:

Adrienne Graham, the author of Go Ahead Talk to Strangers, is CEO of Hues Consulting & Management, Inc, a diversity recruitment consulting firm, and Founder of Empower Me! Corporation, a media, publishing and networking organization for women. She writes blogs on corporate recruiting, career management and professional development for women, and is the host of the Blog Talk Radio Show Views From the Top.

Title: Go Ahead, Talk to Strangers- The Modern Girl’s Guide to Fearless Networking
Author: Adrienne Graham
Publisher: Empower Me! Corporation
ISBN: 978-0-615-25666-5
Softcover, $19.95


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Hi all.

This year I decided to do things a little differently. I’ve been writing this blog for about two years and all you’ve had to interact with were words on a screen. I decided it was time to add video to my blogging. I wanted to give you an opportunity to see the person behind the words. Now I must warn you, I am not used to this. I can speak in front of hundreds of people, I can teach a class, I can interview people via video conferencing. But there was something nerve wracking about getting in front of the camera. If you can’t tell by watching, I was a nervous wreck. I did at least 15 takes before deciding on this one.

I will try to bring a video entry to the blog 3-4 times per month. This is a year of change, new beginnings, new opportunities. That’s why I decided to shake it up a little bit.

A few hours of your time per month.  That’s the price for building a network.  Networking is hands down one of the top three elements for success.  Why is it so many people decide to let it fall to the bottom of the priority list?

Men do it all the time.  They get together for golf, at the country club, at exclusive dining clubs, cigar clubs, etc.  They come together to shoot the breeze, chip some balls, and do business.  They seem to do it seamlessly.  Women for some reason, aren’t as focused on networking, or shall I say the true value behind networking.  Men do it without giving it a name.  They put in the time, get to know their peers or counter parts, and they make things happen.  No really, understand what I’m saying here.  Women network, but not like men.  We are often pushed into it and out of our comfort zones.  I don’t know. For some reason, women feel that they cannot safely network, especially with other women.  I guess they think someone will steal their idea, turn on them, steal a client, or whatever.  Women also get so caught up in being all things to everybody (mom, businesswomen, corporate executive, student, etc) that they feel they don’t need to network.  This is especially true for Black Women.  Yes sisters, I’m telling it like it is.  I see it first hand every day.

I am blessed and fortunate that I forced myself to learn how to network.  I’m a Recruiter by trade so it’s par for the course, occupational hazzard.  But I have learned along the way that my sisters don’t take networking too seriously.  As you know, I started a network for Black Women to network.  And it has been wonderful, now that I have tightened the criteria for joining the network.  There are wonderful women from all backgrounds, levels of responsibility, locations, companies, etc.  But a lot of them don’t feel comfortable networking just yet.  That is why I go out of my way to facilitate networking opportunities.  Right now, we are all coming together to master networking amongst ourselves before moving on to networking with others.  It’s coming along.  I had to remove some folks who signed up and never again returned or participated.  And when asked, the response was “I’m just too busy”.  Sad.

It really doesn’t take that much to network.  You set a purpose, list the people or types of people you want to connect with, and reach out.  The worse they could say is “No”.  Most times, people are glad you reached out to them if you have a stated purpose for your initial contact.  Sites linked Viadeo, Linked In, Facebook are godsends.  But they create a safety net.  As long as you can shoot an email, why should you bother getting to actually know a person.  Heaven forbid picking up a phone to introduce yourself to Bob who just linked to you on Linked In.  It’s not that hard.  You shouldn’t use online sites as the core of your networking, only reaching out by email to connect or when you have a problem that needs to be solved.  Develop relationships.  Get to know the people you connect with.  You might find you have some things in common.  Don’t wait for the annual conferences to tell people about yourself or to find out about them.  Follow up often (perhaps quarterly like i do). People like to help or do business with people they are familiar with.  Remember that.

My next conference call for my networking group is on September 4th.  I’ve decided to make it an interesting exercise to encourage more connections.  I don’t want to disclose anything just yet, but I’ll keep you posted on the results.  Next week, I’ll be meeting some of my Atlanta connections (men and women) for the first time ever.  I am very excited about it and can’t wait to sit down and break bread with my Linked In connections to get to know them better.  I’ll let you know how that went too.

So bottom line is relationships and networks get you where you need to be and what you want faster than going it alone.  It only costs you some time.  Pick up a phone.  Go to the golf course.  Attend networking events.  Ask for introductions.  Introduce yourself.  Just start networking.

How much are you is it worth to you?

Til next time.

Adrienne Graham

Coming soon…

Ask how to get your copy.

Til next time.

Adrienne Graham

Black Business WomanAll of us have a similar common goal….to be empowered and have control over our professional destiny.  To have true empowerment, you must take responsibility for who you are, what you do, and what course you chart for yourself. It would be nice to have someone do it all for you.  I would have loved to have someone give me a road map to plotting my professional life.  But alas, it doesn’t work that way in the real world. At best, you can surround yourself with mentors and associates who will guide you along your journey. But in the end, it’s up to you to make the decisions and changes that need to be made to reach empowerment.

Here are a few steps you can take to True Empowerment:

1. Let go of past baggage. We have a tendency of holding on to what does us no good. Remembering a fight, worrying about bills, being upset about how someone else lives their life, holding a grudge because someone else took credit for a project we worked hard on. All of this is negative energy that takes up space in your world of positivity.  In order for positive blessings to come your way, you must get rid of the old negative feelings and thoughts.  Let go and let them fuel you to push even harder to achieve your goals. Come to new situations with a free and clear mind and heart.  Baggage keeps you from bringing your “A” game and from experiencing true success.

2. Get educated. Now I don’t just mean go to school. Education comes in many forms.  Yes, a college education is a good foundation, but continuing to learn well after you’ve earned your degree comes back to you ten-fold.  You can take continuing education courses.  Find topics that interest you and can help boost your career.  You’ll even get credit units for taking them.  Attend seminars, workshops and conferences.  Some organizations give you continuing education credits by simply attending.  Take advantage of events to leverage new relationships and show off what you know (and what you learn).  Read a book or three.  Trade journals, magazines, newspapers, online content and of course books help to continue the flow of knowledge.  Create a binder of important articles that are beneficial to your career or industry.  The internet is right at your fingertips.  Do your research and reading.

3. Find mentors. Notice I didn’t say find “A” mentor.  Mentors are all around you.  They don’t have to be a specific age, gender, position title or even in the same industry.  Study people whom you admire.  What makes them tick?  What paths have they blazed in their industries?  Reach out to them and ask if they would be open to being your mentor.  Don’t limit yourself to just one.  There’s a lot to be learned out there.  Don’t be afraid to reach out and connect with people.  More often than not, they are willing to share their knowledge.  But be careful not to monopolize their time, and definitely make it a value added relationship for both of you. I’m sure there is a way you can give back to your mentors.

4. Polish your image. You’ve got to look the part.  There was an article I read about dressing like a CEO.  I believe that no matter what level you are in your career, you absolutely must dress to impress.  Don’t go out to buy the Georgio Armani suit so quickly.  Buy classic tailored pieces that are timeless.  Have a couple of good staples in your wardrobe that you can mix and match with the Target wear.  Be sure to bring your own flair to your image.  But follow the tone set by those who are where you want to be.  Even law firms are slightly relaxing their corporate attire…but not too much.  Everything from your hairstyle to your accessories say something about you.  Are you portraying the appropriate image?  Invest in some classic shoes, handbags, jewelry and scarves.  Depending on what field you are in, a stunning briefcase can add value to your look.  And most importantly, buy a dress coat that is professional and classic. You must always be cognizant of your outward appearance. Confidence attracts confidence (and opportunity).

5. Build a solid network and use it. There are so many people who tell me “I can’t network. I don’t know what to say to people.” Well I usually tell them to get over it.  You cannot succeed in the business world without interacting with people.  You don’t necessarily have to become best friends forever. But you must have the ability to strike up conversations and the timing skills to know when to strike or move on.  As much as I hate to admit it, there is still an unspoken truth that it’s all in who you know, not what you know.  Learn how to network online, but don’t let that be your end all be all.  Use it as a starting point to building relationships.  The internet is a wonderful thing and I am grateful that I have it to make my job a little easier.  But it can make you lazy.  You must cultivate your business relationships that you form online.  Let’s say you meet someone on Linked In or Viadeo, or any other online professional networking tool.  Immediately suggest a phone conversation.  Take the time to introduce yourself and let the person know how you see them networking with you.  And then continue the dialog.  You don’t have to speak every week, or every month for that matter.  But you do want them to keep you in the forefront of their minds.  Don’t approach your relationships with a “set it and forget it” mentality.  It takes real work.

True empowerment is there within your reach.  Whether you are a college student, entrepreneur, or corporate riser, these principles will work for you.  Education + Action = TRUE EMPOWERMENT(tm).

Til next time.
Adrienne Graham


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