Please Sit Over There: How to Manage Power, Overcome Exclusion, and Succeed as a Black Woman at Work

  • 2h 33m
  • Francine Parham
  • Berrett-Koehler Publishers
  • 2022

The key to your career advancement is understanding how power works--who has it, where it hides, and how it's used. Please Sit Over There teaches Black women the career skills they need to navigate an uneven playing field and achieve long-lasting professional success.

Black women continuously navigate systems that were never intended for them while playing by a set of rules they never agreed to or were ever trained for.

In this book, Francine Parham shares her knowledge as a Black woman and a former global executive of two major corporations on how to move up in the workplace while maintaining a sense of sanity. The key skill--one that Black women are rarely taught--is understanding the power dynamics within your organization and learning how to “shift the power” to your advantage. Parham shows how to use your voice, strategically build the right relationships, and support others once you have achieved a powerful position--tools any woman can use to increase her power and ensure a successful, fulfilling career.

Parham says Black women are already empowered; there is no shortage of qualified professional Black women in the talent pipeline. But it does not feel empowering when organizations force Black women to work every day to overcome biases, discriminatory institutional practices, and unwritten rules of power at play that hinder their career development and professional advancement.

Please Sit Over There honors the painstaking work being undertaken to deconstruct broken institutions and demonstrates how Black women can achieve their goals while those institutions still exist—effectively opening doors for all women of color.

About the Author

Francine Parham is the founder and CEO of Francine Parham & Co, a company focused on women's leadership and the advancement of women of color in the workplace. She has held the position of global vice president for two Fortune 500 companies, General Electric and Johnson & Johnson, and she currently serves as a senior fellow for the Human Capital Center of the Conference Board. Parham is a frequent public speaker at networking events and workshops, and she has been recognized as a career expert by the Women's Media Center. Her media channel on BrightTALK, called "Advancing Women in the Workplace," is geared toward women seeking to build their careers in the face of institutional challenges.

In this Book

  • Introduction
  • Chapter One: Please Sit over There
  • Chapter Two: What You Need to Know about Power
  • Chapter Three: Stop Cleaning up the Room
  • Chapter Four: What is This Job Really Preparing Me For?
  • Chapter Five: To Be or Not to Be Authentic
  • Chapter Six: It’s Never Too Early to Build a Network
  • Chapter Seven: Who’s Pounding on the Table for You, Francine?
  • Chapter Eight: Place Her on the Flip Chart over There
  • Chapter Nine: At the Table, but Not Really
  • Chapter Ten: Bullied, Backstabbed, and Boxed In
  • Chapter Eleven: Your Soul is Not for Sale
  • Conclusion—The Secret to Your Own Power
  • Afterword—The Leader’s Role in Helping Black Women
  • Discussion Guide


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