WWW.PROFESSIONALWOMANMAG.COM PROFESSIONAL WOMANS MULTICULTURAL MAGAZINE
racee Ellis Ross is not new to titles or attention. She is the second daughter of the legendary Diana Ross, a nine-time NAACP Image Award winner, a four-time Primetime Emmy nominee and a Golden-Globe recipient. Shes been rec- ognized as a director, producer, philanthropist, social activist, fashion icon (for which she won the 2020 Peoples Choice Award), founder of the haircare line, Pattern, which caters to curly, coily, tight-textured hair, and, as of this past February, the Diversity and Inclusion-advisor for Ulta Beauty. When it comes to owning her power, Ross practices what she preaches. I am learn- ing every day to allow the space between where I am and where I want to be to inspire me and not terrify me, says Ross.
Diligent about Diversity in Workspaces
Due to her main career as an actress, many believed Ross would be limited in her desired business ventures. When I told a mem- ber of my team some years ago that I wanted to start a haircare line, their idea was to start a line of wigs! she told Fast Company this past January. She took many early rejections and was even told by another associate during her early planning stages that, since she is an actress, who would want to buy haircare products from her? Ross went on to offer some powerful advice for those encountering this type of criticism, doubt or rejection: Be patient, and stay the course, she counsels other entrepreneurs. Take in the information. Take in the disappointments. They will come. They are important. They are part of the opportunity to clarify what you want to do. She continued to press forward despite roadblocks and inex- perience. Last October, Ross talked more about this during the U.S. Banks Women and Wealth Summit. I did not know how to negotiate on my behalf. I did not know how to talk about mon- ey, she said, which is still a common phenomenon, especially in American society. Culturally, women are not taught to talk about money. It is thought to be gauche, to talk about money, to be am- bitious. Patriarchy, racism, sexism, all of these things, have given the very clear message that women are meant to not take up space and not rock the boat.
PHOTO BY EMMA MCINTYRE/GETTY IMAGE
Actors Tracee Ellis Ross (L) and Yara Shahidi attend the Women's March in Los Angeles.
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