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The Memo: What Women of Color Need to Know to Secure a Seat at the Table
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The Memo: What Women of Color Need to Know to Secure a Seat at the Table

4.25  ·  Rating details ·  1,321 ratings  ·  207 reviews
From microaggressions to the wage gap, The Memo empowers women of color with actionable advice on challenges and offers a clear path to success.

Most business books provide a one-size-fits-all approach to career advice that overlooks the unique barriers that women of color face. In The Memo, Minda Harts offers a much-needed career guide tailored specifically for women of co
Hardcover, 240 pages
Published August 20th 2019 by Seal Press
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Average rating 4.25  · 
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 ·  1,321 ratings  ·  207 reviews

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Start your review of The Memo: What Women of Color Need to Know to Secure a Seat at the Table
Now, you know who truly needs to read this...and not just chapter 8...

I will be referring to this throughout my career. I may toss the rest of my professional development books, except I don’t like the idea of throwing away books. However, unlike other career development books, I can use this one in whole instead of having to carve out bits & pieces and chop up some mosaic of advice that maybe I can apply to how my life actually works.
Nov 16, 2020 rated it really liked it
As a white woman it feels odd for me to admit that I read this book because I think you can tell by the title it is obviously is not geared towards women like me (and rightly so). That said, I am really glad I stumbled across Minda Harts on a podcast in which she talked about her book making me put it on hold at work because it is important for white women like me to know that there is a discrepancy between white women and women of color when it comes to the workplace and that there are differen ...more
Aug 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The Memo is a timely tome about black woman in the workplace. A must read for college grads and new hires...and old heads. Black and Brown women: prepare yourselves - the 'amens' will be rolling off your tongue. ...more
Susie Turk
Mar 29, 2020 rated it it was ok
As a woman of color in the software profession, I assumed I'd really like this book; I wanted to love this book. In the beginning of the book, Minda indicates that she wrote this book because books like Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg address white women's experiences, and she seeks to address the experience of women of color. However, that's not what she does. She addresses the experience of black women. Several times she mentions "black and brown" women. As a Korean American, even while reading and ...more
Garry Turner
Sep 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Punchy, inspiring, necessary, career-playbook, gritty, thought-provoking - these are the types of words that came up for me as I read this awesome book by Minda Harts.

Minda walks the reader, with the key target audience being women of colour, through her own personal journey towards gaining her seat.

Some of the most remarkable and inspiring realisations of her writing and journey for me personally, however, were that Minda is calling out directly the office politics, socialised BS, cliques and f
Sep 20, 2019 rated it it was ok
Had read 'Lean In' and so was intrigued by the framing that this was a 'Lean In' except for women of color. I remember reading 'Lean In' and not really understanding a lot of the hype around the book. It seemed like it wasn't saying anything new and was specifically aimed for a particular audience.

Harts takes us through her story and career as a woman of color and what she has dealt with: racism, micro-aggression, white privilege, sexism and misogyny from white women, etc. She also talks about w
La'Tonya Rease Miles
Nov 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
There's a popular and apparently award-winning episode of Black Mirror where a white woman finds herself trapped in a Star Trek-like situation. The ship is ruled by an exceptionally obnoxious straight white male captain. Long story short, the episode ends with the heroine having overthrown the male lead (and, hence, patriarchy) and ends with her sitting in his chair while the rest of the cast flanks her on all sides. People LOVE this episode, pointing to it as evidence of female empowerment and ...more
Holly B
Sep 30, 2019 rated it liked it
It was short, but not as informative as I thought. In 89 pages, I got maybe 5 tips. The rest of it was her story and her experience with on the job racism.
Dec 19, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: read-in-2019
IQ "I didn't have to stay and be the strong black woman and hope for the best. Let my pride get in the way because I left my former employer for a pasture I thought was greener. I felt I had to make this work. This was mistake number two: you don't have to make everything work. You can leave if you are being mistreated because it doesn't get any better." (77)

The most glaring error in this book is that it attributes the FAMOUS Madeline Albright quote "there is a special place in hell for women wh
Jan 14, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fic
THE MEMO is Minda Harts' response to women's empowerment/career development marketed towards women that fail to address the specific challenges of women of color at work. Most mainstream women's empowerment is overwhelmingly white - Lean In, Levo League, etc - and doesn't address the added challenges WOC face, as well as the ways white women can engage in oppressive behaviors.

I've long been into career development books/articles/advice but it something that's taken a backseat recently. I loved g
Mar 31, 2021 rated it it was ok
mixed feelings/disappointed... you could argue that this book is the POC alternative to sheryl sandberg's "lean in," but the author seems to only consider "black and brown" women as POC. harts barely addresses asian women (only mentions them twice, as a statistic or add-on from what i remember), so i feel slighted that she doesn't consider my ethnicity as part of POC. this book should be renamed "what *black/brown women* need to know..." however, she does offer very practical advice for any woma ...more
Oct 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I'm giving this 5 stars because this was a book that really needed to be written and a voice that needs to be heard! As a white woman, there were a lot of things in this book that stung pretty bad and quite a few generalizations BUT it needs to be said. It's important to acknowledge and understand that journeys are different. I will never truly understand but I want to come as close as I can and I want to support the mission in actionable ways!

The book mentioned how white women don't physically
Sep 18, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My rating of this book is certainly not a critique of Minda Harts or the book's intentions.

I love the purpose of this book. I love that it highlights the struggles of women of color, particularly Black women. A book like this is very much needed in the world.

But for me personally this book wasn't what I needed it to be and that's okay. This book speaks to women who are starting out there careers and women in leadership positions, but for someone like me who is in the in-between there's a lot o
Dave B.
Dec 13, 2019 rated it liked it
A quick read that was full of emotional conflict. First, I acknowledge that as a male I do not understand all the struggles experienced by African American business women. However, I am taking he advice of the author and seeking to understand the AA woman's situation in the business world. I struggle with this book because the author swings between "the need to fit-in or feel accepted by her superiors) and the need to push back against the current social expectations. There is a whole section on ...more
Aileen Marquez
Feb 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A must-read! I wish I had read this book earlier in my career. Harts uses pop culture to teach valuable lessons on networking, negotiating, and living around office politics.
Feb 07, 2020 rated it liked it
I wanted more from this book. I do feel like I got something from the read, but I expected this book to do more than constantly remind the readers that women of color's approach to professional spaces are different than white women's approach. I anticipated more direction, and steps to take. There were a few quotables. ...more
Feb 18, 2021 rated it really liked it
I highly recommend this for women of color just starting out so they can avoid the most common workplace mistakes, like ignoring office politics (an egregious error sometimes), believing all of your hard work will be seen and rewarded, avoiding post-work social settings, and letting your skills slip.
Apr 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This was such an important read for WOC in business!
Jan 09, 2021 rated it it was amazing
It’s crazy to read words of another that align with your own experiences. Confirming that you aren’t crazy and that your thoughts are valid. I’m appreciative of the real life experience Minda put in this book. She broke down how women of color can get a seat at the table, if they don’t necessarily want to always create their own. Giving actionable steps and tips to guide us along the journey.
Even giving tips to non melanated individuals a way to acknowledge and help our disparities. Overall, I
Shawntal Brown
Aug 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This book was very insightful for me as a Black woman looking to develop myself professionally. I really appreciate Minda's honesty about her experiences and feelings in her various positions. I appreciated the little references to movies, songs, and actors in her book to make it feel personable but there are points where I didn't feel like they were always necessary. Nonetheless, I'm going to return to this book multiple times. ...more
Stephanie White
Feb 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A MUST read!!!
Feb 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

This is a must read especially for the black queens in corporate America or those planning to go into corporate America. So many great nuggets of knowledge.
Feb 08, 2020 rated it really liked it
I wish I could give a half star for 4.5. Harts book is eye opening for what women of color face in the workplace and practical tips for how to be a success partner.
Madeline Wright
Apr 29, 2020 rated it really liked it
This is a very poignant book because it feels like it's directed specifically to me, as a black woman, and not to a generic "woman" which, if we're honest, is rarely imagined to be black, and never really feels like it's written for me, specifically.

To be centered as a reader and experience a whole book on how to improve my mindset and approach to my career is a special feeling and one that I rarely come across in business books. I appreciate that and hope to read more of these types of busines
Dora Okeyo
Jul 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love a book that's all about advocating for the rights and wel being of black women and Yasminda Hart has done such a remarkable thing in how she sets us straight in this book. Reading it reminded me of something Beyonce said about the Black Lives Matter riots following the death of George Floyd and Breona Taylor, she said "don't just talk about it, be about it!"
This book delves into an area we play down because we don't want to be seen as over ambitious and it often hurts us. I kept taking no
Kilandra Bass
So timely, I loved this book. Minda not only told her personal experiences, but also provided tangible resources from her tool kit. She listed out examples of prompts, assessments and tests to take, email templates, do’s and don’ts, people we should know and highlight, as well as other gems. I highly recommend to all women but specifically Black women who are trying to level up in their career.
Apr 04, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2020-nonfiction
I wish I had read this years ago. I think of myself as an ally, but I needed to be a success partner. Also there are students I could’ve been more helpful to if I’d gotten “the memo”
Angela Schroeder
Aug 07, 2020 rated it really liked it
Must read for women of color, if you work with women of color, or if you wonder why you don't work with more women of color. ...more
Mar 14, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
I got the book recommendation from a coworker of mine. I was truly struggling to continue after reading the first 2 chapters but kept going as a sign of respect for her. It got much better to the point that I finished it over a weekend.

The first chapter is a criticism of 'Lean In' and how in general white women have been ignoring women of color in their fight for equal pay and advancement in the workplace.
The next 2 chapters are more about how to navigate the corporate culture (e.g. how to socia
This is probably the best management book I've ever read, and I think it would be a great read for white people in management positions, too.

As an audiobook it was iffy; she often pronounced words and names incorrectly (is that not what producers and directors are there for?) and the name thing in particular bothered me because there's even a point where she talks about names and palatability for white people--she's very realistic about it (doesn't denigrate people for taking the position of wan
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