I am so excited to be chatting with Moni about diversity today! She is an amazing woman and I am so glad we connected. We're both military spouses and entrepreneurs! It is an honor to share her voice with you all today, so without further ado, let's dive in!
Tell my readers a little bit about yourself and your business!
Hi all! My name is Moni, and I am a PR Strategist. I own a virtual PR agency and have been in this business for a year and a half. I am a military spouse and started my own business out of frustration with the traditional job search. Under- and unemployment in the military spouse community is a whole separate topic and there are many contributing factors, but on the most basic level, it is very difficult to maintain a traditional job or career simply because I move around a lot, each time my husband receives a new assignment.
My company specializes in influencer and consumer PR. We create PR strategies, events, and launch products and services. I collaborate with clients to build their brand while reaching their key publics and streamlining their vision to generate results that both meet and exceed their goals.
I bring a bold, sassy, and witty personality and I believe that everyone can create the business of their dreams. I have a B.A. in Communications & Public Relations from the University of North Carolina at Pembroke. By aligning my purpose with my passion I am able to motivate, inspire, and support entrepreneurs as they run a successful business. I am a proud Air Force spouse and I've been married to my best friend Roy for 19 years. I have 3 brilliant children who keep me on my toes! Some fun facts about myself: I am a fiery Latina, passionate lover of life, spin addict and I get it all done fueled by coffee and wine - and a few colorful words!
Why is diversity something you’re passionate about?
I definitely feel like we don't dialogue on it enough. And to be honest, until I had my kids I never gave it much thought. But my husband is mixed Black and Korean and I am Puerto Rican, so my kids look very diverse. Through answering their questions and hearing their insecurities, diversity became a major subject of discussion in my home. They asked why their hair was not straight or why their skin looked like poop. My lightest-skinned child would say he was white to feel like he fit in. It broke my heart and I knew then we had to educate our kids. It also opened my eyes to my own experiences and perception as an adult.
What would an ideal diverse entrepreneur community look like to you?
Listen, I know the world is not perfect and you can’t always check the boxes in a community to make sure there are enough Asians, Blacks or Hispanics. But, I tell you this: it does have to be on the forefront of leadership at all times. It is critical to represent people of all backgrounds, culture and color. This means I make an effort to make sure my company, clients and groups represent everyone from all walks of life.
Where are some areas that you see the community lacking?
I rarely see Latinas or Blacks featured in events, summits, or retreats. And if one is included, she is the "token" Black or Latina girlto fill in that gap and say "WE ARE DIVERSE!" Come on, ladies - there is so much more we can do! Leaders must be purposeful in choosing team members and creating inclusiveness. We have to be more involved and take responsibility for our decisions and the blind eye we sometimes accidentally indulge.
What are some steps you recommend for change?
Take a look at who you have surrounded yourself with. Do you all look the same? If the answer is YES, then as a leader it is your JOB to change that and diversify yourself, your community, and your business. Make an effort to reach out to those who are of ethnic backgrounds and introduce yourself. Ask what they do and see if you can move forward. Keep in mind that if we don’t see others that look like us, we can feel out of place and potentially even unwelcome. If you reach out first, that opens the door.
Any final thoughts?
I want everyone to know that it is not just the obligation of minority members to talk and educate about diversity; it is everyone's responsibility to implement this discussion into our businesses and lives. It starts with us and ripples out into our families, friends and cultures.
It was such a blessing to have Moni share her thoughts on this topic! Diversity is key to building strong and supportive communities and her voice is spot on. If you want to learn more about Collectively Caitlin's take on diversity click here.
Make sure to check out Moni's website and follow her on social media! She is amazing!