TheYBF.com Founder Natasha Eubanks is the keynote speaker for this weekend’s Young Black Women’s Society (YBWS) Women of Color Summit being held at Simmons College this Saturday from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Natasha is at the the top of her game differentiating fact from fiction on a celebrity entertainment blog, The YBF, which she’s run for over eight years — a lifetime by blogging standards.
Natasha sat down with Boston Fab! to give us a taste of what her audience can expect at the summit this Saturday, and how she navigates life as a boss.
BostonFab: How important are having days like the Women of Color Summit for women to come together?
Natasha Eubanks: I think it’s about evening the landscape. We know we [women] run things (Laughs), but there are still issues of pay scale, respect, maternity leave…I feel like we have to work 10 times as hard as men and have so many more obstacles. Healthy competition is good for business. Competition is important to drive industry. The problem comes in when women intentionally un-level the playing field for other women. Leveling the playing field will just bring about better women. The only way we can change this is in a group.
BF: What makes you an empowered woman?
NE: I think that by having my “line.” I always tell people this…You can make money at the lowest denominator of a profession. Have a line that you won’t cross in the name of a getting a check.
BF: What women in your life have empowered you?
NE: Of course my mother. I mean she wasn’t a “Mama Joyce” (Laughs), but she was a single mother and did what she had to do to keep us having the best of life that we could get. She took a second job on her one day off, or took 15 minutes out of her day to cater to me as her daughter when she hadn’t slept for 14 hours. She had breakfast with me and took me to school. She always kept me in the forefront so that she could have the best child possible. I know that I want that kind of balance when I am fortunate enough to have a family.
Other women that inspire me are CEO’s of good ol’ boy companies like Yahoo [Marissa Mayer] or Facebook. CFO’s and CEO’s, Oprah [Winfrey], the CEO of Xerox [Ursula Burns] is a woman. I am inspired by women who have shattered the glass ceiling and show that you really can have it all.
BF: When women come together to collaborate, what are some things that they should keep in mind?
NE: Don’t do a collaboration for the sake of collaborating. Collaborations should be extremely organic and has to make perfect sense. Think about what will be mutually beneficial. If you can’t write it down as a coherent thought on why you should be collaborating, then you probably shouldn’t do it. That’s not to say you just leave them hanging; that’s when you offer advice and give referrals. Passing down and passing around. That’s how it gets done. Men do it, and we should do that more too.
BF: When we think about different women in these powerful positions the “b” word can come to mind. What do you think of being viewed as boss versus “bossy”?
NE: Having your own business you have the option of not caring because I own it. Now if you are a CFO of another company, you have to walk a fine line. Personally, I don’t care. I do what is best for me, and if you have an issue with that you will be fired. Believe me I tried the other way, and you get tired. I’ve been doing this for eight years, and you get tired of the being overlooked, of begging somebody to do their job. It’s self preservation. You have to be the mama bear to your company, and if someone attacks your company you need to come at them like a mama bear protects her cubs.
Women need to trust their instincts. Own it. Trust your gut. You must be doing something right or else they wouldn’t have hired you. The higher you get, the more people are going to have something to say. If the only thing that they can do is call you out of your name, then you must be doing something right.
BF: What can the women who attend the Next Generation Women of Color Summit look forward to hearing you speak about?
NE: Well there won’t be any lecturing. It’s going to be more of a conversation, so the women should come prepared with questions. Questions about my past, my past failings, my past successes, personal questions, issues in leadership, life, business. Every question matters.
Join Natasha and the other next generation of empowered women of color this Saturday, May 3 at the Young Black Women’s Society (YBWS) Next Generation Women of Color Summit taking place at Simmons College Linda K. Paresky Conference Center (300 The Fenway) 8:00 am – 9:00 am (Registration) 9:00 am – 5:00 pm (Summit). You can purchase tickets starting at $65 here! Or try and win some here!