Nine Black women, nine different careers, and nine stories with striking similarities, of career struggle, self-doubt, mental and physical health issues, and general unhappiness caused by varying forms of work-related stress; nine stories of fortitude and resilience that eventually morph into nine stories of rejuvenation. These women form the inaugural part of a multi-layered interactive media project titled BlackFemaleProject—a project attempting to peel back the skin of the often unseen effects of racism and sexism, not only in the workplace, but also in terms of how these issues elbow their way into other areas of Black women’s daily lives.
In The Fight of the Finite, Liz Williams shares her experiences as a Black Woman throughout her career as a finance professional within corporate America, being the only Black person her colleagues interact with, and the microaggressions that happen.
All of the women who share their stories in our inaugural collection have found themselves in a battle for sanity, cultural autonomy, or simply professional courtesy. These women have also found their own strategies of success; some are still developing these methods and share their experience with us in real time. Let’s join them now.
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Who are you and where do you live?
My name is Liz Williams, and I currently reside in East Oakland. I want to dedicate this to my loving parents Dr. Willard and Harriet Williams, and my husband Mashama Thompson, who each have supported me every step of my journey.
What’s your career focus?
I have been a Finance professional for close to 9 years; however, along my journey I've been a ballerina, a contract specialist, and have worked for a top government entity, as well as private and non-profit companies in varied industries, ranging from the Federal Government-Department of Defense and Entertainment with Lucasfilm, to Land conservation, and more recently, beauty.
What’s something positive that came out of writing your story?
Writing down my experiences was not only cathartic, but offered me healing I didn’t know I needed. BlackFemaleProject has been a forum for sharing experiences, and continues to be a thriving community and sisterhood of successful, fierce, and like-minded women who share the struggle of being Black in corporate America and provide a system of unwavering support.
Three words of advice for your 18-year-old self?
You’re your only limit.