Day 7 - 28 Love Letters to Black Women
This Black History Month, I am sharing 28 stories of Black women who shaped me and showed me the way towards liberation. Because Black women are often not cited for their ideas, I thought this would be one way to give flowers to those who influenced me.
On Day 7, I would like to give flowers to Ify Walker for her commitment to creating spaces and environments where Black women can thrive. Ify is the founder of the Offor Group, a talent broker firm focused on helping companies and organizations build inclusive executive dream teams. (https://www.offor.co/about)
I remember the first time I met Ify in person. Ify is a bit of a legend in my circles, and her firm had been recommended to us as we were growing fast and looking to add to our executive team. I remember being struck by how down-to-earth Ify was, and funny, too. It was immediately clear to me after our first encounter that Ify was committed to changing who was elevated in high stakes searches. Ify’s firm not only helped our organization diversify the pool of candidates we considered, her team also gave us candid, direct feedback about how we operated, and the ways that our practices would support people of color and the ways those practices would not. Working with Ify and her team helped me to level up my own approach to talent strategy - lessons that have stuck with me to this day.
Ify is all about making the hidden unhidden. She is unapologetic about telling the truth to shame the devil. Ify is not afraid to tell people in power the truth and what they need to do to get it together for the people of color on their teams. Her #DearBlackWomen posts on social media are a mix of confirmations about the sometimes painful and frustrating realities for #BlackWomenAtWork and celebrations about the audacious magic of Black women. The work Ify does isn’t just about creating seats at the table for Black women and other people of color. Her work is about fundamentally changing who the builders of the table are and how the table is built. Ify is one of those people who immediately tells the people following her path about the roadblocks and stumbling places in that path. She passes out the lessons she’s learned along the way freely and intentionally, so we all can be better.
Ify is one of the smartest and most dynamic women I know. But what sticks with me most when I interact with her is how FIERCELY she loves other Black women and people. She is truly a trailblazer and waymaker. Her work has transformed what is possible for me and others in Corporate America. I’m grateful for the opportunity to see her continue to grow her business and her impact on the world. #28LoveLetterstoBlackWomen #BlackHistoryMonth2023 #Day7
Image Description: Black and white headshot of Ify Walker wearing a sleeveless white dress.