Sesali B. remembers the first time she knew she could become a writer, a skill she had grown to love since she was 3.
"One day my best friends sent me a career profile of this successful Black girl writer whose work I was familiar with," she wrote in a post for Feminsting. "In it she outlined exactly what she had done to get from points A-Z in her career. She gave tangible advice — set up informational meetings with editors and build relationships, as opposed to 'believe in yourself' — and realistic portrayals of what kind of lifestyle her work afforded her."
That women became the bridge for Sesali to go from thinking about her dreams to actually achieving them. Up until that point, she knew what she wanted to do, but didn't have anyone in her community to tell her how to get there.
Inspired by her own experiences, she created a place last week where other women of color can go and get the information they need to go after their dream jobs.
The Instagram account Work It Black Girl features photos of Black women at their jobs with an accompanying interview, which ranges from how they got their job to what they do on a day-to-day basis.
Sesali wrote that the only criteria to be featured on the page is to identify as a Black woman or girl and love what you do for a living. And she has two specific goals in mind: "1. Make a good life seem more accessible than ever and 2. Trust Black women to be the experts on their own experiences."
She hopes that the more girls of color who can see others just like them achieving their dreams, they'll have a better understanding of how to get there themselves, an initiative that could help close the career gap between not just for women in relation to men, but women of color in relation to other women.
A New York Times piece from last April reported that Black women want to have successful careers, they're just not offered as many opportunities as often as white women. According to the Center for Talent Innovation, an organization that focuses on diversity in the workplace, 55 percent of Black women felt stalled in their careers compared to only 28 percent of white women.
And while the unemployment rate for everyone dropped — 7.2 to 6.2 percent of the population and 6.2 percent to 5.7 percent for all women — the unemployment rate for Black women remained the exact same at 10.6 percent.
They also don't have too many mentors, which is a huge component of success in the workplace.
While Sesali's @WorkItBlackGirl Instagram can't replace solid programs and in-real-life mentors, the account will certainly be a catalyst in helping young Black women feel like their dreams are attainable and that's a great step.
"Boss chicks come in multiple forms," she wrote.
Yes, they do. Check some of them out below: