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Houston woman creates networking group to help women of color hit their career goals

Cubicles to Cocktails connects professional women of color. The networking community tackles everything from salary negotiations to how to land a promotion.

HOUSTON — This pandemic is making it difficult for people to find a job and stay connected to colleagues or network with mentors. But one woman has figured out a way to help ladies who look like her advance their careers.

Her flashy professional videos that highlight networking events may grab your attention, but it’s a conversation with Christa Clarke that keeps women coming back to Cubicles To Cocktails.

“We are a space for women of color in the workforce to come together,” said Clake, an Illinois native. “We really do focus on bringing culturally responsive career and professional leadership, development resources, experiences and tools to our community members.”

She earned both her bachelor’s degrees in Bio Engineering and master's degree in Health Policy from Rice University. She loved Houston so much, she’s called it home for the last 12 years.

As she advanced in her career as a project manager, Clarke said she realized there weren’t many women of color in her field that she could to for advice, context or perspective. She shared her frustrations with friends during happy hours. They began sharing similar situations at work in which they were looking for guidance. That’s when Clarke realized she was on to something.

She founded Cubicles to Cocktails in February 2018.

“To me, it’s more than a networking group. I like to say, community,” said Clarke of the community that would meet in-person for various networking events.

The corornavirus pandemic has pushed members to connect during virtual events. They talk about topics like salary negotiations, promotions and identifying opportunities within the office. Cubicles to Cocktails allows women of color to vent and share their career ambitions, which is so important right now.

“You don’t have to undervalue yourself or your expertise, even in the age of corona and the intensity of the social justice movement happening right now in this country. It’s still really important to go in and advocate for yourself to make sure that you’re compensated fairly,” Clarke said.

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More than 500 women subscribe to her free newsletter which includes invitations to monthly virtual events that can even include meditation.

“The anxiety is high right now,” Clarke said. “Especially when you may be financially strapped or your worried about your job, you’re worried about your health.”

It's a network for women of color who just might need a little boost in order to hit those career goals, and then some.

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