Asian Women In Business and hope for black-haired girls everywhere

Growing up I looked for black-haired girls everywhere: on the covers of books and magazines, on television, in leadership roles, longing to see  someone who looked like me. I still feel a kinship toward black-haired girls of all ages, which is why it was an exceptional pleasure this week to speak with members of Asian Women in Business, a terrific networking organization full of role models like its president, powerhouse Bonnie Wong.  We talked about how to access our most courageous selves, regardless of our genes (why do we have such thin wrists?), our upbringing and cultural expectations.

With Bonnie Wong

With Bonnie Wong, Asian Women in Business President (Center)

One of my favorite moments came when I had to stop the partner-exercise (people were talking about their Fear Stories – where their fear came from, and the room was full of lively chatter) and I said “exchange emails so you can continue this later” and a flurry of business cards and smartphones came out as new connections were made.  Fear crumbles in the face of friends and contacts willing to listen. You could hear it crumbling all around us.

AWIB Workshop at Microsoft Offices

The #SomeNerve Challenges that emerged were so exciting I am already eagerly awaiting updates.

I Will Face My Fear of Writing a Cookbook

“I will face my fear of writing a cookbook by taking a writing class”Fear of Rejection“I will face my fear of rejection by inviting people to my FB group for Asian Women”

Standing Out

“I will face my fear of standing out by saying thank you and nothing else when getting compliments or credit.”


@JapanCultureNYC tweeted:

 CaChanging my career

“I will face my fear of changing my career by talking to sponsors and representing myself.”

And these amazing women trekked across town (one had to go back to Long Island) in a polar vortex to attend and then tweeted this:

Black Haired Girls got Some Nerve

@Miradorable tweeted after event: “These black-haired girls got #somenerve!”

Yes, we sure do.

The moment I first saw the cover art for Some Nerve and saw the black-haired girl diving through sunshine into water, I gasped. There she is! The girl I’ve been looking for!   The day G first saw the cover of Some Nerve she pointed to the black-haired girl , saying “Hey, that looks like me!”

Some Nerve Black-haired Girl

Some Nerve jacket art by Janet Hansen

When we are strong, people around us believe in themselves a little more too. The women of AWIB are already movers and shakers – the impact of this group taking bolder steps in different areas of their lives is going to be a great thing for the world.


  1. Patty, you…by way of your book, blog, website and speaking engagements…you are truly doing something good. Like you said people get touched by a spark that they see in others. Internal motivation is harder to come by then we think -its the harder route to take. Going along, same old same old is much easier. Thanks for waking some of us up! Life is happening, we should be our best selves while we can. –Karleen

    • Thank you, Karleen, for engaging so wholeheartedly! It can be hard to attend workshops if you don’t relate to the leader or the people around you, which is why groups like AWIB are so important – really appreciate your coming and sharing your experiences.