101 episodes

After spending over two years interviewing multicultural women in the C-suite, entrepreneurs, authors and speakers, we’ve seen a running theme of how women are shattering the glass ceiling and breaking through the concrete ceiling: rule-breaking.

But what rules are we talking about and why do they exist? That’s what we explore in the What Rules!? podcast. You’ll learn our six guiding principles for multicultural women looking to outsmart the game to advance their career.

What Rules!?: A career podcast for women of color Zera Consulting

    • Business
    • 5.0 • 44 Ratings

After spending over two years interviewing multicultural women in the C-suite, entrepreneurs, authors and speakers, we’ve seen a running theme of how women are shattering the glass ceiling and breaking through the concrete ceiling: rule-breaking.

But what rules are we talking about and why do they exist? That’s what we explore in the What Rules!? podcast. You’ll learn our six guiding principles for multicultural women looking to outsmart the game to advance their career.

    92. Getting Ahead at Your Own Speed

    92. Getting Ahead at Your Own Speed

    If you’re comparing yourself to others, wondering if you should be further along in your career, our guest today shares how to get ahead at your own speed. 
    While we’re encouraged to advance as quickly as possible, Paula Ramos, Chief Strategy and Transformation Officer, at Kimberly-Clark, believes in the opposite. Paula tells us how she has broken the rules by looking at her career as a sailboat and letting her curiosity guide her.
    “A sailboat allows me to explore,” says Paula. “And it puts the control on me on how fast I go.” 
    Get off the fast lane and sail your way into a rewarding career with Paula’s insight and advice.
    Theme: Know What You Want

    Episode Highlights:
    Looking at your career as a sailboat vs speedboatDetermining how fast you want to go in your careerHow to find variety within your role and companyForging your own path at every stage of your careerThe trap of comparing yourself to othersAre you a knower or a learner?Mentoring, sponsoring and being an example to others

    Paula’s Bio: 
    Paula Ramos is the Chief Strategy & Transformation Officer for Kimberly-Clark Corporation, where she has global responsibility for the company's enterprise strategy and the transformation initiatives designed to accelerate growth and value creation. 
    Paula’s ambition is to fuse commercial instinct, pragmatism, technology and market insight to navigate ambiguity, champion consumer experience, and enable sustainable growth. With empathy, collaboration, and a passion for unlocking human potential, she builds inclusive teams that play to win and leave their mark upon the world.
    Prior to joining Kimberly-Clark in 2021, Paula was a partner at McKinsey & Company. In her 18 years at McKinsey, she advised some of the world's largest consumer goods manufacturers, retailers, and pharmaceutical companies on finding new sources of growth, transforming business portfolios, driving commercial and culture transformations, and building lasting competitive advantages. She led the firm's global consumer health practice and played pivotal roles in McKinsey's inclusion and diversity programs.
    A native Brazilian, Paula holds an MBA from Harvard Business School, and a Magna Cum Laude high honors degree in Commerce from McGill University. She lives in New Jersey with her husband and two daughters.


    Connect with us on our social media: Instagram and LinkedIn
    Join our LinkedIn community where we discuss rule-breaking strategies for multicultural women.
    More from Alisa Manjarrez: Instagram and LinkedIn
    More from Courtney Copelin: Instagram and LinkedIn
    More from Dr. Merary Simeon: Instagram and LinkedIn
    Learn more at www.whatrulespodcast.com.

    • 26 min
    91. Choosing Community Over Competition

    91. Choosing Community Over Competition

    For Women’s History Month, we debunk three myths many multicultural women have about supporting each other in corporate America. 
    Do you think you’re only one person and can’t change the status quo? 
    Are you afraid to sponsor another woman of color because she may make you look bad? 
    Do you believe everyone should pay their dues as they climb the ladder?
    These are all myths! Check out how we disprove each and offer ways to help and support each other when we choose community over competition. 
    Episode Highlights:
    The impact one person make can on another woman’s career and lifeWhat to remember when you have the chance to help someoneEasy ways to support another woman of color NOWWhat your role is (and isn’t) as a sponsor What it means to refer someone The benefits of sponsoring each otherWhy paying our dues hurts all of us

    Mentioned in this Episode:
    The P.I.E. Theory of Success—Performance, Image, Exposure
    2023 Women in the Workplace by McKinsey & Company


    Connect with us on our social media: Instagram and LinkedIn
    Join our LinkedIn community where we discuss rule-breaking strategies for multicultural women.
    More from Alisa Manjarrez: Instagram and LinkedIn
    More from Courtney Copelin: Instagram and LinkedIn
    More from Dr. Merary Simeon: Instagram and LinkedIn
    Learn more at www.whatrulespodcast.com.

    • 35 min
    90. How to Challenge Authority At Work

    90. How to Challenge Authority At Work

    It’s Black History Month and Meredith Harper is on a mission—to empower women and people of color to embark upon careers in tech. Black, Latina and Native American women make up only 4% of tech roles in the U.S.
    Meredith is the Chief Information Security Officer at Synchrony, a Fortune 500 company that is one of the largest issuers of store credit cards in the U.S. She shares how she has often been the only woman of color throughout her 30-year career in tech and how other strong women partnered with her to get ahead.
    Tune in for an inspiring conversation with Meredith on how to challenge authority at work so that it benefits you and your company. “It's about being bold and it’s about being noisy,” she says.
    Theme: Don’t Do It Alone
    Episode Highlights:
    What your LinkedIn banner says about youChase after experiences, not rolesIt’s ok to be different Challenging authority at workPushing back benefits everyoneBe bold and noisy to create changeResources to grow your career in tech and other industriesWork integration with your personal lifeInfuse levity into whatever you’re doing

    Mentioned in this Episode:
    Empowering Black, Latina, and Native American Women in Tech by McKinsey & Company, 8/29/23
    ISACA, a global association for professionals in information security, governance, assurance, risk, and privacy and quality. 
    ISC2, the world’s leading member association for cybersecurity professionals
    SANS, an institute that offers cybersecurity training, certifications and research

    Meredith’s Bio: 
    Meredith Harper is a strategic leader with 30 years of experience, who is passionate about her greatest assets—her team members. Her success has been attributed to her ability to manage large-scale complex programs that cross functional areas while advancing the skill sets and careers of her team members.
    Meredith is passionate about empowering women and people of color to embark upon careers in technology, especially in information security, where those populations are underrepresented. She’s committed to transforming the industry by driving engaging and provocative discussions around diversity, equity, inclusion and empowerment and the value it brings. It is her hope that the industry transforms at a more rapid pace so that women and people of color are normalized in tech and security spaces. 
    Meredith is a proud alumna of the University of Detroit Mercy and the Loyola Chicago School of Law where she received a Master’s in Health Services Administration, a Bachelor of Science in Computer Information Systems, and Master's of Jurisprudence in Compliance, respectively.

    Connect with us on our social media: Instagram and LinkedIn
    Join our LinkedIn community where we discuss rule-breaking strategies for multicultural women.
    More from Alisa Manjarrez: Instagram and LinkedIn
    More from Courtney Copelin: a...

    • 27 min
    89. The Power of Empathy In the Workplace

    89. The Power of Empathy In the Workplace

    Let’s advance together in 2024! Today, we chat about lifting others to get ahead collectively with Cindy Tran, Managing Director at Slalom, a global business and technology consulting company.
    As an Asian American, Cindy talks about how she was raised to be empathetic with everyone and how it’s helped her advance in her career. 
    “That general commitment to adding value and helping others succeed,” says Cindy. “It makes other people want to help you.”
    Tune in for how empathy can take you (and others!) far in the workplace. “It’s much more powerful to have others lift you up than for you to get there by yourself,” says Cindy.
    Theme: Don’t Do It Alone

    Episode Highlights:
    Cindy’s TEDx TalkBreaking through cultural barriers at workLearning from white male mentorsRecognizing ego vs humblenessLifting others to get ahead togetherHow empathy impacts companiesLack of empathy between womenFinding people who support youHaving a multicultural woman as a leaderResonating with others while on your journeyHelping others makes people want to help you


    Cindy’s Bio: 
    Cindy Tran is a Managing Director at Slalom, a purpose-led, global business and technology consulting company. She has over 20 years of experience in professional services, currently focused on Slalom go-to-market expansion into Oklahoma, Louisiana and Arkansas. 
    Cindy has a strong commitment to serving customers and enabling teams to achieve strategic outcomes. Cindy is passionate about mentoring early career young professionals and community give-back opportunities.  
    Together, Cindy and her husband are raising two young boys and are small business owners.


    Mentioned in this episode:
    Cindy Tran’s TEDx Talk: Untold Complexities Between 1st and 2nd Generation Immigrants


    Connect with us on our social media: Instagram and LinkedIn
    Join our LinkedIn community where we discuss rule-breaking strategies for multicultural women.
    More from Alisa Manjarrez: Instagram and LinkedIn
    More from Courtney Copelin: Instagram and LinkedIn
    More from Dr. Merary Simeon: Instagram and LinkedIn
    Learn more at www.whatrulespodcast.com.

    • 32 min
    88. Should You Stay or Leave Corporate America?

    88. Should You Stay or Leave Corporate America?

    Are you thinking about leaving corporate America? You’re not alone. 1 in 3 women of color currently in the workplace plan to leave their jobs over the next year. 
    We’re here to tell you why multicultural women are needed in corporate America and what it means if more of us decide to leave.
    Before you choose the path of entrepreneurship or the corporate world, check out our convo!
    Episode Highlights:
    Women of color are leaving corporate AmericaWhy it’s important for multicultural women to stay in corporate AmericaWanting something different Opting out of your powerChoosing your own pathNeeding both entrepreneurs and corporate womenFitting into corporate culture if there were more women of colorTaking care of yourself Outsmarting the game  
    Research Mentioned:
    2/15/23: The Harris Poll: America This Week Wave 155

    March 2021: More Women of Color are Ready to Leave the Workforce by Fairygodboss and nFormation

    May 2020: Diversity Wins: How Inclusion Matters by McKinsey & Company

    6/24/20: Why Diversity and Inclusion Matter (Quick Take) by Catalyst

    2022 Women in the Workplace by McKinsey & Company


    Check out these additional episodes:
    Ep 64: The 4 L’s to Advance Your Career featuring Tanika Cabral

    Ep 71: Transform Your Limiting Beliefs to Get Ahead featuring Thear Suzuki

    Ep 73: 3 Moves to Improve Your Next Meeting featuring Monique Lanaux



    Connect with us on our social media: Instagram and LinkedIn
    Join our LinkedIn community where we discuss rule-breaking strategies for multicultural women.
    More from Alisa Manjarrez: Instagram and LinkedIn
    More from Courtney Copelin: Instagram and LinkedIn
    More from Dr. Merary Simeon: a...

    • 31 min
    87. A Surefire Way to Get Mentors

    87. A Surefire Way to Get Mentors

    Are you looking for a mentor? We’ve got a surefire way to get as many mentors as you want, thanks to Shellye Archambeau, a Fortune 500 board director and one of the first Black female CEOs in the tech industry.
    Shellye learned early in her career that you should have multiple mentors and she figured out how to do that—without asking! And it’s easier than you think!
    Suffering from impostor syndrome? Don’t worry, Shellye points out it affects all of us, including herself, and she offers ways to beat it when it sneaks up on you. 
    Striving to land a paid seat on a corporate board? Shellye shares how she did it and how you can, too! 
    Want people to remember you? Introduce yourself using Shellye’s technique and you’ll be on people’s minds long after you meet them.
    With over 30 years of corporate experience, Shellye, author of Unapologetically Ambitious, shares some golden nuggets you won’t want to miss! 
    Theme: Don’t Do It Alone

    Episode Highlights:
    Mixing business and pleasureAchieving work-life integrationHow to get a mentor without askingGet paid to serve on a boardHow to set goals and stay on trackHow to beat impostor syndrome3 ways leaders can advance multicultural women in the workplaceIntroduce yourself so people remember you

    Mentioned in this Episode:
    Unapologetically Ambitious: Take Risks, Break Barriers, and Create Success on Your Own Terms by Shellye Archambeau
    LinkedIn Learning Course: Unapologetically Ambitious by Shellye Archambeau
    2023 Gender Diversity Index Report by 50/50 Women on Boards


    Shellye’s Bio: 
    Shellye Archambeau is an experienced CEO and Board Director with a track record of accomplishments building brands, high performance teams, and organizations. Currently, Shellye serves on the boards of Verizon, Roper Technologies, and Okta. She is also a CEO mentor with the EXCO Group and serves on the board of two national nonprofits, Catalyst and Braven. 
    Shellye has over 30 years of experience in technology. She is the former CEO of MetricStream, a Silicon Valley-based, governance, risk, and compliance software company. During her tenure MetricStream grew from a fledgling startup into a global market leader. 
    Shellye is the author of Unapologetically Ambitious: Take Risks, Break Barriers and Create Success on Your Own Terms. A book that will inspire you and provide the tools to enable you to fight the battles, make the tradeoffs and create the life you want. 
    Shellye enjoys the performing arts, traveling and cooking.

    Connect with us on our social media: Instagram and LinkedIn
    Join our LinkedIn community where we discuss rule-breaking strategies for multicultural women.
    More from Alisa Manjarrez: Instagram and LinkedIn
    More from Courtney Copelin: a...

    • 38 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
44 Ratings

44 Ratings

YNieves19 ,

Always enlightening, always fun!

Love these ladies, their energy, and insights! I always learn from amazing guests that broke rules to make their own paths to success. Just listened to episode 80: Creating Your Own Career Path on my way to work and im feeling confident, calm and ready for whatever the day might bring! Highly recommended!

Dalma Alicea ,

Incredible Advice & Mentorship

What Rules … I have been listening for some time now and always feel like I am being mentored and guided in a way that just hasn’t been available for Women let alone Women of Color. Such a gift to hear these Women in leadership roles being vulnerable and sharing how it is not an overnight success story. Real women that have Overcome and Grown exponentially !
Thank you for creating such great content and providing a safe space to learn and grow.

MissDi1 ,

Best Podcast EVER!

This is eeeeevvvvveeeerrryyything I didn’t know I needed! I was so inspired listening to these amazing and talented leaders and now I feel empowered to ask for what I really want and deserve in my career!!!
🤍🤍

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