HQ signs ‘fresh, original’ business manual for black women

7 February 2020

HQ, an imprint of HarperCollins, has signed a deal for a fresh, original business manifesto and manual for black women, by former UK-based COO of Social Life Media turned Marketing Consultant, 32-year-old Sophie Williams. Rachel Kenny, Editorial Director, bought Millennial Black, which aims to give BAME women the tools they need to progress within their careers in a world which has not been set up for their success. UK & Commonwealth rights were acquired from Hattie Grünewald at The Blair Partnership.

In the UK, traditional workplaces, practices, and progression structures are failing black women over and over again, leaving them feeling undervalued and overlooked by their employers, without clarity on how to progress to the most senior positions. Data shows that despite BAME people being more likely to be overqualified than their white peers, white people are more likely to be promoted than all other groups. Where some career advice books take a colourblind approach, spokesperson on racial diversity and black representation in advertising and the wider workplace Williams tackles the unique experiences and obstacles black women face, helping the next generation of black women to succeed.

A comprehensive guide to building the career you want, Millennial Black includes tips on negotiating a good starting salary, how to choose progressive recruiters, navigating within a company hierarchy, finding mentors and how to tackle bias. With interviews from high profile BAME professionals including the CEO and Founder of Girls Talk London Vanessa Sanyauke, UK’s ‘first black female Creative Director’ Jo Arscott and Black British Business Awards Winner Selma Nicholls, Millennial Black will tap into the readership that loved Slay in Your Lane, What a Time to be Alone and Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race.

Rachel Kenny said: I was bowled over by Sophie’s exceptional, agenda-setting proposal full of new catchphrases that are just waiting to become the 2021 viral vernacular: ‘horizontal mentoring’, ‘group glow up’, ‘kissing down’. When we consider that the racial pay gap will soon be getting the same attention as the gender pay gap and that 72% of Gen Z believe that race equality is the most important issue in the workplace today, Millennial Black is on track to be THE business book of 2021.

Williams said: I could not be more excited to set Millennial Black free into the world! From the very first time I met Rachel I knew she shared my vision, and commitment to making the world of work better and fairer for black womXn. The team at HQ made it impossible for me to have gone with anyone else! It was important for me to use not only my lived experience as a black woman, but also my professional experience of holding C-suite roles, and now being a business owner, to give the book the most rounded view possible. All too often the emphasis for making change for the better is put solely and firmly on the shoulders of the black womXn. Millennial Black also recognises the responsibilities that businesses and business owners also have. Millennial Black shows how both black womXn and the businesses that hire them can make positive steps and the potential benefits to both.

HQ will publish Millennial Black in April 2021 in print, eBook and audiobook.