2 Urban Girls is excited to announce the selection of Ms. Qiuana Williams as our Urban Girl of the Month of March. Ms. Williams is an active member in the community, while also juggling the demands of motherhood. As those selected before her, she is an inspiring African-American woman young girls can look up to.
Qiuana Williams currently serves as the Regional Outreach Manager, for Jerome E. Horton, Chairman of the State Board of Equalization. Progressive and pragmatic, Ms. Williams fosters collaboration between state and local government, private and public sector businesses to advance initiatives that create opportunities for small, women, minority and disabled veteran – owned businesses and nonprofit organizations.
The outcome of these projects have proven to increase tax payer compliance, provide resources to help contribute to the economic vitality of the state and to create a platform to implement strategies that can provide access to more sustainable patterns of local economic development.
Ms. Williams attended grad school overseas. When asked what prompted this educational path, she replied:
I’ve been an avid reader since a very young age; perhaps it was because I was the youngest of four, (with wide gaps in age) and sort of an introvert. But it was the various books I read that opened my mind to the understanding of various different people, cultures, and ways of life that exist. I first traveled out of the country to Costa Rica with my Spanish teacher while in the ninth grade and fell in love. It was as if I were experiencing life beneath a different sun and moon, so I knew that travel and learning in a way different from what I’d come to know was going to be a very important part of my life.
However, I got married and started a family at 19, which would preclude me from participating in the many study abroad opportunities that are offered in undergrad. Yet, the dream hadn’t died. So years later, when contemplating my next move in life, and knowing for certain that I needed to strategize on how to differentiate myself and from the pack, I decided to study abroad. In preparation, I spoke with friends that had lived and or studied abroad to garner information and details of what to expect. I researched the top school in my industry, applied and was accepted.
How does she balance the demands of a high profile job and motherhood?
The quest for work life balance is a theory that I think will be contested for years to come. Does such a thing exist? Well, I would have to say juggling motherhood and the demands of a high profile job consist of meditation, prayer, positive self talk, and believing that all things are possible yet understanding that all things may not always work the way we planned, how and when we’ve planned it.
Additionally, the African proverb “It takes a village to raise a child” rings so very true. Without the help of my family, balance would not exist for me. Lastly, remembering “yourself,” knowing that your dreams do not have to die because you have kids, but also understanding the importance of consistently employing sacrifice to ensure you a foster positive learning environment and introducing your children to opportunities that will position them to be the best and most successful adults they can be.
More, motherhood and a high profile job for me means late nights and early mornings to fit in me time (work out, meal prep, read, clean, catch up on work, homework or to simply relax etc.), it also means prioritizing events and being okay with not being able to accept every invitation.
Lastly, I have found that healthy eating (juicing, and green smoothies) and working out even if just 30 minutes a day does wonders to increase my energy level and overall mood.
Ms. Williams has served as a Commissioner on the City of Carson’s Women’s Issues Commission and earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business: Finance, Real-Estate and Law from California State University, Long Beach, and a Master of Science Degree in City and Regional Planning from Cardiff University located in Wales, United Kingdom.
What advice does she have for young women?
- I would say walk with confidence, speak with confidence and in the affirmative rather than presenting information as an idea or opinion by prefacing your response with “I think” when in fact you really “know” because you’ve conducted the necessary research whereby affording you the position to provide a response supported by facts.
- Do not date in the workplace (my opinion); and
- Fear not. There is no such thing as failure. You will undoubtedly be challenged at some point, but allow those challenges to grow you and to push you further.
- Find the most successful male in your industry or agency/company and ask him to be your mentor. If he is unable to do so, ask him as many questions about how he came to achieve his success, study the way he moves, thinks, acts and ask the same of a woman who has come to be successful in the industry. There is so much knowledge to be acquired and many people are willing to share it with you if you just ask; in fact John C. Maxwell wrote an entire book on the theory entitled “Good Leaders Ask Great Questions.”
2 Urban Girls salutes Qiuana Williams, our Urban Girl of the Month!