Sherry Sims is a career coach helping professional women in Cincinnati, but she has a very specialized niche. Sims is the CEO and founder of Black Career Women’s Network, dedicated to the professional growth of black women. “Our purpose is to be supportive element in the professional success of African American women from all stages in their careers,” Sims says. “We do this through a strong community of professional women whom will share experiences, knowledge, resources and tools essential to help women reach their full potential.”
Sims has always had a passion for helping others manage their careers. For 12 years she worked in the Human Resources industry for companies such as CVS Pharmacy, AT&T and AOL/Time Warner, but decided to make a switch to career coaching because, in her words, “I wanted do something different, where I could take all of my experience in HR and Recruiting and utilize it in a different way.”
She noticed in her own career a lack of peer support and career mentoring directed at professional black women, so she founded Black Career Women’s Network in 2008. Black Career Women’s Network was originally founded on social media as a forum to provide support and share experiences and career advice.
Though it laid dormant for a while, after Sims became a career coach, Black Career Women’s Network took off and has since been expanded into a national organization with 35 online communities and an exclusive list of mentors, coaches and experts to further develop its members in addition to providing local support.
Black Career Women’s Network has been featured in local and national publications, such as the Cincinnati Business Courier, BlackEnterprise.com, Cosmo.com, MadameNoire.com and ForHarriett.com. Sims also appears on WXIX-TV as a careers expert, was featured in Who’s Who in Black Cincinnati 2015, was honored as Woman of the Year 2015 by Zeta Phi Beta, Inc., and just featured in the LinkedIn #ThankYourMentor campaign for August 2015.
Black Career Women’s Network’s goal is to help African American achieve career empowerment. It does so, Sims says, by “helping women recognize their professional worth and build confidence to design their career path however way they choose” and by working to change how black women are perceived in and out of the workplace, break down barriers that can keep professional black women from achieving their full potential and talk about issues and challenges black women experience in the workplace.
Sims recently hosted its first national conference, “Passion, Power and Pursuit” on August 8 at Xavier University’s Cintas Center. “This one day conference [provided] women from all levels of their career from college grads to entrepreneurs who are ready to experience career empowerment and take their career or business to the next level,” says Sims.
For more information and to become a member of Black Career Women’s Network, log on to their website, www.BCWNetwork.com. With a membership comes access to Black Career Women Network’s career bank and a national job listing with companies looking for talented black women. Black Career Women Network also has regular Twitter chats, Google conferences and regional meet-ups.