MILLI MOGUL MOVES | Laurie Nicolas, Founder of PINK SUNDAY
On January 28, 2018 Laurie Nicolas made her way to Tattes Bakery Cafe for a girl talk session over some coffee and pastries. She was perfectly put together in a red blazer with matching lipstick, black leather skirt, plaid scarf and her hair pulled back in a professional-ass bun. We dived in and warmed her up with a few questions regarding where she finds her motivation and what a day in Laurie’s shoes is aaaallll about.
Laurie Nicolas is the Founder of Pink Sunday, a non-profit organization which promotes the importance of women’s health and wellness by providing physical fitness and sports programs, as well as wellness workshops to women in the community. What started out as an attempt to get a few women to work out together playing Sunday flag football, turned into a collaborative annually-growing program of men and women in the greater Boston area & RI. After watching and participating in the start up of “Pink Sunday” 5 years ago, we knew she was on to something big. What once started with only 24 women bringing her vision to life, now stands at 100+ women strong. Laurie took a chance on an idea by putting her plans into action. These plans aligned perfectly with her passion to empower and provide women resources to better themselves and each other. Laurie States,
The cafe was getting more and more crowded with patrons, but that didn't stop Laurie from sharing her personal experiences leading her to go even harder with her ultimate goals of building a community where women are supporting and growing with each other. She strongly believes that it is important to “lift as you climb… empowering women everyday is important for society in itself.” We most definitely agreed with her and wanted to know more on where this was coming from. So Laurie let us in and told us her motivation towards all of this.
After college she got a great corporate job in the Healthcare industry as a Healthcare Administrator. She loved her job and the role she played, as she knew she was an asset to the company. As time went on, she like many other women in America found herself dealing with gender pay inequality in the workplace. To make matters worse, the very same person (a male)that she trained at one point ended up being her supervisor, and was paid over $30,000 more than her. This infuriated Laurie, and us after listening. As our jaws were clenched listening in on this injustice, she went on to say it got even worse. The supervisor didn't stand a chance in that role and departed from the company shortly after. The company offered Laurie the position back, but with a twist. They changed the job’s title so not to warrant a request of the same salary as her trainee. Yet, all of her responsibilities of the previous title remained.
According to the American Progress website: African American women, who make up 13 percent of the female population in the United States, are making significant strides in education, participation, health, and other areas, but there is a long way to go to fully close the racial and ethnic disparities they face.
African American women continue to have higher rates of unemployment than white women and continue to have lower amounts of weekly usual earnings and median wealth compared to their male counterparts and white women. .. African American women only made 64 cents to the dollar compared to white, non-Hispanic men in 2010. White women made 78.1 cents to the same dollar.
Laurie’s story makes even more sense now, and it's unfortunate that regardless of the level of education she’d obtained, her workplace hadn't viewed her as a true asset. But she valued herself enough and made an exit plan. This negative experience would usually cripple and discourage an individual's state of mind. But Laurie took this moment and decided instead to bring women from all walks of life together, to not only celebrate one another but to build genuine camaraderie and to foster encouragement.
Laurie’s mission is to build a community of women supporting each other in a unique way. So she created Pink Sunday; where the goal continues to be to increase self-development and self-esteem, while leading physically active & healthy lifestyles.
What motivated you to be in the position you are in today?
Tell me about a day in your life?
What are three things you’ve told yourself that kept you going during your darkest hour?
She has taken her past experiences of leading and working with others to provide and on-and-off field experience for other women. These women go on to learn the importance of being leaders as well as team players, while expanding their knowledge and network. Laurie hopes members of Pink Sunday are able to apply these skill sets not just on the field, but in their workplace, homes and even in their social circles.
But Laurie doesn't stop there. If you were to follow her on social media she started a #FinanceFriday campaign where she provided financial tips. The tips ranged from understanding credit card benefits to steps of home ownership. We can attest that we looked forward to that information every Friday. This campaign drew a lot attention and her readers were even more ecstatic when she created a blog website called Enrich52 containing a rolodex of financial tips.
As we continued the conversation sipping our coffee, the questions continued. The path Laurie has taken to be the woman she is today made us wonder,
Do you think being a black women in America is a handicap?
Who are your major influences in life, if any, and why?
We can now understand how her influences have rubbed-off on Laurie… as she too was very transparent, and real. Fourty-five minutes into the conversation and we still had so much more we wanted to cover.
We need to know, with all that you have done with your vision thus far, who is in your corner uplifting and encouraging you?
She also said she has an enormous amount of support from her significant other, cousins, sister close friends and her social network. She clearly understands there's no I in team.
So what’s next for Laurie Nicolas you wonder? She’s currently preparing for the 6th year of Pink Sunday, and has recently added a spin-off program called PINK FIT -- which is an all women's personal fitness program that includes 1-on-1 Personal Training interaction without the high Personal Training fees.
Learn More here https://www.pinksunday.org/pink-fit/
Last but not least she is working on a new project called FEM COVE which is a female focused platform created to provide a space for women where they are provided with valuable resources that will help them become more effective and confident in their area of work. She intends to host monthly curated events, such as professional & personal development seminars, personal finance and much more as she hears the needs of her women-built community.
Keep up-to-date with all things Pink Sunday & Pink Fit! And check out Laurie's personal website for more.