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Rule Breakers: The Shaina Wiel Episode

When it comes to advancing our careers, many of us understand that relationships are important.

Sometimes all it takes is that one handshake and a couple of great conversations to land the job we’ve always dreamed of. Great professional relationships create healthy work environments and could potentially lead to mentorship opportunities. But when you are a minority in your industry — whether it’s because of race, gender or sexual orientation — sometimes it can feel difficult to form these important bonds due to cultural biases.

The sports media industry, for example, is still run by a white majority. In 2018, The Institute of Diversity in Sports (TIDES) reported that across 75 prominent media companies 85 percent of sports editors while 82 percent of the reporters were white.

Fortunately, people like Shaina Wiel, co-founder of Minorities in Sports (MiS), is looking to change all of that — not only in media but the sports industry at large.

In 2015, MiS started with just a GroupMe chat group. At first, Wiel and her partner Candice Haynes wanted to find a way to connect their friends of color so that everyone could find support in what can feel like an isolating industry. Now the group includes well over 750 professionals of color in business, marketing, media, and PR. MiS even has pro athletes on their roster.

Through their workshops, mentorship opportunities and a rapidly growing network, MiS is empowering people of color in an authentic way that we haven’t seen before.

That’s why Anya and I were excited to speak with Wiel for this week’s Rule Breaker’s episode. Tune in to hear Wiel’s thoughts on diversity in the workplace, what it means to be a minority and how MiS is impacting the industry.