INSPIRE’s Minority Owned Business Committee chats with Asya Watkins

  • Posted on November 30, 2020
Coffee Chat Asya Watkins

Last month marked the inaugural event of INSPIRE’s Minority Owned Business Committee as we hosted a meaningful virtual coffee chat with entrepreneur Asya Watkins, CEO and Founder of “Women Of Project Management.” The purpose of the Minority Owned Business Committee is to plan and execute initiatives to support minority owned businesses, all while bridging the gap between underrepresented communities and Corporate America.

If we were to completely be honest, our committee had no idea how this opening event would go, but Asya surpassed all expectations with her transparency in life and dedication to her fine craft. Asya created quite a groundbreaking tool once meant for herself and now for countless others within the industry. It was rare to see people like her within project management, particularly women and women of color, when she started. She’d once dreamt of a product built to unite all women around the world who were once struggling finding a home within project management.

One of the most inclusive things about “Women Of Project Management” is that it was built for women, all around the world, at any stage in their career. They provide an online platform for woman to connect with each other around the globe. Asya offers members to pursue mentorship, specific industry-focused growth, and PMP (Project Management Professional) coaching for those who wish to advance in certifications. I highly encourage you check out all her site and membership have to offer.

At one point in the coffee chat, I had to ask how it was that she was able to balance a family (husband Michael and son Michael Jr.), a booming project management career, and her newest growing baby “Women Of Project Management.” We soon learned that it was Asya’s ability to prioritize her objectives each day, as well as leaning on her family for wisdom and support. She made sure to rightfully acknowledge the team that keeps her the most sound and sane: her “Michael” team.

Many attendees had mentioned the most pivotal moment of the whole coffee chat was when Asya stated, “Rest is not a reward.” There was a moment of deep thought, both within me and many participants on the call. It might be safe to say that Asya had all of us shook to the core with that statement. So often we feel guilt for decompressing and taking a break in our client-driven industry. We feel remorse for vacationing and not “plugging in” during it. I am just as guilty as anyone at this.

I said it during the meeting, and I will say it again here: “2020 has brought me the highest of highs, and the lowest of lows.” For all those who are still reading, please know that I recently had a minor breakdown of my own and I wasn’t sleeping enough to be able to bring my best self to work. Thinking back to Asya insisting that rest and relaxation are nonnegotiable necessities, I realized how much I had failed myself the basic needs for my personal and thus professional success.

I am better off for having had the pleasure of interviewing Asya. What’s more, the Minority Owned Business Committee is incredibly blessed and thankful for her entrepreneurial knowledge, astute perspective and kindred spirit. Thank you to Asya for your impact on myself, and more importantly, the Avanade community.

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