Minda Harts and friends in ChicagoMinda Harts saw a gap in the sea of self-help books. None were directed at or written by working black women. She decided to write her own. "The Memo" is Harts's advice for professional women of color.

Ms. Harts's style is informal and conversational. As a result, her writing is less concise than you may be used to in a professional book. She peppers her writing with references to hip-hop lyrics, video games, and popular TV shows and movies. I am neither a gamer nor an avid TV watcher, but I enjoy good music and movies. So some of the references were unfamiliar to me. But her points remain solid.

I like the fact that she neither denies the existence of systemic racism nor uses it as an excuse to fail. Instead, her message is: Here are obstacles women of color face in today's workforce; here are some strategies to succeed.

The target audience is black women, and Hart spends much of the text recounting the racism and microaggressions she encountered in her career. But she also provides career advice that is useful to us all.

Network. Attend social events outside work, with your co-workers, and within your industry. A good network opens doors, even if you find it uncomfortable talking with strangers.

Advocate for yourself. Do not be afraid to call attention to your excellent work.

Negotiate your salary. Learn your position's going rate and ask what you are worth.

Invest in your education. Make yourself valuable to your current employer or your next employer.

One chapter is directed toward white people - especially white women. Harts laments that so many speak of "women" without including women of color who have been left behind by the gains in recent years. She calls on white women to use their voices to advance and seek representation for all women.
Although I am not the target audience, I found much valuable advice within "The Memo."