Hi, Could you introduce yourself?
My name is Tameika Scott but I go by Meme. I’m a Georgia Peach living in the DC area and currently the Founder of a social benefit startup called Employee of Choice. Human Resources is my expertise, however my purpose in life is to use that expertise to focus on true employee advocacy with a specific focus on women and other vulnerable employee groups. I must point out that I am a die-hard Ancient Aliens fan and love any and everything to do with astronomy and astrobiology. Also, the history of ancient civilizations and traveling to their ruins.
What are you working on?
Right now, my startup, Employee of Choice is working on its first tech product focused on true Employee Advocacy and Workplace Advice. The mobile and web application is called, MyZolve and it includes a free self-help tool for employees to get on-demand advice on workplace issues as well as the option to instantly chat or schedule an audio/video call with an expert in human resources or employment law for confidential, unbiased advice. This project is near and dear to me as it is my effort to improve employment retention for our most vulnerable employee populations. It is my sincere hope that by having a true employee advocate and access to expert advice, those most likely to experience unemployment will be able to end the generational unemployment cycle. Ultimately I believe this will contribute to the reduction of generational poverty as well.
What are the challenges and successes you’ve faced at Meme?
I grew up in poverty in Southwest Georgia which is a similar story of many who grew up in that area and still do. My outlet was always good grades and participating in extracurricular activities. The good grades are what helped me get out of SW Georgia and into college. Since then, I have retained that mindset to overcome challenges in the workplace and beyond. Work hard. Be great. It is hard for naysayers to argue with facts. Regardless of your background and challenges, showing up and showing out speaks for itself. My successes in education and career are deeply rooted in the lessons I learned through overcoming my past struggles as a child and in health. In 2009, I suddenly found myself facing death due to multiple blood clots. Though it was a tough fight, I fought. Hard. The years that followed included becoming a mother to my little Nitalya (9 years old going on 19) as well as successful roles in HR leadership and Founder & CEO of an HR consulting firm and a social benefit tech startup.
What are your goals?
As a mom, my biggest goal is to raise an emotionally and physically fit daughter to a great destiny. It is why I do everything I do. Professionally and personally, my goal is to build a community of support for employees around the world where training and expert & peer advice is center to the empowerment of employees.
Do you have a mentor?
I do! I think it is critical; especially for women entrepreneurs. My mentor is Sheree Knowles, Chief HR Officer of HR Knowledge Source, LLC.. She is one of the best leaders I have ever encountered. She has mentored me both as a professional in the workplace and now as an entrepreneur. The advice and support we can receive from our mentors is priceless. It can really make a difference in whether or not we choose to take those giant leaps or not. I can honestly say that my leap into entrepreneurship and technology can be directly attributed to the mentorship I received from Sheree.
Do you mentor anyone?
Yes, mentoring others is very important to me. I have had the honor and pleasure of mentoring women as well as a few men! I believe that mentor relationships work both ways. I learn from my mentees just as they learn from me.
What could society do to better foster female talent?
I think that society as a whole is seeing more than ever the benefit of having us in positions of leadership and in roles where their unique perspectives and expertise result in innovative and human-centered solutions. Supporting and elevating female talent means providing the professional development and backing necessary to continuously place us in these roles. Also…and it cannot be said enough…PAY US WHAT WE ARE WORTH!
What advice would you give to people getting into your field?
At this point, I am paving a new path for professionals who are interested in Human Resources, True Employee Advocacy. Most of us will tell you that we got into the field because we wanted to help people. There is so much more that goes into being an HR professional. We balance trying to sincerely help the employee with being risk managers for the organization. For those who are truly interested in advocating for and providing support to employees who do not feel they can trust in management and HR in some cases, I say consider working in the Employee Relations area of HR first and then consider transferring what you have learned to a true Employee Advocacy role. I would welcome you with open arms! ☺
What’s the best and worst advice you have received?
The best advice I have probably received is to surround myself with people who are “better” than me. In the grand scheme of things, we are all good or great at something and so we elevate each other in those areas as they elevate us in others. The worst advice I have received is when someone told me I was “doing too much” and should not work on my first mobile app. Only we know what we can handle, don’t let others kill your dreams. I would like to tell that person to go onto the Apple or Android store and download my app now ☺
Who do you follow? What blogs do you read?
@AskAManager – Great blog and info on workplace questions you may have
@ArlanWasHere – Investor in Underestimated founders
@Latesha_Byrd – Career Coach with a lot of great tips. Check out her Career Chases Members Club
@MindaHarts – Best-selling Author of The Memo.
@_workingmother_ – Great magazine and blog for working mothers
@joinelpha – Great community for women in tech
What’s the best way to keep up to date with what you’re doing?
Follow me on twitter at @memeswisdom and on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/employeeadvocate.
Also definitely check out my website, myzolve.com and my mobile app MyZolve – Workplace Advice on iOS and Android platforms! I am very excited about future developments of this project and you may even get me as your very own Employee Advocate if you request a chat or call! ☺