Women in Business Speaker, Music Business Matriarch

Sophia Chang

At a glance:

Sophia Chang is a screenwriter and author who is developing numerous TV properties, including a scripted series at FX, based on her Audible memoir “The Baddest Bitch In The Room.” Earlier this year, she was the subject of an episode of the Hulu series "Defining Moments."

Sophia Chang is a screenwriter and author who is developing numerous TV properties, including a scripted series at FX, based on her Audible memoir “The Baddest Bitch In The Room.” Earlier this year, she was the subject of an episode of the Hulu series “Defining Moments.” Her memoir was released in print on 9/8/20. Sophia recently created Unlock Her Potential, a program that provides mentorship for women of color. Sophia Chang is the music business matriarchitect who managed Ol’ Dirty Bastard (RIP), RZA, GZA, D’Angelo, Raphael Saadiq, Q Tip, and A Tribe Called Quest as well as working with Paul Simon. She did marketing at Atlantic, A&R at Jive, A&R Admin at Universal, as well as serving as General Manager of RZA’s Razor Sharp Records, Cinematic Music Group, and Joey Bada$$’ Pro Era Records. She trained with and managed a Shaolin Monk, who became her partner and father of her children. She produced runway shows for Vivienne Tam and “Project Runway All Stars,” was an account executive at a digital agency, and did biz dev at a cannabis company.

  • Cultivate your confidence:

    Confidence is the key that has unlocked many doors for me, both personally and professionally. I believe there are steps we can all take towards growing our self-esteem and overcoming impostor syndrome. Whether you're a leader, manager, sales professional or simply someone who wants to personally grow and develop, this talk will equip you with some tools I've used to speak up in any situation or room that I've been in.
  • Don’t be afraid of your passion:

    How many of us are fortunate to do what we love for a living? I consider this a true privilege that shouldn't be taken for granted. We are all at our best when we are doing what truly drives us, but this doesn't happen overnight and without sacrifice. Most of us stay well within our comfort zones, but I believe that "nothing ventured, nothing gained." I have taken many risks in my life and though some don't result in what I'd hoped for, I don't regret that I took the chance. This is more than self-confidence in our talent and abilities it's about the belief that we can be even greater.
  • Her experience as the first Asian woman in hip hop:

    As the first Asian woman in hip hop, I was a minority within a minority within a minority. It wasn't easy to blaze this trail, but I did so fearlessly and with the support of the community who reassured me when I suffered impostor syndrome. Being the first to do anything comes with its difficulties, but the rewards are great, the most significant being opening the door for others.
  • Diversity, equity, and inclusion in the workplace:

    DEI programs that don't result in conversion are nothing more than a diversion. These efforts must be more than cosmetic and self-congratulatory. The works starts with an intersectional approach that interrogates how the systems have created an environment in which marginalized folx are not given the support to ascend and thrive.
  • Networking:

    Networking is a skill that can be learned. There are steps we can all take to make the most of our encounters, whether in formal or informal settings. So much of it comes down to timing and intrepidity. But before we even get into a room, there are things we can do to maximize our chances of flipping a meeting into opportunity.
  • Entrepreneurship

    Entrepreneurship is like a muscle. After working inside corporations, I decided to strike out on my own and can't imagine going back on the inside. At this point, I see money every day, with virtually every interaction. But it takes a specific constitution and mindset to be able to weather the uncertainty of being a hustler, but it affords me a freedom that I can't imagine giving up.
  • Mentoring and empowering women, women of color, and working mothers:

    Mentorship of women of color is one of my life's missions, thus unlockherpotential.org. I want to share why I think this is critical for everyone all around. We all understand that the system makes it harder for women to rise and thrive, but there are things organizations can do in order to create a workplace that is more welcoming of our talents and perspectives.
  • Dealing with microaggressions, privilege and allyship:

    The thing about privilege is that you not only don't have to deal with microaggressions, you might not even know what they are. I can proved countless examples of seemingly innocuous statements that signal me as other. Part of allying is listening, truly listening, and valuing everyone's stories and viewpoints.

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