Diversity in Media: The Emma Bowen Foundation

Valaencia Thompson

When you make a decision, make it with courage, and make it because that is what felt right in the moment. You don’t have to be one person the rest of your life! 

Interviewer: Valaencia Thompson, Creative Circle Houston Account Executive
Interviewee: Ramsay McCoy, Creative Circle Houston Recruiter

Creative Circle is committed to supporting individuals with their career journeys. For creatives, that journey can be winding, and the next best step is often unclear. For creatives of color, this journey can be even more intimidating due to lack of access.

Creative Circle is working to bridge the access gap. Within our organization, we have Employee Resource Groups that are centered around creating safe spaces for often underrepresented or marginalized individuals. One of those ERGs is the Black Women of Creative Circle.

The Black Women of Creative Circle ERG and our DEI Committee are leading the charge on a collaboration with the Emma Bowen Foundation in 2022. The Emma Bowen Foundation is an organization that recruits students of color and places them in multi-year paid internships at some of the nation’s leading media, PR, and tech companies. The organization makes it so that these students can enter their careers with valuable training and experience. The Emma Bowen Foundation creates true leaders, and one of our very own Circlers is a proud alumna of the Emma Bowen Foundation.

Houston Lead Recruiter, Ramsay McCoy is a former Emma Bowen Fellow. After her involvement with the organization, Ramsay landed roles with various PR/media companies and beyond, and eventually that brought her to her current position at Creative Circle.

Check out this Q&A with Ramsay McCoy on her experience as an EBF Fellow.

Valaencia Thompson: How did you become a part of the Emma Bowen Foundation?                  Ramsay McCoy: My mom found the Foundation for me when I was a freshman in college. I was looking for scholarship opportunities and internships when she stumbled upon EBF. We were excited because it was specifically for people of color. It matched with what my degree was in, which is PR. I was one of the youngest people in my program at the time. The Emma Bowen Foundation ended up giving me a summer internship every summer while I was in college. I was paid and I had a scholarship. I was able to buy my first car because of the EBF. It gave me some independence.

Thomspon: Why do you feel like organizations like EBF are needed?
 McCoy: I think that it is so hard for people of color in corporate America — especially women of color — because you are fighting with things like “if your name is spelled a different way,” you are often overlooked. This kind of bridges the gap and gives you an opportunity to be seen. You need organizations like this to give people opportunities to grow and learn.

Thomspon: What were some of your biggest takeaways being a part of the EBF?
 McCoy: The organization gave me some really great hands-on experience.
The companies that work with EBF, they are coming to them because they want top caliber talent. Being a part of the organization allowed me to grow my skills and have the talent that companies were looking for.

Thomspon: What do you hope this collaboration with EBF and Creative Circle accomplishes?
 McCoy: Creative Circle cares about their candidates and aligning them to opportunities that will serve them, and EBF does the same thing! I think it is important to connect organizations that are aligned. I want to see people from CC spread the word about EBF and see more people from EBF join the CC team. I want to see other recruiters that come from EBF, as well! Ultimately, I want to help make sure that this industry is open for all people.

Thomspon: What would you say to someone who is unsure of their career path?                McCoy: You’re always going to be unsure at every phase of your life. Decisions are hard because we want to know the answer. You’re always going to be wondering, “Am I making the right move?” When you make a decision, make it with courage, and make it because that is what felt right in the moment. You don’t have to be one person the rest of your life! Starting at EBF, I knew nothing, not even what my degree was going to be. So, I chose journalism and got a degree in PR, but I did not know that going into it. EBF taught me, but it’s because I took a shot. I was taking a chance! The good Lord blessed me. It’s important to pull up the people that are next in line. We have to pay it forward.