Today I am participating in a blog tour for author Audrey J. Snyder and her inspirational memoir:
Worth The Climb.
I got to ask Audrey ten questions about her life and her story.
For a review you can check out the previous stop on the blog tour:
over on The Meaning of Me.
To win a copy of the book:
First, let’s hear what this book is all about.
Raised by a grandmother who believed the only available professional jobs for a Black American women in the 1960’s were nursing and teaching. Audrey Snyder grew up feeling restricted in her own home. Audrey, however, had inherited the grit and determination of her great Cherokee grandmother, who had accomplished the impossible by traveling, unescorted over 1300 miles in a covered wagon filled with orphaned Cherokee children.
Worth the Climb tells Audrey’s remarkable story of struggle and success in corporate America. Leaving home at a young age, Audrey moved from secretary to prominent business success in the face of racism and discrimination.
Throughout her 40- year struggle, Audrey pushed away anger, bitterness, and despair, clinging instead to excellence, perseverance, and the need to open doors for Black Americans who would follow.
Worth the Climb is a must read for anyone looking to move forward in spite of pitfalls and disappointments.
K: Did you always think about or wish to write a book, or is this something more recent?
A: When I started writing this book, it was in the form of a Diary to my mother who died when I was four years old. I wanted her to know what I did with my life. I knew we would meet in the afterlife and I planned to give my diary to her. For years, I would write down my thoughts. One day I started reading my diary from start to finish and realized I was experiencing similar circumstances that many of my minority peers and friends had been talking about. Talking with my relatives and elders in the family, I learned about the struggles they had gone through. Realizing that things really hadn’t changed much for minorities. With the encouragement o family and friends, it was then that I decided I needed to tell my story. Others needed to know what was happening to minorities in the corporate environment.
K: What was the process of compiling all your memories for this book, physically writing it – what was that like for you?
A: When I first started writing, it was a pleasure to write because it was going to be a diary of my accomplishments. When I started the diary, I would come home each day and write what had happened that day. However, as I was writing, some of the obstacles I faced while trying to advance in the corporate world began to become daily struggles. What started out, as a happy daily occurrence was becoming a way to express my anger. At one point, I had to put the diary down because the anger was becoming overwhelming and I wasn’t sure at the time how to deal with it. When I started to have some small successes, I again picked up my diary and continued with the process of writing about my experiences. A friend recommended a book coach to help me get my diary into a manuscript format and ready for print. We worked for about a year meeting often to review and discuss situations making the book ready for publication.
K: You include inspirational quotes at the end of each of your chapters. I really enjoyed this part.
Which of these would you say is your favourite and why?
A: It is difficult to pick one but if I have to choose, it would be the quote by Les Brown. “Someone’s opinion of you does not have to become your reality. This quote is important to me because it gave me the freedom to set my own rules for success. I didn’t have to worry about those that tried to stop me. I only needed
prove I was qualified and capable for the position or status I was seeking. My success was not about what others thought of me, but of what I thought of myself and what I could achieve.
K: Which qualities did you make use of, going from your marriage to your career, and what lessons do you believe you feel you most transferred to your children throughout all those years?
A: This is an easy one to answer. It would be determination and perseverance. I refused to accept no. I was determined to have what I was entitled to. I set goals and tackled them one step at a time. My children have also shown their success in their adult lives by utilizing these two characteristics along with hard work. My son is an educator and has been awarded “Teacher of the Year” and my daughter has worked at a job with a disability that no one said she could do for 16 years now. Forty-four years of marriage required perseverance and determination for success.
K: Where do you think women, and more specifically women of colour, but really all minorities stand in the corporate world and then in society as a whole?
A: Women of color are still behind white men and white women in the corporate world. Women of color are often offered positions in secondary management roles. There are a few women of color that have been allowed to have the title of “Vice President”, but they are far and few. Most women of color are allowed to obtain higher positions in the areas of Human Resource or Training. In society, women of color are playing a more relevant role if you look at Congress and the role that women are playing as Mayors. Women also are very relevant in our elections. More women of color are on national networks than ever before. Women of color are also organizing and networking to make sure they are being heard.
K: What do you think other minority groups, such as people with disabilities, must do to be proactive in striving for more acceptance and rights that so many other black women fought for?
A: There are two things one must do to be proactive.
They are Education and Networking. I mentioned earlier
that my daughter has a disability. I learned all I could
about her disability and then all I could about her rights
as a disabled citizen. I used the Internet to find out who
I needed to talk with. I also networked with many groups
and organizations to learn how others handled their
experiences. I continually asked questions and when I
get answers, I don’t always accept them at face value.
Often times I need to research and continue to learn.
I make use of many social networks because many things
today are still about “Who you Know”. I find these groups
to be creative and encouraging.
K: Do you consider yourself an inspiration? Why or why not?
A: Yes, I do consider myself an inspiration. My entire career has
been to always reach back and bring someone up the corporate
ladder with me. I have mentored many employees in the
various positions that I’ve held. I currently teach as an
Adjunct Professor and with each class, I make sure to
always give encouraging advice to my students.
Whether at home or out with the public, I always make
sure that I am setting an example that others can follow
through my mannerisms, my speech or my actions.
K: Do you think any minority has the obligation to become an inspiration or do you even think its an appropriate title? Why or why not?
A: I don’t think the title “Inspiration” is the right title. I think we all have an obligation to set an example for others to follow. It
should not be limited to minorities. I believe everyone should be a living example. However, I do believe that since opportunities for minorities are limited, I think that when we do get opportunities, it is our responsibility to make the most of that opportunity so that other minorities can also have that same chance. What I heard most often and still hear today is “The last time I hired a minority, it didn’t work out so I don’t want to take a chance again.” That’s judging the entire race instead of the individual. You don’t hear that same claim when white employees don’t do well.
K: “Each one, teach one.”
This is a line from the book. What did that concept mean to you throughout your journey?
A: This phrase was and is vital to our success. When I say our, I mean anyone in a struggle to succeed. It is not limited to minorities but it came from the days of slaves when they were teaching each other to survive and to read. I believe as they believed that it is our responsibility to teach others what we learn and pass that on to those that come after us. We must reach out or reach back and touch someone in need of guidance, knowledge, encouragement, etc. We must pass on our experiences through deeds, actions, writing, etc. We must not get to the top without reaching back or reaching out and teaching someone else.
K: What do you hope people will take away from reading “Worth the Climb”?
A: The purpose of my book is to help that person who has been blocked from reaching the next step to their success. My book talks about some strategies that I used when blocked from reaching the next level on my ladder of success. It details the obstacles that blocked me and why I chose to go after the success I deserved. I want others to know that you can achieve your goals if you develop a strategy. I hope that some of my strategies can serve as an example for a resolution to a problem others might encounter. I want others to not let anger deter them. I want others to continue to persevere and stay determined and encouraged that they can achieve if they believe they can.
To purchase a copy of the book, go here:
For more information on Audrey, her books, her career, or to contact her you can check her out
on her website and on Twitter,
Audrey Jane Snyder is retired after working in the corporate environment for 40+ years in the fields of human resource management and customer service.
She has also been an independent consultant specializing in on-line web based training of interpersonal skills for first line managers.
Audrey holds a BA in Business Communications and a Masters in Training and Development. Audrey is a member of Western Pennsylvania Initiative, Greater Pittsburgh Area Communications and National Black Public Relations Society, Inc. and PennWriters Inc., The Pittsburgh East Writer’s Group.
Audrey has also served on the board of Family Resources, Inc. Audrey has spoken as an expert at Budget Financial Seminars and recently was Keynote Speaker on Courageous Leadership- Owning your Own Success at the National Black MBA Gala. Audrey is currently an Adjunct Professor at DeVry University.
Audrey was born and raised in the Pittsburgh, PA area lives with her husband of 44 years. She has two adult children and two grandchildren.
This is her first book which one finalist position at the Pittsburgh Author Zone Awards.
Thanks for this interview, Audrey, and good luck with the book and the rest of the tour.
Blog tour arranged by: