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Meet & Greet: Krystal Lake, CEO of CBK (Cut By Krystal)

In this week’s Meet & Greet interview, CBK’s CEO and myGwork member Krystal Lake shares why she created a channel focusing on Black, LGBTQ+, women and mental health matters. The New York-born, London-based DJ, radio host, filmmaker and social influencer explains why organizations need to take homophobic remarks and labels seriously, and do more to promote LGBTQ+ inclusion. She also provides great insights into her ‘uplifting’ work and life hacks.


myGwork: Why did you start your social tech channel business?


Krystal: I started my social media channel because I wish I had this growing up. I teach "the stuff schools don't teach" on TikTok, YouTube and Snapchat and it's my way of educating people on important topics that are often missed in school. These topics are typically focused on Black, LGBTQ+ Women, and mental health subjects. 


myGwork: Have you always wanted to lead a company and why?


Krystal: Yes, because I felt like media was lacking the topics that I wanted to speak about. I knew that at my old jobs I wouldn't be allowed to focus on the topics that I personally want to bring into the media realm, so I knew I had to do it myself. 


myGwork: How would you describe your leadership style?


Krystal: Uplifting. Everyone has a skill that they are drawn to, or an interest that will lead them to enjoy their work. I want to help people find that and be there to give them the extra push they need to achieve their goals.


myGwork: What attributes do you look for when promoting/hiring employees leaders in your company?


Krystal: That they have the same vision and have aligned values. If I hire a mid-level worker that is interested in fighting for equality versus a senior-level worker who doesn't care, I know that mid-level worker will work much harder and outperform the senior worker who probably doesn't want to do this type of work in the first place.


myGwork: How do you successfully motivate your employees?


Krystal: I get them to focus on the end goal and remind them of the impact their work can make, all because of their creative skill.


myGwork: How important is LGBTQ+ inclusion in the workplace to you?


Krystal: Very important. I've felt uncomfortable at a few jobs because they didn't take homophobic remarks seriously, or  LGBTQ+ people seriously. No workplace should ever allow a worker to feel lesser or weird because of their sexual preference.


myGwork: Why do you think there are so few out leaders in the workplace, and what more can organizations do to ensure more leaders who identify with  LGBTQ+ are promoted into leadership roles?


Krystal: There are so many labels that get attached to what your sexual preference is. If you're a gay man you might get stuck with a "he's not tough or strong enough to lead a team." If you're a lesbian woman you might get stuck with a "she's aggressive" or "she hates men" label, and if you're bi you might get stuck with a "she wants to sleep with everyone in the office" label. People need to realise that sexual preference has nothing to do with the person you are, we are all humans. So many people are scared to be out at work because there's a huge chance that they might be sexualized and labelled. 


myGwork: In your opinion, how important are LGBTQ+ allies at work?


Krystal: Allies are so important. They are the ones that uplift minorities when they feel down, and defend them when they are attacked. A great ally might be the person that'll call for a meeting about educating the workplace on LGBTQ+ topics. They also might create a safe space for that LGBTQ+ worker.


myGwork: How are you personally promoting inclusion in the workplace? What more can organisations do to promote LGBTQ+ inclusion.


Krystal: I educate the world about LGBTQ+ topics and issues. I let people know there is nothing wrong with being a part of the rainbow mafia, and most importantly I teach people how to love themselves. My platform is a safe space and I let that be known to anyone whether they're LGBTQ+ or straight.


myGwork: What was the last book you read? Any interesting take-aways and would you recommend it to fellow leaders? 


Krystal: The Sun and Her Flowers by Rupi Kaur. It made me so proud to be a woman and so proud to know that there are so many other strong women out there that go through ups and downs. I know that those ups and downs are ok because it's what makes us who we are and there's a whole community that exists to uplift us. I would recommend it, it's a reminder that we don't have to be perfect all the time and we're allowed to feel feelings. A lot of times as a leader you might feel nervous to expose the imperfect parts of you, but that's what makes us unique and relatable.


myGwork: What's your all-time favorite movie/show – and how many times have you watched it?


Krystal: Insecure. I'm so addicted to that show. It focuses on being a Black woman in society, but it leaves out all those annoying stereotypes that many shows put on Black characters. I was able to relate and see myself in the characters of that show because of how authentic and natural the characters and situations are. I binge-watched the whole season in 3 days, help me.


myGwork: What's your most favorite holiday destination to date and why?


Krystal: Bali. It was so freeing. It was a reminder that the world is full of beautiful nature, people and moments. It was also a reminder to put away my phone and enjoy those moments. I felt so present and so grateful to be surrounded by so much positivity and beauty.


myGwork: What do you do to unwind? Which drink/cocktail helps you unwind most?


Krystal: I DJ or I watch Friends haha. I set aside some time where it's just my own time, this means no email notifications, no work-related tasks and no Instagram scrolling. I'm either DJing in my room, producing a song or watching Friends to get a good laugh in. I also love getting a brunch date in with my friends. Adding a few espresso martinis to the brunch is a life hack that I'll always cherish. 


You can find out more about Krystal and connect with her here.


Check out some of myGwork's other recent Meet & Greet interviews, including:

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