Ebony KarimBorn in Colorado and raised primarily in Michigan, Ebony comes from a strong, close-knit family that encouraged her to be educated, assertive and to operate in excellence.

The spirit of ambition was instilled from birth as her (paternal) family was among the first African-American families to settle and establish land ownership after being freed from slavery.

Knowing that education would be critical to her success, she relocated to earn a Master’s degree in Business Management from the University of Maryland University College, followed by earning certificates from the prestigious Wharton School of Business.

In 2013, she launched the first imprint under the Embarkus umbrella, Embarkus Solutions—a federal IT consulting firm headquartered in Chantilly, Virginia. Through this business she provides public and private sector clients with high-end, full-service professional consulting. With 20+ years of experience, the firm effectively strategizes scalable solutions to enhance organizational infrastructure. Her professional success led her to author her first eBook in 2021, So You Want To Be A Federal Contractor? Her best-selling book gives step-by-step instructions on how to become a successful government contractor.

In September, 2019 Ebony’s passion for health and wellness emerged as she founded the Embarkus Wellness Program. The company is a full-service concierge nutrition and wellness company; specializing in maximizing individual’s elite functions by focusing on total human performance.

Aside from her professional achievements and personal accomplishments, she prioritizes quality time for her 4 children—who have always been her greatest motivation. In her downtime, she enjoys reading, traveling, mentoring, and volunteering.

Tell us a bit about yourself, background and your current role

I am the founder and CEO of Embarkus Solutions, a small boutique IT consulting firm based in the Washington, D.C. area. I am originally from the Midwest. I attended Chicago State University where I majored in Pre-Medicine with a discipline in Biology. I married my college sweetheart and have four (4) children. I’ve also completed some post-graduate work in Business Administration, Marketing and Contracts Management. I have worked in the Public Sector (Fed Gov’t) since the early 2000’s. My areas of expertise are in Program Management, Acquisitions and Contracts Management. I provide direct client support to the federal government and assist and coach small business owners with selling their products and services to the Government.

For the last 4 years, I have partnered with Bowie State University through The Maryland Center. We provide STEM education and services to under-served schools within Prince George’s County, MD. I am also the author of my first book “So You Want To Be A Federal Contractor” available at Barnes & Noble and Amazon.

I am currently working on a HBCU Speaking tour in Georgia and Florida slated for mid-January 2022.

Did you ever sit down and plan your career?

As a child, I had plans on becoming a doctor, specifically a Pediatric Oncologist. But those plans quickly changed after I became married and started having children. I had to navigate my childhood dreams and found myself in the Information Technology space.

Ebony Karim

Have you faced any career challenges along the way and how did you overcome these?

Yes, I have faced many challenges in my career early on. As someone with a scientific background, navigating the IT space within the Federal Government was a challenge. I had to quickly learn how to pivot and acclimate myself with this new environment. I was afforded the opportunity to partner with a senior manager at my first consulting job and was mentored in the field. I also made sure I connected and networked with the right individuals in order to foster my career goals.

What has been your biggest career achievement to date?

My biggest accomplishment to date is definitely starting my consulting firm back in 2013. Then in 2019, I started my non-profit, The Embarkus Project, which provides STEM education to under-served communities.

What one thing do you believe has been a major factor in you achieving success?

One thing that I can contribute to the success in my career field is persistence. My persistence in learning my profession and aligning myself with the right people.

What top tips would you give to an individual who is trying to excel in their career in technology?

My top tips would be to first decide what areas of IT you excel in, what areas are you passionate about then learn as much as you can. Take some online courses, attend a seminar, workshop or webinar. Become a member of some local networking groups and ask lots of questions. Never be afraid to take risks and think outside the box. Be a trendsetter, an innovator. There’s no one else in the world like you…

Do you believe there are still barriers for success for women working in tech, if so, how can these barriers be overcome?

The technology field still seems to be oversaturated with Caucasian males. There’s still stereotypes of the role women play in the IT world. Diversity and Inclusion is imperative to lessen the gap between women and men in the technology field.

What do you think companies can do to support and progress the careers of women working in technology?

Provide more Diversity and Inclusion opportunities.

There are currently only 17 per cent of women working in tech, if you could wave a magic wand, what is the one thing you would do to accelerate the pace of change for women in the industry?

Provide resources for young girls and women to gain interest in the field.

What resources do you recommend for women working in tech?

Networking groups, your local chamber of commerce, seminars and workshops.