Taneshya Williams
Taneshya Williams

An advocate for women both personally and professionally, Taneshya Williams manages Pennsylvania Women Work’s unique 3 Cups of Coffee program, which matches job-ready women with volunteer mentors. Originally from St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands, Taneshya lives in East Liberty with her husband, Rome, their two sons, Caden, 10, and Mason, 7, along with their dog.

What upcoming events are you excited to attend?

Every fall, we like to go to a pumpkin patch. We try a new one every year. This year, we’re going to check out Trax Farms! My two boys like to compete to see who can find the biggest pumpkin, and we always enjoy a hayride.

Aside from that, my oldest son has been begging us to go to Kennywood’s Fright Night, but I’m still debating as to whether or not I can handle that!

Taneshya Williams
Taneshya Williams meeting with employers and job seekers at Pittsburgh Business Times’ Mentoring Monday event.
Taneshya Williams meeting with employers and job seekers at Pittsburgh Business Times’ Mentoring Monday event.

What is the best part of your job?

As the program manager for PA Women Work’s 3 Cups of Coffee program, I have the incredible pleasure of meeting many local women who inspire me. I get to witness powerful relationships being formed through the program. It’s a great feeling when through these mentoring relationships, a woman can find her dream job that helps to change the course of her life.

On top of that, there’s always something new and exciting going on at PA Women Work. We just launched an extension of our 3 Cups of Coffee program in partnership with CCAC called 3 Cups of Coffee GRAD. We’re working with alumni and students preparing for graduation to open doors to networking and employment opportunities, so they can find success in the workplace after earning their degree.

What is your big idea for Pittsburgh?

At PA Women Work, the women who come through our door are often unemployed or underemployed. Many times, all it takes for someone to achieve their goals and lift themselves out of a tough situation is encouragement and guidance.

My big idea for Pittsburgh is to see more women taking the initiative to support each other. When women join together, we can make an incredible impact on ourselves and our community.

Podcast you’re addicted to?

Right now, I’m obsessed with Therapy for Black Girls. A new one comes out weekly, and I’m hooked.

What’s been bugging you lately?

There is just never enough time in the day. It sounds cliché, but as a working mom with two rambunctious boys, I often find myself wishing for an eighth day of the week.

Taneshya Williams
Taneshya Williams with her family at Kennywood.

Ideal date night in Pittsburgh?

In the summertime, we love to find a new place for a good meal and cocktail and check out the Music in the Park series. And I’ll admit, our guilty pleasure is going to Painting with a Twist classes. We always have a good laugh, and we have fun displaying our creations at home.

Write three words to describe Pittsburgh:

Steelers. Growing. Friendly. (I’d say champions, but the Steelers aren’t looking like champions just yet. Here’s hoping!)

What is the one thing that would surprise Pittsburghers most about you?

I was born in the Caribbean, but I can’t swim. I went to the beach all the time, so I have no excuse. I’m still holding out hope that one day I’ll learn!

It’s time to unwind. Where do you head?

Is there a beach? Then I’m there. But if I’m in Pittsburgh, you’ll find me curled up on my couch with a glass of wine and a good book.

Favorite place you’ve traveled to in the past year and why?

We went to Orlando, Florida, and visited Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure. We were all so excited to go. My boys loved Harry Potter World, and seeing their excitement about being there honestly made the trip for my husband and me.

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Jennifer BaronArts & Entertainment / Jobs Editor

Jennifer has worked at the Mattress Factory, Brooklyn Museum of Art and Dahesh Museum of Art and is co-author of Pittsburgh Signs Project: 250 Signs of Western Pennsylvania. She also is co-coordinator of Handmade Arcade. Musically, she is in a band called The Garment District and is a founding member of Brooklyn's The Ladybug Transistor.