Cynthia Pong, JD

Feminist Career & Negotiation Coach

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I am an NYU-trained ex-lawyer whose passion is helping women of color realize their ambitious career goals. I especially love supporting mid-career women of color professionals who are pursuing unconventional paths. I offer a range of services – private one-on-one career coaching, group workshops, and free resources including a monthly newsletter, The Trajectory – to support women of color in their work and personal lives.

I work hard to strategize with my clients to ensure that they reach their professional goals. The coaching and workshops I provide focus on empowering my clients in their careers, sharpening their negotiation skills, and building their leadership or business acumen.

I do what I do because I am profoundly aware of the marginalization of women and women of color – and the resultant disparities in pay, power, and respect – in the professional world. This is why I am on a personal mission to use all of my skills and training to change our current reality.

My social justice background deeply influences the ways in which I support my clients in their quest for self-fulfillment and improved wellness. Being a public defender taught me how to ask the right questions to get to the bottom of something and reinforced my zeal for supporting people through times of great difficulty. I counseled thousands of clients and helped them move forward through the worst experience of their lives. My experience with restorative justice showed me the value of deep listening with the goal of truly understanding another person.

The areas I specialize in include:

  • Business Development Coaching for Entrepreneurs

  • Negotiation Coaching and Strategy

  • Career Change Support and Coaching

  • Job Interview Preparation and Evaluation

  • Professional Development Workshops and Coaching

The clients I work with aim to reach their full potential in their careers, whether they are lawyers, doctors, entrepreneurs, consultants, public health workers, journalists, filmmakers, academics, social justice activists, artists, or social workers.

If you're ready to disrupt the status quo and get more of your career —


Prior to founding Embrace Change, Cynthia was a public defender in the Bronx for six years, carrying a caseload of 100 to 120 criminal cases at a time. She fought tirelessly for her clients' liberty and rights; all her felony trials resulted in acquittals. Prior to working as a public defender, Cynthia clerked for Justice James E. Graves on the Mississippi Supreme Court. She earned her law degree from NYU School of Law (graduating cum laude) and her Bachelor of Arts from Brown University in Ethnic Studies (graduating magna cum laude).


Embrace Change Coaching Code

I believe in actively supporting clients in ways tailored to each client so that they see and experience concrete results and benefits from the coaching relationship. 

I will maintain the strictest level of confidentiality with all client information within the coaching relationship unless release is required by law. Clients may, and are encouraged to, take notes during coaching sessions for their own benefit. 

I will ethically speak what I know to be true to clients, current or prospective, about coaching, about me as a coach, and throughout the coaching relationship. 

I will regularly seek out candid feedback from clients to ensure that they continue to receive value and benefit from the coaching relationship.

I respect the client’s right to conclude the coaching relationship at any point during the coaching relationship, subject to the terms of the coaching agreement. I will remain attuned to indications of a shift in value from the coaching relationship, initiate appropriate conversations with clients, and promptly make necessary changes.

I will only enter into coaching arrangements with clients who are a good match for me. I will not enter into a coaching arrangement if I feel the client will not be served by working with me.

Coaching Standards of Quality and Coaching Code available in its entirety here.