Black women in the Workplace – Can you see me Trying

One of the issues I have with being a black woman in the business world is how I am seen, that is even in my opinion; if I am seen at all.

Why is it that I can be the most relied upon employee? Why is it that I can be the go to person for getting things done on time and to target; yet when the promotion opportunity comes I become invisible. Then, lets add some salt to the wound and expect me to train the inexperienced person who then gets the promotion instead of me; is this the new definition of being the “team player”.

In my one to one appraisal review I am asked, “what does success look like for you?” is this a joke? What does success look like for anyone? opportunity and promotion; fair bonus and pay rise!

WHY SHOULD SUCCESS FOR ME LOOK LIKE SOMETHING ELSE!

I want the same things you do, to provide for my family; to pay / afford to have a mortgage and to have a good holiday each year without being in debt etc.

I want to help my children to go to university should they want to do so, not have limitations set where certain things are not even to be considered.

So, coming back to being a black woman in the workforce. Why should I have to face a double dip by being black & ambitious; and being female. Or a triple dip by being black, female and taking my faith seriously.

I have to be two and three times as good just to stand still; never mind to try and compete.

Do you not understand that my values and beliefs mean that I must offer you as my employer 100% effort at all times? What an added bonus especially in this economic climate.

Then we come to those of us that manage to progress professionally despite the blockages and become senior managers or make it to the board room. It feels like we have had to be 007 and creep up the back stairs to get here!

But now the spotlight is on us. We are told to give back, to be the role models for those still trying to get there.  The term “Give Back” sounds like a recommendation for sharing what we were given and in the way it was given:- does that mean we should give back what was never given – ie the lack of support or the conveniently defined reasons for failing at interview? Or is this this how we demonstrate creeping up the back stairs?

Why aren’t you asking me how to make the walk easier for the black women leaders of the future? Why aren’t you asking me to look forward and contribute to change?

Even now – Cant you see me Crying?

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