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Hidden racism in the workplace

 
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zsazsa View Drop Down
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    Posted: Mar 06 2014 at 1:38pm
I think you will know what I am taking about.

A black colleague is furious after being passed over a promotion. Again. Now I don't work with the lady in question closely but she is someone who is well known in the organisation as being brilliant. But in her words, she has been passed over promotions, high value projects etc over her younger white peers. I advised her to complain to HR and she replied how? How are you to complain when the organisation preaches inclusion and diversity until the cows come home and there is no way of proving that her race has held her back.

She asked me to really think about it as tbh I haven't really before and she's right. Plenty of black folk incl myself in middle management but whole board is yt. Male and female. You look a bit longer and you realise that most admins/ pa type of support work in the org are mostly black women. Older women who should have advanced in their career. You look even further, and allll the cleaners are foreign. This is a government organisation but it no more unique in its make up than other businesses. They're essentially all the same.

It has made me mad as she's right. How do you fight institutional racism when it's not in your face? everyone is jolly and hehe with you but you can't or don't progress?

All our interns are yt from the best universities.

I'm off tangent but its that old saying that hat blatant racism is better to deal with than this.


I would honestly say it's the best place to work - I like it but she's had me questioning everything today.

The whole board is yt. Not even one token Indian. Nadda. Zilch.

I know I would never reach to top top level as I have no desire nor the stamina. But for those blk men and women who want to reach the very top...even hard graft can't get you there. It's fu cking depressing.
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JoliePoufiasse View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (3) Thanks(3)   Quote JoliePoufiasse Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Mar 06 2014 at 1:46pm
Living in Canada, I understand what you're saying. It's particularly insidious and hard to fight the right arguments to validate your position because they act like they are all so inclusive, unlike the U.S., which is bullshyt of course. You have more tools to fight racism when it's blatant.
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SamoneLenior View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (3) Thanks(3)   Quote SamoneLenior Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Mar 06 2014 at 1:47pm

I was about to say I can look at my pay and that sh*t is no longer hidden lol
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Katrenia View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (2) Thanks(2)   Quote Katrenia Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Mar 06 2014 at 1:47pm
I feel and share the pain.
With an entire yt board they are not hiding, at the top the feeling is "Who gone Check Us"
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kfoxx1998 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (6) Thanks(6)   Quote kfoxx1998 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Mar 06 2014 at 1:51pm
Sigh.

I consider myself fortunate that being black has been an asset for me in this career path but I never forgot all of the doors that are closed to most.  It seems when a company is always preaching diversity it means they will be on a 50-year strive and never quite get there.  They might deviate every 15yrs and promote a black person but 97% of our work-force across the nation is yt.  That other 3% work in entry level positions.  There are only two black women who are at this level and none in the "queue".   The other diversity issue is I'm in a male dominated industry.  They feel really good about themselves when they hire a female manager of any race.  Guess which color one they hire most often?

ETA:  Actually I'm the ONLY one at the executive level.  The other person I'm thinking of is an IT support personOuch


Edited by kfoxx1998 - Mar 06 2014 at 1:53pm
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PurplePhase View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (5) Thanks(5)   Quote PurplePhase Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Mar 06 2014 at 1:53pm
this is why I so enjoyed working for a black owned company.  So many other factors (playing politics) in the workplace, that it was a relief to not have to worry about that one for a while.

eta: sexism was still alive and well there though LOL
even though the company was owned by a woman.


Edited by PurplePhase - Mar 06 2014 at 2:44pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote PurplePhase Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Mar 06 2014 at 1:56pm
Originally posted by kfoxx1998 kfoxx1998 wrote:

Sigh.

I consider myself fortunate that being black has been an asset for me in this career path but I never forgot all of the doors that are closed to most.  It seems when a company is always preaching diversity it means they will be on a 50-year strive and never quite get there.  They might deviate every 15yrs and promote a black person but 97% of our work-force across the nation is yt.  That other 3% work in entry level positions.  There are only two black women who are at this level and none in the "queue".   The other diversity issue is I'm in a male dominated industry.  They feel really good about themselves when they hire a female manager of any race.  Guess which color one they hire most often?

ETA:  Actually I'm the ONLY one at the executive level.  The other person I'm thinking of is an IT support personOuch

LOL
 our IT director was Black too (hub)
 




Edited by PurplePhase - Mar 06 2014 at 1:56pm
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BeatriceBean View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (12) Thanks(12)   Quote BeatriceBean Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Mar 06 2014 at 2:40pm

I agree with her, but I think that as Black people, and as Black women, we have to understand how to navigate the corporate world and work these potential disadvantages in our favor. So many of us adhere to that "nose-to-the-grindstone" mentality and believe that our work should carry us to where we want to be. Unfortunately, we have to do things differently.

 
Performance is only one aspect of advancement. Image, influence and exposure are other key factors, and I find that most of us do not focus on these factors. White men, and women, depending on the field, can have subpar performance but they make sure that they are exposed to the right people, build the right connections and project the image that they want to portray. Our performance has to be top tier, our image has to be top tier, we have to be a part of the right spheres of influence, and we have to be exposed to the right people.
 
I understand the need to voice our concerns to make those changes. I think that when mentoring our young professionals we have to let them know that performance and intelligence don't drive our success. Too many of us have missed out in a big way because that was overemphasized and we carried it throughout our entire careers.


Edited by BeatriceBean - Mar 06 2014 at 2:42pm
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BeatriceBean View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (5) Thanks(5)   Quote BeatriceBean Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Mar 06 2014 at 2:51pm
And we also have to know when a job on a career path has expired. Women especially settle in even when our best efforts aren't valued. I feel bad for your colleague because a brilliant woman should never let herself age at a position where she's not advancing. We always have to maintain options.
After the first time that she was passed over, she should have asked the hiring managers what she can do to achieve a similar position when it becomes available. After the second oversight she should have left.
 
It's so important to have in-house mentors and executive advisors. It's also important to have industry mentors for those moments when we have to make the tough decisions to leave.
 
BTW, do you know what her performance reviews looked like?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote SamoneLenior Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Mar 06 2014 at 2:55pm

I need a mentor
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