Conversations that need to be had.
How many times in one work day do you go to the bathroom to reaffirm that your job is worth it?
That you are there because you deserve to be?
That you've earned it?
That you're worthy.
How many times have you felt invisible?
How many times have you been overlooked for a promotion?
How often do you recite the phrase "You have to be twice as good to get half what they have" to yourself to get through the work day?
Because you do.
As a black woman in corporate, you do. You need to work twice, maybe four times as hard to get the recognition you deserve because you have double the fight.
Do we discuss these issues enough? Do we speak about racism and sexism in corporate and how much it affects us on a daily basis? what it does to our mental health, our work ethic, our morale.
What are we afraid of?
For how long?
How often are meetings addressed in Afrikaans despite you making your inability to speak or understand the language known?
Many of us consider this trivial, but think about what it does.
It excludes you completely.
Any important decision made and/or communicated goes unheard by you. Whatever contribution you could have made, the questions you could have asked, do they not matter?
Is your voice not important?
Are you not of equal value?
It makes you invisible. Who do you think will be considered should a promotion come up? The quieter than a mouse black girl with little to no contribution during meetings?
Do you wonder why women are sometimes asked whether or not they have intentions of starting a family during job interviews? do you wonder why employers need that information? Do you reckon men get that same question?
Why is it you and never Mathew who is asked to get coffee during brainstorming sessions?
Think about the people in leadership roles. Be it in your company or elsewhere.
How many are women?
How many are black?
Speak to them, if you can, or read about their journeys.
How long did it take them? How much harder did they have to work? How many more qualifications do they have?
What do they all have in common?
"Twice as good, to get half what they have."