Thursday, May 23, 2013
The Color Complex (Office Edition)
Today I would like to talk about the office dynamic for women of color: Foreign color or otherwise. Its laughable the additional stress we encounter.. the sheer expectation of incompetency, although we come ready with education and social skills. We encounter the expectations from not only our management, but from other women of color as well. We intimidate management to the point, that they pick, prod and threaten to provoke us..... It is frustrating, but I just want to share with women that are experiencing this unfortunate occurrence, you are not alone. Now make no mistake, there are women or color that truly embody the definition of unsophisticated, hood or ghetto in the office. They handle situations with authority or with coworkers immaturely, and have attitude to boot. However, this post is not about them... this is about the classy professional women, who clearly set themselves apart from those types of stereotypes, yet get grouped with the others girls.... I believe this is due to a lack of discretion or even attention to detail. Amongst other women of color, it is obvious who is who.... we can call out a hood girl, bourgeois girl, foreign girl, oreo (uncle tom) girl, or holy roller (extremely religious person), in a moment. Why is it in the office, they too can not notice the difference. In my specific case, it has been noted on various jobs by different people, a different level of treatment and attention is paid to me, over some others that break rules and challenge management. The foundation for this type of treatment really stems from the curiosity they have for you... They want to see you tick, so they attempt to push your buttons... I would encourage any woman going through this phenom to make your self friendly.... to bridge the gap.... Once they learn that you are indeed human with your own set of issues, perhaps it can lessen the need to push your buttons. In my specific case, i have fused together the team in my department, making friends out of coworkers which makes the environment so much better for all of us. I also recommend if you are at odds with your supervisor, it is more than likely due to intimidation.. Perhaps your management sees your potential and feels that you may take their spot. Alleviate their stress by acknowledging, not challenging them. challenging them could end in you losing your job, even if you are not wrong... because they may set you up.. or nit pick your every move.... Most importantly, just know that there are others working through these problems.