Sister You’ve Got This

This blog post is dedicated to all black and brown women who are the only person who looks like you in professional spaces. Whether you’re a CEO or starting out as an intern, I want you to know one thing: I see you…

I don’t have enough hands to count the number of times I walked into a room and got surprised, confused and confused looks, or I was just stared at because I definitely wouldn’t be the authority in that particular space. Not a young black woman who likes fashion and makeup.

Surely this black girl with the long box braids and the bright red AJ lipstick will not make a presentation that will educate me!

This is the answer I get at least once a week in my corporate work, whether from my colleagues or my clients, and honestly, it’s exhausting. These reactions to my presence occur in spaces that are supposed to be “taboo” for women and in particular for colors, so when I come to the site, it’s gone! The

Sometimes these actions are explicit, and sometimes they are masked by people who don’t give me eye contact, or they talk to everyone in the room except me. I’m not saying that all my professional experiences have gone this way, but many of them do.

The hardest part is not having a sounding board or a source of support from someone who has experienced this type of treatment from the point of view of a woman of color. Often I have to confide in my fiancee or my friends, who sometimes undergo the same treatment, because they are also the only black and brown women in their teams at work.

On days like these, I literally have to regain my strength, breathe and remember who I am. When you try to look at me, I command the game by speaking clearly, looking into your eyes and establishing the facts. People cannot discredit the truth, even if they make an effort!

The intention of this apparent rejection is to reduce us, but we must refuse to let ignorance diminish our value. We are in these spaces for a reason. We are very capable and qualified to do the job!

The next time you walk into a room full of people who don’t look like you, you will be encouraged to take up space – make your presence known! And on the days when you want to throw in the towel, remember that you are not alone. I will vois…Ma sister, you can do it!

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