Have the courage to say what you feel and what you mean. Have the courage to rise up to the occasion to do the right thing, say the truthful thing and have the courage to admit mistakes. We are so lucky to be experiencing the climate of change in support of respecting, hearing and believing women. A few women of courage spoke out, others heard them and created a movement across the country.
As a woman of color, when I started working in corporate offices in the 1980s, I was to be seen and not heard. I was a “token”, and tokens were to be thankful to have been selected for the job. Tokens were not in place to “rock the boat”. Of course, I did not know that I was a token so many times not only did I “rock the boat”, I tipped the boat over! Women of color in the corporate world have tried to speak out for years but they were ignored, or simply their issues were not addressed at all. These women were described by the good old boys as being aggressive, intimidating women that upset the dynamics of the workplace.
Over the years a change has come, but it’s just a start, more change is needed. Women of color in non-executive corporate positions need to have a safe place to go to express their particular work concerns without fear of losing their jobs. They must be heard. Large established corporations have so much power and control. The female workforce, particularly women of color, feel powerless to speak out. This is a form of abuse! Just like awareness of the pervasiveness of sexual abuse, sexual harassment, and abuse in general in America against women has been raised to a higher height, corporate abuse against women of color needs to be addressed to a greater extent too. Oh, the abuse these days is not overt, however, when you are the survivor of corporate abuse, you’ve felt the whip of their power and control no matter how well hidden it was.
Have the courage to speak out women of color who are executives. Be a leader, a voice for women of color who may feel that they have no voice. Fight for women’s rights in your organization, equal pay, etc. Rise-up, be an Oprah, the time-is-up on bad behavior! “There’s a climate for change” right now! If you are not heard where you are or feel it not safe to speak out, have the guts to go to an organization where you can be heard. There are many companies in this decade that have worked hard to create an atmosphere or culture that cater to all women in their workforce being heard, this is empowering. Salesforce.com and Genentech are two such organizations in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Always be prepared, determined and at your best every day, in every way and at every age.
Be bold and bloom. SuperSelf with Zalise.
Great commentary Zee; as usual, you never cease to amaze…
Thank you Ron for all of your support! Zalise