- advertisement -
Posted under: Race & Identity

Conscious in the workplace: where do you fall on a scale from 1 to WOKE?

- advertisement -
Scenario 1: You’re a Project Manager and the sole person of color in management at your branch. You're constantly undermined in meetings, taking the brunt of criticism when things go wrong and excluded from the accolades when they go right. How do you respond? A) It’s been a tough quarter. Everyone is frustrated. They're just blowing off steam.  It’ll pass. B) Am I tripping? This definitely doesn’t feel right but no one else seems disturbed. I’m going to ask one of my colleagues what he thinks. C) This behavior is unacceptable. I’m going to address it and if it continues, I’ll have no choice but to report it to HR.
EditingAndLayout the office thanks thank you michael scott
EditingAndLayout the office thanks thank you michael scott
Scenario 2:  Minority recruitment is part of your organization's strategic direction to more accurately mirror the marketplace. You are a part of the interview team selected to hire new machine operators. You make sure to include qualified candidates from diverse backgrounds. During a team meeting, your branch manager expresses his irritation at having to interview candidates "just because they’re diverse." What is your response? A) What was I thinking? From now on I'll select resumes with no regard for diversity. B) Why is he irritated? Interviewing diverse candidates requires no extra work on his part. I'll pull back a little bit but I'm still going to slide the occasional diverse candidate into the interview docket. C) After I explain to him that all of the candidates, regardless of background, are qualified for the job, I will continue to filter diverse candidates into every interview rotation.
 
Scenario 3: Although you're the only African American in management at your branch, there are plenty people of color working in frontline roles. One of them vents to you that minorities on the production floor are disproportionately assigned to take on less desirable shifts and duties than their non-black colleagues. You take a quick look at the stats and the grievance appears to be legitimate — people of color overwhelming occupy the more menial roles on the graveyard shift. What do you do? A) Dismiss the complaint. Glad I don't work out there with those folks. B) That’s messed up. The next time there is an opportunity for folks on my team to bid on jobs, I'll be sure to give at least one minority an opportunity to advance. C) Let me take this data to my manager and ask what we can do to proactively resolve this issue.   Scenario 4: Okay, it's undeniable — the discrimination is real.  There are consistent disparities in this organization. As the sole African American on the management team, you resolve to: A) Work hard, stay focused and worry about myself. Not my problem. B)  I’ll do what I can, when I can without upsetting the status quo. It sucks but what more can I really do? C) I will take my documentation up the chain of command until something is done. If my organization doesn't resolve these issues willingly, I have no problem going to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
If you answered Mostly As — There's no room in your deck for the race card. If they (other people of color) want to get ahead, they should stop complaining, do their job and mind their business.
will smith crazy prince of bel air mind your business
will smith crazy prince of bel air mind your business
Photo: Giphy
If you answered Mostly Bs — 'Ish is foul but you're not here to change the system. Lowkey though...you’ll use your position to help others when possible.   If you answered Mostly C’s — You’re committed to standing up, speaking out, and seeking justice no matter the personal cost.
film by me selma tim roth ava duvernay
film by me selma tim roth ava duvernay
Photo: Giphy
We each have the right to choose for ourselves how to handle matters of race and discrimination in the workplace but it’s important to recognize that whether your approach is apathetic, moderate, or extreme — you ARE making a choice.

 

- advertisement -