#StopAskingPermission: The price tag of being the corporate token
This year I had the opportunity to attend my alma mater's homecoming festivities (shout out to TSU). Homecoming for me is like a family reunion. From pep rally to the tailgate, you’re surrounded by people with a common bond. While catching up with my cousins, I realized that they and many of my fellow classmates no longer played a role in Corporate America. I listened as they told stories of their new ventures that allowed them to follow their passion and really do something great within the community
I have said it before and I will say it again. It is hard being a woman in America, but it is even harder being a black woman in America. We are often overlooked, underpaid, and overused by companies we work for. Unfortunately, many of us also know all too well about tokenism. So what is tokenism? It's the practice of making only a perfunctory or symbolic effort to be inclusive to members of minority groups, especially by recruiting a small number of people from the underrepresented groups in order to give the appearance of racial or sexual equality within a workforce. Most companies participate in these practices in order to prove they do not discriminate despite personal accounts by former employees proving the contrary
Like what you're reading?
Get more in your inbox.
If you’re questioning whether you’re the corporate token, ask yourself these questions: Are you at a predominantly white organization/company? Are you the only person of color? Are you looked at as being the expert on all things black people? Are you seen as the “diversity” component of your organization? Are you the face of the organization/company when they want to engage in race based issues?
If your answer is "yes" to more than one of these questions, welcome to the token family.
Why We Can't Cait