📚 STORY TIME 📚
Earlier this year, I interviewed for a job at a well-known, growing company. During the conversation, I mentioned how important diversity and inclusion work had become to me over the past several years. I was candid about my experiences in the workplace as a queer person and shared my own journey of becoming anti-racist and the struggle I faced years prior when I began confronting my own privilege. As I was discussing what I would want to do next to expand upon the past work I’ve done in the space, the interviewer stopped me and said:
“I just want to let you know that we have decided not to respond to Black Lives Matter or other political movements as a leadership team. As a company, we have not made any public commitments to diversity and inclusion and instead are focused internally on the topic. I wanted to let you know this, candidly, since it seems important to you. I wouldn’t want you to come in and think you could do all the things you have mentioned.”
The conversation stunned me. I don’t even remember what I said in response, because I was ready to get off the call as quickly as possible. I knew in that moment the job wasn’t for me, but I didn’t say anything of substance back. I remember wanting to respond intelligently. I remember wanting to dismantle their approach. I remember wanting to make it to the next round solely to speak to the CEO and confront them on the topic. Of course, I didn’t. I was told the next day that it wasn’t a fit… wonder why.
I share this not only to showcase that companies like this still exist and thrive (financially) in our society but also own up to my regret on not speaking up in the moment. I wish I had owned my values and respected my worth more than I did that day. I wish I had stood my ground and ended the call there. I wish I had done more.
Note to self: Don’t ever compromise your values, fundamental beliefs or worth for anything, especially not a corporation.