Which One of These is Not Like the Others?

As I sit in a meeting at work the seven people determined to be the “most important people” at my work site, I’m suddenly struck by the fact that these seven people make all the decisions for the health, safety, and career progression of nearly a thousand other people and there is not one ounce of diversity among them.  All white.  All between the ages of 40-55.  All male.  Shit, they all even have brown hair.  The only thought I can think is: How does a multi-billion dollar company get here?

Do women not work here?  No, that’s not true.  I’m here and I was, in fact, hired before two of the seven bros who are now in charge.  Are women and people of color not educated enough for these positions?  Again, false.  I’m more educated than 6 out of 7 of these guys. My company actually did a study last year and discovered that minorities are actually far more educated than their white male peers.  Are employees in minority groups just less motivated to go after promotions?  I don’t think so.  At least, not me.  I’ve applied, interviewed for, and been denied fourteen promotions in the past six years.  Thirteen times out of fourteen, a white middle-aged man got the job instead of me.  Why, you ask?  No clue really.  “Reasons” I’ve been provided:

  • “You lack the wow factor.” (By far, my favorite.)
  • “It would give you less time to spend with your kids.”
  • “You are far more qualified, but he gives me a better feeling.”
  • “You’re not super perky.”

Siiiiiigh…. I don’t know, guys.  The SAMENESS of it all just struck me during this meeting.  We live in a big, beautiful, diverse, amazing world.  How is none of that represented here…or anywhere important, really?  How have we allowed so much SAMENESS to run so many things when there is so much opportunity and insight to be gained from our differences?  Now, I’m bummed out.

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