The Harsh Reality of Being a Black Woman in The Workplace

I am a Phenomenal Black Women working in a Challenging White America. In spite of what others may think, we are the superior race, the strength it takes when you’re looked over time and time again is truly amazing. I’ve worked to improve my skillset and bring it all to the table wherever I am. The challenges I face on a daily basis can be trying at most, the constant fear of having to prove myself is not a factor for most.

Over the years I’ve worked for a very reputable company in Wall Street, he needed a token to complete his staff, treated me like a piece of gum that was stuck under his best worn shoes. I tolerated him for about eleven months, and he never acknowledged or respected me. I was attacked daily and when he took a day off, he made sure his favorites took over.  I eventually filed a lawsuit with the Labor board and won. Instead of getting a lump sum, I requested a check every week for an entire year, just so he’ll understand the ramifications of his actions. How is it okay to overlook blacks in the workplace?

In spite of it All, I thought I was prepared for the next phase of my life. I see now that absolutely nothing has changed, well not true, now it’s become BLATANTLY acceptable to be racists/prejudice no excuses needed. I find myself racially and ethnically overpowered by the ones that seek to keep me below poverty level. I should never be making a decent salary; I should never have Finer things in Life., and as society would have it, I should only have a GED education and I should be making less than my white counterparts without a degree. It’s become the norm to overlook hard work, while others are praised just for showing up. I’m at that point where taking cigarette breaks all day should be the only acceptable break that matters, unfortunately, I DON’T smoke. 

As a Black woman in the workplace, you’re almost in fear of saying what’s on your mind, or you’ll be labeled as the angry black woman, you keep your head down and maybe you’ll get to keep your job. A Black Woman working in a predominantly White run Corporation seems like a disaster for failure. The dedication, honesty and trustworthiness unfortunately is not something of value anymore. Working while black use to mean just that “Black man working” now it means you’re pretty much invaluable and unappreciated, you work more hours than most, get paid less than most and be the last one to leave every day, Getting promoted will only mean you get to supervise another black person if there’s any left 

I’ll tell you what, just be content with being employed, don’t react when you’re talked down to, be the token that you are and maybe, just maybe you’ll get that raise you were promised four years ago, don’t ask for anything that will make them uncomfortable or ruffle feathers, just be quiet and be thankful. I have news for you all, I will no longer shrink to be Digestible, you can CHOKE.

It is partly because of your incompetence that I remain Gainfully Employed. My God assured me,

“There is No good thing He will Withhold from those who walk in integrity Trust Him”

The Privilege and Entitlement has always been real, it’s now officially acceptable. What I do know is that my God is a True and Just God, He will not leave me nor forsake me, he sees and hears it all, and though He might not come when you need Him, He is always right on time, so I will look towards the hills from where my help comes from and I will wait on Him, because to whom much is given much is required!

My Mom always said to me, “Stephanie, you will have to work ten times harder because of your brown skin, don’t think for a second that because you’re beautiful and intelligent, you’ll be treated with respect, or as your white counterpart” In that moment I realized that being a Black woman comes with Courage and  Integrity, she is someone to be proud of, someone to be admired, she’s endured so much but she’s had ENOUGH of the disrespect and shame that comes with it. The next time you want to make a Black Woman feel insignificant, devalued, and unappreciated, ask yourself,

“how would I feel if this happened to someone I cared about?”

The next time you’re told you need to soften up in order to make others feel comfortable, or get a pat on the back and told you’re appreciated as if somehow that translates into a rent check, or better yet, everyone recognizes the hard work you do and the changes you’ve made, the change that somehow derived from the atmosphere created by the system that seeks to continually undermine, overlook and disrespect your integrity and intelligence, or maybe told that you’re just not good enough, you let them know, that not only are you Good Enough, you are More than Enough.  Now smile, keep your head up and keep it moving, the Phenomenal Black Woman you are!

CEO ~ Steph

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