Inequality exists and Donald Trump is running in a race for the highest office in the United States of America. Is it just me or is this still unbelievable to everyone else who did not vote for this guy or see this coming? Sadly, other people voted for him to get this far. We know where he stands on issues or do we? We know he has proposed a wall of some sort, obviously, inequality is far from one of those issues that he is concerned about changing.
Women are concerned about inequality. I am concerned about inequality, especially, at work. Inequality has just been a part of my life story for as far back as when I was an army brat growing up in communities with kids who did not look like me to now as a black woman, who is also plus sized, mostly working in male and/or non-black dominated industries. A triple threat of targeted inequalities happening here but I am surviving. I am thriving! I have had to learn how to trump inequality at work. I have worked with corporations, non-profits, schools, as well as good ole churches and inequality exists. It is not always blatant and I am not always quiet about it. Leadership and executives would likely excuse the behavior to be in the name of just doing business, for the good of the organization, or even worse, in the name of Jesus; if we are talking about the good ole church. I have a responsibility to use my experiences, both positive and negative, to help other women trump inequality at work. A woman doesn’t have to be the stereotypical version of her characteristics to be victimized by inequality. She can be strong or submissive, thin or big, have lighter skin or darker skin, educated or undereducated, and experience a myriad of issues related to inequality in various industries. I hope to offer a light of encouragement beyond the cloud of inequality with simple affirmations and lessons that help me as I work, live, and learn.
To trump inequality at work:
- Love yourself
- Know your worth
- Demand respect (they don’t have to like you but they do have to respect you)
- Live consistently in your truth (this will come in handy when lies are prevalent)
- Don’t take additional projects just to be impressive or for recognition or “hoping” to get a raise
- Take projects to do your job and to do it well even if you are not recognized (they may never say thank you)
- Only hope to get a raise when documentation is involved
- Do the job you are being paid to do
- Help when you can
- Be clear on the difference between working (paid) and volunteering (unpaid)
- Don’t volunteer more than you work at the expense of your living, finances, family, sanity, or free time
- “I wish I could pay you what you’re worth” is an excuse not to pay you what you’re worth
- Gain clarity
- Know the expectations
- Leadership or management may never care or congratulate you. Be okay with that.
- Celebrate yourself
- List your accomplishments and share with those you love. Those who care.
- Decide on what you will do and what you will not do. Stick to that.
- Don’t let anyone make decisions for you
- Be grateful for the truth of “No”
- You are better than a fallacy of “Yes”
- Don’t take less just because it is being offered
- Don’t expect more just because you need it
- Don’t change to make others comfortable
- Get what you need, until you get what you need
- Do your job until you are ready for the next
- Learn even in unfair environments
- Know when it is time to leave
- Be wise
- Be bold
- You are always your own boss (you make your choices in life)
- Don’t let a title or position define you (this can crush you)
- Be true to who you are before and beyond titles
- All conversations are “on the record”
- Documentation with signatures are final (a conversation does not seal the deal)
- Communicate clearly (in conversation and in writing…email counts)
- Be quiet when necessary
- Create the work environment that you need to be successful
- Control your own joy
- Smile anyway
- Be calm
- Be kind
- Be professional
- You are enough
I am still learning, still growing, accomplishing, and making mistakes. I have been afforded opportunities to work and grow in various industries. I have been truly blessed and I have gained wisdom. I hope these thoughts help some woman, college student, intern, or even little girl to be aware of inequalities but also to learn how to reach her goals beyond the differences.
Love yourself. Know your worth. You are enough.