Yes, the President of the United States is black. But humans being what they are, equal opportunity will always be something we’re chasing and never quite catch. No matter how liberated, we’re all saddled with prejudices and stereotypes that form against our will. We are creatures who learn to survive and thrive by categorizing. It’s a fact of life.
So if you are a woman or black or brown or any color other than white, chances are you’re going to bump up against people in power with preconceptions about what you are capable of. Do you know what the powerful white guys are watching for? Do you know how ambitious women, black, Hispanic and other professionals have succeeded against the odds? How they handled the challenge? If there is somewhere you want to go in life, your odds of getting there will go way up if you know the answers to these questions.
Here, we interview minority professionals who developed street smarts for swimming against the tide – to go where they wanted. Learn from them! It won’t be easy – discrimination causes deep and emotional reactions. But, for most of us, it’s not helpful or even enough to just ‘be yourself’. We have to learn what works, and replace what comes naturally with what works in the real world. Many, have done this and you can too!
If you’d like to tell what you’ve learned in your career about equal opportunity (and how to get it), please share your experience – it’s okay if you are currently unemployed – your story might help someone realize their career ambitions.
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