If you've been reading my blog over the past year, then I'm sure you know I struggle in the career department. I have a ton of advice to give, and the formal business knowledge of nearly $200k worth of student loans, yet no one will hire me. It's been a couple of years since I've held a job that genuinely reflects my potential. I've earned mediocre salaries and coins for raises. And if you're wondering about my background - I've never been to jail or fired as an adult. I have good credit, excellent performance reviews, and an associate, bachelor, master degree.
Usually, the demise of my employment comes at the hands of a typical middle-aged white woman who somehow loves me enough to do her work but never appreciate me enough to help advance my career. I know it isn't MAWW responsibility to get my career where it needs to be. However, I can't help but wonder why she never wants me to go further.
Where it all started
I remember my first job working at a women's shelter in my hometown. I put in three years of work, but I couldn't advance. A middle-aged white woman was hired over me. I liked her a lot; I thought she was cool, so I was okay with it. One thing that I didn't know back then was her mother had influence and helped her get the job.
Next, I worked at a nonprofit completing outreach to minority minorities teaching about sex, self-esteem, and drugs. I increased the program stats from 68% to 93%. I did my best work and received praise. I put in for a new role, and it was declined because I was pregnant. At the center of this firestorm was a middle-aged white woman who wanted me terminated. I was let go. However, I filed a discrimination suit and settled out of court.
Fast forward, I started working as a volunteer coordinator for another nonprofit. I did great in the position and received an award from headquarters for my ability to do whatever it takes to help the program succeed. I started a program from the ground up and helped the director figure out ways to make it better. I applied for a higher position. Again, I didn't get it because two middle-aged white women said I didn't have a bachelor's degree, even though one of the ladies in the same position didn't have any degrees. So, I went back to school and eventually left due to office politics and the realization that the system there wasn't set up for me to succeed.
Later I moved to Houston to start a pilot project for a nonprofit. As usual I did my best and within 6 months brought in 3 million dollars. The program shut down and the department was at a standstill due to legalities of a non compete clause. I applied for other positions that included the title of a director thinking it was possible because 1) now I have an MBA, 2) I brought in 3 million dollars, and 3) I've put in great work. Everyone in my department received another job and promotion, and I was left jobless. Again, the recurring theme of a middle-aged white woman not wanting me to succeed ran through my mind. After all, I had two middle-aged white women as supervisors, and I was the only POC in my department.
To keep adding to this theme, a couple of months later I was promised a job by a middle-aged white woman who then called to tell me that another candidate was a better fit for the position because of her education and clout in the community. I met the young white lady who was hired at a meeting. She was unaware of the community needs and asked me to help.
Throughout this process, I have been in several interviews and repeatedly told that I am not the right fit for the company. I even ask for feedback, and it all sounds the same, "You interview well, very articulate; however we don't think the pay is enough." Also, "You're very nice, but we don't think you're the right fit."
I guess the lesson to be learned for me out of all of this (as a minority) is don't put too much trust into middle-aged white women. Not all are bad, some are great allies, yet many of them voted for Trump and Roger Moore (I had to say it). I think as a minority woman you probably have a better chance of advancing and making what you deserve by starting your own business. And if you disagree, I strongly encourage you to look at the chart below. Women of color earn significantly less and hold fewer management positions. It is a battlefield out there might as well play by your own rules and be your boss.