We can do better. We need to do better in supporting one another.
When I was appointed to as the Associate Vice President of Transition and Retention Services (a newly created position), I began to hear the whispers. “Why her, she gets everything?” “She sucked up to get that position.” “I’ve been here longer and I deserve it more than she does.” “What makes her qualified for the role?”
The interesting part is the people who were stabbing my character were the very same women and women of color telling me how happy they were for me, how well-deserved I was, and how wonderful it was to see a black woman advance. I have to be honest, I was shocked by the response. I never expected to get the negative reaction I got.
Then I started to think about the times I had done the same to other women who had been given positions I envied. The truth is, I’m guilty myself. I haven’t always been consistent with celebrating other women of color’s successes. Perhaps it’s because there are so few women of color advancing.
We must do better with celebrating one another and getting more of us beyond the concrete ceiling. Although I will be forever saddened and disappointed by the whispers I hear from time-to-time, they serve as a reminder to better support and celebrate other women of color’s successes as they advance and to do everything I can to create opportunities for them along their journey.