When I heard the term gendered racism, I wasn’t exactly sure what it was. So I invited my friend Jill Frank, Head of Creative Agency Operations at Allstate, to educate me and my lovespeaks series listeners. Jill recently spoke at The 3% Conference about the topic and she starts our conversation by saying “If there’s not one black female CEO in the Fortune 500, something’s going on.”
Something is definitely going on and Jill is on a mission to break that ceiling and says she will leave the hole big enough to pull two people with her. I have a feeling she will bring more than two and the first people will be women people of color.
As a white female who has never had to endure the double stressor my black female friends face in the workplace, I want to educate myself and others so we can be a voice for ALL woman, not just some. If you don’t understand what microaggressions are, Jill breaks it down in the podcast. Let’s start with the Aunt Jemima brand – a microaggression that Jill is thrilled she no longer has to pass by in the grocery store.
But nothing hit me harder than Jill’s analogy to living in LA and racism. She describes it beautifully so you will have to listen to the Speaking of Gendered Racism episode, but I will give it a try here – when you live in LA you assume the weather is always 75 and sunny, so you never have to worry about the weather. You never have to worry if it will rain or snow or if you will need a coat. That’s what being white feels like, not having to worry about all the extra things like who is in the room, will you feel safe, can you share or not share and is this a place you want to be?
I hope you will listen. Jill’s lessons serve us all well and empower us to have conversations with people who don’t get it. That’s what this is all about. Conversations change the world.