Empowered Women, Must Empower ALL Women
When I began Empowered Worth close to a year ago, I wanted to include a monthly blog for our followers. Nothing is easier than sitting down to write a monthly blog based on a preplanned content calendar, or so I thought. I can honestly tell you that 2020 has proven to be a challenge. How does one “stay the course” when events in our lives and our community scream for attention? This month, I wanted to write a blog about changes in the workforce and gender roles in light of the pandemic. I had some great facts and figures. Then I heard about and saw the video of George Floyd’s murder. I saw people rally to protest and use their voices to call for change. I decided to use my platform to speak about the silent racism that we don’t talk about.
As a Hispanic woman, I have been racially profiled many times. I have had the security guard follow me and my other Latina friends around boutiques in Boston, MA. I have been told that there is “an issue in the kitchen, and they can’t serve my family” at a Greenwich, Ct. restaurant, while white patrons were having their orders taken. I have also seen the shock on people face when the Lowell’s show up for something and we are not at all what they expected. All of these experiences were eye opening for me. I grew up among the Cuban American community in Miami, Fl and had never experienced racism. I had grown up in a bubble and when I left the “305”, I discovered that I was a minority. Yet, for all that I thought I knew, I now know that I know nothing.
I can tell you that when you work in finance as women, you are a minority and if you are Hispanic or African American, you are part of a super minority. When the #Me Too and #Times Up movement began and started to shine light on the violence, harassment and gender bias that women face, it spoke with one voice. Yet the statistics that we look at like to paint a in complete picture. We talk about the progress women have made overtaking men in the workforce and narrowing the pay gap to 80 cents on the dollar compared to men. We must shine a spotlight on all women and have frank discussions about how women of color are treated in comparison to their white counterparts.
According to Catalyst.org, a nonprofit that strives to help create workplaces that work for women, women make up 51% of management and professional positions in the workforce. Yet women of color only represent 18% of entry level and only 12% of management positions. Those percentages decrease dramatically when you look at senior management positions, and the C-Suite. To these statistics add, the fact that Black and Hispanic women make 60 cents on the dollar compared to men. That is 20 cents less than their white female colleagues. Numbers very rarely lie but if we turn our heads to them, we are complicit in supporting the subtle racism they are showing us.
We as women have an obligation to bring these things to light; to discuss why it is that minority women and their children make up the majority of those living in poverty in the U.S., that women of color are far more likely to be the victim of a violent crime and that minority children are twice more likely be abused and human trafficked. I started Empowered Worth to empower all women. I pledge to listen and learn but to also speak up and shine a spotlight to on all women. I hope that you will join me in this commitment and that you will remember that empowered women empower all women.