You may remember the release of the 2011 movie, The Help where a Black woman played the role of the maid and caretaker of a Southern White family.
As a Woman of Color have you ever experienced a colleague or supervisor at your job offer to provide you additional tasks because your project has ended, to give busy work, or for additional pay? While the race of the person may matter, people don’t seem to understand the origin of this gesture. Asking for assistance on a task that supports the business or promotes advancement of your career is much different than requesting support for the personal benefit of a colleague or supervisor. Not only does tone, experience(s) with the person, and cultural awareness matter, but also race, class, and gender to determine the motive of the requester. It is important to understand the cultural and historical background to explain how being asked to complete busy work may be offensive for women of color. While it is important to remain humble, remember you have a purpose and are hired for a reason and it is not to be “the help”.
Remember to set boundaries. Use your voice. It may be uncomfortable, but speaking up will create the unfamiliar and discomfort promotes growth. Remember your worth and value as these are two concepts that matter and are equally important. People only do what you allow and if we don't recognize and reiterate our value no one else will.
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