Nepotism or a Lack of Representation
Nepotism is the favoring of friends or family by a person in power or influence that usually results in employment. Do you think that Black women experience this ever? Yes, to some extent but after gaining an entry level position the nepotism usually ends. This is due to the small number of Black women in management and leadership positions. The human resources recruiter (usually a Black woman and friend of yours) brings your brilliant resume to the hiring manager (usually a Caucasian male) who is in awe of your past work experiences and the eloquence in which you speak of resolving conflict with peers. Your impressive interview has garnered you the entry level job. This is where the nepotism for Black women ends. The salary offer is usually less than your Caucasian counterparts, the expectations of your standards of work are greater, and your promotability is limited. Not to say that if a Black woman was the hiring manager that you would not have obstacles but most likely you would have someone to understand why one day your hair is in a bun and the next in waist length braids or your need to balance work/life especially in terms of childcare.
The true question is not about the existence of nepotism for Black women but rather how to do Black women break the glass ceiling of achieving management and leadership positions with an organization. My observation is that their needs to be education to our counterparts about the disparities that exist in organizations from the top down. Most likely in your organization the CEO and executives are men and has you move down the organizational chart you begin to see more persons of color but only primarily as entry-level positions. How does meaningful change occur if the people that are truly impacted don’t have a seat at the table? What would you want done differently if you had a seat at the table? What does the table even look like?
As you think of the answers to these questions, really take inventory of where you are (position wise in terms of your career), where you would like to be, and what it will take to get there. Do not allow your others to look at your gender or melanted skin decide your worth as an employer!