Discrimination at Work

Discrimination through the years — and the Great Resignation

Today, I decided to open a file cabinet I hadn’t used in several years. As I was going through the documents and reminiscing on past lives, I came across a file with the name of a former employer. When I opened it, I got a pit in my stomach. I had forgotten that I’d filed a formal grievance against my manager at the time.

Issue 1: Unequal distribution of responsibilities and compensation

Issue 2: Favoritism and preferential treatment of employees

But why the visceral reaction so many years later?

I realized that it was the first time I’d formally filed a grievance, but it wasn’t the last. Throughout my career, I’d deal with some form of mistreatment or discrimination. I clearly recall being told in that job that I would never be promoted because I was too vocal, and leadership didn’t see me as a representation of the organization (though my job was managing external relationships!).

Fast forward 10+ years. Some of the same people from that organization have reached out to tell me how proud they are of me managing my own company. I haven’t changed anything but my environment. That pit turned quickly into satisfaction. I’m now living my best life, despite the box THEY wanted me in.

So, think about the vocal voices in your organization and if your silencing of those voices is why they aren’t coming back. If you claim to want people to be their authentic selves, do so… with no strings attached.

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Sacha Thompson (she/her)

Sacha Thompson (she/her)

Executive Coach for DEI Practitioners | Leadership Coach for Mid-level POC | DEI Consultant & Facilitator | Host of DEI After 5