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Unheard Stories of

Casual Discrimination

Zoe M

Mother | X-Corporate Sr Finance Leader

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...be careful not to piss her off.

After advising my boss of an issue that I discovered with a business partner who's team's poor work quality resulted in our teams having to do additional work and re-work, my boss asked me to "give it to the partner and let them know they can't do that sh*t to our teams"


2 days later in our weekly executive meeting as all of my peers and executive partners settled into their chairs, my boss announced the warning "hey everyone, be sure not to piss Zoe off, you may have to deal with her wrath". 


I turned in confusion as everyone stopped to pay attention to what he was saying and looked at me and he repeated, "be careful not to piss Zoe off, you don't want to see her other side" and continued laughing. 


Even though I tried to defend and elaborate, it was too late, the sideway glances and eyebrow raises had already happened. I should add that I had already spoken politely to our business partner and sorted out the issue before even mentioning it to my boss so no conversation where I "gave it to them" was had, and had I not mentioned it to him, he wouldn't have even known there was an issue. 


This was the 10th or more time he tried to coerce me into having "direct/serious conversations" with people that HE should have been putting in their place but always asked for me to do his dirty work. I guess that's what we angry black women do well? 


My other choice was going to be "you're like the mommy on the 6th floor"- exclaimed my CFO to me in front of my new boss and they proceeded to laugh. The background is I had the highest engagement score amongst my colleagues, 0 turnover since in my 5 yr career there, highest number of team performance promotions and awards, fastest implementation, lowest errors and omissions, constantly called into projects as a thought leader, voted most supporting leader by entire division and business partners and everyone in the org knew they could come to get my mentoring or advice if they were having a challenge of any type because I was well connected and resourceful (that included people who didn't report to me across the organization). 


I guess being an inclusive leader means that I was a mommy to an entire floor of professionals managers and analysts?

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