Workplaces are such an interesting environment. On average we will spend ⅓ of our lives at work. However the memories and emotions we bring back from a working day will all be different for each and every one of us. Some of us will bring back happy memories, others not so much.
I was personally affected by an experience a friend of mine shared about her encounter with discrimination at work.
Let’s be real for a moment, discrimination at work still exists and it affects more than a quarter of British workers.
It can be your age, disability, race, pregnancy, religion and so much more. Someone can look at you and personally just not like you for one of those things.
What affected me the most was her reflection on the whole experience and how she regretted not being able to speak up. It got me thinking about myself and what I would have done in the exact same situation. To be honest with you, I would have probably brushed the issue under the carpet and moved on. I know this because that is how I have spent most of my adult life dealing with this.
Brushing things under the carpet has not brought any form of comfort but instead has allowed for different hurts within my heart to occur.
I grasped onto the knowledge that to move from hurt to healing I needed to start a dialogue on how we can help each other in regards to this issue of discrimination.
It is so important for us to share our experiences and also begin to discuss the things that could help really make a difference.
I reached a point where I knew I had to deal with the issues within my heart. Have you ?
Yes, I may face discrimination at work but I am honestly now at a point where I am more eager than ever to ask questions, more eager than ever to listen to different view points and extremely determined to be the woman who can bring influence and a touch of God’s truth and freedom to her work environment.
So here are 3 things I have done this year to help me move from Hurt to Healing:
- Remembered My Value
I believe work discrimination is such an issue to the soul because it has the potential to make you feel “less than”. Am I valued ? Do I matter ? Will I always be looked over for a promotion? But remember your value. For me I had to remind myself that I am fearfully and wonderfully made. This truth was personally hard for me to grasp.
Your workplace may appear to value a certain type of person more but remember you are fearfully and wonderfully made and most importantly you are seen and known.Tweet
And on a personal note I have had to remind myself of this when I see girls that I think are more beautiful than me. You have to remember you have something that is totally unique to you and that is that.
- Surrounded myself with people who like me.
It can be really hard when you feel that someone doesn’t like you for a part of you that is so intrinsically you and that is why this year I realised the importance of surrounding yourself with people who really champion who you are. The question is who do you have surrounding you ?
Remember to surround yourselves with people who will lift you up when you feel down, encourage you when you are anxious or push you to go for your dreams regardless of what others may think.
You are normal, even with your bright pink hair, skin that shines like a pearl, or wheelchair at 25 so surround yourself with people who love you for you.
- Created Dialogue
A lot of times issues of discrimination occur due to :
- lack of understanding
- not knowing anything about a particular group of people (religion, disability, race,age)
If we are honest with ourselves how many times have your eyes been opened once we have created dialogue with someone who is not like you. I truly believe that beginning to talk about sensitive issues is important to bring healing and opportunities to act and rectify a situation.
“ Hey, you saying this made me feel like this.“
I have personally had to drop the fear as a black girl of being branded too loud, opinionated, ghetto or ratchet and have decided to create healthy dialogue about who I truly am and proudly introduce my culture to my work colleagues.
Real change will only happen if we all begin to make changes in our own little worlds of influence. Let’s start to create some dialogue.
We will spend ⅓ of our lives at work. Let us tackle the issue of any form of discrimination. Mine will be different from yours.
When I walk in people will see the colour of my skin first and then they will see I am female, followed by my age.
But I now understand that I have a voice and so do you.
- I am no longer hiding behind the colour of skin.
- I am no longer afraid to create dialogue.
- I am no longer afraid to be wrong.
- I am no longer afraid to learn from others too.
I am here to bring God’s truth and freedom to the workplace, will you do this with me ?Tweet