creativity

In the pause: Reflecting on Hidden Figures

I went to see Hidden Figures on Thursday night. I felt uplifted right after seeing it and then all weekend felt sad and frustrated by it. Don’t get me wrong; I love seeing stellar performances from three female women of color portraying real women who are intelligent, courageous, and determined. And let’s face it – the BS that the women portrayed in the film faced still runs rampant in the American workplace and society at-large, especially for women of color.

This is absolutely true in technology, science, and business. I have lost track of the number of times in my career that I was and am expected to keep my head down, my mouth shut, and my smile wide so that I don’t seem threatening to others by questioning assumptions and points-of-view, no matter how respectful and professional my comments are. And here’s the worst part: if I were to tally the worst bullying I’ve received in the workplace, it’s come from an equal number of women and men. It’s unfortunate, and it’s my truth. Women still fight for equal pay, respect, and promotions, and far too often we’re fighting one another.

So this is what I’m going to do about it: I’m going to work on making the workplace, wherever I work, a kinder, more collaborative, diverse, accepting place. There are too many hidden figures in the world today, and I intend to spend my time bringing them into the light and celebrating them.