Written by: Phindile Le Bris Sithole-Spong
if one thing came out of last year, it was the rise in social consciousness around diversity not only in our homes and on our instagram feeds, but also in the workplace? But what does that actually mean? I can say that as a black female, who has worked in a number of fields, that this idea is not always upheld. Or rather that the essence of it gets lost somewhere. Having worked for GirlZtalk which became She Evolves as editor for about five years now, I can tell you that it is the first time in my career that I have felt true inclusivity and diversity. Whilst our space is targeted at women of color. We welcome all races, genders and creeds with open arms.
Our view has just always been that women of color often get overlooked. And we wanted to be a part of the solution not the problem. With that being said, our team is still quite small however, from my experience. We don’t just talk the talk. We also really talk the talk. From our founder, to our writers and even to me as an editor. We are always checking ourselves and trying to ensure that we are being as diverse and inclusive as possible. But what does that actually look like. Well for me it shifts and changes. As I believe true diversity and inclusivity should. And because I don’t want to be too biased, I’ll talk on my own experiences.
For starters, I am a new mom. A working mom at that. And I have felt time and time again like I was supported, understood and seen. As a working black mom with a 10 month old I could not imagine working elsewhere and not getting the support I currently get. From being able to have my daughter babble in the background during meetings. To being able to be frank about my realities as a new mom. It also means that I don’t raise eye brows when me or my team need to just tap out. Or when we need a little TLC from each other or elsewhere. I believe that what we have created and continue to create is a space where everyone is encouraged so speak their mind.
Where no idea or thought is too big or too small. And where work life, family life, self care and racial identity do not have to be compartmentalized. And whilst this is easier to do in a small team. It does take some effort on everyones part. And that is I think the essence of true diversity and inclusion. That like a good relationship, it requires energy and patience. So where ever you find yourself working, think about ways you can foster a culture for others to feel heard. Where gender, race, sexual orientation and preference, marital statues, illness or anything else that could be seen as different can be made to feel at home.