career Corporate Life

Does Inclusion and Diversity include Pushing Women and Minorities Down the Ranks?

Inclusion and diversity in the office. Women and minorities in the office
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It is a new year and I really wanted to begin with optimism at work but too much has happened. I have worked in the finance industry for 19 years and I usually know what to expect, how to roll with the punches and hope that things will get better. Recently, at work, it just became all too apparent that things were not going to get better and became rather frustrating.

I returned to work last year at the end of March from maternity leave. While I was out, a colleague resigned and another one was let go due to downsizing. Since there were cost cutting efforts, you can imagine my surprise to hear that a new person was being hired for our team and was going to start in April. Not just a new person, but a man that once worked with my manager at his former employer. Myself, another female colleague and this new guy all have the same title of Vice President and we all report to our manager, the Director. All of sudden, they have decided that we should now report to this new hire. We should report to the new hire who only knows anything because I taught him it all, the new hire who doesn’t have any technical knowledge, the new hire who has no real estate experience but he is going to manage a real estate team? Talk about a slap in the face. Not just to me, but also my colleague, she has worked at this company for fourteen years.

My first question to the director when he told me was whether he cared about the morale of the team. Of course his answer would be that he did but obviously he does not. I should also mention that this director also manages two other teams where he did the same thing, hired men he worked with before to manage the people who have been there for a while. He manages but doesn’t actually care about the people he manages.

This is only one piece of the problem. The team members from all these teams are made up of women and men of all shades. these groups have been very diverse. In the years time that this director has been there, this white male has hired only other white males, “his guys” to lead the teams. Now when you look at the organization chart, his direct reports are no long diverse. They are all white males while the women and minorities have been pushed down the chain of command. At first, I wondered if it is just me thinking this way and then quickly realized it is not.

Other women I have spoken to become visibly upset over the matter and feel as though they are not being supported to succeed. The worse part is when you hear that is has been said by upper management that it doesn’t “look good” to keep hiring white males from his prior company. I am in awe that they are more concerned with the optics that what is right. This company speaks so much about inclusion and diversity but are doing the exact opposite. They have allowed this manager to come in and completely do as he pleases. This goes against everything inclusion and diversity stands for.

When are big finance companies going to understand that this is not okay. Qualified women of color are being passed over for those who do not even have the experience or knowledge. This is completely upsetting but I know I shouldn’t be surprised. I have encountered many acts like this before but I really thought I saw change coming. When is that change coming? Until then, we have to speak up, we have to talk about it. There is too much left unsaid!

Thank you for reading,

Andrea

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