Nothing goes to the heart of how seriously companies take diversity and how deep-seated certain discrimination issues are than how people evaluate others when money and opportunity for better positions are on the line.
Even in our modern workplace — well past Jim Crow, decades into employment law protection prohibiting discrimination — the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission still reported dozens of complaints regarding nooses in recent years. But what can one person do to prevent the sort of environment that would tolerate, let alone welcome, such an act?
Women of color disproportionately feel isolated in their jobs as scientists because of constantly dealing with people failing to take them seriously. We can’t encourage more girls and women, particularly of color, to go into the STEM fields if we can’t accept how marginalized many of them are made to feel once they get there.
Diversity is about positive strides forward, but not if we don’t know what we are walking toward and what concrete things stand in our way. Although things looked better — were better — when millennials were growing up, nothing in the past had really changed, and that past was still going a long way toward creating what we have right now.