I’m stealing the below content from one of my other blogs as I realize that I’m collecting so many stories about the challenges we face at work to speak up on behalf of your identity/affinity groups or from the perspective of keeping others from speaking out offensively and blindly in the workplace. It’s a killer burden to bear and I often find myself alone with my view, but I have committed myself to letting people know (politely) when they’re stepping out of their bounds in the workplace. If they’re saying something that may not even directly relate to me and is offensive, then what might they be saying about me when I leave the room?
I’m working to make this a series, but I don’t have a name for it yet. For now they’ll all be posted under my category “07_nappy in corporate america” that you see along the left side of my blog.
(from my blog ifelicious.com)
I had an awkward moment at work last night as a male began recounting a story about a former gay employee amongst a group of folks kind of in coffee chat mode. I knew it was headed nowhere fast and I started out with little comments like “I’m not participating in this conversation” and “that’s not brand”. Eventually, I told the person that I was offended on behalf of all my friends who are gay, and jokingly “threatened” to take this homophobe out in my neighborhood sometime. There was one other person in the room making eye contact with me as if we were on the same page but didn’t say anything.
How many times does this happen at work on this subject or other controversial ones?
It’s hard to take a stand, but I’m finding it more important to do so as tough as it may be at times. I would want someone to do the same on my behalf if something offensive to me came up as a woman or a woman of color or whatever.
Have you ever had a moment like that at work? If so, did you speak up?