The first time I saw a room full of black professionals felt like a sweet shock to my system. Over 4,000 Black engineers and aspiring professionals in one opening ceremony – I was at the National NSBE Conference and in my final year in college. I was finally looking for a job post-graduation and was overwhelmed at the sheer size of the conference, and the number of large companies that invested so heavily in recruiting black engineering talent.
I knew there were plenty of black people out there in professional spaces, but to see thousands of us in the same convention center was a wake-up call for me. For all of the axes of my identity (including race, gender, and sexuality), I could see that there were many of us navigating often homogenous corporate spaces, and succeeding while breaking the mold.
That’s why I’m excited about Living Corporate. I want to share insights and have discussions about corporate america because the culture shock is real, and the pressure to assimilate is real, and the best way to feel more comfortable about preserving our identities in career paths that historically reward a certain kind of performance is by sharing our experiences and opening up more conversations.
We all have different ways of coping with the overt and subtle ways we’re asked to change ourselves to fit in, and I’m excited to hear from everyone else who wants to join in this conversation.