“It’s very difficult to feel like you can show up in a space where people are looking at you sideways,” says R29 Unbothered's managing editor, Danielle Cadet. “As if you haven't paid your dues — you don't belong here yet.”
Inequality in the workplace is by no means a new phenomenon. And for Black women in particular, it often constitutes a central part of the professional narrative. That’s why, on this episode of R29’s Go Off, Sis podcast, the women of Unbothered dig deep into the nuances, frustrations, and major roadblocks that come folded into workplace culture for women of color.
“Not only am I a Black woman, but I went to community college,” shares Laurise McMillian, R29’s Instagram content strategy editor. “I think that I really came up in the industry with a chip on my shoulder. I remember being in these very white spaces early on in my career and feeling like, Is this a mistake? Does this Black girl from Baltimore belong in the same internship program as these other girls? But sometimes, I think that that [mindset] makes you stronger.”
Raven Baker, Unbothered's associate social media editor — and the youngest member of the group — adds that age and compensation also factor in: “Since I'm younger, when I first entered these spaces, people treated me as a Black girl. They did not see me as a Black woman,” she says. “Then when it came down to the money, I was getting paid like a Black girl, too. I really had to advocate for myself in such a BDE way. It made me super uncomfortable, but I had to do it to get what I deserved.”
Listen to the podcast above to get a better grasp on how these women approach their workspaces as Black women — and what they’ve learned both from their careers and from one another.