Updated: Oct 22
A couple of years ago, I was applying for a contract position at a well-known company. The interview process consisted of three, one-hour 1:1s with senior team members, including the director. The team was ecstatic about the possibility of having me join because they felt that my qualifications exceeded their expectations. I only had one interview interview remaining; it was with the hiring manager, who was returning from her vacation. Before the interview officially started, she reviewed my resume, and said, "Wow, you're more qualified for this position than me. Well, I guess we are equally qualified." I knew it was a wrap. The moment she started comparing herself to me let me know that she saw me as a threat. When someone feels threatened, that means they have something to lose. When someone has something to lose, they fight to defend it out of fear of loss. In her case, she feared being challenged in her position. I didn't want her job. All I wanted to do was break into the industry and learn. I'm not unfamiliar with the webs that White women spin beneath my feet, tripping me while leaving no trace of contact. I needed the job, and wanted the experience, so I did what I've learned to do since elementary school--navigated around her ego to achieve my goal. The recruiter had extensive experience working with the managers since she'd placed people on their team before. She called shortly after the interview to get my feedback on how things went. She shared that the team gave glowing feedback, and that we'd hear the final decision shortly after this 4-hour, one-and-done interview. Two days later, I got a call from the recruiter. I heard shame and hesitation in her voice. And, confusion. She didn't know what to do with the fact that she had to break a promise... The hiring manager decided to add an assignment to the process.
For a contract role.
For which I was exceedingly qualified.
That no previous candidate had to complete. I politely declined. Of course, this was the hiring manager's way out of hiring the Black woman whom she perceived as a threat. And, once again… I became a casualty of a White person's fear of loss. ______________
This position paid $52/hour, which is low for the industry, at 40 hrs/week.
It took me six more months to land a proper position.
I paid $12,480 for a White woman's grief.
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