Business Women and the Challenges for Minorities in the Business World — Commentary on an Article

Fundraising While Female: Women Entrepreneurs and VCs On How to Bridge The Gender Gap by Clare O’Connor a Forbes Staff member

This article has a some great advice. My favorite is if you have no idea what you would do if someone wrote you a million dollar check, it is too early to fundraise. My least favorite is “Look for ways to be unimpeachably good,” said by Sarah Kunst.

This advice upsets me, not because it is ‘wrong,’ but because it is true. An old saying, [insert minority group here] have to work twice as hard as white men to be seen half as good. This is a sad reality. Now before you get your panties in a bunch, we all understand that the ratio is not 4:1 (twice for half). However, minorities are hardly ever seen as the equal of the non-minority for equal work.

Once I spoke out about this inequality in a college class and the instructor had the audacity to tell me that there wasn’t a discrepancy between the pay of men and women and when asking for a raise I should bring up the fact that I am a woman and use that to my advantage. HELLO!

If I have to blackmail my employer for a pay raise by crying sexism in order to get the raise, the gender gap still exists… or I am a poor employee. We as a society should not have use our minority status in order to get equal footing. However, until we can get equal footing without it, inequality will remain a problem.

To eliminate the whitewash, each minority group has its own disadvantages, and if you are part of multiple minority groups, the issues compound. Are you a female? Strike! Are you anything but white? Strike! Are you a foreigner? Strike! Do you have an accent ? Strike! Are you not a citizen? Strike!

There are so many things that  can be held against you. Our society needs to recognize this so that we can overcome it. The good news is that there are many people who have. We have many social scientists that recognize that we all have bias and have discovered ways we can overcome our own bias. The bad news is that there are many people who refuse to recognize their own bias.

It is disturbing that minorities have to work harder and be better to be recognized as equals, competitors, and such.

What advice gets your panties in bunch? What do you think can be done to eliminate bias and discrimination?

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