From My Desk.

Sharing my expertise and personal thoughts about my life experiences. 

Search


Families in Global Transition (FIGT) held its first Conversations for Change session. The objective was to examine privilege and to explore how our communities might respond to racism, inequities, disparities, and discrimination around the world. The session was hosted by FIGT Treasurer, LaShell Tinder, and Ezinne (Kwubiri) Okoro. Here are some main points to reflect on...


Reflecting on Labels

In our daily lives, we come across different words that point to how we describe/ label a person. Most likely, we make assumptions about each “type” of person, such as by associating them with a particular socioeconomic status and/or experience.


For example, a refugee (someone who is unwilling to return to their home country out of fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, region, social/ political group) might conjure up an image of someone who is in need, often from a lower socioeconomic class. However, a refugee may have funds, be educated, have their profound networks. They may have been heads of companies or professors in their countries but because of their displacement, are working in low-skilled jobs for which they are overqualified. The realities are not as clear cut as the terminology may suggest.


These misassociation of labels can cause us to create social and racial distancing from a specific group. It's important to be cautious with our words, so we are not excluding or idolizing particular groups.


Reflecting on Privilege

Privilege—or lack thereof—is an inherent part of our assumptions of labels we put on others.

Privilege doesn’t only refer to economic status. It may come from our ability to speak English fluently or from easy access to the internet and technology. Think of the privileges you have exercised during shelter-in-place orders, due to the global health pandemic - Covid19.


Not acknowledging or recognizing your privilege is, in itself, a sign of privilege!


Identifying one’s privilege is the core of breaking inequality and social injustice and shaping a space for diversity and inclusion. In order for you to support and advocate for others, you have to recognize how you are different from them and how you are benefiting from that difference.


If you want to use your privilege to educate others, turn your allyship into action!

  1. Create a safe, honest, and vulnerable space to have courageous conversations

  2. Be open to the conversation and share your own stories

  3. Reflect. Give clear examples on how your own privilege shows up


Reflecting on Gender Equality and Mobility

Women are often labeled as the caregivers/ nurturers; whose careers lack progression or sometimes even suspended. How often do we pull ourselves back, as women? Sometimes we have to give ourselves permission to take a chance and let others support us. We can not, and do not, want to do it all. However, we deserve equality and mobility to navigate as desired.


In summary, we need to call out social injustices and face change. If we don’t talk about it, we will continue the vicious cycle of inequality, microaggressions, and underrepresentation.


Let’s keep the conversation going!


This summary was extracted from Families in Global Transition (FIGT) blog recap of the Conversations for Change, which was written and edited by EN with SB. To learn more about FIGT and read the full recap, please visit their website at FIGT.org.

Updated: Oct 1


TEN! TEN! TEN!


TEN YEARS! 10 years with the same company. 10 years on the same team. 10 years in Times Square. 10 years of unparalleled experiences. 10 years of growth. Not many people in my generation - 80s babies stand up - can say that they have had a career with the same organization for 10 years. The average length of time that my varying peer groups have been with a company is about three to four years.


Whenever I share with my friends that I've been at Viacom Media Networks (VMN) for 10 years, the response I usually get is “Wow! What made you stay?” When I think of the best way to articulate the answer to this, an acronym unveiled itself to explain what TEN means to me.


My tenure at VMN can be summarized in three main buckets – Team, Exposure, Networking.


T - TEAM

I've been working with the same core group throughout my entire tenure at VMN. My team has been very supportive in all of my endeavors inside and outside of work. We are a small team that is often pulled in many directions but we collaborate, strategize, and prioritize with each other to get the task completed. There have been plenty of times when I've knocked on my boss' door to discuss my interests in new opportunities, the direction of the department, and how I was performing as a team member. It's critical in your career that you consistently get feedback; even if your company doesn't encourage it or provide the platform to receive feedback formally. It’s ok to tactfully and respectfully be the point of change in an organization’s culture.


E - EXPOSURE

A recurring theme you’ll hear from successful professionals, is reinventing & marketing yourself. I learned that early on in my career from my mentors and peers. When you have the opportunity to work on various projects, and in different departments, and offices, it is your responsibility to learn and capitalize on that opportunity. From NY to Singapore, from MTV to BET Networks, and everything in between - I've had the distant opportunity to work across brands, departments, offices, and continents. The exposure, especially internationally, has been a vital point in my career. The wealth of knowledge obtained from working on projects that have a direct global impact is incomparable! This exposure, helps to start building your reputation within your department/ company. People will recall your experiences and interaction with them, which can lead to new projects. These opportunities should be reflected on your resume and LinkedIn profile. Your job title is only the header of the experiences that you have.


N - NETWORKING

Whether you are inside or outside of the office, at a social events or the hair salon - network, network, network! I have encountered countless opportunities just by positioning myself to be in a mode of networking. Be prepared to articulate what you do and what is it you want to do in a 60-second elevator pitch. When people know what you do and what you are passionate about, they will call you as opportunities arise. You will become their local resource and expert. I remember pitching an international project to my boss a few years ago. The pitch was great, but the timing wasn't ideal. However, a few months later, another international project came up and my boss told me she wanted me to support the project. Thus my pitch was met with an opportunity, specially curated just for me, and I got to combine my love for travel with my desire to learn more about our international operations. These networking strategies have led to speaking engagements, partnerships, and even a nonprofit board appointment. What a bonus!


Whether you decide to be at your workplace for two, five, 10 or 15 years, it's important to reflect, regularly. Reflect on where you’ve been, where you are now, and where you are headed. Do these aforementioned reflections directly correlate with the goals you are trying to accomplish? If the road isn't leading to where you want to go, don't be afraid to pivot. Do not fear changing course and adjusting whenever it is needed. Keep learning, growing, and knowing your worth!


******************************************************************* 

Ezinne Kwubiri is a mid-level business professional in media/ entertainment industry. Her career has afforded her opportunities to work on various projects around Audit/Compliance, Change Management, Process Improvement, and Project Management. With her diverse experience and global business exposure, she is well-versed on many topics and is often a speaker in topics for women in leadership/empowerment, career transitions and professional development. She was recently named 40 Under Forty by The Network Journal and has been featured on Black Enterprise, Essence magazine, and other online publications.  Connect with her @iamezi & info@just-ezi.com

******************************************************************* 

The above-named content is the personal opinions of the author. Ezinne Kwubiri owns all copyrights & distribution of the content. Viacom & its affiliates have not endorsed this content.


  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
  • Instagram

© 2020 Ezinne Okoro