In light of yet another high power figure falling from grace again, I cannot be silent any longer. I want this platform to be positive but with the current events that continue to unfold in work places across the world, I have to speak out regarding this negative; my intention is to speak light into someone’s darkness if they are facing an undesirable situation so that they are not robbed of a bright and productive future.
When I graduated from design school in Los Angeles I was a young 26-year-old ready to tackle the world. I excelled in school and had a great deal of talent just waiting to be molded and shaped into a fabulous career. Unfortunately, several experiences corroded my path along the way and possibly changed my course. Here is part of my story:
I remember getting an offer for an interview with an architectural firm. I was so excited because I truly desired to further my education if possible and become an architect. I loved drafting and I was gifted at drawing renderings. As a young girl I would draw out floor plans of dream homes on paper, not really aware at the time, this could become a career.
When I met with the architect who ran the firm he appeared nice and professional at first, then things took a turn for the worse. He interviewed me, and at the very end stated that I had the qualifications for the position, but he didn’t think he could hire me because he wanted to date me. His advances were stifling to me a young, naïve girl wanting to excel in the work place. I politely declined his advances and left. He later would continue to call me and try to convince me that a relationship, not a job, was a good idea.
I also worked for a high-powered entertainment law firm in Santa Monica. I was making decent money while trying to find the right fit for my design career. I was harassed by my boss. I always dressed nicely and professional, but things turned south one day when snide comments were made. I became very self-conscious and uncomfortable in the work place. I recall getting on the elevator one day and crying uncontrollably as I left work for that day. I went to the top lawyer who ran the firm to file a complaint. I was given many excuses for my boss’ behavior and then presented with a 3 month severance package and fired. I did not understand what had happened but I remember feeling so powerless and inferior and truly devastated. How could I even think of fighting such a big firm. I never realized how much these past experiences shaped the course of my life until recently.
The two incidents I share with you are only a fraction of what I have faced over the years in the work place. Because of this I had adopted the philosophy that I had no power, no right to say, “No, this is unacceptable”.
Today I have such a strong belief in God that I no longer buy into this bull. I can hold my head up high and say, “I am fearfully and wonderfully made”. I am my own boss now. I speak to any of you out there who feel threatened in your work place. If you have endured unacceptable advances or situations, hold strong to who you are and do not let others rob you of your talents, gifts, and the right to excel in a safe and healthy work environment. If an incident arises, do not be silenced. This behavior must change for future generations. We must evolve as a culture that is respectful of all others. This climate of “turning the other way with a blind eye” when many know that these situations have been occurring must end. We must pave the way and offer protection and nurturing for the generations to come. Be bold, be brazen, and be who God made you to be. You are bigger than the obstacle.