“Woke-Washing” Your Company Won’t Cut It

February 24, 2021

Kelli, a data scientist at a tech company, recently submitted a request for a promotion. Her responsibilities had increased after turnover on her team and she felt the extra work merited recognition. But she was told that the VP who needed to approve the promotion didn’t have time to consider it — they were too preoccupied crafting a company response to the renewed conversations about racial injustice and police brutality.

As a Black woman asking for her work to be recognized, she was struck by the hypocrisy. “I found it ironic that senior leadership prioritized their public image when internally they dismissed or ignored the very Black voices that they claimed to care about,” she told us. “It made the gesture of solidarity feel like a slap in the face.”


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