Veronica Lawrence, our Country Manager in the US, was interviewed for Ezra’s #Worktales.
She joined host KK Harris to discuss the continuing issues of discrimination in the workplace and strategies on breaking glass ceilings. Veronica’s interest in inclusion in the workplace comes from her own personal experiences of exclusion while she served with the US Navy.
She mentioned that at points during her service, she would be actively excluded from certain events and gatherings, notably a Christmas party. Further, she would often be subject to derogatory and prejudiced comments and slights about her gender and ethnicity from her colleagues, including an event where a peer openly disrespected her rank in front of an all-male squad she had been leading. “One of the problems I encounter…is that when my gender didn’t enter the room first, then my accent did. […] People didn’t get to know me. They get to judge me because ‘She’s a woman of colour’, ‘she’s a woman’ and ‘she’s got an accent’.” As a result, she has to fight off three separate instances of bias and prejudice before she can event establish herself as a leader or an expert, something many other people may not have to deal with.
You can watch the full interview HERE.