That’s it! That’s the whole post.
In a major “How is this my life?” moment, my sister Sharon Hurley Hall and I were featured in Forbes in Dana Brownlee’s piece on the intersection of introversion, race, gender, and RTO. Eternally grateful to Dana for amplifying our voices, and shining light on this issue. 🙏🏾😊 A few thoughts:
- When Sharon and I started The Introvert Sisters podcast at the beginning of the pandemic, we had no idea that it would become “a thing.” We were simply trying to mentally and emotionally help ourselves and others like us get through what was clearly a very tough time. To see our “baby” grow up and be mentioned in a publication of such note is humbling and mind boggling.
- Another part of what makes it mind boggling is where we’re from. Our background is complex, but to simplify it: we’re both from Barbados, a tiny island in the Caribbean. Pretty sure that we’re two of very few Bajans to have been featured in Forbes, and that’s a big deal.
- The entire experience is proof positive that using one’s voice – even one’s quiet, introverted voice – has power. It is proof positive that being authentic; staying true to oneself can be rewarded.
- I hope that companies are paying attention to the RTO discussion, especially as it relates to Black people, neurodivergent people, and more. It is no longer enough to cater to one predominant norm. It is no longer acceptable to consistently harm those who exists at the margins. It is no longer acceptable to impose one-size-fits-all behaviors and mores one the workforce, especially not while claiming to prioritize diversity and mental wellness:
“If one is quiet, perceived to be ‘anti-social,’ or not the first person to speak up in meetings, and—it must be said—Black, one is considered to be angry, unintelligent, unpromotable, not a team player and not a culture fit,” Hurley insists. “This has very real impacts on introverts’ mental health, as well as on their ability to make a living and have successful careers. Essentially, we are pushing back against presenteeism, code switching, and masking. We are pushing back against the injustice of there being ‘one right personality,’ or one right phenotype, that is considered valuable.” – Lisa Hurley
- Both Sharon and I are activists, and are passionately committed to doing the work. That said, it’s exhausting. Combining our labor and identities as activists with those of being Black, Black Women, and Introverted Black Women takes a toll. Our goal is to help shed light on that, and inspire companies to do better by making their IRL spaces safer:
“For most Black people, the office is hard work—working and existing while Black takes a toll in white majority spaces. We are consistently misunderstood and undervalued, experience daily microaggressions and are gaslit when we talk about those microaggressions,” insists Hurley-Hall. “As women, we also face sexism and misogynoir as Black women. When you add the toll of having to fake extroversion, the trauma, or potential trauma is threefold, and it is, quite frankly, exhausting.” – Sharon Hurley Hall
Thanks again to Dana and all the people who have been lifting, seeing, encouraging, and amplifying us!! We appreciate you all!! If you missed the article when it went live, take a read now and let me know what you think: These Black Women Introverts Explain Why So Many Others Dread Returning To The Office.
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Unless otherwise stated, text and images ⒸLisa Hurley/@happyhappyphoenix
Excellent article, Lisa. Thank you for so clearly stating the challenges facing Black people in the office setting. Hopefully this will inspire employers to be more aware and to do better. Congratulations to you and Sharon on being featured in Forbes!
Thanks so much, Mama