Would you be okay being the first non-white hire at a small agency? Like they are making their first effort to bring diversity in (making it clear that you are not just a diversity hire), but you are going to be alone in a sea of white faces. I personally don’t know how to feel about it but I’d love to hear other opinions.

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lmao no at the least my black ass needs to see shonda in hr or something

But that IS one of the issues of diversifying workplaces I think about. It's a tough thing being the pioneer. Blazing the trail for others to follow is easier if I know I'm getting help and know the whole company is aware, also doing the work to bring in people who aren't white. Do you feel like that's the case here, OP?

Also do you WANT to be the trail blazer?

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I think I’m with you, I’d probably rather be at least the second or third. I don’t really want to be the trailblazer but this job might be a good step up for my career. I haven’t had the chance to ask the hard questions yet, so I don’t know if the whole agency would be up to doing the work, but it’s a good reminder to make sure I find out!

uplifting

Update: I had more interviews and thanks to your advice, I asked some hard questions about DEI efforts, etc. One person seemed almost offended that I was asking so 🚩🚩🚩, I otherwise wasn’t impressed with their answers (they talked about monthly seminars where everyone talks about their lived experiences with discrimination, but everyone is white, so…?). Anyways, shortly after that happened they let me know they decided I wasn’t a good fit anymore. I couldn’t agree more.

I lost out on another really amazing opportunity because I gave this one a real shot, so I am honestly pretty annoyed, mostly with myself, but I guess I learned my lesson.

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Yeah I’d be fine with it. But I get why others would not.

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If it’s a good opportunity and will help your career, take it (as long as you feel comfortable and they haven’t shown any negative attitudes towards POC). I’ve been in that situation before working at companies or teams where I’m the only poc, but made the best out of it. I do prefer more diverse teams and have always made it a point to hire diverse talent for my teams. The reality is that there’s still a lot more work to be done and from time to time we may encounter all white teams/companies.

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I also feel so much more comfortable in diverse teams, especially working with another BIPOC creative partner, but that’s so rare. I would be totally remote so I’m thinking the disparity wouldn’t be as glaring, I don’t really have to be involved in day to day office culture. But yes, definitely have come across this kind of situation more than once, so appreciate the insight.

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It depends on how things feel there. Some companies are alright but in a lot that would feel so uncomfortable. I don't need to be the test subject for diversity.

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This is definitely my fear. Planning to get more of a feel for the vibe, try to get a microaggression check.

I spent the 90’s being the first (or one of the first) POC creatives at the ad agencies I’ve worked in. Tom Burrell once told me I was doing more good here than working for him right now. It was an inspiring you-didn’t-get-the-job speech.

Now I’m one of the first POC in UX design. Recruiters flood my mailbox like I’m the UX unicorn. I still hear how difficult it is to find candidates like me. I don’t like the situation, but I gladly accept it, because I help open doors and I’m in positions to hire, making sure it doesn’t remain that way.

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Hi! Let’s talk. If you want.

I was the only for many years and I have some perspective. Namely look at the possibilities rather than the drawbacks and, more importantly, you are building a career so think big picture.

DM me if possible.

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Nope - I specifically ask about numbers/percentages in the department I am interviewing for, and the company as a whole. I'm already dealing with express anti-blackness at my current place, but at least it's the devil I know, they pay me well and they are smart enough to leave my black ass alone because they know I have receipts. To have to go through it all again at a new place just feels too exhausting. I'd certainly take a pay cut to work at a more diverse and more supportive employer, but those places are so few and far between in our industry...

It’s tricky. If they are being open about it I think that’s great, because you are going in with your eyes wide open. I personally find it a little bit of a turn off (but I’m older and have fought a lot of battles during different times) however I think the points that it needs to start somewhere, and that it could be a good thing, are valid ones. Are you going to have an opportunity to contribute to other non-white people being hired? Will your feedback be heard on its merits, not only as a non white person? Unless there’s some thing that really shows 🚩🚩🚩, It’s worth having the conversation and evaluating it on merits of the agency and what you will get out of it from your career overall, not just about being the first person who isn’t white.

And I know I said I’m tired from fighting a lot of fights but I also have a lot of change/impact I’ve contributed to that has made me really happy. It’s just that change takes time…

helllllllll nah

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