RACE RELATIONS

For the last week I have been recruiting a hard to fill role in HR, which was referred to me upon another colleague leaving. The role has been on the market for the last two months as the client believes the candidates that have been short-listed are “underqualified”.

Today I came across a top tier candidate with one of the best CV’s I had seen in a long time, having been employed by some of the best top tier firms globally.

Before sending her CV to the client, I asked my senior colleague who had worked with this client before what his thoughts were. He looked at the CV and said “She has a strong CV and she would be a great fit but you can’t send her over. They will see her name and reject her. No Indian’s, just Caucasian’s!”. I stood there in rage at the blatant racism that was unfolding in front of me, remembering how many times I had come across this issue as an IT recruiter in the last four months.

This incident reaffirms the message that no matter how hard people of colour work and no matter what level professional success we achieve, there is a large portion of this society that will never believe us to be just as good, if not better, than our white counterparts.

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NO, I WON’T COOK FOR YOU.

12191632_1649706971968993_6345538296769881739_nDear whoever wrote this meme,

Let me get something straight here:

My friends and I work over 10 hour days and I myself travel a hour to and from work to get home. That is 12 hours of my day accounted for already. Most days I don’t have the energy to go to the gym to look after my body, let alone get in the kitchen and cook.

Cooking, or any lifestyle chores, is not just a woman’s responsibility. The only reason such sexist notions exist is because in prior generations women were expected to be home-makers while men were bread-winners for the family. Now, to keep up with cost of living and societal changes more women are degree qualified, in the professional workforce, supporting their family and investing in building their own financial portfolio. This results in us having less time at home to focus on household duties and requires men to not only contribute to their half of the household duties, but to be held accountable for it too.

And if women are going to cook, you can bet they won’t be sharing their food with some entitled, lazy and privileged male who thinks women exist to be serving him everything on platter.

Not so sincerely,

N.F

ASK THE QUESTION

Today I was very lucky to listen to cross-cultural consultant and Australian Muslim of the Year 2013, Tasneem Chopra, deliver a speech on how to drive social change within our communities. While I was inspired by her words, what I really wanted was to have a conversation with her, maybe even ask her to mentor me. So I (nervously) walked up to her, tapped her on her shoulder and introduced myself. I wanted to interview someone as empowering as her for my blog and while I was afraid of her saying no, in my boldness I asked anyway. Next thing I know, she hands me her business card and tells me that she should would love to be apart of my work.

If there is anything you want from life, personally or professionally, you have to ask for it. The worst thing that could happen is someone will tell you no, in which case you’ll dust yourself off, better your game plan for next time and try again.

Be brave, ask the question and put yourself out there for the sake of achieving whatever it is you want.

AMAA4 Chopra

Image: Tasneem Chopra

NATURAL BEAUTY-LET YOUR LIGHT SHINE THROUGH

In my late teens I got really horrible acne. I started wearing hats to cover my face, I stopped looking at the mirror because I didn’t like what I saw and I thought that my acne made me less beautiful. Those feelings became worse when people would ask me things like “Do you clean your face?” and “You should do something about your pimples”, as if I wasn’t self-concious about it already. Getting clear skin was not only expensive and time-consuming, it completely crumbled my self-esteem.

While my skin is much better than what it used to be, recently I have broken out a fair bit and I have felt this constant need to cover my blemishes with make-up, almost like I should be ashamed of a normal human condition. So I wanted to post this picture to demonstrate that while having acne isn’t all that glamorous, it most certainly doesn’t take away from the essence of who anyone is as an individual and what they have to offer.

We might not be picture perfect but we’re worth the picture still.

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These images are of me where in picture one I have quite big cyst like acne (which you may not be able to see clearly due to the quality of light in my room);  picture two I have clear skin and no make-up; and picture three where I am wearing make-up. While each picture is different, in every single of of these pictures, the one consistent factor is me. It is my responsibility to create something that feels so good on the inside, that it doesn’t matter what skin I am wearing. This is what I hope for you too.