I was There but There is No I in Team Diversity Equity and Inclusion

We all pass by desks, trees, and benches with the carvings “such and such was here”. Looking at the current climate highlighting diversity and inclusion we are starting to notice documentaries like “Hidden Figures” that highlight intellectually talented people who were never mentioned in mainstream discoveries and projects.

One movie comes to mind called “Something the Lord Made” featuring Alan Rickman and rapper Mos Def showcased how a man quickly became an invaluable medical assistant to a surgeon. The doctor makes a great name for himself in cardiovascular surgery but the medical assistant is never mentioned.

This remarkable heartfelt movie and seeing the LinkedIn posts from companies now showcasing anniversaries of minority employees with 20+ years of service tell us that many unmentioned have been there the whole time. They helped with breakthroughs. They helped with major projects but their name is not on the plaque. It is not in the headline news but they were there.

All of this reminds me of my own career journey building six and seven figure startup companies from the ground up for someone else. Even in my younger college years working in the president’s office at Augusta State University when we were developing and growing the campus. I WAS THERE.

So the thing isn’t the fact that I was an invaluable player on the team, it is that fact that now no one else knows I was even in the room. I was part of the Team but understanding my name wasn’t on white papers. My name wasn’t on the master plans. Even though my work was mentioned in the company minutes My name was not there. My name wasn’t on the corporate documents for the startup companies but I was a key member of the team. I was part of something greater than myself and it is deemed selfish and unprofessional to boast openly about your individual contributions. No matter what part you played in a company project, great or small, a win for the company is a win for all. The team won.


Your small business might already be diverse and are inclusive but how do you prove it? Start by creating a diversity and inclusion plan for your business.  A Rhodes Porter representative will be happy to help identify and develop a strategic plan of action.