By Leyya Sattar
Who are your idols? The people you look up to? The people who inspire you to be the best version of you, those people who you channel in certain situations, to make you feel like anything is possible?
Recently, during a coaching session, I was made to sit down and think about this. All I needed to do was write down ten names. Ten women – real or fictional – of people who I would consider to be role models, people who have influenced me, who inspire me and who I aspire to emulate in situations where I need to ‘bring it’.
It’s such a good exercise, if you’ve never done it before I really recommend it.
But once I sat back and looked at my list, I was struck by something I had never even thought of before:
All of the women were white (with the exception of Beyonce who was obviously on my list and Wilhemina Slater – a fictional character from Ugly Betty who I have loved since I was 12).
This was subconscious, of course. But I’ve been thinking about it ever since. If I don’t see women like me, women of colour, on that list of heroes and idols, what does that mean for where I see my own place in society? In the workplace?
Does it mean I think I’m not worthy of being a hero? Does it mean I can’t take on big challenges and make my way to the top? Of course not. But the fact that this lack of visibility is a self-perpetuating problem and one of the main reasons Roshni and I set up The Other Box.
If I don’t see women like me, women of colour, on that list of heroes and idols, what does that mean for where I see my own place in society? In the workplace?
There are so many incredible and inspiring badass women of colour (and other marginalised communities) who are doing shit-hot things out there RIGHT NOW and we are here to share those stories.
Which is why, in the next few weeks we will be sharing these women’s stories from their journeys so far and plans for the future despite the distinct lack of colour in this industry.
To find out more, and keep up to date follow us on Twitter/Instagram: @_TheOtherBox
Header image courtesy of: @BombayNotMumbai