When I first entered the working world, I was not sure how to merge my cultural identity with 专业的 and felt uncomfortable sharing aspects of my personal life that involved cultural references. I remember once speaking to a colleague who disclosed that even though she preferred to use chopsticks she chose to discard them when eating in the work canteen due to fear of judgement. Examples such as these hail from internalised racism within people of colour due to a subconscious belief that to be taken seriously, we must keep proximity to white/western-ness. These days, I embrace my culture in all settings secure in the knowledge that my background is an integral part of what makes me the practitioner I am today.
许多自然的发型，例如玉米角，辫子和霜冻’仍然被认为是不专业的。头发歧视现象猖ife，导致许多黑人和女性改变头发以适应同质‘professional’ mould. I remember a friend who applied for one graduate job after another and as soon as he cut his afro, he received an offer. Black employees have been told to straighten, alter, and change their hair at work and this continues to occur as there is no law in the UK specifically related to hair discrimination. Changes, of course, need to be made from a top-down perspective, but we also need to feel secure in our own hair choices. I would encourage black 专业的s to style their hair in a way that aligns with them. Additionally, if you feel discriminated against or categorised due to your appearance it is important to speak out and get in touch with HR.
As daunting as it can be to embrace ourselves in our entirety it is important to know that we can still be 专业的 whilst honouring our lineage. Let us move into the next stage of cultural awareness by bringing our whole selves to the table.