Tamera May: Strategist. Young. Neurodiverse. Black. Woman.
Who am I?
I am a Young Black Neurodiverse Woman working within the UK Advertising industry.
- Why am I so overly hypervigilant? It gives me anxiety.
- Why do I always feel as though I need to apologize for being myself? I feel like a nuisance.
- Why do I often feel as though my work is never good enough even when others tell me it is? I definitely work way more than I need to because of it.
- I’m really conflicted between when and if I should start a family. I want to be the next CMO so something has to sacrifice.
- I over-justify my points for fear that my ideas won’t be taken seriously.
- And I occasionally laugh at the sly inappropriate comments made about my appearance. Society tells me I should be grateful.
- I am also tired of having to ask for the heating to be turned up, but if you really know me you may find that this particular point has been over-exaggerated to suit my own narrative!
My point is, there is an ugly truth that the odds are against me, and if we were to follow statistics that a man is 21% more likely to be internally promoted to leadership positions than I am, and with only 24% of roles in the UK(VP Level to C-Suite) being fulfilled by women, then what hope do I have in achieving that CMO role?
So why am I sharing this?
A 2022 Women in the Workplace report by McKinsey states that there are three key reasons women are not satisfied within the workplace and therefore leave their roles:
- Women still face micro-aggressive and discriminative judgment decreasing their chances of getting a promotion compared to their male peers.
- 43% of women leaders are burnt out compared to 31% of their male counterparts, and the large reason is due to the fact women spend more time on supporting employee well-being and fostering community than men.
- Women are also significantly more likely to leave their roles due to companies’ lack of commitment to employee well-being diversity, equality, and inclusion in the first place.
I want to increase awareness of the micro-aggressive and discriminative prejudices that women face on a day-to-day basis, but if I am honest, I am a little tired of hearing them myself.
The fact of the matter is people are going to get things wrong, and although we see progression, I selfishly don’t feel confident enough to wait for that progression to catch up to the rate at which I would like to climb up my own career ladder.
My story sounds rough, and if I’m honest it has been, but I would be lying if I told you that that was my full truth.
I am a girls-girl, an extravert, and the world’s biggest chatterbox who asks 1,001 questions. It’s also these qualities – the ones I am often judged for – that have helped me to build what I can only describe as some amazing relationships with truly remarkable women.
I have been lucky enough to work with women who have created spaces that have allowed me to be vulnerable, who have advised and brought me great wisdom, and most importantly, women who saw and accepted me for who I really am.
That’s how I am where I am today.
As much as I encourage women to know that they are not alone, to know that it is okay to ask for the things you want – not everyone knows how – or is assertive enough – to take up the opportunities to find other like-minded women.
This is why I will now be taking on the role of Community lead for the Women @ Just Global Community Group and advocating for female mentorship within and outside the Just Global business.
Mentors provide advice, feedback, and coaching through formal or informal relationships. It is beneficial to both parties as women who mentor can develop progressive qualities to drive leadership. Mentees also have the opportunity to absorb insight and become equipped to face challenges as they navigate through the working world – just as I have.
It was the women I had around me that pushed me to keep striving, and the reason why I embrace my challenges and differences rather than allow them to hold me back. I want all of you aspirational women out there to feel the same kind of empowerment.
Thank you for the progress so far
Massive thank you to you both and the wonderful Roxanne for helping to get things started. x
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