During our Minority Identities in the Workplace event earlier this month, SagePost47 alumni mentors shared how they became aware of their minority identities and how that influenced their experiences at work. A big thank you to all who came!
It was a very interesting panel for the leadership team since one of the mentors, Iris, moderated the panel, instead of Victoria and I.
SagePost47 has been fortunate to have Iris join many of our Hangouts. She was a great moderator and asked many insightful questions with which the other mentors resonated a lot.
The other two mentors are Caress who is an African American female working in the media industry, and Sergio from Mexico who works for a non-profit organization helping minorities with immigration law.
They all shared heartily-felt emotions and experiences as well as often funny anecdotes. For instance, when Iris was working at Deloitte, her supervisor got everyone a little stuffed animal as a gift. While her male colleagues got lions and tigers, she got a little duck.
There were some instances where a mentor’s experience resonated with everyone else. Everyone on the video call and in the student audience would nod, and have a smile on their face that said “I feel you!”
We felt however that the students were a little more nervous to engage than they were in previous events.When Victoria and I moderated the event, we served as mediator between the mentors and the students.Our physical presence helped bridge the gap between the students on campus and the virtual mentors on the screen. Perhaps that mediation helped ease the distance between students and alumni mentors as well as humans and computers.
Iris moderating the panel provided an awesome and insightful talk that gave me the feeling of watching a successful and engaging documentary or interview. Subconsciously assuming the role of a spectator instead of an interacting audience, I was less inclined to interact with the mentors, and perhaps the other students who came shared a similar experience.
It was a very enjoyable and insightful talk, and all team members were also excited to come up with questions to ask the mentors. Victoria thought of a lot of on-point questions that we thought she found her new thesis topic! For instance, when we saw her question “did you ever need to silence yourself in order to fit in with your colleagues", we all thought of a corresponding experience of our own; and when we posed this question to the mentors, they all had much to say, since this was an experience they had “all the time!!“”
[small plug] We ordered boba from 85C Bakery as refreshments for our event. This is a pretty popular Asian bakery that recently opened one of its chains near Claremont. So if you like Asian bakery or boba….
SagePost is always looking to improve the services it offers on both the mentor and student side. Immediately after the event, everyone shared long trains of thoughts as we did when reflecting on past events. Tian and Vicky talked for a while in the library, and after that Vicky and I had another half an hour chat about it in her car, before we scheduled a chat with Chris [who is starting his new job this week, Congrats Chris!]. Chris also emailed with the mentors to follow up.
Thanks for reading! Please let us know if you have any thoughts on our events!