This thought has been on my mind for most of this year and maybe part of last year: have I garnered attention to my accomplishments for the sake of my accomplishments and my own merit, or has some of it been based off of my standing in society as a minority AND as a woman?
I am probably not the first to have this thought; it is something that intrigues and bothers me. Earlier this year, I was thinking about applying for a small business award in the area. However, I have put those plans off until next year since TAOpivot is still pretty new (and only now gaining attention). Still, I was put off by the different categories listed for the awards: Best Small Business, Best Small Business Owned by Minority (Women included), and several other categories. I found myself questioning, “Why would I want to apply for the one that’s blatantly spelled out for me?”
Many times, I believe that groups, organizations, hell, even awards/recognitions can oftentimes wear the thin veil of segregation. Just look at some headlines that have popped up in recent media: “Best Female Leaders of 2013”, “First Hispanic CEO”, “Successful Black Women in Business”, and so forth. It is great and all to highlight these people, but to put that label on them? Can they not just be “best leaders”, “great CEO”, and “successful women in business”? Why do we have to point out what is “special” about their recognition?
In the end, it’s still segregation and borders racism. I know in my case, I want to noticed for my accomplishments and merits ALONE, and NOT because I am an Asian woman. Do not get me wrong: I am proud of my Asian heritage and proud of being a woman of the 21st century. But I do not want to have labels put upon me when I am recognized for my achievements. I just want to be recognized for being a living, breathing human being who has achieved great things.
It’s time we put those labels aside and be proud of who we are for what we do, and not for the color of our skin or our gender.