Black Women Minorities in the Workplace Interview: Moyosola F

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For those reading, give us a brief description of who you are and what it is you do? 
Hi, my name is Moyosola, Moyo for short. I am 24 years old and currently live at home with my parents in Bromley. Currently, I work as a Press Officer within the automotive industry. I have been in my role for a little over a year and a half and the role compromises of me managing the day to day operation of our company press fleet (in simple terms, I look after a number of different vehicle models within our brand). This involves me managing media (motoring journalists) bookings, the delivery of the vehicles, the vehicle information packs and also the financial operation of the fleet.

In your department how many other minorities are there? How many other black females?
I am the only minority within my department (there are only 6 of us however) and one of three black employees (there are almost 150 of us), one female and two males.

Working in Press & PR do you feel that minorities, especially black people and black females are represented fairly?
Not in the slightest! Within this industry, I am typically the only black female or one of very few at functions. Functions can be anywhere from 10 people to almost 500. The last industry event that I was at was one of the larger ones and it is very difficult to be exact in my guesstimate of how many black females there would have been there but I imagine saying that we made up less than 1% is not unjustified. Telling people to look out for the black female in the room in order for them to know who I am is not an uncommon thing!

Do you ever feel that being a black female has ever stopped you from speaking out at work?
No! As a black female I am already two steps behind the 'norm' in this industry, if i want to get ahead and meet my personal goals in life, I cannot be afraid to speak out and try to get my opinion heard and listened to with a change resulting from it. I have always been regarded as a confident, head strong woman and I believe that to be a key part of why I have been able to take the steps within my career that I have so successfully (thus far)

Do you feel that you get overlooked for career progression or opportunities at work due to being a black female?
Yes, as I said in my last answer a black female is far from the norm within this industry when looking at the CEOs and other top employees. They are typically middle aged white gents. Within my company, the number of female managers is countable on one hand, none of them are black but I have every intention to change that within the next few years :)

Does lack of representation in your field motivate you to succeed?
Definitely. I have always championed the industry I work in because it is so exciting and has so many opportunities. It's not everyday doctor or lawyer, there are other fulfilling career paths out there that challenge, recognise and reward hard work. I have been very fortunate within my working life to have found things easier than others of my friends but that does not mean that I have been able to rest easy, where my counterparts are able to work their 9-5.30 Mon-Fri, I put in my extra hours (when required) and I work harder and smarter to ensure that I am ahead of where I need to be. I need to be hitting those milestones earlier and better than those before me in order to be noticed and taken seriously.

Do you have any words of encouragement for girls who are looking to 
join your field but may be discouraged by the lack of representation?
The lack of representation will remain there for a long time if steps are not taken. You and the next person and the person after them will continue to feel as though they cannot join this field, be the change, etc. until someone decides to take that step. We hear it so often, "behind every great man there's a great woman" aim to be the great woman beside him or at least make the steps to help the black woman behind you to move that step closer to being beside that great man!

In this day and age lack of representation not only happens in our workplaces but in our day to day lives, e.g. TV shows, beauty industry, politics. What are your thoughts on this?
It makes me sad and also annoys me that the typical representations on our tv these days are "angry black women". Now don't get me wrong, I have my angry black woman days but it's not everyday that that is what we are to the outside world. I do believe that steps forward are being made but until the shows we know and love start adjusting their black woman character traits, we will continue to be thought of as such. 

What can be done towards change?
Education, Education, Education. When I say that I do not mean in the classroom learning stuff, I mean educating those around us. It can be something as little as taking those few minutes to answer a question that someone may not know the answer to. My team all know the difference between a wig and a weave because I took the time to show them and explain to them. Granted that won't change the world but I believe that it really does start from steps as little as that. 

"Each one teach one", it is our duty to learn and then teach those around us.

I hope this series provided some insight on the views of Black Women in a range of varying fields where they are a minority within the staff,
Be sure to check out previous interviews:
 - Vicky 
 - Tani 
 - Maggie
 - Yemi

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