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Check your privilege

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Privilege is invisible to those who have it

Publicada em: Negócios
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Check your privilege

  2. 2. For the past 6 months, I have been dating a Pakistani man. We met during an event in Rio and then met again in Pakistan last year when I was invited to give some talks over there. And when you date somebody who is not from your country, you obviously discover a lot of things.
  3. 3. I discovered amazing landscapes.
  4. 4. I discovered a place vibrant with culture and architecture.
  5. 5. I learnt about sufism.
  6. 6. And of course I attended weddings !
  7. 7. I got so inspired that I ended up writing about it.
  8. 8. And that we shot a documentary about masculinity in the country.
  9. 9. But I think that what I discovered the most was something else. When I travel to Pakistan, people are worried for me because I am a woman. But you know what decades of British colony have done ?
  10. 10. Inculcate in every single Pakistani that white is better than brown.
  11. 11. You can see it in the ads. You can see it in the creams that you can buy to whiten your skin or get cancer. You can see that fairer women have better and more marriage proposals than darker ones.
  12. 12. Ava Gardner in Lahore So I am safe. People treat me like a queen over there.
  13. 13. And when I come with my naive who cares about colonialism ideas, you know what they show me ? Their passport.
  14. 14. Do you know to how many countries you can go without a visa? Me, 170. 170 out of 200. I just buy a ticket and take a plane. An A380 if possible  Anywhere. Anytime.
  15. 15. Visa free countries for EU citizens
  16. 16. My boyfriend, 28. Mostly islands.
  17. 17. • Meaning that planning holidays is a sheer headache. • Meaning that if he feels like visiting me, he can’t. If he suddenly misses me too much as many lovers do, he is physically incapable of doing so. • If I fall sick and I need him by my side, he cannot be here. Impossible. There is an invisible barrier between us. • It is called privilege. • I have the privilege to be white and to hold a fantastic European passport. • And as most of us who have privilege, I did not deserve it especially and on top of it, I am not aware of it.
  18. 18. • Many of us, Europeans, Americans, Australians do not even have a passport, or never use it. And if we do, we take it for granted. • I have never been questioned at an airport, I am never stopped in the street and asked about my identity, I have never felt any animosity towards me at customs or border. NEVER. • I am never afraid to not be able to board a plane or to be denied the entry in any country. • I am white and I am privileged.
  19. 19. t men (and some women) around the world think sexism is not an issue an w examples of male privilege: vilege of a gender that confers authority. vilege to show skin and dress as you wish. vilege of seeing yourself widely and positively represented in the media. vilege of having political off cials f ght for issues that pertain to your sex. vilege of having major religions in the world led by individuals of your sex. vilege to move or date without fear of harassment, assault, or rape. is what Roland Barthes calls “exnomination.” Male gender is considered the nor lem then lies with the other, which men feel they do not belong to. PRIVILEGE IS WHEN YOU THINK SOMETHING IS NOT A PROBLEM BECAUSE IT’S NOT A PROBLEM TO YOU. • Most white people think racism is gone now. • Most men think sexism is not an issue anymore. • Most heterosexual people think homophobia is not a reality.
  20. 20. So my first question to you is : are you aware of your privilege ?
  21. 21. A few examples of male privilege
  22. 22. You are less often interrupted.
  23. 23. Toilets are designed so that you don’t have to wait.
  24. 24. You can occupy more space.
  25. 25. Most of the politicians and decision makers belong to your gender.
  26. 26. #MoreWomen
  27. 27. #MoreWomen
  28. 28. #MoreWomen
  29. 29. #MoreWomen
  30. 30. #MoreWomen
  31. 31. #MoreWomen
  32. 32. You can work without fear of harassment, assault, or rape. ELEPHANT IN THE VALLEY
  33. 33. You can be paid more for your work.
  34. 34. Language includes you all the time.
  35. 35. So we need to check our privilege.
  36. 36. This is an uncomfortable conversation. • Most common reactions to privilege conversations. • Defensiveness: “I’m not going to feel guilty for what I inherited. If some people don’t have those same privileges, tough luck!” • Paralyzing guilt: “This is just so unfair, but what am I supposed to do about it!? I never asked for this, and one little person can’t change a system that’s been around for hundreds of years!” • • But again, these reactions are because deep down, you know it’s not OK. •
  37. 37. Let it be clear. Not everybody is in favor of an equitable society.
  38. 38. • Because change triggers fears. • Will I lose my privilege? • Where do I stand? • What is my new role? • What is my identity? • What Is OK and not OK now? I am lost. • Will « the other » take my seat, overpower me and exclude me now as I excluded him/her in the past? • So the best defense mechanism is denial. • The best way to avoid change is to refuse to acknowledge the problem. • And denial takes many forms: – Questioning the figures – Relativizing the situation – Saying it’s already better now – Making jokes – Being cynical about it
  39. 39. Long live denial
  40. 40. And also because these ideas of inequity are deeply part of our education and our culture.
  41. 41. Consciously or unconsciously, we believe there is a hierarchy between human beings.
  42. 42. And we tend to justify it by nature…so that we don’t need to question ourselves.
  43. 43. We used to believe that black people had smaller brains.
  44. 44. That gay people have a disease or act against nature.
  45. 45. And that women are naturally weaker.
  46. 46. So what are you going to do about it?
  47. 47. The question is: how do you level the playing field? • Equity means acknowledging one’s privilege and accepting that extra help is given to those who have less.
  48. 48. I believe we all have a role to play to balance the world.
  49. 49. • I believe we all have a role to play to balance the world. • Ten years ago, I joined my tribe. A tribe of restless individuals who pick the problem they are most passionate about and try to make a change, with their own means. A tribe of social innovators, of entrepreneurs, of changemakers. • My fight was gender, because I grew up in a very patriarchal family in the Pyrenees, where I could see how both women and men were suffering from the boxes they were trapped in. • And now that’s what I do, I travel all around the world to identify solutions to everyday sexism, I write about it, I talk about it, I coach women and men to better master their own narrative and be the captains of their lives, no matter what gender norms say.
  50. 50. Diversity is the new darwinism. Either you adapt or you die.
  51. 51. What is YOUR fight? • Because diversity is the new Darwinism. We can cling desperately to the old world, we can drown ourselves into denial or we can embrace change and make the world a better place for our children. • Diverse companies will survive. The others will die. • Diverse companies outperform others. • They have a better image and thus attract the best talent. • They better mirror their customers. • They have better ideas, are more innovative.
  52. 52. Diverse companies outperform others.
  53. 53. Source: Apple diversity website
  54. 54. And because “minorities” tend to outperform to prove their value.
  55. 55. Source: Apple diversity website
  56. 56. It’s people like Moojan setting up the biggest tech event in her home country Iran, inspite of the political constraints.
  57. 57. It’s people like Kiran running events to portray inspiring women in tech and who has an interesting business card…
  58. 58. It is Guillaume setting up an airbnb type project to host refugees in our homes.
  59. 59. And then an incubator for those refugees who want to launch their business.
  60. 60. It’s people like Mathieu bringing young people on a bus all around France to get inspired by the best social entrepreneurs and start their own project.
  61. 61. We stand at an historical turning point It’s time for a radical change. Some before us have gone beyond their own personal privilege.
  62. 62. White people have fought with the civil rights movement.
  63. 63. Heterosexuals have fought for marriage for all.
  64. 64. And many men present themselves as feminist.
  65. 65. Because at one point, you realize that what you believe in is bigger than defending your own individual privilege. It actually comes down to human values.
  66. 66. What are you doing to balance the world?
  67. 67. • As an individual, How do you respect others ? How do you challenge your own biases ? • As a manager, how do you open your pipeline ? how do you mentor your talent ? how do you ensure your working environment is safe and not hostile ? how flexible are you in terms of hours? What about paternity leave ? do you portray success stories of people from diverse backgrounds ? • As a company, how do you truly make these values a reality ? How do you make them visible ?