I am proud to be able to say “Madam Vice President” to the first Southeast Asian American, the first African American, and the first female Vice President in US history. I’m delighted that millions of girls see endless possibilities rather than endless limitations for themselves and those like them, and I know that they can not only play the part they want and work hard, but who ‘they can start movements and create opportunities when there are none.
Today’s inauguration ceremony marks not only the start of a new presidency, but also a new era for the BIPOC community – and in particular, for women of color. Kamala harris because the vice president is colossal for women of color, who must overcome both racism and sexism to gain access to opportunities, and then excel in those opportunities to be successful.
Sad facts about the performance
I am an immigrant and a trader by profession; It’s not often that I meet another marketing leader who looks like me. Sadly, few Southeast Asian women hold leadership positions in marketing. It’s even sadder that for the few women who do, they aren’t usually valued for their work. I rarely see people who look like me in advertising, be it beauty, healthcare, or banking, even though I am a consumer of the same set of products and services as everyone else. While it is great to see more and more women (and men) of color being appointed to leadership positions, we still have a long way to go.
In part, a lack of BIPOC in leadership is due to existing systems that promote a world where we do not have role models who look like us in positive positions of authority – whether they are CEOs, marketing directors, political leaders, decision-makers or super -hero. The absence of these patterns can affect self-esteem. And that reduces resilience against racism, perpetuating those systems.
What this inauguration means
Today’s inauguration is a heavy blow to this centuries-old system that points to a more inclusive world.
I am optimistic that the election of Kamala Harris will increase the representation of BIPOC communities at all levels. Until we have fair representation, as marketers, let’s commit to doing our part to amplify the voices of people of color by including, understanding and nurturing those voices and what they represent.
When we see that these voices are missing in the rooms we find ourselves in, let us commit to creating opportunities for those voices. It’s not just about being included; it is also to be heard. It is high time to ask the questions: “What perspectives are we missing here today?” How can we make sure we consider them to make our work better and more inclusive? “
We may not yet have satisfactory answers. Yet right now, let’s all be proud.