Someone Is Missing from This Table…

Someone Is Missing from This Table… January 30, 2020

Y’all. It’s 2020. That’s why we get to see pictures like these. Do you notice anything? My daughter would, if I asked her. She notices these things. And I wish she didn’t have to. Because again, it’s 2020. I get that grew up in a world where men still predominated in essentially every field and agency, but does my daughter really have to, too?

I mean for gracious sake, look at this:

White man, white man, white man, white man, white man, white man, white man, white man, white woman, Asian man, white man, white man, white man, white man.

This is absurd. 30% of people in the U.S. are white men, but 87% of the men around that table are white men. And just so we’re clear, nearly every person standing or sitting along the walls is also a white man. How many room still look like this, today? There are many problems with this picture, but I will raise just two.

First, when you have a lack of diversity at the table, things get missed. Women and people of color bring additional perspectives—perspectives based in experiences white men don’t have. That matters. Second, though, are all the little girls who get to grow up seeing images like this. White girls, yes, but also black girls. Hispanic girls. All girls.

A white girl may see herself in that picture, as an attache, working out her place in the shadow of white men. A black girls doesn’t even get to see that. How much talent is going untapped because girls, and particularly girls of color, are going unseen and unheard, their potential unrealized? What do images like this communicate to girls?

It’s 2020. How are we still here, in 2020?

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