Ok so I know I was supposed to blog my first day at work, but things are kinda busy here, so I will blog my first week, I started last Monday, My manager is an older guy, from Denmark…He has been here for 20 years so he still has somewhat of an aussie accent but you can hear his thick Danish accent as well, to my right is a Chinese guy named Peter, and to my left is a Pilipino girl named Ada, who is still in Uni, but works three days a week, Both Peter and Ada are very smart, and very helpful as I begin to get adjusted. Also behind me is the most senior guy on my team, Chris….Chris is an aussie, young guy, super smart, I can tell I will learn the majority of the things I need to succeed in this role from him. Macquarie is a very fast paced company they have a very aggressive appetite for risk and expect excellence from all of its employees; in return they compensate through the roof and award you for your hard work
First day fly’s by, mixed with introductions and orientations, I had a brief meeting with my manager where he basically said, “I want you to observe where we are, and take us to the next level”…uhh no pressure…lol.
Fast forward to Wednesday, we happened to be having a town hall meeting (where the entire division meets) as I am sitting in the auditorium I notice I am the only black person in there… the only one, in my entire division. So unless someone called out sick, or had another meeting, it looks like I am the only black person in my org, structure.
I bring this up as a prelude to something I have decided that I want to dedicate part of my philanthropic efforts on. This mission, along with other things, will be to expose African Americans to life outside of what we are generally exposed to. The fact that I am the only black person in my division has nothing to do with racism, as this is not a raciest place. It’s not like we are interviewing and not getting the job, or getting passed up, or blah blah blah. You can’t “blame it on the man” here…
I am Mike the American, The guy from Wachovia…for the first time in my life I am not first defined by race, and then by other relevant criteria, I will give an example later with an amusing story from brunch on Sunday. Anywho, in the week I have been here I have already been involved with screening CV’s (resumes) for other people that are looking to join our team, and I have yet to even get a resume from a black person, it’s as if we are not competing in the global work place like our peers. I have received resumes from Indian, Asian, Caucasian, American, Dutch, Chinese, Korean, Danish, French, Arabic, British; you name it every ethnic make-up is represented except for us.
So the pressing question is why? The only theory I have at this point is exposure, (I am very open to hearing your thoughts as well) If I grow up in a house, where we travel, we take vacations, I have had my passport since I was 5, my father travelled on business, my mother spent time in other countries etc…I am more apt to have a global view of the world. I am more apt to think of working abroad as a tangible goal, and not a lofty dream.
This is at least my theory, so I am sitting in the auditorium listening to a presentation on how we plan to enter the Asian markets, and how we would like to structure our business, and I can’t help but to think these things.