What do you do differently when you are the first or one of the few? Of course, you have to do the basics like everyone else. Some even admit you are expected to do more: like demonstrate you can while others indicate they have the potential to.
You are convinced you are where you are based on your own merit, yet you also are reminded that you represent more than you.
Part of you recognizes and accepts you are enveloped in stereotypes, some from within and some from around you. Which ones are true and which are untrue?
For the most part you do not mind being asked for your insights about differences, as long as they are solicited on other topics too. It takes more effort to know when others are open to you being the first to raise perspectives from a diversity point of view.
The truth is if you are the first or one of the few, it is not likely a new experience for you. You already know how to read the brief head nod from the brothers you pass, and the fleeting glimpse of surprise when someone was clearly not expecting someone who looked like you. You know this is your opportunity to move them from “all those people….”, at least to “there may be a few….”
If being the first takes some effort, there is more effort to be the next one or two. Do you dare hire someone else like you? Do the two of us or most of the few gather together in full view?
You were willing to be the first. Are you determined to have more than a few?