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On January 17, a TikTok and Instagram video featuring the point of view of a fired ‘token BLK girl,’ was posted and has since went viral.
In the raw video, she painfully describes the mental hoops and hurdles experienced throughout her time in corporate spaces as the only Black woman in the room.
While Tech companies continue to slash thousands of jobs, the unnamed woman’s video is a reminder that each lost job has a person’s life attached to it.
Last hired, first fired
As the tears flowed while she spoke her truth, the story resonated with many who can relate to feeling disposable in a White work space.
The night’s rain poured outside as she vowed this would be the last time a Tech company would control her livelihood and emotion.
“I am never getting fired, laid off, nothing ever again, ” she affirmed.
Black women feel unemployment differently
According to Forbes, the US employment rate has remained stagnant for Black Americans and increased for Black women at 5.7% and 5.5% respectively.
Specifically, Black women continue to experience persistent unemployment gaps and reduced economic opportunity.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics says Black women make up nearly 7% of the workforce, and still, they are severely underrepresented in leadership positions, especially among CEOs of Fortune 500 companies.
As mass Tech layoffs continue, Black employees remain a small fraction of workforce
According to Pew Research, there has been no change in the share of Black workers in STEM jobs since 2016, and while women now earn a majority of all undergraduate and advanced degrees, they remain a small share of degree earners in fields like engineering and computer science—and continue to be significantly underrepresented in those areas of the workforce as well.
Forbes reports in the last seven years, the representation of Black professionals in the tech sector has only increased by 1%. Additional studies by the BCS expressed that Black women account for only 0.7% of all IT roles.
A toxic combination of a colluding workplace inside of a good ol’ boys tech industry, along with persisting pay gaps have been primary drivers for many talented Black women in tech to leaving their jobs to start their own company.
Standing by her word, the woman’s Instagram profile now reads “Media Content Creator, Entrepreneur, and Documentary Filmmaker.”
As a filmmaker, this storyteller’s journey seems to be just beginning.
Check out her trailer below.