Reverse Sexism AND Racism? My Contract Cleaning Company Mostly Employs Migrant Women
I remember one day when I was very young, my father – Ched ‘The Solution’ Chesterblent II, CEO, ValueBlast Concrete And Soil LLC – sat me down and explained to me the importance of ethical capitalism. “Just because you own the cookie jar doesn’t mean that you can’t let the dog eat any crumbs that fall to the floor, junior,” he told me as he tipped the maid after carefully checking her handbag.
While ultimately I took the advice too literally, and our faithful hound Snyders died after ingesting a poisonous clump of chocolate, now that I’m an ethical CEO myself I can see the value of my father’s words. As a three-time winner of the Conglomeration Of Diversity Award and a regular financial contributor to LGBTA (Legal & Guilt-free Bahamas Tax Avoidance) organisations, I know what it takes to lead an almost-Fortune 500 company profitably, progressively, and most importantly, profitably.
My fellow executives often call me “The Woke CEO”, because I keep blowing their tiny minds by spending a portion of what they would traditionally call a “yacht-fund” on new posters for the company bathrooms – ones that say things like ‘We Don’t See Gender At ValueBlast, But We Do See HR Immediately If We Hear Someone Talking About Unionising,” and “Think Charging For Tampons But Providing Free Condoms Is Discriminatory And Toxic? Tell That To Your Unplanned Child.”
Those dinosaurs at the old boys club can’t see the value in these sorts of important social initiatives, but I quite wokely can (at least $40,000 a year in free marketing from my staff). That’s why I was so appalled to learn that despite my best efforts at being a progressive, forward-thinking and fun-loving CEO, the very worst kind of discrimination had been festering right under my very nose – in my own company. My father must be turning in his mausoleum.
How did it happen? I was working late one night last week, live-vlogging one of my “brain hurricane” sessions (like a brainstorm, but more disruptive) on ways to improve the engagement metrics for our annual Pride Week video – just the kind of stuff that I’m always thinking about as a Good Ally. Then, out of the corner of my eye, I noticed something unusual: movement.
“How odd,” I thought to myself. “7:30 PM is too early for my dedicated employees to leave!” And I was right – it wasn’t one of my employees betraying company policy. It was one of the contract cleaners that I hired, moving around the room with one of those very inefficient-looking vacuum cleaners that they have on their back sometimes. You know the kind. Siri, make a note: disrupt that.
Anyway, I don’t usually see colour, or gender, or really anything else after I’ve had my evening nootropic, but as I stared around the room at all of these cleaners sweeping up crumbs, wiping tables and so on, two things struck me. Firstly, not a single one of them was wearing the mandatory “Code Is Binary, Gender Is Not” pin that I had manufactured out of the money I cut from the employee health fund, which was already enough to ruin my night.
Secondly, and more importantly: they were nearly all women of colour. Great, right?
Wrong! Exactly the sort of mistake you, a problematic kind of person, would make. When I spoke at the TEDX Silicon Valley Diversity Disruptor about the need to “hire more underrepresented people” – first of all, I meant to say contract more underrepresented people. I didn’t get to be CEO by hiring people unnecessarily (write this down). Secondly, I didn’t mean at the expense of already-represented people! What’s the point in me sending all-staff emails with links to my TED talks if nobody is going to watch them during their fifteen minutes of generously-allotted lunch time?
Every good ally knows that diversity is a cold hard numbers game: 60% men, 30% women, 10% miscellaneous, and 20% profit margin. As a CEO my brain is uniquely positioned to think about numbers as big as, or even more than 100, which is why I’ve been able to be such a champion for marginalised voices and, more particularly, marginal tax rates. Now was the time to stand up and make a difference in both of these important areas.
Staring out across the room at all of these women of colour, working for minimum wage in my office, barely able to speak a word of English, I knew this was what the Ancient Greeks called a moment of krisis, or in the modern parlance, good content. It was time to walk the talk, and flex on bigotry so that I could post about it later on LinkedIn.
“Take a video of this,” I ordered one of my employees who I judged from the short coloured hair to be an artist. Then, with only a minimum of struggling, I stood up on a desk, cleared my throat loudly, and shouted “Security! Please escort all of these women of colour out of my office immediately!”
Now, full disclosure: I haven’t checked the numbers on the video yet because I immediately took an Uber to the airport so I could get to my monthly 10-day digital detox retreat at a resort in Switzerland on time, but my PA assures me that it’s”definitely going viral”! So here is my message for all of you problematic a**holes reading this – it doesn’t matter whether you’re a contract cleaner, a contract QA tester, or the President of the United Goddamn States of America – progressives like me are coming for you, and we won’t stop until you change your ways, or change the tax legislation (a good CEO needs to learn to compromise).