EP27 C is for code-switching

In this curated episode we bring together 2 discussions. The first with Romesh Hettiarachchi, a commercial lawyer, and the second between Susan and Rohini on the microaggressions that compound and lead to many marginalized individuals’ submissive reactions in the face of bias.

Romesh tells the story of when he was setting up his firm. He had a number of different directions to consider. The first was to name it after himself, and why he chose not to go that route. He details some of the non-financial factors of decision-making like comfort, fit, perhaps quite key, the ability to pronounce the name of the other person. He chose not to name the firm after himself and instead went with B&I – Business and Innovation. He also details the distinction between the legal name of an entity and a brand name in which you engage with clients. And why he often recommends a blended approach. 

We talk about the cost of participation in the inclusion space is perceived as high. “What if I get that wrong? I would feel called out.” Even from something as simple as a name.

Then we move on over to the impact of microaggressions based on cliched biases, and learning the resilience it takes from marginalized folx to navigate that.

Many folx face bias on a daily basis. In the form of microaggressions. We’ve heard it described really well by a guest who was on The 4am Report podcast – Colin Druhan. He referred to microaggressions as paper cuts. So if someone has asked you to call them ‘they’ and you call them ‘she’ repeatedly there is a cumulative effect. 

Susan talks of how she often asked for Indian recipes, particularly Chicken Tikka recipes. How she has cerebrally tried to work it out for herself saying,” Well of course they ask you that because you’re a good cook. You talk about food often. You used to be a food blogger. And you shouldn’t be offended by that.” But the fact remains if a relationship with her is purely reliant on someone asking her those cliched questions and they don’t even know her well enough to know that she’s vegetarian, then she doesn’t have to answer them. 

Listen up to this very example-filled episode that will make you take a deeper look at the things you say and how you say them.

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