The month of ‘love’ has flown by (apologies for the late wrap-up!), though not without my fair share of courageous ventures including finding the confidence to take my platform Diversity Matters to the next level… and a more coy venture which involved butterflies in the stomach thanks to a special someone (I’ll save the details of the latter for another post!)
I entered February with an intention of putting me first (January wrap-up) which meant learning to say no more (including coffee meetings, which somewhat goes against what my blog is about – making those meaningful face-to-face connections). However self-care is still high on the agenda – I can’t stretch myself thin all in the name of making a potential contact. I did however manage to stretch Hot Yoga back as my main self-care routine (even managing to plan meetings around my yoga classes).
When you meet someone you have amazing chemistry with, isn’t intimidated by your ambition, drive or the fact that you’re a strong woman and you happen to be black (oh you’d be surprised by how many are intimidated by me being either or, let alone both!) you don’t want to let go of them too easily when the going gets rough. So I faced an important decision in my personal life to invest in my relationship by being supportive partner. My work life ok the other hand has seen less of an investment despite hustling hard to win corporate partnership for my platform Diversity Matters!
Both personal and work like come with their share of struggles (and uncannily both involve dealing with white men and diversity), which sometimes leaves me feeling misunderstood, all in the name of diversity!
Social diversity bufferfly..
February offered an opportunity to attend lots of events including those more specifically linked to diversity. The Princes Trust ‘Get Hired’ event engaged a diversity of young diverse job-seekers, though I wasn’t there looking to be hired in the same way – I was after contacts from companies to be contracted for my Diversity Matters services (I still ticked all the boxes: young person looking to get hired! You have to be innovative right?!) And of course, the Black Beauty and Fashion Awards was an opportunity to get dulled up in celebration of black owned businesses and entrepeneurs!
Another event of the month was Young Progress Makers event organised by The Evening Standard and Livity (alongside platforms such as HubDot). I took the opportunity to ‘share my story’ during an open floor session. I began with;
“What’s my story you ask? I’ll start with my name. Kai Lutterodt. On paper, I’m could be a white German man. Or Danish or Scandinavian. In reality, I’m a black London girl with Ghanaian roots.
My name doesn’t define me, so much as my experiences do…”
But sometimes I wonder if I was a white German man offering diversity services to companies would I be perceived differently? I already know the answer. And truth is I’m tired of of my culture, my race, my blackness being
appropriated robbed, repackaged and sold to corporate companies by non-BAME (black, Asian and minority ethnic), yet when it’s a service from a BAME-lead organisation, its “we don’t have a budget”.
Don’t expect me to work for FREE.
No seriously, don’t. It’s emotionally and physically draining, often coming from companies with huge budgets for things they deem important – diversity should be on that list. Being expected to work for free when I’m no longer a student, no longer needing to ‘build up a portfolio’, I actually offer a service which addresses the agendas of most companies have; race equality and engaging young diverse talent – it’s demoralising.
A rant or reality?
I left February feeling; why the hell am I even bothering?
I have meeting after meeting with corporate companies who have massive budgets for everything – except when it comes to investing in diversity, particularly race equality. Yet you’ll see them at conferences talking about how much they champion diversity! I honestly can’t deal! I’m all for diversity, but it really shouldn’t be this difficult to offer a service of what almost every company is talking about. I love what I do (Diversity Matters), but I love my mental health and well-being more! I’m so done being expected to work for free – and a FREE space doesn’t pay bills! Ironically I know it’s the fact that I’m both a woman, and black which intimidates these companies.
Would be great to see if Kai Lutterodt was a white German man, would I be going through this ‘wahala’ all in the name of cultural diversity (my partner’s agreed to try out this experiment with me – will keep you posted!)
I’m looking for a partnership with companies who have diversity and inclusion high on their agenda, willing to invest in it through innovative practices.
I might have got the diversity balance right in my personal life (Czech-mate!), but I need it in my work life with the corporate world too. Find out more about Diversity Matters CLICK HERE
Let’s see what March has in store… I’ve got a new afro-blonde look for the new month! Stay posted for what’s set to be a busy month ahead!
Share your thoughts in the comment box below!
So, when are we doing lunch?… or coffee?
Let’s get social – Like, Follow, Share!
p.s I’m “delightfully dyslexic“, so pls read past any typos, unless they’re embarrassing then in that case flag it up to me!)