If You’re Privileged, Embrace It to Help Others

If you’re privileged and you know it, clap your hands. Is that the sound of one hand clapping?

“Were all privileged in some way. And yet,” says Kristen Bakalar, “We’re scared to talk about it in the workplace.”

If insisting that the privileged acknowledge it makes you uncomfortable, Bakalar told her DisruptHR audience in Philadelphia it was likely her talking about was making them squirm. That riles her “because privilege actually has the power to make real change in our organizations.”

The problem is with the baggage that accompanies the notion of privilege. “If you’re privileged you don’t work. If you’re privileged you only got that job because your parents were rich,” she says, listing some of the myths surrounding the privileged. “But that’s not how it works.”

Privilege, says Bakalar, Senior Manager, Engagement & Inclusion at Athena Health, works to “immunize” us from the stereotypes and discrimination faced by those who are not so privileged. “Navigating the workplace is hard. For everyone. But it’s a hell of a lot easier when you’ve had your vaccinations.”

She explains: “People who have not been vaccinated find it harder to establish credibility. To find access to people and resources and to find opportunities for advancement.”

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While the privileged are not to be marginalized, they do have a responsibility to the unimmunized, and that’s by offering them their Signature, their Seat and their Spotlight. Take the next 5 minutes to learn what that means and how to use your privilege to benefit others.

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