A Black corporate employee is calling out the ways in which companies indirectly signal to employees of color that they’re a “diversity hire.”
In a video viewed more than 86,000 times as of Friday, creator MeLi Castelly (@melissacastelly) listed the numerous ways in which their role seemed to only exist to help with company optics and make them appear diverse.
While sitting in what appears to be an office, she stares at the camera and the caption reads, “How you know you’re a diversity hired in corporate leadership.” The various reasons then pop up on the screen to the tune of the Lil Baby song “Low Down”: “They want your face on everything, major meetings don’t include you, your ideas are constantly stolen [and] you’re the only ‘minority.'” The TikToker clarified in a comment that the video was not true of her current employer, but a previous one.
The Daily Dot reached out to Castelly via TikTok comment.
@melissacastelly I mean, at least you made it 😅 right? #hr #diversityandinclusion #corporatelife #corporatetiktok #corporatebae #corporatemillennial #fyp #9to5 #toxicworkplace #careertiktok #careertok #blacktiktok #blackgirltiktok #blackcorporate ♬ original sound – Connor
In the aftermath of George Floyd’s murder at the hands of a white police officer in Minneapolis and racial justice protests across the U.S., many companies had pledged to ramp up diversity and inclusion efforts. Companies included Amazon, Facebook, and Adidas, along with a slew of others.
However, reports have found a sizeable amount of organizations have not kept their promises or have done so abysmally. The attrition rate, or percent in which people leave their jobs voluntarily or involuntarily, was 33% for diversity and inclusion roles at the end of 2022, compared to 21% for non-DEI roles, NBC News reported.
Many commenters, particularly those of color, seemed to sympathize with Castelly’s remarks.
“You get there and I can promise the pay is not the same as peers because they think they doing you a favor,” one commenter said.
“This was me. I felt offended when they asked if they could use a picture of me for the company page,” another person added.
One commenter even pointed out another way in which they felt undervalued, sharing, “Or when you get into those meetings and they cut you off or talk over you THEN pass the idea you had as their own!”
According to one survey, Black employees represent only 3.8% of chief diversity officers overall. While white people make up 76.1% of the roles.