Guess we’re all supposed to wearing aprons and hair nets…
Mellody Hobson Says She Was Mistaken For Kitchen Help During Business Meeting
Eight years ago, aspiring senator Harold Ford called investment firm president Mellody Hobson up to ask for help getting press coverage for the upcoming election.
For someone as accomplished as Hobson, this was no problem. She set up a lunch with the editorial board of a major New York media company, which was a huge opportunity for Ford, but things didn’t go quite as she was expecting.
When she and Ford arrived at the company’s office, they informed the receptionist that they were there for the lunch. After ushering them through a series of corridors, the receptionist turned to the two, both dressed to impress, and asked, “Where are your uniforms?”
Ford and Hobson, one a Tennessee state representative, the other a Princeton-educated business executive, had been mistaken for kitchen help.
It was no mistake, though, that Hobson and Ford were both black.
“In many ways the moment caught me off guard,” Hobson explained in her powerful recent TED Talk, “but deep, deep down inside, I actually wasn’t surprised.”
“Imagine if I walked you into a room and it was of a major corporation like Exxon Mobil, and every single person around the boardroom were black. You would think that was weird. But if I walked you into a Fortune 500 company and everyone around the table was a white male, when will it be that we think that’s weird too?”
For those who were unaware, not only is Mellody an intelligent and powerful woman in her own regard, she’s married to one of the most powerful men in Hollyweird, George Lucas.
Guess none of his white privilege rubbed off on her, even in matrimony-dom.
Image via YouTube