Is Natural Hair a Blessing or a Curse In The Workplace? Interviews with 3 high-flying naturals (Part II)
It’s day two of our blog series on natural hair and the workplace. I had the pleasure of interviewing social media and career expert Mathy Lisika-Minsende.
Mathy is the founder of Whathejobisthis, a career support business which specialises in career transitions and advancement. She is a current speaker for TEDxtalk “The Future of Work.” Mathy has twelve years undiluted knowledge of careers and employment having gained experience as Job Broker/Recruiter, Mentor, Trainer, Career Coach and more.
Now let’s get started!
Q: What inspired you to go natural?
Mathy: I woke up one morning and I was bored after trying nearly every possible hair style. But I also wanted to prove to myself and to my friends and family that I truly wasn’t ugly with natural hair.
Q: During your career in the corporate/professional world, did you ever feel as if your hair or appearance impacted how people perceived you?
Mathy: I never had any problem with my white colleagues or other non- black. Most of my managers just appreciated and admired who I was and my skills mattered more than anything. The problem came with my other black colleagues. I even got bullied at work by a black female manager because of how different my hair was on certain days and then I realised it was just down to her own sense of insecurity around me.
Q: A lot of people believe that having natural hair isn’t professional, beautiful or attractive. How do you feel about these assumptions? Do you agree/ disagree and why?
Mathy: No I don’t agree. It really is about how you feel on the inside. Rene Descarte says – I think, therefore I am. People respond to how you feel about yourself.
Q: How did your friends and family react to you going natural?
Mathy: They freaked out. They told me I would never look beautiful or even be able to attract a descent guy. They hated it.
Q: Who reacted most positively to your natural hair?
Mathy: Colleagues, total strangers, some friends.
Q: What’s your current occupation and has being natural affected it in any way?
Mathy: I master my own time working for myself by helping others redefine the way they see work and careers.
Q: Finally, what advice would you give to people who are thinking of going natural but are afraid that it might affect their careers?
Mathy: Don’t look for approval external factors to help you determine your hair choice. The opinion of others should always be secondary.
Thanks to Mathy Lisika-Mende for taking time to speak to us.
What did you learn from the interview? Tell us in the comments below.