It can be scary starting a new job. Not just, y’know, the whole “livelihood” thing, but also because the first couple of weeks can be very socially tense. It takes time to get a read on everyone you work with, and if your luck’s less than great, you may find that your personality and mannerisms don’t gel well with theirs. Farjana Rohman certainly felt that way, though unfortunately, her discomfort lasted a little longer than the first couple of weeks.
At the start of her career ten years ago, Farjana felt out of place in her position at CitiGroup, where most of her coworkers were white males from Ivy League schools. Originally from Bangladesh, the mannerisms she had learned growing up, such as eating with her hands and avoiding eye contact, were flipped completely on their head. There were times where her feelings of not belonging were so strong, that she wanted to quit.
Thankfully, though, this is where the story takes a happy turn. Mike Corbat, CEO of CitiGroup, has dedicated his recent efforts to taking stances on issues plaguing many large American businesses such as sexism and racism. It is Mike’s belief that differences should be embraced and celebrated because they provide so many different angles and perspectives when managing a company. Farjana was surprised and moved by Mike’s earnest efforts, and gained the courage she needed to take pride in her differences, rather than feel ashamed of them. Her career has been going strong since, with no signs of slowing down.