A day to never forget

Last week, I had the opportunity to be one of the panelists at the 2nd round table of the event “Black Women and the world of work”, promoted by the Ministry of Racial Equality, at ENAP (MIR) in Brasília (DF).

Before becoming a Foodlover, I worked in Technology for 24 and a half years and took countless affirmative actions to bring Women and People of Color into the game. I founded Arquipélago das Vagas, an initiative that helps unemployed people return to the job market and find new career prospects in Technology. Currently, as Equity Director at iFood, I have been fulfilling my dream of finally working exclusively with Social Impact.

The central proposal was to share the pains and victories of our journey in the job market, in the segments in which we operate.

It was incredibly special to hear from those women and see so many others in the audience shed tears as they listened to me because they identified with me and my story. In fact, no matter how much empathy one has, I believe that no person of different race and gender backgrounds than black women would be capable of feeling these shares so intensely. Therefore, it remains for me to summarize the role of each of them and the statements that impacted me the most in the hope that they will also make a difference in the lives of other people who could not be there, including people of other ethnicities and genders so that we can build, each increasingly, awareness of how urgent and necessary anti-racist education is.  

The first round table, mediated by Márcia Lima, secretary of Affirmative Policies at MIR, brought together black women protagonists in public service: a judge, two researchers who became diplomats and two researchers who became managers. Most of them are located in directories of Government ministries and, being very honest, I have no words to translate here what it was like to hear each of these powerful/impactful speeches. Check it out below:

Tatiana Dias, researcher and diplomat from Salvador, director of Information Management at MIR. She spent most of her career being asked if she worked in another less important public office, simply because she was black. She was so well known that she ended up in Brasília after reading an advertisement in a printed newspaper about the competition that led her to become a researcher/public servant. 

Aparecida Chagas, director of Innovation in Public Services at MGI. Researcher raised in a quilombo in Mato Grosso who is certain: she owes a lot to the articulate leaders of her homeland who, recognizing her talent, guided her to become a researcher and public servant, which shows us how black communities organize themselves to training leaders and how much this example needs to be repeated so that, one day, we have more black people making decisions in public and private initiatives.

Roseli Faria, director of Rights Promotion at the Secretariat of Justice. Planner who, as soon as she arrived in Brasília, understood the need to take unconventional paths, as there were almost no others like her in the public service. It was at Graça's beauty salon (an anti-racist activist) that she found the support she needed to survive in public service in her early years. 

Paula Gomes, diplomat and head of the MIR International Advisory. After completing an international mission, he was initially moved when he returned and saw the evolution of representation within Itamaraty. To the same extent, he was frightened by cases of burnout that her colleagues were going through, possibly caused by racial loneliness/self-pressure to be exponentially better, in search of the next step, towards protagonism/leadership.

Karen Luise Vilanova, assistant judge of the Presidency of the National Council of Justice (CNJI). Gaúcha brought us the highlights of racial prejudice in the least black capital of the country, in the context of 30 years ago and which has survived in the Federal Justice scenario, articulating communities of black judges who are against each other and support each other, in search of equity in decision-making. decisions.

A hug for more than a thousand words

In the second round table, mediated by Natalia Nerys, general coordinator of Affirmative Action Policies at MIR, I had the honor of being a panelist alongside allies in the anti-racist fight working in the Innovation, Science, Entrepreneurship and Technology segments, which I present below. 

Adriana Barbosa, founder of Feira Preta who, before so many other movements, dug, with her own hands, the first spaces for black entrepreneurship. Because of this, in the last 20 years, it has impacted thousands of black and brown entrepreneurs.  

Nina of the hour, the girl who is practically the same age as I have been in the profession. She moved me because she showed me that if women of her generation today have so much freedom of thought, it's because my contemporaries and I came before, paving the way. Contemporary diva, Nina is the author of algorithms that, hacking the system itself, seek cyber justice. She moved the audience with the victories she has achieved, but it was by sharing her self-sabotages that she got everyone thinking.

Jaqueline Góes, biomedical and researcher, member of the team responsible for sequencing the genome of the SARS-Cov-2 virus. During his sharing of scientific success, he emphasized the welcome of his teachers/teachers as a fundamental point for him not to give up on the path, even in the face of all adversities, especially those caused by structural racism. 

Before we closed the panel, I couldn't resist doing my usual job, which is connecting “islands”. The Academy was there – represented by scientists Nina da Hora (Technology), Jaqueline Goes (Medicine) and me, who has been an MBA Professor for a few years, the Government – on this occasion, through MIR, with whom we have been with for months, in the process of building bridges –, the Private initiative – (iFood represented by me and Thoughtworks represented by Nina – and Empreendedorismo Preto – through Adriana Barbosa (I can’t help but mention how much hub Feira Preta has match with our iFood Believe Program, which has been led here internally by me and which was created to promote restaurants owned by black and brown entrepreneurs in our ecosystem).

In the morning panel, the questions were based on concerns about the next steps to, in addition to Inclusion, improve the reception of black women in public and private initiatives. 

As a newcomer to the Tech Movement Board, I have been putting myself at work to achieve a greater scale of employability/retention of the people we train in companies. In addition to iFood and XP (supporters of Movimento Tech), we have almost 40 strategic partners and are working to: 1) at least double the number of partners in the coming months; 2) so that there are commitments from each company to hire these professionals and retain at least part of the people we train. 

The big dream here is to get to the point of obtaining tax incentives, via the government, for companies that make affirmative hiring, through agnostic movements and, in this case, the Tech Movement, will be just one of them. 

Dreams are big, the possibilities for meeting demands are not as agile as we would like, but Angela Davis once said: “When black women move, the entire structure of society moves with them”. 

That said, in my head, I already see us, up front, celebrating the scale of this big dream, together with these and so many other black and white women allies, who are focused on this goal. And here, I proudly include the representatives of the Ministry of Racial Equality. After all, through the central figure of the powerful black woman who is Anielle Franco, there is a special group of women, who I already consider key partners, as a link, in our – fundamental – collective transformation strategy.

In the end, I almost missed the flight back, since we couldn't get out of there, without allowing, as in all good quilombas, the audience to hug us. 

Discover the faces of these incredible women

About Angel Vasconcelos

iFood's Equity Director, Angel is iFood News' newest columnist. A balancer, always balancing family, career and social projects, Angel is accomplished for having achieved professional success against all odds. Born and raised on the outskirts of Osasco, she attended and graduated from public school. Always unhappy with the fact that most of the people around her, especially black people, do not have the same training and career opportunities, she founded, in 2020, the NGO Arquipélago das Vagas, which under the slogan “They are not just numbers. São Histórias” was designed to vastly transform the numbers of so many anonymous stories. In addition to being a foodlover, Angel is an MBA professor at the Faculdade de Informática e Administração Paulista (FIAP), Advisor to the Tech Movement, speaker on topics such as Disruptive Technologies and ESG & Risks, co-author of the books Mulheres na Tecnologia (Editora Leader) and Diversidade & Inclusion (European Academy of Senior Management). In all these spaces, it tries to connect isolated islands with the aim of promoting large-scale social transformations. To do this, it is willing to give up its own privileges and not give up its principles. One of them, by the way, is non-negotiable: he no longer only works with white, straight people. If people of diversity are not included in the game, it withdraws.

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