Opinion: Letter to the Editor: Surprising: Women of Color Getting Short End of the Stick

I am writing in response to the article titled Opinion: Commentary, “Pandemic Shows Workers Need a Voice in Fairfax County,” published in your newspaper on March 20, 2021.

While reading the article, the disparity that was mentioned took me by surprise. Employees were encountering the same issue of not having their inputs and concerns be heard, but women of color were getting the short end of the stick compared to someone such as Norm Hall. Due to the traits someone was born with (i.e., gender), they may or may not have certain privileges associated with it. Supplying privileges based on traits that employees do not have control over can perpetuate a racial divide among coworkers. To combat this, the county needs to give rights and privileges to every one of its employees, regardless of certain traits.

Fairfax County needs to create a space for their employees’ input and concerns. The lack of involvement that employees, such as Mr. Hall, felt concerning their work could leave damaging long-term effects. Due to the complete disregard for their concerns and input, workers may feel like they cannot pour themselves into their job; workers have no say in what they are constructing. The lack of control and involvement regarding their work could cause disengagement and disconnect from employees. If the county were to give their employees a voice and a seat at the table for their inputs and concerns, employee engagement would change drastically. Employees will feel more in control, connected, and engaged in their work because they now know that they had a say in what they do at work. Creating space for employees will strengthen engagement, and it would be a good step in building a stronger Fairfax County.

Mercy Anane, sophomore, James Madison University

Alexandria

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