Parts, Not PoliticsAneesa Muthana
The more uncomfortable the conversation, the greater the need to have it. Finding time to listen to one another is hard enough without letting political differences get in the way.
It’s unfortunate that we live in a time when business leaders feel pressured to hide any and all efforts to work with our political leaders. Endorsements are another matter. If a business leader publicly and plainly shows support for a particular candidate or party, then they best be ready for the fallout.
That said, appearing beside a public official does not necessarily equal endorsement. My time with Vice President Pence was an opportunity to highlight the current state of American manufacturing and some of our concerns. When President Biden recognized “the CEO of Pioneer Service” during an address the Muslim community, I shared the event because it was an opportunity to inspire other Muslim women.
I will not waste such opportunities to score political “points.” The families and clients depending on Pioneer Service can’t feed their families or save lives with political grandstanding. As CEO and DEI advocate, there’s only one path before me, even and especially when it includes people from the other side of the aisle.
America isn’t what it is today because we’ve always agreed. DEI has “equality” in the name, but it isn’t about making everyone uniform–it’s about learning a little about the “other” person’s perspective so we can meet somewhere in the middle.
Those conversations can get messy, even heated, but we can’t forget to circle back around to empathy, respect, and calm negotiation. I don’t have all the answers. I can only do my part.
And I will.