Reverse Discrimination and Racism

Black Lives Matter. You better believe it ! but so do WHITES. In this personally experienced case it has been black against white.

{Careful, how to interpret the distinction between RACISM and DISCRIMINATION. I suffered discrimination, which could have been based on racism. [ https://celesteheadlee.com/racism-vs-discrimination-why-the-distinction-matters/ ].}

For my entire professional and student life I have associated myself with international friends. Having worked many years as a professional in international organizations in Europe, I have had personal friends who were Africans. Both in Europe, and later after leaving it and arriving in North America, also in the United States, at Syracuse University, New York.

These experiences over time were “soured” by constant discrimination on the job or outside of it after I had arrived in Canada in 1976 and during my long time work in Alberta’s oil industry. Developing, building and installing large computer systems, hardware and software, as project leader for large company-wide projects, and also as a programmer for many years.

The oil industry is hard place to get a foothold as a woman. Because of the extreme nature of oil industry’s rising and collapsing, and openly permitted company takeovers during downturns, there was as a result in the 1980s a severe downturn in this industry, caused mostly by Canadian government programs and regulations. (The NEP (National Energy Program) of Canada). [ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Energy_Program#Background%5D.

It was during that time, start of 1980s, that I worked for a large oil corporation in Alberta. This company was taken over by TCPL (does not exist now under this name, but close to it – Trans Canada). This company apparently had as its mandate to get rid of existing employees, removing first most management positions – offering them posts elsewhere – and then down the line.

Although I was in a senior position in the computer and systems department (thereby needed to continue big projects), as a woman no chance to keep your job.

The enforcer sent down from headquarters Toronto, was charged with implementing the layoff program in the Systems department. This person was of African origin whose hatred against females seemed obvious. The first ones to be removed were all heads of departments – incidentally all women.

Myself as a female IT project leader was forced to do company-wide projects whose purpose was to identify all those in all corporate departments who should be fired. I was requested to do this study alone without any assistance. Naturally all my former friends in the company hated my guts. At the end, it was my turn. The pressure from within was indescribable.

In the course of a short period, a 200 page report was put together behind my back. I assume containing all sorts of slander about me. While at the same time our big company-wide systems project had to continue.

At the end, I was asked to see this man in his office, and presented with with this big report. Which I disregarded. At the same time I was asked to sign for a one-page legal document, which I did not sign. I do not sign unprofessional slander. I was then told that I should pack up. Offering me a minor compensation of 3-months salary.

Just laying off employees is permitted under certain conditions. In this case, the simplest most basic conditions of human rights had been contravened. My big mistake ? I missed the very moment when it was absolutely necessary to retain a lawyer, to act on my behalf.

However, before leaving the company I had received good letters of recommendation in writing from senior management with whom I had worked throughout my systems projects, including the CEO of this corporation. A testimony of all that I had worked for most of my life.

Yet, my professional life was compromised, I lost my home, my family (my son went to the United States to start his university program). And I had to travel around Canada making a living with computer contract work (Ottawa, Alberta oil sands, and anywhere in Alberta). Setting up my own consulting company and other business ventures, to keep afloat.