Stephen Bird Explains his Reverse mentoring Experience
White privilege was not an aspect of life Abrdn CEO Stephen Bird had considered before a reverse mentoring experience changed his outlook. Bird explains he had not considered the impact of race on his employees. The experience is one Bird is happy to share because it came with an unforeseen outcome. After talking about the experience of a black employee, the CEO became involved in social issues and events he would not have considered before the reverse mentoring.
Stephen Bird admits he was unaware of the problems facing African-American people in the U.S. Bird’s attitude was changed by a conversation with a black employee about their reaction to a routine traffic stop. The employee explained the fear they felt when pulled over by police officers in Manhattan. Stephen Bird had not considered how a simple traffic stop could be different for himself and his employee.
The Abrdn CEO discussed his lack of fear when stopped by police for a traffic violation. Stephen Bird explains his experiences with law enforcement as peaceful and completed quickly. In discussions with the employee, Bird discovered the fear that overtook African-American drivers when stopped by law enforcement. The employee explained to Bird they would not remove their hands from the steering wheel and communicated they were not a threat. Stephen Bird admits he was unaware of his employee fears during a traffic stop.
Stephen Bird explains he is grateful to his black employee for allowing him to grow. Without growth, Bird believes there is always an opportunity to grow in a lifetime. He has expanded his philanthropic work to social issues and events based on his understanding of the issues raised during his reverse mentoring session.
View Source: Bloomberg