Black History Month Employee Spotlight: Britt Rivers
Britt- You’re somewhat of a star here at Titus. You joined the EOS team in July 2021 and have made Titus better ever since! You shared with us the Shirley Chisholm quote, “If they don’t give you a seat at the table, bring a folding chair.” Tell me what speaks to you about that quote.
To me that quote says to be resourceful and don’t give up. I feel like there have been situations in the workplace where my voice doesn’t get heard. Those situations have helped me to be more assertive with what I believe in, not take no for an answer, and to be creative in pushing my ideas forward.
You mentioned being inspired by Issa Rae from the show “Insecure.” How can you relate to her?
I am most inspired by Issa Rae because she makes Black experiences – friendships, dating relationships, family relationships, and the workplace – normal. Sometimes it can feel that we are being asked to turn down things that make us unique in our Black culture and Issa Rae doesn’t do that. I want to be unapologetically me… 100% my authentic self. Issa portrays that in an awkward, kind of extreme way, but her thought process is relatable.
How do you know whether a workplace is truly DE&I focused?
When people call me asking about Titus’ lived values, I am very straightforward with my experience. It is very much a different experience at Titus. I don’t even know how to explain it. I don’t feel left out, I feel like I belong. I feel a genuine presence.
I’ve worked at other places where I didn’t feel included, and I just left. I quit. I started looking for a place where my voice was appreciated instead of telling me hey- you’re here to do a job, come do your job and then go home. At Titus, it’s a place of, “We realize your strengths and we’re going to put you in positions to expand on those strengths.”
Do you have any other advice for Black professionals?
I was raised to do things on my own and handle my own business. My dad raised his sisters and his nieces and took care of everything all on his own. My mom was also very independent. I remember, as a teenager, that I was told to never ask for help because people would throw it back at you later. So… I think I just don’t do a great job asking for help.
I was recently traveling to Milwaukee and a nice couple reached out and asked if they could help me carry my things. I said I didn’t need help, but I really did!
Ask for help when you need it. Try to open yourself up to being helped. I am still learning how to be better at this. If you don’t trust people and are suspicious of niceties, you are going to struggle. It’s good to be independent and self-sufficient, but not so much that you don’t know how to ask for help when you need it.
I love that. The airport story is a great illustration. Asking for help can be so humbling, but there’s a lot of strength in doing so!
Thanks for sharing your wisdom, Britt. We are so glad you’re a part of what makes Titus a great place.
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