Welcome to a throwback episode of the ¿Quién Tú Eres? podcast, where we explore the conflict we often face between "professionalism" & being our authentic selves.
Joining us in this episode is Sarah Politis, who at the time of the recording of this episode was the VP of Business Development & Creative at Wayfarer Entertainment and today is the Senior Producer at Salesforce Studios.
In this conversation, Sarah’s interest in learning about others takes us deep into the why of this podcast and the importance of sharing these stories. We open up about some of our contrasting experiences at work, the inner and outer challenges of being in an interracial relationship, and how we can approach those differences.
These are some of the episode highlights:
“It is so impossible for me to change who I am in different situations.” -Sarah Politis
Sarah is not someone who would change to fit a situation. She is the same person no matter what space she finds herself in. She shows up as herself at work, with her family, or with friends. And having learned from an early age to embrace differences in people helped her understand and accept that not every person in the world will like her and that she does not need to change for others.
She is also aware that her type of upbringing is uncommon. For this reason, she wants to learn how to be better allies for people from other cultures as they navigate life. She wants to help them feel comfortable as themselves as they follow their dreams.
“For us, it's exciting that there are things that are different in our backgrounds, and then being able to teach each other about those things.” -Sarah Politis
Sarah and her Dominican boyfriend come from different cultures and backgrounds. But she tells us how the mutual interest in learning and understanding each other has helped to open up conversations that have led them to continue to embrace each other more.
She also reminds us that it is all about the approach and perspective we decide to take when we notice each other’s differences. And that while our upbringings and culture might not be the same, it does not mean that we cannot find commonalities and enrich each other’s lives.
“Who even gets to decide what is professional and what is not? Where does that come from?” -Sarah Politis
Sarah never felt the need to conform at work. When we worked at Facebook, she would dress very casually and be comfortable showing up as herself, sometimes wearing a baseball cap. But she didn't realize that other people’s experiences were completely different from hers and that people feared doing certain things she would do or even showing up as their authentic selves.
With this realization, Sarah hopes to see the day when everyone is seen purely for the capabilities and assets they bring to the company, regardless of appearance, preferences, or skin color.
Sarah’s self-awareness and willingness to embrace and understand creates a safe space for open conversations.
Have a story to share? Let us know here for an opportunity to be featured in the podcast!