A Colorblind Career

Don Tennant's Nov. 10 Editor's Note, "Hope Rising," struck a chord for me. As you might guess from my name, I was put in the "colored" category during my growing-up years. I remember visiting friends in the Deep South as a child and having to drink from "colored water fountains" and use "colored restrooms." As an adult, I found the IT field to be one where, most of the time, my technical abilities and not the color of my skin controlled my success. There were a few times as I rose through the ranks that I realized I was the only person of color in the top management of the companies I worked in, but because of my technical knowledge and how I presented myself, color did not matter.

I did not think I would feel much when Obama was elected, since I had voted Republican for the past 20-plus years. But there I was, watching the results and feeling a lump in my throat and a tear in my eye. I realized my success was more about me, and his was about all of us.

Fernando Gonzalez

CIO
Byer California
San Francisco
fgonzale@byer.com

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