Racial Bias at Workplace Can Cost Black Women’s Health

Catalyst, a group that helps women in the workplace, released a new report siting that the majority of women of color experience an “emotional tax” in the workplace that negatively affects their health.

“Women of color continue to deal with some of the workplace’s most entrenched hurdles such as pay inequities and near invisibility in top leadership roles, as well as daunting roadblocks that stifle the meaningful dialogue that would help make real progress, ” Says Dnika Travis, Ph.D.

This “emotional tax” and feeling of constantly being “on guard” takes it’s toll, and many in the study reported sleep problems.


Perhaps not surprisingly, 58% of black women in the study feel they have to work harder than their coworkers to maintain job security.

Here’s my take on this. Feeling invisible and feeling like you have to work harder to be just as good is a real issue, and I’ll have to admit I felt this way when I was in corporate.

But…there was some mistakes and missteps that I did that hurt my chances of moving up even more. I didn’t readily and willingly interact with co-workers outside of the job, nor did I effectively from alliances with higher ups that could have protected me from those who would have hampered my promotion.

I find that a lot of black women think they can go to work, do excellent at their job, and then leave it all behind. Interacting with non-black co-workers seems unimportant and even undesirable to us. This is where were err. We are under the misguided impression that working harder than everyone and keeping our heads down will reap us the benefits in the workplace. This is often not the case. Those who schmooze with the right crowd, make alliances with mentors at higher ranks, and fraternize after work hours are more successful than the worker bees.

This is where lack of exposure to other cultures keeps us held back, and a lack of understanding of relational aggression used by non-black women can work to sabotage our efforts, no matter how hard we work, and how much overtime we put in. We talk about this extensively in a module of The Pink Pill series, and many of the ladies in our private group are sharing their stories and tips on how to win in these situations.

Winners work smarter, not harder. Black women have got to work smarter and interact more effectively from a social standpoint.

If you’re a black woman and want to know more about the best-selling series that hundreds of women have enrolled in only two weeks since the release, click here.

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