Equal Opportunity Employer?! What That Means For The Black Woman

Equal Opportunity Employer?! What That Means For The Black Woman

Equal Opportunity Employer?! What That Means For The Black Woman

Have you ever been the “Only”?! That experience where you start a new job- you’re elated to finally have landed your perfect role, and then it hits you, you’re the only black female at the company! Almost as if in survival mode, your brain begins to mentally prepare you to navigate the workplace- alone. If so, welcome to the exclusive “Only” club!

Despite the name, you are not alone! We took a deep dive into the issues that black women face in the workplace and have highlighted the most prominent of them below:


“Black women in corporate America are less likely than their male or white colleagues to be promoted or to receive the support and access they need to advance despite being just as ambitious, a report from the Lean In Foundation finds.” From Philanthropy News Digest

We don’t have a seat at the table! Why? Because we don’t have allies that will speak on our behalf when we aren’t allotted the opportunity to. It’s difficult for black women to join in on the same conversations that their white, male counterparts seem to navigate so fluidly. How can we be heard if we aren’t even seen? How can we advance if we aren’t given the same opportunities for growth?


“When she found out she had a black female boss) She said she, “performed better” and was “a lot more comfortable and confident.” She described what it might have been like if she had to code-switch instead: Being judged on your work versus mentally performing well would have been more taxing. Your work is judged plus other intangible things. You second-guess yourself and that affects your confidence.” From Harvard Business Review

We can’t be our authentic selves. Working in an environment where no one is like you unconsciously pushes you into a state of adapting. That includes “watching the way you talk”, dressing in “neutral” attire, and overall watering down who you are for fear of standing out in the wrong way. It’s a daily mental strain to show up every day as someone you’re not. Imagine having to be someone else and still perform under conditions that are already prohibitive of your growth. 


“It takes the average Black woman, working full-time year-round, 8 extra months to earn what the average white non-Hispanic man earns in 1 year.” From EqualRights.org

Point, blank, period- the pay is not the same! Black Women’s Equal Pay Day falls on August 3rd this year. As aforementioned, it takes a whole 8 months for a black woman to make the same amount of money as a white man! Black women are paid 63 cents for every 1 dollar a white man makes. We’re qualified, we’re doing the same job, and we’re showing up the same- if not more! We need our coins!

So what do we do? We found a book by Minda Hart- a speaker and thought leader focused on the advancement of women of color, The Memo: What Women of Color Need To Know To Secure A Seat At The Table. It touches on topics like microaggressions, to the wage gap. “The Memo empowers women of color with actionable advice on challenges and offers a clear path to success.” 

It’s time we tap in and work together to show up authentically and change the narrative that we are lesser than! Shop our “Proud Black Woman” apparel and show up!

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