Black & White Women of the Workplace
By: Taylor Trice

A Divided Workplace

Over the past four decades, the workplace has remained unchanged. It's remained a workplace divided into different clusters of ethnicity and genders. Black women still continuously work harder than white women yet earn lower earnings than white women according to The Atlantic. How is this still a continuous thing considering how many influential black females represent this country? Over those past four decades, Oprah Winfrey has been dubbed the "Queen of All Media" with the highest-rated program of its kind in history. Michelle Obama is the first African-American First Lady of the United States. Ursula Burns is the first African-American woman CEO to run a Fortune 500 company. So many influential black women yet the black female still has to "prove" herself in order to obtain any recognition in this country. So what does it truly mean to be a black woman in the workplace? What does it mean to be a white woman in the workplace?

The White Woman

The average weekly earnings of the full-time white female worker is about $700. (Scroll down for charts.) A white woman's participation rate rounds up at about 57%. No, white women still do not earn as much as white men and are still at the core of the feminist movement. Yet according to and the experiences of Donna Lamb, there are quite a few perks of living with white female privilege. Not only are they privileged to experience different things, but they are mainly privileged in what they don't have to experience. For example, as a white woman walking into the workplace there are a few things she doesn't have to worry about. As a white woman, there is never a thought in her mind that her skin color will work against her or that people will perceive her in a different way because of her skin color. When she walks into a job interview, she doesn't have worry about people assuming her background from her skin color. She doesn't have to worry about people "not liking" her unless she does something causing them to be against her. She is free of self expression without having to worry of offending anyone or rising questions from others. She expects nothing less than respect from others. Wherever she goes she expects nothing less than a nice welcome. Other than the one strike that she is a woman, white privilege seems to work to her advantage.

The Black Woman

The average weekly earnings of a full-time black female worker is about $600. A black woman's participation rate rounds up to about 60%. As a black woman, she does not possess the advantages of "racial privilege". Instead she possesses two strikes: she is a woman and she is black. As a black woman, there are a few precautions she must take in to thought before entering the workplace. A study done by ESSENCE and research consultants gathered information about the experiences as a black female in the workplace. Also observed all the experiences of the black female. First, she must be aware that her skin color may cause the way people perceive the way she acts, where she's from, and her level of responsibility. If she is too "self-guarded" and doesn't engage with coworkers, she is not considered a "team player" and receives the least amount of recognition. If she only engages with coworkers when necessary, she is seen as unfriendly and isolated. If she is too confident, she is seen as conceited. Too much self expression may be seen as offensive if used incorrectly. Any mistakes she makes seriously count against her considering she already has two strikes. As a black female, these precautions added on to her other hard work must be done in order to "prove herself" for recognition.

Take A Look At The Stats

See What It Really Means To Be A Black Woman From Melissa Harris-Perry

Take A Look At Yourself

Take a good look at yourself. Have you ever gone through any experiences like what's been discussed? Do you think your race or gender has anything to do with where you are now? Do you think any of that will have an effect in your future? Do you think in the future maybe the racial/gender impact will be any different?

If you watched the video.....

What do you think it means to be a good citizen of the United States? What acts are required in order to be considered a "good citizen"?

Consider all these questions and answer in the comment section below! Thanks for reading!

Comment Stream

2 years ago

.... yeah.... you're pretty much right on the money