White women are used to experiencing unconscious bias and various kinds of gender discrimination from white men.
It comes in the blatant forms like consistent exclusion from important meetings, and it comes in less obvious disguises like the expectation that you’ll pick up the burdens of “non promotable” and “overhead” tasks while the men concentrate on driving value through “promotable” tasks.
Most white women in leadership know what it feels like to be the only woman at the table managing all this, and we know that this isolation and the pressure to ”be nice” encourages us to play small. Playing big takes a ton of courage and energy.
Now imagine you’re the only woman AND the only black person at the table… or Latina, or Asian, or _________.
Double whammy (sometimes triple).
Every NON-white woman struggles with everything we do, and more.
Want women to have a clearer path to workplace success? Clear the path for every woman you can.
— learn what discrimination against women of color looks like (it’s not always what you experience)
— always demonstrate respect in public and private, and when you can, be a proactive ally through action
When unconscious bias shifts for women of color, it will shift for you too and we’ll get closer to gender equality in leadership.
What do you do to counter gender bias against women of color? Share your tips in comments!
For insights on how to be a good ally, especially to women, check out this Guide to Allyship.