Today I’m learning about “social identity threat” in the workplace, a psychological theory that explains this phenomenon:
“Significant racial gaps in people’s psychological experiences at work remain, even when difference in income and education are controlled.”
Well, this is no surprise to #blackwomenatwork. But how can this theory help to pinpoint the exact problem… and hopefully its solution?
Authors Emerson and Murphy argue the threat to people of color in the workplace, in addition to overt forms of discrimination (and I would add microaggressions), includes concerns about whether they “will belong and be accepted”, whether they can “be themselves”, and whether they will have "fair chances for advancement."
This psychological burden is very stressful and the authors wonder if there’s anything organizations can do to lessen this threat. They offer some suggestions to correct “threatening cues,” including:
That’s a lot of things! A veritable smorgasbord. So, folks, let’s pick a few and get to work on eliminating this burden and making the workplace safe for everyone.