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Seattle-area women of color share how they navigate the workplace

Published on September 25, 2018

Image Credit: Public Domain: Flickr: Elaine Smith

Seven years ago, right before I moved to the United States from Singapore, the concept of equality was a resounding reassurance offered wherever I would go.

Friends, neighbors and family members would say, “Everyone is equal there … you just have to work hard.” The cliché hits me in full force in hindsight, but back then, I was seduced by the promise of a life and a career that would free me from the hurdles that held back Indian women in Singapore.

The realization that my career trajectory and workplace experiences were shaped even more deeply by the fact that I was a person of color than by the fact I was female dawned upon me slowly. There was no one “aha” moment I can point to — no grave injustice or racial slur hurled my way by a boss or colleague.

No; the culmination has been a gradual buildup of slights: moments of me questioning, “Could this be because I’m a woman of color?” interlaced with many more trying to convince myself that all women have a hard time at work; there was nothing extraordinary about my experience because of my race.

According to a study by Project Implicit, a nonprofit that “investigates thoughts and feelings that are largely outside of active awareness or control,” “About 76 percent of the population of the United States has a negative implicit bias toward women in the workplace and more positive views of men in the workplace,” says Elizabeth Umphress, associate professor of management at the University of Washington’s Foster School of Business.


Continue reading at The Seattle Times

Originally posted on The Seattle Times by Ruchika Tulshyan
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