Women of color face an 'emotional tax' that harms their progress and health
- Companies often undermine the talent and contributions of African-American, Black, Asian, Latina and mixed-race women, which negatively affects their health and well-being, a new report from Catalyst found. In Day-to-Day Experiences of Emotional Tax Among Women and Men of Color in the Workplace, women of color experience an "emotional tax" that keeps them constantly on guard.
- The study also found that 58% of women of color who are on guard because of negative treatment said they have trouble sleeping, and 38% considered leaving their companies; Asian women (51%), Black women (58%), Latina women (56%) and multiracial women (52%) said they feel they need to out-perform their colleagues.
- Employers who don't value women of color may be losing out on top tier, ambitious talent, however; 90% say they want to be leaders with influence, hold intellectually stimulating jobs and advance to higher positions, despite their treatment on the job. The study results are based on a poll of about 1,600 professionals in corporations, non-profit organizations. education and government.
An "emotional tax" can take a toll on women of color's health and performance. Being dismissed, overlooked and disrespected can distract even the most highly skilled workers. Because women of color face considerable prejudice compared to others in the workplace, especially compared to white men, many may feel that any slips in their performance could threaten their careers.
Hiring women of color to satisfy diversity goals isn't enough, either. Ensuring that they are as included and valued is vital to retention. Spotify, for example, uses diversity and inclusion metrics to gauge not only how many under-represented groups of workers it hires, but also its ability to retain them. The company's philosophy is that diversity hasn't much value without inclusion.
Experts have told HR Dive that inclusion will be the key in 2018 and beyond. Employee resource groups, strong feedback channels and good policy can help employers stay in tune with the employee experience on the ground and stop issues before they begin. Tech can help, too; data analytics can help HR identify where bias may be creeping into promotion decisions, for example.