Updated: May 8, 2021
Workplace policies and cultures that promote the ideals and values of the traditional American nuclear family may unwittingly hinder the career progress of women.
Workplace policies and cultures that promote the ideals and values of the traditional American nuclear family may unwittingly hinder the career progress of women. Although white women leaders tend to be married with stable marriages and family lives, women of color (WOC) are more likely to have experienced the death of a spouse as well as financial hardship (not necessarily only as a result of such loss of spousal support).
The daily experiences of WOC in the workplace reflect differences in treatment similar to those experiences in the larger society, resulting in separate professional cultures and value system.
Many WOC such as African American women rely on the collectivism values within African- American communities and the support of their personal networks such as church, book clubs, sororities, extended family, and friends to assist with the sometimes-competing demands and values of work, family and community.
The treatment of WOC in the workplace has a profound effect on their ability to strike a balance between fulfilling work responsibilities and satisfying personal obligations and values. WOC report that limited career advancement opportunities and perceived discrimination based on race and gender, as well as excessive workloads and management expectations, have a negative impact on their ability to have their work and other values co-exist in their lives.
The lived experiences of women, especially WOC, requires them to find ways to live their values by being authentic to their professional and personal selves resulting in feelings of organizational commitment, fairness, empowerment, and job satisfaction.
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