How Black Women Benefit From Stereotypes in the Workplace

June 22, 2011  |  

(The Grio) — Today, more than 25 years later, there’s still a great need to publicly celebrate women of color who are “doin it for themselves”. When it comes to public portrayals and representations in the media, black women have been known to get the short end of the stick, often being cast as villains or scapegoats rather than successful career women and girl power gurus, as Franklin and Lennox once did. From “loud” to “angry” to just plain “unattractive”, we’ve had to face a whole host of negative labels and stereotypes that have surfaced about us and our abilities, some of them with deep-seeded cultural and historical roots.  That’s why it’s so refreshing to hear about the findings of Katherine Phillips, an associate professor at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management and an expert in workplace diversity. She recently presented data as a visiting scholar at the Stanford Graduate School of Business demonstrating that black women are actually excelling in education and business, due at least in part to the ways that we are publicly portrayed in popular culture and the media.

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