Together We Can Make This Work In The Workplace

Together We Can Make This Work In The Workplace

Black Women Feminist Theory: Collectivism

As a young professional in the financial services industry, it was rare to see women like me at the top. I did not have a Black mentor as my first mentor. My mentor, however, recognized my potential because of our shared values. Neither my ethnicity nor cultural background hindered her from grooming me to become a leader. The situation was unique for uncharted territory. It has been more than 30 years since then, and very few women who look like me serve in major corporations’ C-suites today.

The results of my research showed that sponsorship is valuable to all races, cultures, and backgrounds. Because black women are underrepresented in the upper echelons of organizations, mentorship is lacking for them. While women make up the majority of the U.S. population, their representation in leadership positions lags significantly behind men, according to Judith Warner at American Progress.   

People who look like you and who support you on your journey towards doing what you enjoy in a career you desire cannot be overstated. Working with mentors who shared their values and cared about their best interests made them feel more authentic. Usually, Black women prefer to be mentored by other Black women, as explained by the Black Feminist Theory of Collectivism.

A crucial component of Black Feminist Theory is collectively confronting systemic bias and racial discrimination. In my research, I found that the lived experiences of Black women must be shared to provide clarity to the issues, and dialogue stresses the importance of collaboration In contrast to being isolated, relationships enable oppressive and contentious events to be addressed together. The ethic of caring connects and strengthens the group emotionally, and the ethic of personal accountability integrates these individual expressions representing the different classes, regions, ages, and ethnicities.

A crucial component of Black Feminist Theory is confronting systemic bias and racial discrimination collectively to address barriers such as misrepresentation, invisibility, and stereotypes that hold Black women back in corporate America. Mentoring helps in this regard to help provide practical career advice, solve problems and make good decisions.

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