People who identify as of color, queer, or trans are typically picking up double duty: their job that they get paid for and teaching others in the office how to be respectful of their identities.
According to an article by CNN, these are the people who are tasked with recruiting diverse candidates, have difficult conversations about company culture, and talk about racism, sexism, ableism, and more.
“Especially if you’re a woman of color and visibly queer, you will be burdened or assigned or expected to take on that diversity work,” said Veronica Caridad Cruz Rabelo, assistant professor of management at San Francisco State University.
Jennifer Gómez, an associate professor at Wayne State University, commented that many people don’t realize how taxing this can be for marginalized folks, especially when many white people don’t see themselves as the problem. Meeting with employees of color to check in on their emotional health or checking white, straight, or cisgender on their discrimination doesn’t qualify anyone for a promotion, but yet, many say they’re still expected to do so.
“I’m not going to be promoted for doing this emotional labor,” Gomez said. “There just isn’t enough time in the day or enough time in my brain to do all these things. I get tired.”
While folks who belong to these majority groups think they’re doing the right thing by asking people of color to educate them, they don’t realize they’re continuing this marginalization. Rebecca Erickson, a sociology professor at the University of Akron recommends that supervisors need to learn and listen without relying on people of color to educate them on racism in the workplace. Managers should be bringing in people from human resources or outside firms to hold training and discussions on these matters. This way, other marginalized employees aren’t distracted from their work and everyone gets a chance to learn.
You can read the rest of the report here.