Rules For Black Women in the Workplace

Contemplating her next move

Unfortunately, there are a set of unspoken rules that are set in place specifically for black women in many different jobs. It is crazy to think that there are black women who have to conform to such ridiculous rules just to be seen as “normal” in the work place. Here are the main rules for black women in the work place. 

  1. The number one and most popular rule pertains to hair. At some jobs, a black woman’s natural hair in its natural state is not considered normal. It must be kept up to par with Eurocentric beauty standards. Why should a black women’s hair be put through harsh chemicals and/or damage just to be seen as normal when a white woman can just wear her hair naturally how it is? If a white women’s natural hair is acceptable in the work place then so should the hair of a black woman. 
  1. Another rule is to make sure you are not being too black. There are so many negative stereotypes associated with black women that it blocks employers and even associates from distinguishing who she really is. People categorize black women as being too loud and rowdy or always angry and not one to mess with. If a black woman is seen as one of these categorizations then she is labeled as one of the many stereotypes and is now looked at differently by her co-workers. 
  1. Laying low and not speaking up is also another rule. If you are a black woman and you try to advance in the work place or simply speak up on an issue, you are usually looked at differently because you may then be put into the category of an angry black woman. For some reasons some jobs think that woman, especially women of color, should not strive to advance in the company while the men around them are getting promotions and are getting pain much more than they are. It isn’t fair that whenever women try to succeed in the work place or try to speak up for themselves they are often ignored or looked at differently. 

It isn’t fair that black woman sometimes has to conform to such ridiculous rules in the work place while everyone around her can be their natural selves without any backlash. Although over the years these rules have loosened up a bit there are some jobs that still have these unspoken rules in place. Those jobs need to start letting go of stereotypes and seeing all of their employees as equals and nothing less. 

Written by: Ashira Johnson

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