Spectral color

Women of color are undervalued – The Daily Utah Chronicle

Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson (Photo via Wikimedia Commons)

Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson is one of the most qualified members of the Supreme Court. As a black woman, she will bring invaluable perspective that will undoubtedly translate into historic decisions. Despite this, the court votes to appoint Judge Jackson at an impasseand the votes that confirmed its split 53-47. Judge Barrett, a white woman who is not as qualified as Judge Jackson, was confirmed before the Supreme Court just two years earlier.

Women of color and their accomplishments are devalued compared to white women. The contrast between Judge Jackson and Judge Barrett is stark but familiar to women from oppressed racial groups across the country. Professional and academic spaces consistently undervalue women of color compared to their white counterparts.

Utah remains one of worse States for gender equality for women year after year. The infamous pay gap highlights the disparity between white women and women of color. white women do 68 cents to the dollar compared to Utah men. At the lower end of the spectrum, Native American women earn 52 cents, black women earn 51 cents, and Latinas earn 49 cents per dollar. Most studies also fail to account for the experiences of trans people when calculating gender-based wage gaps. We have known this information for years, but the gap persists.

After factors contribute to the gap in Utah between white women and women of color that zeros on a paycheck, such as occupational segregation, where are the women of color more likely to take up lower-paying jobs. Initiatives to boost diversity primarily focus on hiring more women or hiring more people of color — they don’t focus on the intersection of hiring women of color. Positive action measures too disproportionate benefit white women.

Without an intersectional approach, women of color, especially black women, face more egregious forms of discrimination. In a article for the Brookings Institution, Adia Harvey Wingfield, professor of sociology, said: “While black female physicians encountered persistent, everyday gender biases that occurred in the context of structural and radicalized barriers – which made advancement in the Difficult Profession – Black women nurses reported few instances of gender bias and instead described routine, frequent and overtly racist encounters with co-workers.

In 2020, only 1.68% of staff at the University of Utah were black. The U also reported 64.44% female staff but 70.71% white staff. The data does not report the gender breakdown of racial statistics, so we can only assume that about 18.87% of U staff are women of color. Again, the collection of this data excludes the experience of trans employees. Utah also has a the story to ignore reports of racial discrimination, which can be discouraging for victims. United States transparency regarding the incidences of discrimination has improved, but when the institution remains predominantly white, there are probably not enough allies to support the victims.

The exclusion of women of color has a ripple effect. Wingfield addresses the impact of racism and sexism on women of color in her article. She mentioned, “Both of these factors negatively affect women in a variety of professions through stifled leadership opportunities, the continued persistence of specific forms of sexual harassment, and subtle but pervasive doubts about competence, intelligence, and skills that are not related to actual performance.

A 2021 study of Women in the Workplace by McKinsey & Company finds that women in the workplace suffer from burnout to an unprecedented degree, more so than their male colleagues. Although the study found that companies have increased their diversity and inclusion efforts, women of color experience higher rates of microaggressions. Dealing with microaggressions in addition to a stressful work environment is exhausting. When women of color are not present in the workplace, there is a void in alliance and advocacy for their conditions.

Although more whites in the workplace see themselves as allies of ethnic and racial minorities, whites are less likely to speak out against racial discrimination. Black and Latina women are After likely to speak out, but are also more likely to receive retaliation in response. A study conducted by the Billie Jean King Leadership Initiative in 2021 found that up to 70% of women of color believe they need to constantly prove themselves in the workplace. Women of color are also less likely to feel supported by supervisors and more likely to feel undervalued compared to white women.

Women of color shouldn’t have to fight tooth and nail for a place at the table. The spotlight on women has for too long been centered on the experiences of white women. Judge Jackson’s achievement represents a turning point. Women of color do not exist as statistics for grant applications or year-end reports on equity, diversity and inclusion. The perspective they bring as members of intersecting oppressed groups innovates the conversations that have historically excluded them. Struggles for gender equality are intrinsically linked to racial equality. As long as racism exists, misogyny will also exist.

To report an incident of discrimination at the University of Utah, visit the website of the Office of Equal Opportunity, Affirmative Action and Title IX.

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@iGabyTorres