The ‘Problem’ Woman of Color in the Workplace

I know I’ve been her. Every woman of color has been her.

We’ve had unofficial BIPOC meetings in the lunch room about being labeled her. Anytime someone becomes uncomfortable for any reason, the response is always the same: micro-aggressions turn into larger incidents; the organization and management continue to not only ignore and deny the issues but will start to blame the woman of color.

She become the epitome of the problems, real and unreal. The icon of everything that is wrong and uncomfortable in the organization. She is the issue that needs to be removed.

Soon it becomes clear to everyone that protection has been removed from the BIPOC female employee; her teammates, her employees, her supervisors–they all begin to undermine her. She is now labeled as the source of “conflict,” with “communication issues,” with a slew of retaliation measures all from raising concerns of issues within the organization in the first place. Before you know it, HR isn’t looking into how to address the issues and concerns she brought up within its own organization, but how to expel the “Problematic” woman of color. She might have started out oh so promising but she just ended up “being not being qualified or a good fit.”

It’s funny how all the BIPOC women all seem to be unqualified or a source of conflict with communication issues, unliked, mean, or not a good fit after they kick ass in a job, but bring up concerns about micro aggressions and unfair racial or gender based practices in the workplace.

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