San Diego State University’s Independent Student Newspaper Since 1913

The Daily Aztec

San Diego State University’s Independent Student Newspaper Since 1913

The Daily Aztec

San Diego State University’s Independent Student Newspaper Since 1913

The Daily Aztec

‘Women of Color in the Workplace’ fights stereotypes and discrimination

Screenshot courtesy of Women’s Resource Center Instagram
The event poster for “Women of Color in the Workplace” emphasizes the various challenges that women of color face by just existing, and this discrimination can affect relationships, mental health and job stability.

Navigating the workforce as a woman can present its challenges. However, being a woman of color in the workforce can be even more intimidating. 

The Women’s Resource Center and the Undocumented Resource Center held a virtual presentation on March 9, discussing the importance of having women of color in the workforce. 

The event was presented as a safe space for all participants to share and discuss their experiences, plus tips and tricks, along with other tools when it comes to navigating the workplace as a woman of color.   

Magaly Corro Flores, program coordinator at the Undocumented Resource Center, and Celine Jusuf, a coordinator at the Women’s Resource Center, reminded everyone all stories and experiences shared were encouraged and appreciated. 

“We want you to take care of yourself first,” Flores said. 

The conversation began with the introduction of gender stereotypes and how they can negatively affect women of color. 

Gender stereotypes are generalizations about the attributes of men and women.

“As women of color, we not only have to battle stereotypes associated with our culture or country of origin or income status … but we also need to battle gender stereotypes,” Flores said during the conversation. 

One question asked to be reflected on was, “what are some stereotypes associated with women of color in the workplace and how do stereotypes affect the way women of color behave in the workplace?”

Some stereotypes mentioned involve the stigma of women being too emotional, or that women of color are seen as not competent enough because they have an accent or because of where they come from.  

Having negative assumptions about women of color in the workplace can diminish the ability for women of color to perform to their full potential because of the many looming threats. 

Unfortunately, many generalizations have been consistent across cultures, time and context. The presentation emphasized ways to respond to negative stigmas of women in the workforce.   

“Making assumptions and that is an underlying basis of stereotypes and microaggressions too,” Jusuf added. “It does not need to be recognized to have harmful effects.” 

Microaggressions are subtle and often unintentional representations of forms of prejudice and more than just insensitive comments or insults. Many participants shared this can reflect anxiety, show biases and demonstrate a power structure between men and women. 

Throughout the presentation, there were some tips, tricks and tools given in order to respond to microaggressions: checking in with a social support network, recognizing what you can and cannot control, along with being gentle to yourself. 

Sociology third year Marissa Lopez shared she is more aware of the imbalance of power in the workforce and it should not go unnoticed.

“If it comes to a topic that you feel that there is injustice and no one is speaking up about it, don’t be afraid to speak up,” Lopez said. “You’re probably the one who is speaking up.” 

The last important topic discussed was imposter syndrome in the workforce and how to overcome this obstacle. 

There are many ways for women of color in the workplace to respond to imposter syndrome. One method emphasized involves reframing the task. This means taking ownership of your accomplishments and seeking out tasks that you are good at as a means to remind yourself that you are multidimensional.  

“We need to stand together and demand jobs who are held traditionally by women need to be respected, valued, and compensated accordingly,” Flores added to the topic. 

When it comes to being a woman of color in the workforce, there are many resources that serve as help and guidance for making sure the work environment is a welcoming atmosphere. For more information, visit Career Services at SDSU, WOC Career Center and SDSU Just in Time Career Fair. 

About the Contributor
Flower Smith, '22-23 Live Producer
Flower Smith (she/her/hers) is a journalism major minoring in marketing, originally from Los Angeles, California. This year Flower will also be taking on the role of the social media coordinator for the Society of Professional Journalists chapter at SDSU. Flower loves exploring new coffee places and spending time with her loved ones. She is excited to be on the Editorial Board this year and is looking forward to bringing new ideas for the multimedia section.
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San Diego State University’s Independent Student Newspaper Since 1913
‘Women of Color in the Workplace’ fights stereotypes and discrimination