4 Norms to be Aware of In Your Workplace


As minority professionals, it is extremely important for us to critically assess the environments that we work in. Organizational culture is something that isn’t always discussed in great depth in the Black community, though it should be, considering that we make up only 11% of the professional workforce. Statistically speaking, we work for organizations whose priorities, missions, and objectives were all developed by white people–and therefore represent white people. Our cultural norms are developed and sustained through environmental influences. They determine the way we communicate, the way we process, the way we socialize, and the way we react, in addition to influencing our preferences, tastes, and biases. Because Black people are underrepresented in the workplace–from Corporate America, to the nonprofit sector, to medicine and everything in between–we tend to be forced to adapt to the dominant [white] culture in order to meet the [white determined] bar for success.

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