Work Force Dilemmas

700 Words 3 Pages
When black women in the Unites States of America enter the work force they are faced with the dilemma of being themselves or conforming to what is deemed acceptable, especially when entering into traditional careers such as law, medicine and even teaching or corporate America. Sociologists define race as a group of through to share certain distinctive physical characteristics, such as facial structure or skin color. As defined in our first lecture (09/29/2015), ethnicity is defined as a group within a larger society that displays shared pattern such as history, national origin, norms, beliefs, traditions and often times language. However, we do know that race and ethnicity are social constructions: truths created by society, not natural or …show more content…
According to our reading Discrimination in a Low-Wage Labor Market: A Field Experiment, “differential treatment emerged in the social interaction of the job interview. Employers appeared to see more potential in the stated qualifications of white applicants, and they more commonly view applicants as better fit for more desirable jobs” (p. 793). The dilemma begins when preparing for the interview. When an employee calls and offers me an interview, at that point my application and work experience has impressed the company’s management team and they are willing to interview me in person. Now the hard part begins. Going down my check list: my neutral colored suite is ready; my shoes are not too high and flashy; my make-up is subtle and “professional”; and my nails are cut shorts and are painted a neutral color. Now my hair. I wear it natural as a way to shun society’s long standing expectations of beauty. I wear my natural hair because I have a 5-year-old who is too young to have her hair processed with chemicals and I want her to grow up accepting and loving her natural hair. Unfortunately, natural hair in corporate American or traditional career fields comes across as “unprofessional”. So when I was offered an interview to with a corporate law firm, I was stuck with the dilemma of either wearing my natural hair but risking being viewed as unprofessional or conform to the standard of corporate …show more content…
There are dark, medium and light complexions. Our hair is curly, or coils up; it is long or short; it can be worn as an afro, or dreadlocks. But being black goes beyond the color of my skin or my hair texture. It is a culture, that comes from rich African ancestry. Historically, there has always been a bias against black hair. In the 18th century black hair was categorized closer to sheep wool than human hair. The fair skinned black women with less kinky hair – often due to planation rape – received better treatment than those with “sheep wool” hair. To this day, straight hair continues to be the preferred look for access to social and professional opportunities. No, I am not defined by my hair, but I should be able to go into an interview without corporate America deeming me unprofessional because I do not fit into the social norm of what is professionally acceptable hair. As a society we should strive to go beyond our hair, skin color, socioeconomic class. My abilities and skills to do a job should out weight any socially constructed ideas, and push beyond socially defined

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