Black vs White in the Workplace Discussion Paper


The topic that needs exploration is the prevalence of black vs white in the workplace The instructions are below: Introduction Description of the problem and examples Data Conclusion. Use ASA In-text citation: parentheses containing the author’s last name and the year of publication of the work being cited then a colon and page number.

Black vs White in the Workplace


In recent times, blacks have occupied most roles in corporate America than in any other period in the country’s history. Nonetheless, despite this greater participation and access, it is evident that blacks, particularly men, continue to face disparate treatment and racism, which hampers the growth of their careers. Being in the minority has a substantial impact on a person’s compelling experiences in the workplace, such as lack of identification and isolation in work groups in one-on-one associations (Cornelius, 2010: 1). In an organizational setting, one of the most commonly described challenges that the minorities, in this case, the blacks face is exclusion from or limited access to informal interaction networks. African Americans are subject to discrimination within the workplace due to social conflict ensuing from the fact that the blacks perceive the advantages of the whites arising from the numerical regulation of powerful committees and positions. In contrast, the whites consider the benefit for blacks resulting from affirmative action.


Various organizations experience ethnic and racial differences in perceptions of discrimination and fairness. For instance, many blacks perceive that most whites are prejudiced; as a result, nonwhites regard their race as a barrier to their development. In this respect, African Americans observe less discrimination in the workplace when there are formal regulations for firing and hiring compared to the ones that make workforce decisions informally. Additionally, in a company, minorities, in this case, the blacks, are given fewer development and training opportunities that would prepare them for more accountability. Likewise, blacks in the workplace believe they are not given as much crucial career information as their white counterparts. As members of racial minority groups, blacks are more often exposed to exclusion and discrimination in the workplace than Caucasians (Mor Barak, Cherin, and Berkman, 1998: 87). As a result of being exposed to institutional discrimination due to ethnicity, blacks are more likely to perceive workplace procedures and policies less favourably compared to Caucasian men and women.

Critical race theory and conceptualization of African American manhood are two crucial theories by which to evaluate the issue between whites and blacks in the workplace (Cornelius, 2010: 9). Based on the conceptualization of the manhood of the blacks, the whites, dating back to slavery, viewed them with contempt. Moreover, they were accustomed to depicting them as bogeymen, a sexual predator, and a step beyond animals, although lacking intellectual capability. To this end, black men were considered racially inferior and, thus, could never be equal to white men. At present, blacks are subject to negative stereotypes portrayed as being difficult to control, bad attitudes, lazy, and violent. On the other hand, the critical race theory was a reaction to address the rollback and stagnation of civil rights legislation, including affirmative action. The civil rights legislation and movement, in this regard, granted blacks better access to the workplace; nonetheless, it failed to fully remedy the disparate treatment that they faced in the organizations.

For example, a point of significant disagreement between blacks and whites is the role of affirmative action and the significance attributed to diversity in the workplace. Blacks favour more substantial pro-affirmative action positions than whites and endorse affirmative programs. This is because African Americans are more likely to see advantages to the organization from procedures and policies that promote and encourage a more diverse workforce since they are the potential beneficiaries of such dogmas. Conversely, whites are more likely to see themselves at the losing end of such policies because they impact the workplace’s resource allocation and power structure. The corporate culture in the US is centred on the white middle-class blue-collar bias. For this reason, becoming a professional is regarded as performing whiteness rather than doing one’s job requirements (Lambertz-Berndt, 2016:110). The disruptive nature of focusing on emotionally charged and sensitive issues, in this case, race, and a complex web of intersecting identities lead to the challenge of conceptualizing diversity within the workplace.


Table 1: Inequality among Men at Higher Levels of Workplace Power

Black vs White in the Workplace Table 1

Black vs White in the Workplace Table 1

Source: Elliot and Smith (2004: 367)

In table one above, the white-black quotient is the main static since it reviews the probability of development of black men compared to white men at two consecutive stages of authority. The first was from employee to overseer, while the second was from overseer to administrator. The comparative ratio of growth for blacks in the section labelled “lack of support for growing discrimination” declines from 2.5 to 2.0 with a rise up the chain of command. Conversely, the relative proportion of black men in the section categorized “support for growing disparity” rises from 2.5 to 4.0 (Elliot and Smith, 2004: 367). The stated variances in non-supportive and supportive dynamics for rising discrimination concerning whites transpire although black men share drops with the rise in a hierarchy in both sections. Therefore, based on table one, the odds of advancement for blacks in the workplace relative to whites decrease at higher levels of power.


Racial discrimination persists in the workplace due to the social conflict between blacks and whites. The blacks consider that the benefits of whites are derived from the control of powerful committees and positions. On the other hand, the whites believe that blacks enjoy benefits from affirmative action. The generally held perception of affirmative action seems to be that blacks are selected due to their appearance and not their performance. Therefore, there appears to be a constellation of adverse inferences linked to affirmative action that impacts impressions of an individual’s effectiveness and work orientation. In essence, the initiatives for diversity to decrease inequality between whites and blacks in the workplace often fail. In brief, this results from many reasons, including the initiative being considered a set of legal guidelines and equating the campaigns to affirmative action.


Cornelius, Tonya. 2010. “A Critical Examination Of The Impact Of Racism On The Career Development Of African American Professional Men In Corporate America.” PhD, The University of Georgia.

Elliot, James, and Ryan Smith. 2004. “Race, Gender, And Workplace Power.” American Sociological Review 69:365-386.

Lambertz-Berndt, Megan M. 2016. “Communicating Identity In The Workplace And Affinity Group Spaces.” Studies in Media and Communication 4(2): 110-124.

Mor Barak, Michal E., David A. Cherin, and Sherry Berkman. 1998. “Organizational And Personal Dimensions In Diversity Climate.” The Journal of Applied Behavioral Science 34(1):82-104.

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Published On: 01-01-1970

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