21 Things Black Women Want from the Workplace.

March 22, 2023
A Black woman with shoulder length curly black hair and glasses sits expressionless in front of a laptop with her chin resting on her left hand.

Image Credit: Andrea Piacquadio

Throughout my career, I have spoken with countless Black women who expressed the challenges they face in the workplace. Though their employers and industries differ, the criteria for a safe workplace are very much the same. Here is a short list of what they've shared.

1. I want to be paid fairly for my work.

2. I want to know that WHEN I experience racism, action will be taken to support ME.

3. I no longer want to be the ONLY Black person on my team and in my organization.  

4. I want my boss to stop asking me to educate the staff about racism. I am an accountant, not a DEI professional.

5. I want to receive credit for my contributions.

6. I want to be celebrated.

7. I want my co-workers to stop asking about/touching my hair.

8. I want to lead as a fully realized Black woman instead of having to emulate a patriarchal white man.

9. I want my lens to be seen and my voice to be heard.

10. I want to be able to make mistakes and not always be perfect.

11. I want to be called my actual name.

12. I want to work for a boss who competently leads with knowledge, not fear.

13. I want to be able to retire one day.

14. I want to stop needing to job search.

15. I want to be welcomed within an organization for more than a few years.

16. I want to work with people who are not intimidated by differences.

17. I want my religious holidays to be recognized.

18. I want my co-workers to educate themselves instead of relying on media stereotypes about my culture.

19. I want to stop being tone policed and threatened with performance improvement plans for not being "professional." (a.k.a, outworking my mediocre co-workers and failing to give them credit for my success.)

20. I want to stop feeling like I am being crushed every single day.

21. I want space to be able to breathe deeply.

If you are Black and can relate to this list, join me at The Lunch Counter. We have much to discuss.


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