This post was originally published on Michigan Chronicle

By Sherri Kolade

Black women rule the workforce and have the highest labor force participation in comparison to all women, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.  

In other words, a higher number of Black women are employed or unemployed and searching for work.   

Breaking down the numbers reveals that Black women make up 60.5 percent in comparison with 56.8 percent for white women – the pandemic didn’t stop Black women (even during the Great Resignation) as their labor force participation rate slightly spiked to 58.8 percent in comparison to 56.2 percent of women.  

The cost, however? Major burnout for Black women across the board.   

Divisive Diversity Efforts 

Black women are overworked and underpaid and CNBC reports that Black women are in “survival mode” while at work and despite diversity efforts it’s almost too little too late.  

“Women in the workplace have been very vocal about the inequities and discrimination they face on the job, from gender pay gaps to a lack of child-care support,” according to the article. “Black women in particular experience specific challenges at the intersection of racial and gender discrimination.”  

Sacha Thompson, executive coach for DEI practitioners (and the founder of the Equity Equation, an inclusive culture transformation boutique DEI firm) told the Michigan Chronicle that she began her business in September 2020 right amid the pandemic.  

“I was leaving a corporate job due to burnout,” she said, adding that she was in a diversity role and was in a “strange place” of educating people about diversity and inclusion efforts while experiencing racism firsthand.  

“[It was] by the people leading diversity and inclusion – sadly it’s very common,” she said adding that the burnout for her was the daily work battle. “A majority of my time and energy was being in survival mode and trying to figure out how to navigate very toxic waters.”  

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