As the weather gets colder and my internship period quickly approaches, I’ve been wondering about my future in my potential career in public relations. As a woman of colour, it’s quite the scary thought – will I peak at some point because of my gender AND race rather than because of my merit?
This is why I wanted to discuss the glass ceiling for women of colour this week and I’ve even made a handy-dandy FAQ so we can cover all of our bases for this complex topic!
How to Get This Bread When The World Only Wants To Give You a Slice
What is a glass ceiling?
The glass ceiling is a metaphor used to represent an invisible barrier that keeps minority groups from rising beyond a certain level in a hierarchy. The term was coined by feminists when talking about women’s professional and economic inequality ie. the wage gap.
Isn’t the wage gap a myth?
Now, if you’re a self-proclaimed “egalitarian” who doesn’t believe in the wage gap and says things like this:
You probably should just stop reading now.
If you’re simply unaware of the wage gap, I’ll explain to you.
The wage gap is the difference in earnings between women and men in the workplace.
It is the indicator of women’s economic inequality and varies by country. For example, Canadian women workers earned an average of 69 cents for every dollar earned by men in 2016.
But feminism has progressed so much! Are you sure the wage gap still exists?
So then, what’s the concrete ceiling?
It is undeniable that the glass ceiling is even lower for women of colour (other than Asian women). Based on your race as a woman, you get paid even less.
So when we talk about the concrete ceiling, it refers to the barriers women of colour face being even more difficult to penetrate and the inability to “see through it to glimpse the corner office” as stated by Catalyst President Sheila Wellington.
So what does this mean for me if I’m a woman of colour about to enter the workplace?
I actually don’t know. I want to believe that the world is fair and just, but that’s always not true.
I think the most important thing is to find a company that aligns with your values. I was lucky enough to land an internship at a PR company where I felt comfortable voicing my opinions even as early as in the interviewing stages. I’m so excited to develop myself as a professional there and see where my career path takes me.
Whatever, minorities get hired and promoted because of affirmative action so I probably won’t even get a job!
I’ll just leave that right there for you.
A Conscious Black Woman