There is no question that navigating the world as a woman of color is a unique experience. The combination of sexism and racism we face as we move through our individual lives, including in the workplace, can also result in us being wary and on edge in a way that impacts our health and even our ability to succeed.
“Emotional tax” is what a new study from researchers at Catalyst—a nonprofit organization that seeks to accelerate progress for women through workplace inclusion—calls this phenomenon, this psychological burden placed on women of color because of microaggressions and other exclusionary behavior.
“Of course …. we understand that individuals in their own right can experience stress, navigate work by challenges, have difficult relationships to navigate at work at times,” Dnika Travis, vice president of research at Catalyst and one of the authors of the study, told The Root. “The emotional tax piece specifically … is really that undue burden levied on many women and men of color as a result of unfair treatment.”