Good morning, Broadsheet readers! An Instagram post leads to an EEOC complaint, social media darling Chrissy Teigen ditches Snapchat, and women of color share their workplace struggles. Have a productive Tuesday.
• Like corporation, like classroom. Maura Cheeks writes that when she began pursuing her MBA at NYU Stern School of Business, she discovered that “my experience in the classroom largely mirrored my experience of close to a decade in corporate America: I’m consistently one of very few black women and black people in the room.”
That realization inspired her to work with Elizabeth Morrison, vice dean of faculty at NYU, to interview women of color about the challenges they face in the workplace. Four themes—all of which are vital for white allies to understand—emerged:
“Your work is judged plus other intangible things.” The women talked about the pressure to code-switch—in other words, to embrace the culture of their co-workers, while switching to a more authentic self when around friends and family. The anecdote of one woman who described crying in her hotel bed during a work trip after reading about a police officer killing a person of color, only to feel like she had to bury those emotions when rejoining her colleagues, is particularly searing.
“We are tied to other people of color.” The interview subjects note that people of color are more likely to know and relate to people struggling with poverty than their white colleagues are. “This forced separation between hardships facing the black community and the institutional whiteness of the white-collar job can be mentally taxing and make it harder to perform well at work,” writes Cheeks.
“My mentors talk to me about dimming my light.” The interviewees describe feeling that it’s their responsibility to make others (and particularly white others) feel comfortable. That can require them to dampen aspects of their personalities in order to get ahead.
“If you have no one in your corner you get weeded out.” Finding sponsors is difficult when you can’t relate to the people you work with. And without that internal advocate, it’s all too easy to lose out on opportunities for advancement.
Do you have thoughts on how workplaces—and co-workers—can better support working women of color? Send them my way at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Harvard Business Review
ALSO IN THE HEADLINES
• Walmsley’s not waiting. Emma Walmsley, the new CEO of GlaxoSmithKline PLC, is in the midst of a dramatic turnaround effort at the drug company. In her roughly one year on the job, Walmsley has replaced nearly half of Glaxo’s top 125 executives, reassigned or let go some 400 scientists in its drug-development unit, and moved to shut down more than two dozen clinical drug trials. Now, Glaxo has struck a $13 billion deal with Novartis, its partner in a consumer health business, to take control of the whole venture.
• Separate is not equal. Linda Brown, whose father objected when she was not allowed to attend an all-white school in her neighborhood and who then became the face of the landmark school desegregation case Brown v. Board of Education, died on Sunday at the age of 75.
New York Times
• Gone in a snap. Model Chrissy Teigen is the latest in a growing line of celebrities to announce that she’s leaving Snapchat. Such departures can do more than reputational damage to the company: Its stock dropped significantly after public dismissals by Rihanna and Kylie Jenner.
• Instagram to EEOC. Bailey Davis was fired from her job as a cheerleader for the New Orleans Saints after posting a photo of herself in a one-piece outfit on her private Instagram (which the Saints say violated its rule that prohibit cheerleaders from appearing nude, seminude or in lingerie) and for allegedly attending a party with Saints players (another team regulation that Davis denies violating). She has filed a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, accusing the Saints of having two sets of rules—one for the team’s cheerleaders and another for its players.
New York Times
• A whale of a good read. This Tiffany Haddish profile by Caity Weaver is, as you might expect, a delectable read (the pair go whale watching, of all things). Yes, it sparked a flurry of “who bit Beyonce?” jokes on Twitter, but there’s much more to it than that.
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
• Digital life. WNYC’s Note to Self podcast and the Cut are collaborating on No Filter: Women Owning It Online, “a project to explore the question of what it means to be a woman online.” The first episode features YouTube and Instagram star Lele Pons, who talks about attaining viral fame at a young age and the character she portrays in her videos.
• A two-termer? Time‘s Belinda Luscombe profiles Deloitte CEO Cathy Engelbert. Deloitte chiefs are elected and serve four years with the option of another four. Engelbert became the first female CEO of a Big Four financial-services firm in 2015 and—should she win a second term—would be the first two-term CEO since 1999.
• FF goes to PR. To draw awareness to ways in which Puerto Rico is still struggling in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria, Samantha Bee is hosting a one-hour special Full Frontal, filmed on the island and airing March 28th. She’s also taking steps to make an economic impact, moving production of all charitable Full Frontal T-shirts to Puerto Rico to help support local businesses and create jobs.
• The secret life of Bartz. Carol Bartz, former CEO of Yahoo and Autodesk, doesn’t hold back in the latest episode of Freakonomics Radio’s “The Secret Life of a CEO.”