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date: 26 June 2022

Whiteness in Organizations: From White Supremacy to Allyshiplocked

Whiteness in Organizations: From White Supremacy to Allyshiplocked

  • Donna Chrobot-Mason, Donna Chrobot-MasonDepartment of Psychology, University of Cincinnati
  • Kristen CampbellKristen CampbellDepartment of Psychology, University of Cincinnati
  •  and Tyra VasonTyra VasonDepartment of Psychology, University of Cincinnati

Summary

Many whites do not identify with a racial group. They think very little about their own race and the consequences of being born into the dominant racial group. They do not think much about race because they do not have to. As a member of the dominant group, whites view their race as the norm. Furthermore, whites consciously or unconsciously typically view their experiences as race-less. In actuality whites’ experiences are far from race-less.

Many whites also fail to acknowledge the privileges their racial group provides. As long as whites continue to dominate leadership roles and positions of power in organizations, there will continue to be strong in-group bias providing unearned advantages to whites in the workplace, such as greater hiring and advancement opportunities. Additionally, as long as whites fail to acknowledge privilege, they will likely adopt a color-blind perspective, which in turn leads to a lack of recognition of microaggressions and other forms of discrimination as well as a lack of support for organizational initiatives to improve opportunities for employees of color.

In order to create a more inclusive workplace, it is imperative that both whites and white dominated organizations promote and foster white allies. For whites who wish to become allies, acknowledging white privilege is a necessary but insufficient step. Becoming a white ally also requires questioning meritocracy as well as working in collaboration with employees to implement lasting change.

Subjects

  • Organizational Behavior
  • Social Issues

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