Man Up

What It’s Like to Be a Black Man Managing an Office of White Women

Bias doesn’t go away just because you’re the boss.

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About the Show

On Man Up, host Aymann Ismail invites men and women to tell embarrassing, funny, and sometimes disturbing stories about their lives as they try to figure out what they still have to learn—and unlearn—about being a man. They’ll talk relationships, family, sex, and identity, trying to understand their experiences to help listeners make more sense of their own.

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Episode Notes

This week Aymann talks to Jason Smith, a tech executive who has worries about being the only black manager in an office made up mostly of white women. He wants to create a space where people feel comfortable talking about race and gender, but he’s worried about all the biases people bring to the workplace—biases he’s encountered firsthand. For help, Aymann and Jason turn to Ari Joseph, the head of diversity, equity and inclusion at Vimeo. Ari talks about all the ways men of color hold back their identities in the workplace, and he offers tips for Jason on how to bring more of his “true self” to the office.

What makes you a work in progress? Do you want to talk through something you can’t quite crack related to manhood or masculinity? Let us know, and we might help you work through it on the show. Give us a call at 805-626-8707 or email us at manup@slate.com.

Podcast production by Cameron Drews.