Working While Black

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S1: Before we get started this time a heads up. This episode deals with racism and one of our guests will refer to the workplace use of a racial slur. Just as the civil rights movement opened up new work opportunities for black workers. But decades later, African-Americans were disproportionately in high stress, low wage jobs. They are also overrepresented in the jobs at highest risk of vanishing because of workplace automation. White workers, meanwhile, are 50% more likely to hold future proof jobs. These are the kind of jobs that often build on education in science, technology, engineering and math or STEM. And for those black workers who do beat the odds, the reward often comes with a hostile work environment and tech.

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S2: It’s a very insular environment where a race joke would be made. And I’m thinking, I’m like, Yo, this is racist as hell. And people just thinking nothing of it, though. You know, you’ve got to quote unquote, roll with the punches. And I find that to be very problematic.

S3: There is not a shortage of black workers who are interested in STEM, where there is a shortage of organizations that take these issues and these problems seriously and say, you know, it’s our responsibility as an organization to make sure that we don’t have workers who are coming to the job and having to encounter racist jokes on a daily basis.

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S1: I’m Bridget Kilty, working while black. Coming up, a better life lab. It’s Better Life Lab. I’m Bridget Kilty. This episode we’re looking at the stress of working while black. My guest is Adia Harvey Wingfield. She’s professor of sociology at Washington University in Saint Louis. Her most recent book is Flat Lining Race, Work and Health Care in the New Economy. Adia is someone I’d been looking forward to talking with for months and months. The depth of her research is extraordinary, and she has a fresh and powerful way of describing the impacts structural racism has on black workers. Almost as soon as I pressed the record button, Adia began telling me about some remarkable work by a scholar at Harvard, David Williams. His public health research documents the physiological toll that workplace racism takes on people of color.

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S3: It contributes to hypertension, to challenges, sleeping, eating. I mean, he’s been able to really show that there is a measurable material consequence to living in an environment where there is an expectation or a constant experience or consistent experience, I should say, with racial harassment. And really it’s really a measurable outcome that isn’t really good for. This seems intuitive, but it’s not good for your health to be in an environment, in a situation like that, where you are consistently experiencing or anticipating racial harassment and bias.

S1: It’s also not only not good for health of the worker, it’s not good for the organization or the business. I came across a report done by the San Francisco Federal Reserve Bank. They found that basically inequalities, racial and gender inequalities, if we could eliminate them, that we would create an extra $2.6 trillion in value. That’s like 14% of GDP for one year. I mean, that’s a stunning number, right?

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S3: Absolutely. I mean, I think numbers like that are so striking because they really show the irony and the toll of issues like racism and sexism and how they have a concrete impact. But when we think about the loss of human capital and we think about the people who could be contributing to our society, who are being deterred and marginalized by virtue of these types of systemic inequities, we’re all losing. When you think about it that way, right, we are losing out economically. We are losing out in terms of contributions to society. This isn’t really a winning cycle that that we’re in. And it hasn’t been for some time.

S1: Well, so then let’s spin it out into a future of work scenario. Today, we’re going to listen to two different workers from two of the fastest growing professions. And yet in both of those fast growing professions, when you look at sort of recent data, the share of black workers is still in the single digits and haven’t really budged. So the first person is Nahsis Davis. She’s a nurse in Chicago. She’s also a foster mother of three.

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S3: So I just finished off in the case of today, the farm just right now.

S1: So how old are the kids now?

S3: I’m right now I have the set of twins. The boy and a girl twin is two years old. And the oldest one, which is a boy, is three.

S1: And and how’s your work been?

S3: So I worked overnight last night. I worked at out practice yesterday.

S1: Oh, my God. So who watches the kids while you’re on the overnight?

S3: My mom. That I hardly get any sleep, so I’m stressed out most of the time. I find myself honestly needing a vacation after a vacation within days. I actually got COVID 19. And you would think that the job would say, hey, we’re going to pay you while you’re off. We know you’re sick. Yeah, well, guess what? I never got paid. Fast forward to this year. I recently got COVID 19 again. So now actually, my boss calls me up and she says, Well, you’re not going to get paid really twice. I said, It’s funny how I can come to work and take care of your sick patients, but when I get sick, I don’t even have a paycheck to pay my bills. Unbelievable. It just so happens that all of a sudden, magically, they came up with 60 hours of COVID pay for me.

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S1: And I’m just wondering, you know, we had talked about some of the racial dynamics that you experience.

S3: My boss is actually she’s Caucasian. And every time I speak to her about certain aspects or certain things about nursing, it’s like, yeah, we’ll deal with it if other people go to her and talk to her about it. It’s like, Oh, well, let’s put a plan in place. Let’s talk about this, you know? So it’s like, Oh. I just say the same thing. But maybe I was speaking in a different language. I don’t know.

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S1: You know, when you when you run into those kinds of situations, you know, how do you how do you respond or how does that make you feel?

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S3: Oh, it definitely makes me feel this big. And you see how big I am. I actually feel this big, but even more so. It really makes you kinda angry and makes you really not want to even work with them or work around them or, you know, put their all into it. I mean, the fact that you’re there taking care of other sick people. But when it comes to you, it’s like, whatever, because you can’t save lives by yourself. It’s not a it’s not a one man show. Yeah, that’s for sure.

S1: What would it take to fix the problem, especially when it comes to when it comes to race?

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S3: Honestly, I don’t know how to fix race because growing up I actually grew up with all races. My next door neighbors on both sides were actually Caucasian. I had Hispanic neighbors, Indian neighbors. I mean, you name it, I had it. So the job that I have now, it was almost like a cultural shock because the people that I grew up with did not act like this. I guess you can call me a little naive. It was it was a true, true shocker when I actually got to a place and I was mistreated by someone of a different race, because that’s not what I was used to. Yeah, I think it needs to start way beyond just coming to a job. Maybe I’m the manager that manage. The managers actually need to recognize the cultural biases and deal with it firsthand.

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S1: So is there in your own case, is there a path to that, to management for you? Is there do you see that that’s something a direction that you could take and then with your perspective, be part of the decision making that that could make those changes and make make that culture.

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S3: So I’m gonna be successful with you. I actually have a master’s in nursing. I do not desire to go into management. I love the bedside. I love what I do. I am actually a part of a union. I’m a union rep. So I kind of fight the battle on battle, and I could definitely do management. I just do not desire to.

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S1: You know, being part of being part of a union has that. What kind of difference does that make or how does that how does that matter when it comes to some of the issues that you’re talking about, when it comes to being listened to or when it comes to structural racism?

S3: It matters in a sense of I can voice my opinion and keep my job. However, that’s.

S1: Big. That’s a big part of it.

S3: A lot of times the staff. They’re so used to things being a certain way by management that they’re afraid to actually speak up when when they don’t even understand how much power they have behind them. Because as a union, if we stick together, we’ll win.

S1: Nahsis Davis, she’s a nurse, foster mom and union leader. She works at a hospital in Chicago. We’ll talk about her story with Adia Harvey Wingfield after this. And Bridget Shorty. You’re listening to A Better Life Lab. I’m talking with Adia Harvey Wingfield. She’s the author of two books, Looking at the Experience of Black Workers in America. And she’s vice dean for faculty development and diversity at Washington University in Saint Louis. Before the break, Adia and I listened together to the story of Nahsis Davis, a nurse in Chicago.

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S3: I was really struck by when she talked about the consequences for her, of how she felt when she saw her supervisor treating her colleagues differently than her. That was something that I heard a lot in my research on nurses that black nurses in particular would talk about the types of ways that they were mistreated at work. Again, by colleagues, by supervisors, seeing their colleagues who were white get opportunities, get better shifts, get tracked for promotions and things like that. And the ways that those doors were shut in their face. What she’s describing is documented in a lot of research literature about black workers, in a lot of professions. There’s a great study by my colleague Vinny Racine. You’re called The Face of Discrimination. And part of what he documents is that this experience of seeing and being able to show how white colleagues are treated differently, how they aren’t punished for things that black workers get punished for, how when black workers don’t follow rules, they get punished. When white workers don’t follow the rules, nothing happens. Rules get made up that people aren’t told about. And so when black workers do things and someone says, Hey, you can’t do that, that’s against the rule. And they say, No one told me this rule, and they see white co-workers doing the same thing. But what I think stands out for me in her narrative is that feeling of the emotional toll that it takes on her to work in that environment. And that was consistent with what I heard from a lot of nurses as well. And that’s really pretty sobering when we think about the context of the health care system, right. For black workers, the care that they provide to patients of color in particular is often really critical because they often are able to do so in an empathetic fashion that has real, measurable consequences in terms of improving health care. So if you have these populations who are already underrepresented as providers who are doing this outsized and important labor for a growing segment of the U.S. population, but those workers themselves are in situations where they feel exploited, where they feel used, where they feel mistreated, where they feel damaged. And if you think about what’s happened in COVID, where we’ve seen that workers don’t have the support they need, and the example that she gives, she needs time off and doesn’t get it, but she sees that other people are. This is setting up a disastrous long term precedent, I think, for where our health care system is going and what that means for us as a society. When she talked about feeling mistreated and being frustrated and angry and sad and she didn’t say this, but my guess would be that those probably are not emotions that she feels fully comfortable expressing in the workplace. And I think that probably also contributes to some of the challenges that black workers experience, because even emotional expression becomes a site through which black workers get carefully scrutinized aside from the work they actually do, emotions get carefully watched and whether people seem to be happy enough or if they seem that they are reacting negatively to racial slights that deserve negative reactions, even that gets watched and penalized in ways that are not necessarily present for for their counterparts.

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S1: It really struck me in your book, you write about how oftentimes black nurses will get the tougher assignments and what Nahsis didn’t mention on tape. And when we were talking later, she said that the reason she got COVID is that they were short staffed and they didn’t have cleaners. And so her managers asked her to go clean up the room. And so she was exposed to, you know, pretty virulent COVID for a long time and didn’t have the proper protective equipment. And that’s what that’s how she got sick.

S3: Yeah. I mean, that’s completely consistent with what I found in my research.

S1: You know, when we think about, again, the future of work in these fast growing jobs and there’s a nursing shortage and you’ve written about this would be a great place for black men to find work. You know what needs to happen there?

S3: I think what needs to happen is the key question. Right, because I think the things that have happened under COVID really portend a problem for the future of health care in terms of staffing. And I think that there’s going to be really severe consequences for diversity in health care as a consequence of some of the things that have really come to light during COVID. I think it’s not so much a question of getting people to apply or be interested in these jobs as much as it is a question or an issue of jobs having to be more viable for more people. Right. I mean, I think part of the problem is that for too long, jobs have been too untenable for too many people. We have expected people to do contract work for people to not know when they’re going to be able to work their next shift or to find out that their shift is canceled at the last minute or to find that they’re sick changes or that they’re closing one night and opening the next morning. People don’t have paid sick leave, as was illustrated in the great example that you shared that they. Should in a wealthy, industrialized country. Right. I mean, there are just too many ways that the current way that we work is untenable for too many people. And I think we have to start thinking about what we are asking people to do and why we think it’s acceptable to have people not be paid when they’re out sick. We have to think about why we think that it’s perfectly okay for women to give birth and then have to return to work within a couple of weeks after having a child because they can’t afford to take time off and employers are not mandated to give them paid time off. Having had two kids myself, I just can say I know firsthand what that requires of you and how ludicrous it is to expect for someone to have to go back into a job after your body has done something that incredible organizations today are so fond of saying that they want more diversity, that that’s something that matters to them. But if that really matters, part of what having more diversity means is really being cognizant of what environment you are bringing your workers into. And if you are bringing workers into an environment where they are going to be mistreated, you’re not creating a more diverse environment. You’re creating an environment where people of color are going to come stay for a little while and then they’re going to leave because nobody likes to be mistreated at work. So I think we’ve got to start with these questions about what work actually looks like and what we’re asking people to do and how we can rethink that in a way that really meets the needs of a more multiracial society, a society that’s younger, a society that has a broad, diverse array of people with different gender identities and make our organizations places that really reflect that.

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S1: Yeah. So let’s move on to the story of Lauren Barton. He works in the tech industry. There have been all these surveys that have come out that show that managers want to go back into the office and more white workers want to go back into the office. But for workers of color and particularly black workers, again, it’s in the single digits. They don’t want to go back for a whole lot of reasons.

S2: I had always been fascinated with computers and science as a kid. It was just something that I just picked up really, really quick. And, you know, even though I went to a fine arts high school, you know, and, you know, and I wanted to be a writer, my mother was like, listen, you know, that’s code that, you know, you want to be a writer, but I don’t want you to be homeless on the beach. So, you know, you you need to pick a career that is going to be able to afford you a good, decent life. It’s like, okay, so you’re a creative writing major, so, you know, do you want fries with that?

S1: So then what was it like when you got into, you know, started working and you got into the tech industry?

S2: You know, first off, I was you know, I was one of the few black people there. I mean, that’s not a surprise. I mean, that’s something that whenever you start working, you know, you’re always going to be one of the few. So, I mean, I was kind of prepared. I just I didn’t realize, just like how I guess isolating it would be. So whenever you’re the only black person in a room, you become, quote unquote, the black spokesperson. Right. So, you know, people ask you things like, oh, you know, do all black people like to do this? So it’s almost like I’m the subject matter expert for everything that’s black and in tech. It’s a very insular environment. It was just put in bluntly, like social skills. That’s something that’s not really encouraged because at the end of the day, it’s all about the code. You know, it was really interesting being in an environment where a race joke would be made and I’m thinking, I’m like, Yo, this is racist as hell. And people just thinking nothing of it though, you know, and a lot of it is is just it’s you got to, quote unquote, roll with the punches. And I find that to be very problematic.

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S1: Well, I was going to say, like, how how do you respond in that, you know, or how did you when when when something like that happened?

S2: Well, honestly, Bridget, I would just sort of, you know, keep my head down and and just work, you know, or I would laugh off certain things like, you know, we will be out on a company lunch, whatever. We would see the police come into the restaurant and they’ll joke, Oh, all around. They’re coming to get you. You know, you, you know, you better run out the back way. And so when you’re young, you, you know, you don’t really know how to process it. Like, you know, instinctively that that is not okay. Right. But when you are coming up, you know, you’re taught, hey, you know, you’ve got to develop thick skin. There’s a term that I really detest that, you know, you have to have grit. Right. You know, you got to have grit to be able to make it through these situations. And how about we create an environment so where you don’t have to endure?

S1: You know, you write about how ten years in tech, you know, that you got tired of shrinking yourself.

S2: You know, for me. Every time you accept bad behavior, every time you look the other way, that kind of chips at you. Right. And you know, Bridget, you don’t want to become a person. So where you’re going to accept anything because, you know, I’ve always said this. I’m not an individual. I’m a part of a collective. If I accept ill treatment, then I’m modeling behavior for black people coming after me to accept ill treatment. And so finally, one day I just said, you know what? I’m going to stop code switching. I am who I am. I’m not going to accept any type of racist jokes like behavior, like I just decided. It’s like now, like, you know, it’s time for us to just to stop sweeping it under the rug. It is time for me to start standing up. And you know, when I would call things out? Of course, I would be labeled as a troublemaker. I would be labeled as, you know, that guy that, you know, can’t take a joke. He’s so serious all around. Why do you talk about race all the time? And it just kind of goes from there. I would rather be rejected for who I am than accepted for who I’m not. There was an organization that I worked for one of the worst. Like I was one of the two black men there. And it was just you could just feel the tension. Like every little thing that I did was was was scrutinized and just the language. It was it was so it was so foul. And I just like, just imagine you are a new graduate. You’re coming into this culture that is so toxic. When a person comes into tech, the money could be life changing. Right? I mean, you know, you’re you’re coming from the bottom. You’re coming from an impoverished environment. You get into tech company A, they pay you six figures out of the door. And, you know, you can help your family with that, because one thing about money in the black community is like it doesn’t flow up. It flows down. So you’re always subsidizing people. So. If you’re able to help your family change the trajectory. And, you know, unfortunately, you have to put up with this with this nonsense. I’m not going to tell someone not to do that. I’m just going to tell them I wouldn’t do that. Right.

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S1: Right. I just saw there is that recent report that came out that basically black workers in tech are still in the single digits.

S2: Right. Exactly. So you have to think about this. There’s a reason why we’re not there. And there’s a reason why what we call the churn is so high because the talent’s there. It’s just that for some reason, they don’t value who we are enough to bring us in.

S1: You know? So do you feel like in tech you have to walk that tightrope, so to speak, pretty much on your own? Or are there any kind of collective or group efforts that show any promise?

S2: Well, so there have been the advent of employee resource groups. They have been pretty good as far as gathering black tech workers together. But. There just hasn’t been the proper movement. There was a case recently, a Tesla, a black man. He sued Tesla for racial discrimination. And, you know, he said that he found nooses, they call it nigger. And Elon Musk had made a comment and it just summed up exactly what is wrong with tech. He said, people need to have thicker skin. Why do I need to have thick skin to be able to work?

S1: Yeah. Do you know the numbers of black workers in tech haven’t budged in who know decades? Do you have hope for black workers in tech in the future?

S2: I have hope for black workers starting our own firms. I’m not a fan nor a believer in changing the system from the inside. I believe in data. Right. And so the data shows that even in 1999, when Jesse Jackson made his charge against companies like Apple, and those numbers have not grown since 1999, this is 2022. We’re still talking about the same thing. This is a microcosm of America. And so I think that if there’s going to be any change is that black workers are going to have to create their own startups. I just I don’t see any way for this to change. Like, you know, Michael, start your dream here. I mean, that’s just the way that I look at it. And I think that we have to be realistic and brutally honest about where you are right now.

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S1: So, Adia, I do want to get to his solution or his ideas for a solution. But we’re we’re connected via Zoom. And I just saw you nodding your head. I saw you rolling your eyes throughout his entire story.

S3: I don’t know, LeRon, but I feel like I do know, right? Because I’ve heard so many iterations of this. I wrote a book in 2013 called No More Invisible Man. It was a look at black men working in white male dominated occupations specifically. But I spoke with black men who were in engineering, law, financial work and medicine. And so many of those experiences of being isolated, of having to look the other way when racist things happened or feeling the pressure to look the other way, when racist things happen of being told to toughen up. It’s routine. It’s so commonplace. And the interesting thing that I would point out was that when I spoke with many of the men in my study for No More Invisible Man, they said, you know, it’s this is a frequent challenge. It’s even harder for women because this is kind of a boys club and a boys environment. And so many of this stuff makes it that much harder for them to try to navigate these spaces.

S1: You know, it’s interesting, there was a National Science Foundation report that came out several years ago, and I remember that was one of the findings that really struck me. It was sort of like, why are there no women in engineering? And basically, the National Science Foundation found that it was a hostile environment, particularly for women of color. And they talked about coming in and having their badge checked or being mistaken for the cleaning staff. And they finally they you know, they couldn’t it’s just it was not worth it to their sense of identity, their sense of self, their, you know, their stress levels. And so, you know, hostile work environment is why we don’t have as many women engineers of color.

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S3: Right. Absolutely. And I think something that’s really key to that that Lauren mentioned was that you have to think about this, I think, as an organizational problem and not a problem to be solved by the individuals who are in these these positions. Right. I think that too often the tendency is to say, well, you know, we’ve just got to we’ve got a pipeline problem and we’ve got to increase the pipeline and think about how.

S1: To say, I’m so sick of hearing that argument, oh.

S3: Let’s change the pipeline and think about how we can get more women and more underrepresented workers into these spaces. And that’ll solve the problem. And if we, you know, we just can’t find any, then we can’t find any. What can we do? Let’s not even have that conversation about the pipeline. The pipeline is not the issue because you will find people, as he’s mentioned there, if there is not a shortage of black workers who are interested in STEM, what there is a shortage of as organizations that take these issues and these problems seriously and say, you know, it’s our responsibility as an organization to make sure that we don’t have workers who are coming to the job and having to encounter racist jokes on a daily basis. This is a thing that we can and should be responsible for fixing. And I just find it preposterous, this mindset that this is a thing that organizations can’t do anything about. We’re talking about some of the richest companies in the world, not the United States, some of the richest companies in the world. These companies and these organizations can make the changes that they want to see happen. And if what they want to see happen is that their employees don’t have to go to work and be racially harassed, guess what? This is a problem that you can solve, but it has to be the organization’s responsibility. It shouldn’t be Loren’s job to fix this. It shouldn’t be the job of the handful of black workers who are in employer resource groups. They have to change the entire organization.

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S1: You’ve actually written about that phenomenon, that there is that expectation that black workers do that work. What do you call it, racial outsourcing, which is, frankly, what, more emotional labor and frankly, more racism.

S3: Right? Exactly. Exactly. And I think what they end up doing is this process of racial outsourcing, where they say that they want this, but they leave the work of actually making organizations more accessible and available to communities of color up to the few black workers that they have in their employ. And what that becomes is an additional layer of responsibility. It creates emotional strain. It creates stress. It creates feelings of exploitation on top of the enormous responsibilities that they already have in doing the jobs for which they are actually paid to do.

S1: You know, so as we look at sort of this, I don’t even want to say post-COVID because we’re still in it, but a corona normal world where, you know, a new variant might emerge and you’ve got all these firms saying, we’re going to do hybrid, we’re going to switch to digital. And there’s a lot of women and caregivers. They want that flexibility and so do a lot of workers of color. And the surveys are so clear that the freedom from microaggression and that there’s more equality in a way, on a zoom screen, it’s more apparent who’s talking or who’s interrupting who and. But do you see that as sort of a positive trend that could actually help in the workplace?

S3: Right. I think from hearing Lauren’s account, you can certainly see and understand the impetus to want to work from home and to divorce yourself from that type of a very hostile workplace environment. And I have some one of the things that’s come through from my research is that when black workers are in spaces that are more independent, that actually does lead to a reduction in workplace stress. So there is that that positive side to it. What I worry about on the flipside, though, is that given that our workplaces, and particularly our routes for advancement and mobility at work are so heavily driven by relationships, by networks, by connections that people have, I think it’s a real cause for concern whether black workers choosing more autonomous environments could potentially penalize them when it does come time for advancement and mobility. Right. If they’re not in these networks, if they’re not connecting with people in the office, if they’re not in these relationships, then that could pose a real challenge. It doesn’t have to, though, and I think that’s the key point. I think as organizations are thinking about how they want to model themselves in a COVID normal world is, as you put it, which I think is really apt. That has to start with being attuned to, again, what it means to be a racially diverse workplace.

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S1: One last question. I want to go back to Lauren’s idea that the best solution for for a lot of black workers, particularly black workers in tech, is to just exit and create their own startups. Is that the way forward?

S3: I think you will see more people going in that direction, particularly as we are starting to see more visible black figures in certain fields. However, I think especially in tech, I think there’s still cause for concern, in part because of some of the disparities in venture capital and how that gets distributed and how it follows a lot of these same processes of nepotism and connections and tacit expectations that these funders have of who is going to be a successful business and who’s going to be a person who can successfully run a business. So I think that we’re probably going to see more black workers from certain backgrounds going in in that direction. I don’t necessarily think that I would say that it has the potential to be a cure all. But I think that when you listen to his account, it’s not a mystery to understand why that looks like an attractive option.

S1: Yeah. You know, when he talks about enduring work, you know, rather than thriving and I guess, you know, what will it take for black workers to thrive, not just in tech or nursing or, you know, the professions, but also as essential workers. Right. How do we do that?

S3: Organizations are not built for where we are now or where the future of America is going. They are built with a modal worker in mind who’s someone who can come to work and be there as long as it takes, and who isn’t encumbered by family life or caregiving responsibilities. And implicitly, this worker is often a white able bodied man that is not our workforce anymore. But I think that’s the organizational model around which work is built. If we know that society is becoming more multiracial, if we know that the workforce doesn’t look like it used to, and that work has changed, how do we then go about changing work and organizations in a way that reflects where we are and where our future is going? And I think that’s how we start having more productive conversations about what work should look like.

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S1: I love that. I’m all for it. Let’s start those conversations yesterday.

S3: Yeah, ten years ago.

S1: All right. Well, Adia, thank you so much for joining us today. It’s been wonderful talking with you.

S3: Thank you for having me. I’ve really enjoyed it myself.

S1: Adia Harvey Wingfield. She’s author of two books that look at working while Black. No More Invisible Man and Flatlining. She’s professor of sociology at Washington University in Saint Louis. This season on Better Life Lab. We’re looking at the future of work and well-being in America. Next time, we’ll take a closer look at something we’re starting to call techno stress.

S4: Just last night, I had a nightmare that I had forgotten to press play on the time tracking app.

S1: And got.

S4: Fired as a result of it.

S1: We’ve got work to do. I hope you’ll join us next time on Better Life Lab. For more resources on fairer, healthier work, go to New America dot org. Click the link for Better Life Lab. On behalf of myself and my producer, David Shulman. Many thanks for joining us for our new season. Please review us on Apple Podcasts if you like the show. Better Life Lab is produced by New America in partnership with Slate. Special thanks to Alicia montgomery at Slate for all her work with us. Our podcast is sponsored by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, which is committed to improving health and health equity in the United States in partnership with others. RW JF is working to develop a culture of health rooted in equity that provides every individual with a fair and just opportunity to thrive no matter who they are or where they live or how much money they have. For more information, visit WW dot RW, JF or. For Better Life Lab. I’m Bridget Shorty.