9. Uplifting and Oppressive: Black Women’s Religious Identities in Corporate America

Toni Dubrovensky Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis
Faculty Sponsor(s): Patricia Jordan Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis
Black women are a minority within corporate America, especially in the accounting field, partly due to a deprivation of social resources, such as power. Black women’s layered identities coupled with requests for nontraditional accommodation due to their religious beliefs can deviate them from a company’s culture. Thus, the focus of this research is problematizing the discrimination that Black women face, which is part of a persistent cycle, by examining how specific elements of identity affect their growth in the American accounting industry. Using the conflict paradigm, this literature-based research establishes and decodes the identity of the Black woman in America’s exclusive white-collared society, while analyzing how religion impacts her experiences within the workplace. Despite laws promoting equality, religious-based discrimination is a prominent issue within modern society. Noteworthily, studies have revealed that Black women are more likely to be religiously devoted than Black men, White men, and White women, which makes them more susceptible to mistreatment and ostracism. Their susceptibility can serve as an obstacle in their climb up the proverbial corporate ladder. Further studies have laid bare that Blacks and women are more likely to be excluded from leadership and managerial positions. Yet, religion has been found to take on a dual role as a divider and a form of empowerment and resistance toward microaggressions within the workplace. Overall, Black women’s layered identities as Black, female, and religiously devout drive negative experiences that can put them in a unique position to be more susceptible to and/or combative toward workplace discrimination.
Gender, Women & Sexuality Studies
Poster Presentation

When & Where

Irwin Library 2nd Floor