"Fitting in whilst standing out": Identity flexing strategies of professional British women of African, Asian, and Caribbean ethnicities

Author/editor: Michelle Ryan, Victoria Opara, Ruth Sealy, Christopher T Begeny
Year published: 2023


Professional British women of African, Asian, and Caribbean (AAC) ethnicities contend with unique challenges and experiences in the workplace. These challenges are often due to experiences that occur at the intersection of gender and ethnic identity, thus many professional white British women (of Anglo-Saxon decent), do not face the same challenges.

AAC women are more often discriminated against, excluded from informal networks, and their contributions credited to someone else. We take an intersectional theoretical approach to better understand both the disadvantaged experiences and the possible advantaged experiences that British AAC women face, based on their experiences as AAC individuals, as women and as AAC women. The study seeks to 'give voice' to the experiences of AAC professional women, due to the limited amount of scholarship that adequately considers their workplace experiences. We consider the ways that their identity produces qualitatively different experiences determined by the context, by the nature of interpersonal encounters or by both the context and interpersonal encounters.

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