Cover Photo: illustration of a black woman professor leading a classroom discussion
Illustration by Sirin Thada for Catapult

Women of Color in Academia Often Work Harder for Less Respect

The racist assumption that women of color are hired as faculty because of our identities rather than our credentials can have a serious impact on our careers.

This is Exit Interviews, a column by Nadia Owusu on the experiences of women of color in the workplace.


The Chronicle of Higher Education

“If there is a committee, especially if it has to do with diversity, I am expected to be on it,” Aliya told me. “Often, I am expected to chair it. They want me to be the ‘diversity’ on the diversity committee. And they want me to define what diversity is and why they should care about it in the first place.”

The Atlantic

NADIA OWUSU is a Ghanaian and Armenian-American writer and urbanist. Her first book, Aftershocks, topped many best book of the year lists, including  Vulture, TIME, Esquire, and the BBC. It was a New York Times Book Review Editor’s Choice.

Nadia is the recipient of a 2019 Whiting Award. Her writing has appeared or is forthcoming in The New York Times,  The Guardian, The Wall Street Journal, Slate, Bon Appétit, Travel + Leisure, and others.

She is Director of Storytelling at Frontline Solutions, a Black-owned consulting firm working with social change organizations.  She  lives in Brooklyn.