Afro-Diasporic women navigating the black ceiling: Individual, relational, and organizational strategies

Elsevier, Business Horizons, Volume 64, issue 1, January-February 2021, Pages 37-50
Samantha E.Erskine, Estelle Elena Archibold, and Diana Bilimoria

In this article, we describe how the black ceiling—upheld by the powerful institutional logics of patriarchy and white supremacy, inordinately challenging and interlocking systemic barriers to leadership advancement—leads to the dearth of Afro-Diasporic women in senior corporate leadership positions and pathologizes Afro-Diasporic women as multiple outsiders. As a result, Afro-Diasporic women’s well-being in the workplace is compromised and many adopt coping and survival strategies to navigate a myriad of relational and environmental phenomena, such as spirit murder, emotional taxation, social closure, white privilege, and white fragility. To navigate and ameliorate these dynamics, we advance several individual, relational, and organizational strategies that support Afro-Diasporic women thriving in the workplace.