, Volume 25, Issue 5, pp 581-599

African American Women in the Workplace: Relationships Between Job Conditions, Racial Bias at Work, and Perceived Job Quality

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Abstract

Although studies have described work processes among employed African American women, few have examined the influence of these processes on job outcomes. This study examined relationships between African American women's exposure to a range of occupational stressors, including two types of racial bias—institutional discrimination and interpersonal prejudice—and their evaluations of job quality. Findings indicated that institutional discrimination and interpersonal prejudice were more important predictors of job quality among these women than were other occupational stressors such as low task variety and decision authority, heavy workloads, and poor supervision. Racial bias in the workplace was most likely to be reported by workers in predominantly white work settings. In addition, Black women who worked in service, semiskilled, and unskilled occupations reported significantly more institutional discrimination, but not more interpersonal prejudice, than did women in professional, managerial, and technical occupations or those in sales and clerical occupations.