Anyone can be a token employee and experience a host of related problems. But being a token is most difficult for women and racial minorities, according to a review of research over the past quarter century. In some cases, being a token may even help men.

“It’s hard being the only one, or one of a few. It tends to be even more difficult for women and racial minorities to be tokens, compared to men and white workers,” said Marla Baskerville Watkins of Northeastern University.

Watkins, and coauthors Aneika Simmons of Sam Houston State University and Elizabeth Umphress of the University of Washington, analyzed 80 studies about token employees between 1991 and 2016, for their Academy of Management Perspectives article, “It’s Not Black and White: Toward a Contingency Perspective on the Consequences of Being a Token.”


Continue reading the original article at Fast Company

Read the original research in Academy of Management Perspectives

Read the Insights summary: Being a Token is More Difficult for Some Employees

 

Learn more about the AOM Scholars and explore their work:

Marla Baskerville Watkins

Aneika Simmons

Elizabeth Umphress