How to Succeed When You’re Marginalized or Discriminated Against at Work

How to Succeed When You’re Marginalized or Discriminated Against at Work

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Self-help books and business gurus offer an abundance of productivity tips: Check your emails no more than twice a day. Avoid unnecessary meetings. Delegate menial tasks to someone else. However, what if you face judgment for doing these things because of who you are? Or if your enhanced productivity goes unnoticed? Every day, women and people of color fight stereotypes that claim they’re unmotivated or otherwise incapable of succeeding in the workplace. New York Times editor Alan Henry discusses how they – and people from any marginalized group – can save time to focus on what really matters to them.


If you’re part of a marginalized group, traditional productivity tips may backfire.

In theory, improving productivity gives people more time to focus on the tasks they value. However, many women and people of color must push through stereotypes as they try to be more productive.

The so-called office mom doesn’t have the freedom to develop new professional skills if she’s neck-deep in busywork. African-American employees won’t get help prioritizing tasks from managers who pigeonhole those workers as being lazy. Marginalized...

About the Author

Alan Henry is editor of The New York Times’ “Smarter Living” section. He was formerly the editor in chief of the Lifehacker website.

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