Professional Work in a "Post-Racial" Era

Event Date: 

Sunday, November 17, 2019 - 1:00pm to 2:30pm

Event Location: 

  • McCune Conference Room
  • Co-Sponsored

The research that is the basis for the talk is a study of how economic and organizational changes to work specifically impact black professionals. One major recent change is that many organizations now state their commitment to and interest in creating a more diverse workforce, yet research shows they rarely do this in ways that tangibly change the numbers of women of all races and minority men at the top levels of organizations. Part of my project investigates the consequences of this paradox for black professionals in high status occupations. Focusing on black health care workers, I show how emphasis on diversity is disconnected from black workers’ occupational realities. I also investigate how employment in gendered occupations such as medicine and nursing leads to particular work outcomes for black men and black women in the new economy. For black men, these consequences can yield divergent experiences that are shaped not just by race and gender, but occupational status as well.

Informal Q&A with Dr. Wingfield and Professor Maria Charles (UCSB Sociology) following the talk.


Adia Wingfield smiling in front of a tree and leavesAdia Harvey Wingfield is Professor of Sociology and Associate Dean for Faculty Development at Washington University in St. Louis. Her research examines how and why racial and gender inequality persists in professional occupations. Dr. Wingfield has lectured internationally on her research in this area, and her work has been published in numerous peer-reviewed journals including Social Problems, Gender & Society, and American Behavioral Scientist. She recently completed a term as President of Sociologists for Women in Society, a national organization that encourages feminist research and social change, and is a regular contributor to Slate, The Atlantic, and Harvard Business Review. Professor Wingfield is the author of several books, most recently Flatlining: Race, Work, and Health Care in the New Economy, and is the recipient of the 2018 Public Understanding of Sociology award from the American Sociological Association.