While there’s evidence that highlights the formative gains made by women of color professionally, a new report is raising serious questions about the prevalence of gender and color bias in the workforce. 

Research shows that unfair treatment of Asian, Black, Latin and multiracial women in US workplaces is detrimental to both employees and companies. In spite of challenges, women of color continue to be driven to succeed and contribute at work.

Catalyst recently released a new report, Day-to-Day Experiences of Emotional Tax Among Women and Men of Color in the Workplace , finding that a majority of women of color experience an “Emotional Tax” in US workplaces affecting their overall health, well-being and ability to thrive. 

As a result of some workplaces undervaluing their unique contributions, as well as acts of bias or discrimination in society, women of color are in a constant state of being “on guard” because of their gender, race and/or ethnicity.  

“Women of color continue to deal with some of the workplace’s most entrenched hurdles, such as pay inequities and near invisibility in top leadership roles, as well as daunting roadblocks that stifle the meaningful dialogue that would help make real progress,” said Dnika J. Travis, vice president of research for Catalyst. “Over time, these daily battles take a heavy toll on women of color, creating a damaging link between their health and the workplace. And because of consequences associated with ’emotional tax’, companies must begin to take intentional action to avoid possible harm to their businesses and employees’ health and well-being.”

Through its Engaging Men efforts and Men Advocating Real Change community, Catalyst believes men of color may also be penalized for demonstrating “masculine behaviors” such as being assertive even though they are well-positioned to be allies for gender equality while White men often are rewarded for exhibiting the same mannerisms.