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Despite the evolution of gender roles and the increasing levels of education attained by women over the past century, gender inequalities still persist, especially in the workplace. In the case of women, the workplace is sometimes referred to as an unwelcoming place due to multiple forms of gender inequalities that continue to be present today. Workplace discrimination negatively affects a women’s earnings due to the gender wage gap, it lengthens the time required for women to advance in their careers compared to males, and most importantly, it discourages and strips women of opportunities in leadership. This paper synthesizes research on the contributions of workplace discriminations like, microaggressions, educational background, and location to provide evidence as to why we continue to see a decreasing number of African American women taking leadership positions.

To date, women are still struggling with the issue of equality and discrimination in their personal and professional lives and an even greater struggle can be seen within the community of African American women. Black women continue to be discriminated against due to their skin color and gender. This can be seen through the combination of racism and sexism which has severely limited the progress of African American women. This type of discrimination is especially prevalent in the workplace, where black women earn a significantly smaller wage, and receive fewer opportunities than their similarly qualified peers. The aim of this paper is to synthesize ; evaluate research, demonstrating how factors such as microaggressions, education, and location, can intersect to create additional barriers towards women of color and their advancement in the workforce as leaders.

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“Workplace discrimination refers to actions of institutions and/or individuals within them, setting unfair terms and conditions that systematically impair the ability of members of a group to work” (Okechukwu 3).
Many times, these acts of discrimination are motivated by beliefs of lowliness of a disadvantaged outgroup compared to a dominant ingroup. Women face many branches of discrimination within their workplaces, however, while some forms of discrimination are obvious, others may not be. These forms are usually hidden because behaving in an outwardly discriminatory way is not considered socially acceptable. These discrimination tactics are called “microaggressions”. They can span to microinsults, microvalidations, and microassaults; essentially any action that would exclude, negate or nullify one’s opinion or actions. Tessa Basford, a psychologist at The George Washington University, explains that microinsults involve

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