Your browser is unsupported

We recommend using the latest version of IE11, Edge, Chrome, Firefox or Safari.

Black Employees Face Backlash When They Self-Promote At Work

While talking about one’s accomplishments can help other racial groups advance at work, for Black employees dealing with a white manager’s implicit biases, it can hold them back, a study found.

A 2022 study published in the Journal of Applied Psychology and led by Interim Dean and Management Professor, Sandy Wayne,  surveyed a racially diverse and stratified sample of professionals, all from a large global financial institution and who all had white managers. The researchers found that although white, Asian and Latinx employees received higher job ratings when they talked more about their contributions and accomplishments, Black employees were penalized by white managers for doing the same thing. Black employees who rated themselves highly on self-promotion received lower ratings of their job performance and assessments of their fit with the organization.

In other words, self-promoting at work benefited white, Asian and Latinx employees while it had negative consequences for Black colleagues.