Adia Harvey Wingfield / Harvard Business Review
In white male–dominated professions like law, engineering, or medicine, black men are in the majority because of their gender, but in the minority due to their race. Consequently, they occupy a somewhat contradictory position where they simultaneously fit in even while they stand out. It’s not quite the token experience that Rosabeth Moss Kanter describes in her classic study of women working in male-dominated spaces. Those women, mostly white, were constantly reminded of the ways they stood out, faced a paradox of visibility and invisibility, and were relegated to gender-typed positions as secretaries or wives even when they were high-ranking executives. Black men’s experiences in these types of environments are a bit more complicated.