In 10th grade, Adia Harvey Wingfield took her first sociology course. “It changed my life,” she says. “It really spoke to me and had a real impact on how I thought about a lot of things.” She also was interested in the dynamics of race that she saw playing out as she grew up in 1980s post–civil rights North Carolina. “My schools were integrated in a way that was reflected in many Southern states’ wrestling with how they wanted to integrate and what they wanted that to look like,” she says.
Wingfield then attended Spelman College, the historically black college for women in Atlanta, before going to graduate school at Johns Hopkins University. There she took a Women and Work seminar, and “my focus on issues related to work and professional work in particular really crystallized,” she recalls. “That was the equivalent of my 10th-grade sociology class, where once I took it, I felt like things fell into place.”
Now, Wingfield’s research focuses on the intersection of race, work and sociology. In addition to writing regularly about such matters for The Atlantic, she also has written numerous scholarly articles and books, including Doing Business withBeauty: Black Women, Hair Salons, and the Racial Enclave Economy, about black-female hair salon owners; Changing Times for Black Professionals, a study of the challenges, issues and obstacles facing black professionals in the United States; and No More Invisible Man: Race and Gender in Men’s Work, about the impact working in high-profile, white-male–dominated professions has on black men.
Here she talks about ways we can improve diversity and inclusiveness in the workplace.
Read more at The Source.