Associate Professor of Management | Director, Professional MBA Program | Fellow, Center for Ethics & Wismer Professor of Gender and Diversity Studies
In this talk, Ferraro discussed her recent research on how racism may differently influence the experiences; therefore, the meaning of safety for employees of color in comparison to white employees within the United States. For example, recent news stories have highlighted the many mundane activities people of color cannot do without fear for their safety including (but not limited to): napping in a common space in their dormitory, meeting a friend for coffee at Starbucks, golfing too slowly, or working out with a friend (Horton, 2018; Siegel, 2018; Wootson Jr., 2018). These incidents are newsworthy because white people can generally engage in the same activities without considering whether their race may trigger threat concerns and subsequent vigilance to threat. She proposed that workplaces (and classrooms) are similarly rife with interactions that alter the meaning of safety. This talk will open up an opportunity for our community to discuss and reflect on how definitions of safety differ across groups, why it matters, and how we can create safer spaces.
Holly Slay Ferraro's research examines how people and organizations grow, learn and enhance performance in the face of challenges to deeply held beliefs about who they are. Her most recent research is focused on how racial oppression influences definitions of safety and the power of relationships to create inclusion and equity in workplaces. She has published articles in Human Relations, Human Resource Management and Group and Organization Management. Dr. Ferraro's research on midlife/midcareer transitions won a Cutting Edge Award from Academy of Human Resource Development. She received her Ph.D. in Organizational Behavior from the University of Maryland, College Park. Before pursuing her doctorate, Ferraro held technical and managerial positions in industry for over 12 years.