Being an “Only” at the Office

An interview with Angela Neal-Barnett and Nilofer Merchant by Morra Aarons-Mele

Being an “only” or a “first” at work—a minority in the office because of race, background, gender, sexual orientation, or another identity—can seriously impact someone’s mental health. To find out how an only can find strength in who they are, Morra Aarons-Mele, host of the HBR podcast The Anxious Achiever, spoke with Angela Neal-Barnett, the first Black woman to be tenured and promoted to the rank of professor in the Kent State University Department of Psychological Sciences, where she directs the program for research on anxiety disorders among African Americans, and Nilofer Merchant, the author of The Power of Onlyness and ...

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