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'As a black woman in STEM I'm used for photo opportunities'

  • 2 days ago

When Cynthia Chapple was asked to help out with a photograph of a research professor and his staff, she assumed that she would be the one taking the photo. The image was going to be used by the professor for a grant application.

Ms Chapple, then a chemistry researcher at a US university, didn't work with his team directly and had minimal interactions with them personally. Yet, when she arrived to take the photo she was pulled in front of the camera, alongside the team. Confused, she smiled for the picture before an uncomfortable realization dawned on her.

She looked around her: the research team were all white men, and she was the only black woman in the photo.

"This was an example of 'Photoshop' diversity, when black women are used for photo opportunities," she tells the BBC, "I was being used to show he worked in an inclusive team and to secure him funding. I was embarrassed."

The 31-year-old grew up in an inner-city neighborhood on the south side of Chicago.

Continue reading: https://www.bbc.com/news/business-59897898

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