Getting Along: As a Woman of Color, How Can I Navigate a “Frat-Like” Subculture?

“Getting Along” is an advice column to help you tackle common — and messy — people problems, by workplace expert Amy Gallo.

Dear Amy,

As a woman of color, I find it challenging to navigate and negotiate the “frat-like” subcultures that exist within the male-dominated organization where I work. There’s everything from the boisterous water cooler chatter to senseless pranks, all of which seem out of place to me in a professional environment. In my view, the behavior is divisive and creates (invisible) barriers to inclusion.

I get that organizational culture is typically created at the highest levels of a company, but a company’s subcultures can have an overwhelming impact on one person’s experience. And if management is engaged in a toxic subculture (either passively or actively), it could increase pay gaps and affect retention efforts for people who feel marginalized and excluded.

What tips for success would you offer women, particularly…

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This article was written by Amy Gallo and originally published on