Book Review: “Access Denied: Addressing Workplace Disparities and Discrimination” by Brenda Harrington

If women must work twice as hard in the workplace, women of color must work twice as hard as that – and even then it may not be enough. Workplace discrimination is still prominent today, keeping success out of reach for many in the minority. Brenda Harrington, author of “Access Denied: Addressing Workplace Disparities and Discrimination” takes the opportunity to examine and bring forward the stories of people of color, including herself, who have been victimized by personal and procedural bias and outright discrimination in their careers. From insensitive comments and discouragement to blatant attempted career decimation and gaslighting, the systematic bias in today’s professional space continues to hold back people of color.

The true recollections of injustice in each chapter speak to readers with similar experiences who face these inequalities and are brushed off, told not to be offended, or said their experience was not how they lived it. Brenda says you are not alone, and you are not crazy! This experience is shared by many. But you are not powerless – Brenda says, “we cannot change the hearts and minds of those with biases that do not favor us, but we can make choices to better protect and advocate for ourselves and each other.”

Throughout the book, Brenda provides important strategies for overcoming the many roadblocks people of color face in the workplace to this day. Each chapter provides personal proof of workplace discrimination, lessons to be taken away, and thought prompts to help guide the reader through these challenges.

“Access Denied,” is a powerful read for any professional, but especially for those outside the dominant groups. The practical advice and strategies come from real experience, and the author’s own expertise, and aim to make a difference in the professional journey of the reader and offer perspective for those not facing the same challenges. Overall, it is a great read for any professional today.