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Productivity Without Privilege: Job-hacking Rules for the Marginalized

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  • Edward St. John Learning and Teaching Center
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Marginalization—essentially being excluded from opportunities, career advancement, or even the tools available to others for personal, academic, and professional success—happens to everyone, in some fashion. Whether you're a woman in a majority male workspace, a person of color in a majority white field, an LGBTQ+ person in a majority cisgender, heterosexual environment, a disabled person in virtually any space, you likely face challenges to doing your best work that your more privileged colleagues don't face.

When I stepped into journalism, I learned the hard way that simply being skilled, talented, and doing the best work you can—and even excelling at that work—often just isn't enough to get ahead. I found myself subject to a world of microaggressions, gaslighting, and other behavior designed to keep me away from growth opportunities and prestige assignments, and instead I was given the day-to-day "office housework" that was required to keep our teams running but certainly not the kind of work that made the best use of my skills or could move my career forward. As that happened, I looked around and observed the same things happening to my peers and colleagues not just across media, but in my prior fields, from technology to science. So I developed a set of tools and techniques to identify marginalization when it happens, adapt to it, push back against it, and succeed in spite of it anyway.

In this seminar, I'll share those experiences, those tools for career success, personal productivity, and mental health, as well as how my background in science was (and is) instrumental in how I found my path, and how you can find yours.


Edward St. John Learning and Teaching Center

3:30 p.m. Reception, ESJ Sculpture Lounge

4 p.m. Lecture, ESJ 0202


For disability accommodations, please contact Abby Robinson at

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