Professionalism, Expectations, Challenges

We want to engage with the question of professional and technical writing by

(a) thinking about the realities of most workplaces in the U.S and

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(b) figuring out where we can channel our energies as professionals-in-the-making who will enter this workplace.


As with every good project, it helps to pose a question to help guide our inquiry. The question we wish to pursue is: In what ways does “professionalism” and workplace culture maintain hegemony and in the process, oppress, harm, or otherwise exact burdensome standards?


We will read two articles on professionalism outlined below:

1. The Bias of ‘Professionalism’ Standards by Aysa Gray:

2. You Call It Professionalism; I Call It Oppression in a Three-Piece Suit by Carmen Rios:


We will then

· engage with this profile of Jocelyn Bell Barnell,

· discuss dress expectations in professional settings, and

· compile emerging narratives related to these issues

Write down the Issues arising from the readings above by responding to these questions:

· What professional biases do you see discussed in the readings and the stories?

· Did any of the issues discussed in either article help you see professionalism standards in a new light? Did anything surprise you or change the way you think about workplace culture?

· What are some ways you have seen others challenge bias in professionalism standards at an organization or workplace?

· Are there any professionalism biases that weren’t discussed in these articles that you can think of or have seen play out in your workplace?



Create a visual response reflecting on these questions. It can be video, PPT, an Infographic, a comic, poster, flyer, etc., using these and other resources familiar to you


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