Structural Racism

Bias hidden in organizational systems.

Organizational Psychology

Structural Racism and Bias

Structural racism in the context of organizational psychology refers to the systemic and ingrained patterns of discrimination and inequality based on race that affect the dynamics, policies, practices, and culture of organizations. This concept is critical to understanding how racial disparities persist in the workplace, impacting recruitment, promotion, compensation, and overall employee experience.

Here are some common ways that structural racism manifests in organizations:

  1. Recruitment and Hiring Practices
  2. Promotion, Advancement, and Leadership
  3. Workplace Culture and Norms
  4. Salary and Benefits
  5. Training and Development Opportunities
  6. Organizational Policies and Practices
  7. Community Relations and Corporate Social Responsibility

Selected Publications

Bartlett, A., Rundle, M. & Williams, M. T. (in press). Strategic allies: Cultivating allyship between people and teams to help build a stronger and more inclusive organizational military culture. In B. T. Waruszynski (Ed.), Team Diversity and Inclusion in Defence and Security: International Perspectives. Springer.

Office of the Auditor General. (2023). Inclusion in the Workplace for Racialized Employees. Report 5. Reports of the Auditor General of Canada to the Parliament of Canada. Cat. No. FA1-27/2023-1-5E-PDF. ISBN: 978-0-660-67803-0.

Faber, S. C., Metzger, I. W., La Torre, J., Fisher, C., & Williams, M. T. (2023). The illusion of inclusion: Contextual Behavioral Science and the Black Community. Frontiers in Psychology: Cultural Psychology, 14(217833), 1-18.

Strauss, D., Gran-Ruaz, S., Osman, M., Williams, M., & Faber, S. (2023). Racism and censorship in the editorial and peer review process. Frontiers in Psychology: Cultural Psychology, 14 (1120938), 1-16.

Faber, S., Williams, M. T., Metzger, I. W., MacIntyre, M. M., Strauss, D., Duniya, C. G., Sawyer, K., Cénat, J. M., & Goghari, V. (2023). Lions at the gate: How weaponization of policy prevents people of colour from becoming professional psychologists in Canada. Canadian Psychology.

Williams, M., Bartlett, A., Zare, M., Custer, N. & Osman, M. (in press). Sexual harassment and abuse in law enforcement: Best practices for creating safety for female officers. The Police Journal: Theory, Practice and Principles.

Sarr, F., Knight, S., Strauss, D., Ouimet, A. J., Cénat, J. M., Williams, M. T., & Shaughnessy, K. (2022). Increasing the representation of Black, Indigenous, and People of Colour as students in psychology doctoral programs. Canadian Psychology, 63(4), 479–499.

Faber, S. C., Wu, E., Alobeid, F., Williams, M. & Bartlett, A. (2022). Never Going Back There: An Analysis of Disciplinary Actions of the Kentucky Board of Examiners and Recommendations for Equitable Protections for Early-Career Psychologists. Report for the Kentucky Psychological Association (KPA).

Williams, M. T. & Kanter, J. W. (2019). Promoting diversity and inclusion on college campuses. In M.T. Williams, D. C. Rosen, & J. W. Kanter (Eds.), Eliminating Race-Based Mental Health Disparities: Promoting Equity and Culturally Responsive Care Across Settings (pp. 243-276). Oakland, CA: New Harbinger Books.

Williams, M. T. (2019). Adverse racial climates in academia: Conceptualization, interventions, and call to action. New Ideas in Psychology, 55, 58-67.

All Publications

Special Issue

Power, Discrimination and Privilege in Individuals and Institutions

This special issue includes 20 articles and explores forms of covert or unexamined institutional power structures, systems, and their psychological effects and consequences.

Guest Editors

Sonya Faber
Monnica Williams
Matthew Skinta
Bia Labate

Read the Issue

Popular Books and Videos by Dr. Monnica Williams

book - Managing Microaggressions

Managing Microaggressions

Addressing Everyday Racism in Therapeutic Spaces

book - Culturally Responsive Care

Mental Health

Eliminating Race-Based Disparities: Equity and Culturally Responsive Care

book - Sexual Obsessions in OCD

Treating OCD

Sexual Obsessions in OCD: Definitive Guide to Understanding, Diagnosis, & Treatment

book - Psychedelic Therapy

Psychedelic Therapy

American Psychological Association Deliberate Practice Series

PESI video

Racial Trauma

Assessment and Treatment Techniques for Trauma Rooted in Racism


Racial Trauma Treatment

A 12-Session Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy Protocol


Transforming Therapy

Being the Change: Embracing Antiracism in the Therapy Room


Equity and Access to Care

Psychedelics & Racial Justice