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Burnout and Race-Related Stress Among BIPOC Women K-12 Educators

Understanding how best to recruit and retain Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) in the education workforce is critical for human resource practice and scholarship. BIPOC educators are consistently shown to positively influence student outcomes, but leave the workforce at a rate 25% higher than their White colleagues. Emerging research points to school climate as a reason that BIPOC educators leave. Relatedly, researchers find that race-based and gender-based discrimination impact job burnout. Guided by the intersectionality scholarship that acknowledges how women of color experience marginalization across multiple identities, the current study examines how race-based stressors, both in daily life and in the work environment, are associated with job burnout for BIPOC women K–12 educators. Multivariate analyses of data disaggregated from an original survey distributed to BIPOC educators in a predominantly White and rural state (n = 145, 54.6% women) consistently isolate the effect of a racialized school climate on the burnout of BIPOC women educators. Specifically, when BIPOC women educators perceive their schools to be less open to discussing racial conflict, they report greater job burnout. Although there were no differences in the amount of burnout reported across racial groups, there were differences in the levels of daily racial microaggressions experienced. Notably, only school-based racial stressors emerged as a significant predictor of burnout. We discuss implications for organizational policies on diversity, equity, and inclusion as well as the hiring, retention, and promotion of women of color.