I think this Harvard Business Review piece is applicable to fields beyond tech. This part especially resonated with me:
Our new study uncovered a fifth pattern of bias that seems to apply mainly to black and Latina women. On our survey, 42% of black women agreed that “I feel that socially engaging with my colleagues may negatively affect perceptions of my competence,” only slightly more than with as compared with Latinas (38%), Asian-American women (37%), and white women (32%) – but in our interviews, black women mostly mentioned this pattern.
“A lot of times,” said a microbiologist, “There are things that people exclude me from because they say, ‘Oh, she’s going to be the only black person there… just don’t invite her, she won’t feel comfortable.’”
“You don’t know who you can trust,” said a biologist. “This has been a very lonely life.”
In some cases, the women intentionally kept their personal lives hidden in order to maintain their authority. One scientist said she avoided socializing with her colleagues because “to me, that lessens your authority.”
“I do not discuss personal things with people,” said another microbiologist. “Judge me for me, not my personal life.” She said she kept her personal life separate because “I don’t want anything in my family life to be used against me.”
My mother always advised me to keep my personal life close to the chest and not to get too friendly with colleagues for exactly these reasons. The unstated assumption was that (white) folks would use anything they could against you, so best not to offer them any ammunition. Plus, there’s the issue that Tressie McMillan Cottom wrote about so well: how black women’s emotions are often read differently (and more negatively) than white women’s.
However, being extra buttoned up seems, to me, to go against a whole array of literature advising people to be authentic and build a personal brand in order to climb the career ladder. So reconciling that advice with the above can be a real minefield.