While most already know women of color are underrepresented in the workplace, they are far less likely than their peers to be promoted to manager. They are also more likely to have to deal with daily discrimination and most often their managers will not have their back. When there is a disconnect, employees and their managers can’t foster good relationships and this causes staff members to look for employment elsewhere.

The Women in The Workplace 2018 survey found other interesting facts: “For every 100 men promoted to manager, only 60 Black women are; 40% of Black women have had their judgment questioned in their area of expertise; 27% of men have; only 35% of Black women said their manager promotes their contributions to others; 46% of men said their manager does; 41% of Black women said they never have a substantive interaction with a senior leader about their work; just 27% of men said that” Forbes reported.

These are dismal stats, but all doesn’t have to be lost. Ashby Fowler, a human resources consultant, says you and your professional peers have power to push back. “Form affinity groups, then contact the CEO directly, saying that you want to be a feedback organization. Then there can be a way to send information about what you and others are experiencing.”

Affinity groups can offer much-needed support as they can encourage companies to conduct “an equity study on who gets paid what and who is being promoted. You need to get the data so you’re not guessing,” adds Fowler.

Having such a support system can also help women of color deal with other factors, such as being the “only” women of color in the workplace. Often times, being the “only” means you need to prove yourself more. According to the study, 51% of “Women Onlys” said they need to show they are more competent than others on staff. On the other hand, just 13% of “Men Non-Onlys” felt that way.


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