By Carlene Cai Randolph
Black women have long been “quietly overlooked” for promotions and leadership roles in the workplace. Despite their qualifications and hard work, they often face discrimination and bias that prevent them from advancing in their careers.
Research has shown that black women are underrepresented in leadership positions across industries. A 2020 study by McKinsey & Company found that black women make up just 3% of executive positions in the United States. Additionally, a 2018 report by the National Women’s Law Center found that black women are paid just 63 cents for every dollar earned by white, non-Hispanic men.
One of the main barriers for black women in the workplace is unconscious bias. Studies have shown that people tend to associate leadership qualities with white men, and may unconsciously overlook black women for leadership roles. In addition, black women often face microaggressions and discrimination in the workplace, which can make it difficult for them to advance.
Despite these challenges, black women have made significant contributions to their fields and have proven to be effective leaders. In order to address the problem of black women being “quietly overlooked” for promotions and leadership roles, companies must take steps to address unconscious bias and discrimination in the workplace. This includes providing training on unconscious bias, implementing diversity and inclusion initiatives, and actively recruiting and promoting black women.
One example of a company actively working to promote black women is the consulting firm, Boston Consulting Group (BCG) . BCG has implemented several programs, including the Black Women’s Leadership Initiative (BWLI) which focuses on recruiting, developing, and promoting black women to leadership positions.
In conclusion, black women are “quietly overlooked” for promotions and leadership roles in the workplace. This is due to unconscious bias and discrimination in the workplace. However, companies can take steps to address this problem by implementing diversity and inclusion initiatives and actively recruiting and promoting black women. By doing so, they will not only increase representation of black women in leadership but also benefit from the diverse perspectives and ideas that black women bring to the table.
- McKinsey & Company (2020). “Black Women in the United States: Progress and Challenges”
- National Women’s Law Center (2018). “The Gender Pay Gap by Race and Ethnicity”
- Boston Consulting Group (2021). “Diversity & Inclusion at BCG