Equalizing Opportunity for Women of Color in Leadership

Equalizing Opportunity for Women of Color in Leadership: An action item list

Before you scroll away under the assumption that this does not affect to you, take a look at the reality painted by this real-life measurable data:

  • Women of color are the fastest-growing group of entrepreneurs in the United States, starting an average of 762 new businesses per day between 2018 and 2019. (American Express)
  • Women of color-led startups received just 0.64% of all venture capital funding in 2020. (Digitalundivided)
  • Women of color experience more barriers to advancement and receive less support from managers than their white peers. (LeanIn.org and McKinsey & Company)
  • Black women make just 63 cents for every dollar earned by non-Hispanic white men, which is the largest gender pay gap of any racial or ethnic group. (National Women’s Law Center)
  • Women of color represent just 4% of CEOs and senior executives In Fortune 500 companies. (Center for American Progress)
  • Companies with diverse executive teams are more likely to have financial returns above their respective national industry medians. (McKinsey & Company)
 
Women of color are starting their own businesses left and right, and they’re doing it with insanely less financial backing from lesser positions of corporate power, less support from peers, and less personal income from their prior or current careers. 

 

Anybody else not okay with this?

In case you still don’t get it, notice that last statistic. Promoting diversity in the workplace is proven to make good business sense. That means, if financial success is all you care about, it is still in your best interest and the best interest of capitalist America to support efforts to increase diversity in executive power.

So, are we all on board and ready to take action?

Good.

 

Here’s your to-do list.

1. Listen and Learn:

We must be willing to listen and learn from the experiences and the challenges women of color in leadership have faced. This means actively seeking out women of color leaders in our communities and creating safe spaces for them to share their stories.

2. Invest in Women of Color:

We must invest our time, energy, and resources in supporting women of color leaders and entrepreneurs. This can mean funding their organizations or projects, volunteering our time to help them with their work, or simply offering our support and encouragement.

3. Advocate for Change:

We must use our voices and our platforms to advocate for change. We must speak out against racism and sexism in all its forms and work to create a more equitable and just society for all women but especially for women of color.

4. Celebrate and Elevate:

We must celebrate and elevate the achievements of women of color leaders. We must shine a light on their successes and share their stories with others. By doing so, we can inspire the next generation of women of color leaders and create a more inclusive and diverse society. Use your privilege to step aside and open up opportunities for women of color. 

 

Make no mistake: this is not about helping the helpless. 

Far from it. These powerful women are already making it happen no matter how many barriers our current society has put in their way. There is a world of underserved and untapped expertise, knowledge, and wisdom that is going elsewhere. Think of what the business world is missing. 

The goal, rather, is to level the playing field and provide equal opportunities for all, so that the entire nation can benefit from the talents, skills, and perspectives of this incredible group of women.

By breaking down the barriers that have held women of color back, we can unlock their full potential and unleash a wave of innovation, progress, and prosperity that will benefit us all.