Lynne d Johnson

 

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07.27.07 04:57 PM

Why Aren't More Black Women Getting Promoted?

This from Diversity Inc today:

"Black women aspire to corporate leadership, but they don't feel that hard work and a positive outlook will pay off, finds a new League of Black Women survey. Many feel persistent stereotypes are stifling their talent and potential, and poor utilization of their skill sets and education relegates them to dead-end jobs, which leads to lower engagement and fewer meaningful connections at work.

A few highlights from the survey of black women:


  • Nearly 80 percent think racial attitudes diminish their ability to be effective leaders

  • Only 57 percent feel they can reach their potential in spite of these barriers

  • Only 20 percent are "very satisfied" with their overall lives, which is based on the quality of their personal and professional relationships, especially with each other, having black-female executive role models and opportunities for career development

  • Sixty-two percent say they give more of themselves at work when they feel valued for who they are, which many feel doesn't happen often enough">>>

The articles goes on to discuss what employers can do to remedy this situation. I'm not certain I agree with it all. I'm not certain that I want to be the recipient of advancement because I was in a "fast-track" program. Shouldn't there just be a standard across the board that doesn't have to factor in what your sex is or what your color is? I know I'm sounding as if I don't think there's a racial problem in corporate America. I do know it exists. But what I'm suggesting is that there is a level playing field, that hiring managers are trained in diversity. Ok, I'm dreaming. But not really.

I did find one factor in the article to be true in my own life.

"Some black women feel pressured to hide their authentic personal styles and professional perspectives to conform to the majority culture, which may undermine their ability to contribute because they can't bring their whole selves to the table."

I didn't always feel this way though. It's more because the parts of myself I'm hiding have nothing to do with my race, but instead with the fact that I was in a leadership role previously and am used to working in a certain manner. I hide that leader inside myself so as not to appear overly aggressive to the overall team. It can be a bit of a burden though and often frustrating.

Anyway, I'm rambling. What do you think of this recent survey as it regards black women in leadership roles.

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