Black Women Are Willing, But the Corporate World Shows Less Support

Black women

Black women are more ambitious than other women of the same rank. Top executives are more frequently desired by black women leaders

Compared to other women of the same status, black women are more ambitious. Compared to 49% of women leaders overall, 59% of black women leaders desire to be top executives. Nevertheless, they are also more susceptible than female leaders of other races and ethnicities to indications suggesting their chances of advancement are less favourable.

One in three black women claim they have been passed over for opportunities due to personal traits, including their race and discrimination against black women, making them more likely than other women at their level to have colleagues question their competence and experience demeaning behaviour.

The results show that among the more than 40,000 employees polled, there is a frighteningly persistent pattern. Comparatively to 12% of all women and 6% of all men, 20% of black women reported having this experience. In contrast to 26% of all women and 13% of all males, 38% of Black women leaders reported “being mistaken for someone at a lesser level.” Compared to 39% of all women and 28% of all males, 55% of black at work said they had their judgement “questioned.”

Unfortunately, when compared to other identities, such as men, all women, LGBTQ women, women with disabilities, white women, Asian women, and Latinas, difficulties of black women are the saddest, they have the worst experiences with manager support, which includes managers showing an interest in their careers, checking in on their well-being, and promoting inclusion. In terms of psychological safety as well as receiving sponsorship and allies, black women came in close to last.

The toxic paradox that so many Black women leaders experience—frustrated by many obstacles and hurdles yet unable to speak up—is perhaps highlighted by the gloomy psychological safety metre. Indeed, the stereotype of the “angry Black woman” is one of the most degrading and persistent forms of racism that has been suppressing numerous Black women leaders. As a result, many black women at work find themselves trapped in a dysfunctional, non-reciprocal relationship with the workplace, like continuing to support and donate to groups that obviously don’t nourish us in return. A lot of people are opting to move on.

The number of Black women-owned enterprises increased by 50% between 2014 and 2019, which is the largest growth rate of any female population. Perhaps this explains why black women entrepreneurs in the United States are the fastest growing demographic group. Black women owned businesses increased by 50% between 2014 and 2019, which is the largest growth rate of any group of females. Black women made up 36% of all Black employers at the time and 42% of all women who started new businesses.

The banking behemoth draws attention to one more stark issue: black women entrepreneurs also encounter disproportionate difficulties in acquiring the financing that is frequently required to start a new firm successfully. Although black women establish more enterprises than any other group of women, such businesses frequently fail, and black women entrepreneurs’ salary levels are significantly lower than those of other women.

Black female entrepreneurs make just $24,000 on average annually, whereas all women-owned enterprises make $142,900. In fact, even a clear transition from a standard corporate function to business ownership does not provide long-lasting protection from the ongoing obstacles and difficulties that many Black women encounter in their quest for professional success. Having said that, it is evident that many Black women have achieved success through their own tenacity and excellence.

Many people have also mastered the art of chameleonry by strengthening their likeability, organisational skills, resilience, and education when necessary. However, just because many Black women have defied the odds doesn’t suggest that the game has been fair. It simply means they were that much better, a lot of the time.

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