Racial Parity
in theWorkplace

Black woman and white man at work

Challenges for people of color in the workplace

People of color, and women of color in particular, experience slower rates of promotion, higher levels of microaggressions, wider pay gaps from their white male counterparts, and are rarely seen at the top ranks of organizations. 

Here are the stats

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People of color experience slower rates of promotion and suffer from a “worse perception of leadership potential” than their white counterparts. 

Gartner, Leadership Progression and Diversity Study, 2021

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30% of companies on the S&P 500 do not have a single Black board memberand only five Fortune 500 companies have a Black CEO.

Equilar Corporate Leadership Data, 2021

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When it comes to promotions, women of color lose more ground than any other group (white men, white women, and men of color) on each and every rung of the corporate ladder.

McKinsey, Women in the Workplace, 2021

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Just one in five C-suite positions is held by womenand just 1 in 25 by a woman of color.  

McKinsey, Women in the Workplace, 2021

Diversity in leadership pays off

Racially diverse companies are more likely to surpass non-diverse companies on profitability and innovation. Those with culturally and ethnically diverse executive teams are 35% more likely to see above-average profits, and those with diverse Boards are 43% more likely to see above-average profits. In addition, those with diverse management teams generate 45% of total revenue from innovation compared to just 26% of revenue from those lacking diverse leadership.
Sources: McKinsey & Company, Diversity Wins: How Inclusion Matters, 2020; Boston Consulting Group Study 2018
Black male leader giving a presentation
Muslim woman and Black woman working on a project

How do companies close the racial gap?

Make your values known by publicly sharing your intention to close the racial gap at the top of your company.

Evaluate your recruitment strategies and readjust them if needed to include racially diverse prospects.

Listen to understand, not to defend. Be open to hearing about the experiences of the people of color in your workplace and what they believe could make their experience better.

Combat acts of conscious and unconscious bias in the workplace. Employers can’t control what employees think, but they can control what is acceptable workplace behavior.

Be aware of your own bias and actively work to create an emotionally safe and open space for all employees, setting an example for others. 

Measure and report. If you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it.