7 Ways Companies Can Support Women of Color to Achieve Leadership Positions
A 2020 survey published by Working Mother Media revealed that about 50% of multicultural women were considering leaving their corporate jobs in the next two years due to biases and lack of support they faced at work.
Women of color have always been the most underrepresented group in corporate America. They also do not get the due support and opportunities to attain senior leadership positions as their white and male colleagues.
Here are some ways companies can ensure women of color are fairly treated and they get equal chances of growth as other employees to land leadership positions:
1.Hire More Women of Color into First-Level Management Positions
Research from McKinsey and Lean In showed that for every 100 men hired into first-level management positions, only 58 black women and 68 Latinas are given the same opportunity.[ https://qz.com/work/1728182/mckinsey-and-lean-in-women-are-less-likely-to-be-promoted-or-hired-to-first-time-manager/ ] Hire more women into first-level management positions to give them an equal playing field.
2.Set Equal Promotion Standards
As highlighted by McKinsey & Co, men are evaluated for promotion on the basis of their potential whereas women are assessed on their performance. This applies to all women, but women of color are in a much more disadvantaged position. Address the biases and set equal standards where every employee is assessed on merit.
In a survey conducted on law firms in the US, 62% of women of color regarded the lack of effective mentorship as a huge barrier in their progress.[ https://media.sgff.io/sgff_r1eHetbDYb/2020-08-13/1597343917539/Lean_In_-_State_of_Black_Women_in_Corporate_America_Report_1.pdf ] Help women of color in your company learn faster and make them feel connected and supported by pairing junior-level employees with the right mentors.
4.Sponsor Them for Senior-Level Positions
In addition to mentoring women of color, you also need to ensure they get equal sponsorships as their white counterparts to reach leadership positions.
5.Provide Them Chances to Interact With Senior Leaders
Women of color get fewer chances to interact with their senior leaders than white women or men.[ https://media.sgff.io/sgff_r1eHetbDYb/2020-08-13/1597343917539/Lean_In_-_State_of_Black_Women_in_Corporate_America_Report_1.pdf] Invite them to meetings and conferences, so they can interact with senior leadership as well as get opportunities to share their thoughts and ideas.
6.Break Away from Ethnic Stereotypes in Hiring
The ratio of women of color is much higher in low-paying and supporting roles. Open more positions for them to make sure they get the growth opportunities they deserve.
7.Train Your Existing Management
The key to recognizing and addressing bias against women of color in your company lies in teaching your existing management the concepts of diversity and inclusion and why they are important.
These are some of the ways business organizations can support women of color in their journey to achieving leadership roles. Implement these practices to take the first step towards building a truly inclusive work culture.