Black Employees, Excluded by Diversity Initiatives - The Black Perspective
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Black Employees, Excluded by Diversity Initiatives

By on December 18, 2020

Black workers are missing out on viable tracks to the C-Suite, which may be the cause of their absence there.

Black employees, who are the focus of a myriad of diversity programs designed to help them succeed may be worse off because of them in the long run. Right in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic the death of George Floyd sparked a completely different global response. That event spawned the rapid maturity of Black Lives Matter. In light of that major companies around the world began to announce plans for increasing The level of black representation at their highest levels of leadership. Companies like Microsoft Uber google and HSBC have either announced plans or committed to doing so. 

What the numbers actually say

A look at the fortune 500 shows only four Black CEOs. This when at 12% of the US population, Black employees are only 3.2% of higher level leadership. So says the Center for Talent Innovation. Typically diversity programs have focused on junior level positions. However, some research teams have been analyzing the upper ranks of large companies’ diversity. 

It’s not just the U.S., either

In the U.K. the trends are similar. In 2019 research showed the FTSE 100 companies had less than 1% of their top leadership positions held by Black employees. This gap is significant and can hardly be ignored. In addition to all of this, new focus on those Black employees who are very early in their careers paths. There seems to be a huge lack in any support for those who are just getting started. This is starting to support some sorting out of the chicken and egg nature of this. Perhaps there are so few black leaders, because the companies that need them don’t do enough to help their junior people have a track to get there. 

Forbes took a much deeper look at this earlier in the year. They provide a solid look into some potential solutions as well. Take a look at the full article here on their website.

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About Josh Fields