Christina Morillo

Race

LEANING IN IS FOR WHITE WOMEN

November 19, 2019

Black women around the world experience misogynoir at virtually every turn. When it comes to the way in which we are given medical care — or not given at all — to the ways in which we are perceived in the classroom and the workplace. According to LeanIn.org and McKinsey & Company’s 2019 Women in the Workplace study, 44 percent of companies have at least three women executives in their C-suite. But only 1 in 25 C-suite executives identify as women of color. Moreover, for every 100 entry-level men who receive promotions to a manager position, just 58 Black women are promoted to similar positions.

The study, which looks at representation of women in corporate America, highlights systematic roadblocks that prevent Black women from advancing at the same rate as their equally skilled peers. A “broken rung,” the study calls it, that leaves Black women systematically undervalued and underpaid. I call this “rung” white supremacy.

Per the report:

Conventional wisdom says that women hit a “glass ceiling” as they advance that prevents them from reaching senior leadership positions. In reality, the biggest obstacle that women face is the first step up to manager, or the “broken rung.” This broken rung results in more women getting stuck at the entry-level and fewer women becoming managers. As a result, there are significantly fewer women to advance to higher levels. To get to gender parity across the entire pipeline, companies must fix the broken rung.

“Companies have the tools to [fix the broken rung],” Kevin Sneader and Lareina Yee of McKinsey & Co. told Wall Street Journal, LeanIn’s partners in WIW’s research. “We know this because they are using them to crack the ‘glass ceiling,’ by increasing the percentage of women at the very top. Now it is time to extend those practices to the rest of the organization.”

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