Giving Compass' Take:
- Linda Goler Blount, writing for Forbes, discusses the barriers for women in the workplace, particularly women of color.
- How can companies address gender equity in the workplace and diversify employment pipelines?
- Learn more about changing gender bias in the workplace.
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Every day, women are all too aware of the disadvantages they face in the workforce. Not only do women and Black women earn only 82 cents and 67 cents respectively per dollar as compared with white men, but women are also almost twice as likely to face undue scrutiny and discrimination as men. This often leads to unequal treatment and the feeling of self-doubt that can further inhibit women from reaching the highest levels of their careers.
But what happens when women do break the glass ceiling? Only 25% of all C-Suite roles are filled by women, and only 5% of those roles are held by women of color, despite women making up just over 50% of the total labor workforce.
Women in top leadership roles still see the same disadvantages in the workplace as everyone else, including me. When I embarked on my own job search at the executive level, I found my work history, leadership experience and change-making ideas to be coveted but less valued than those of my male counterparts.
One particular nonprofit appreciated what I could contribute to the organization so much that its board offered me the CEO role. The board touted my vision for growing the nonprofit’s brand and my innovative ideas for generating revenue as necessary value adds to secure the future of the organization. That value, however, was not apparent in the compensation package. I was offered a salary significantly less than the outgoing male CEO. Of course, I had done my due diligence and studied comparable organizations, their leadership and their compensation packages. My request fell at the 75% mark of the industry average.
Women, especially women of color, must be more prepared than men in order to succeed, even when they have the same education, experience and background. Women’s knowledge and capabilities are often questioned when they make even the slightest mistake. From just starting out to the most senior positions, women face a system that diminishes their value while capitalizing on their valuable contributions. Yes, this is unfair.
So for the 50% of the American workforce facing barriers within the workplace, knowing our value and staying confident in our abilities will get us far. In a perfect world, 2023 would be the year women do not have to worry about working harder or presenting themselves more professionally than their male counterparts to earn the same respect and advancement. Until we get there, valuing ourselves helps the women around us to value themselves. And we’ll stay on our feet, lift as we climb and change the systems and behaviors that would keep us from moving forward.
Read the full article about women in the workplace by Linda Goler Blount at Forbes.