Women of color are entering the workforce in greater numbers than ever before, bringing education, ambition, and diverse ideas and experiences with them. As a result, they offer corporations a potent force of insight and innovation that will be increasingly needed to meet the needs of a diverse customer base. Yet, despite the value that women of color represent for companies, they’re rarely given leadership positions, not to mention roles in the C-suite. Presently, there are no female black or Latina CEOs of Fortune500 companies.
For 15 years, the Center for Talent Innovation (CTI) has researched gender and racial dynamics of the workplace. We have ample evidence that women of color face major obstacles that have historically hindered their advancement. In our 2016 report, Latinos at Work, we found that 59% of Latino men and women experienced slights and snubs in the workplace — a number that jumps to 67% when looking at just Latinas. In the same study, we found that 63% of Latino men and women do not feel welcome and included, do not feel invited to share their ideas, or do not feel confident their ideas are heard and valued at work — a figure that rises to 78% for just Latinas.