4 Reasons Why Women of Color Deserve A Seat at the C-Suite Executive Table

I read an article recently that touched on the issue of lack of diversity in the C-Suite Executive sector of most businesses. As the FutureTech Operations Manager at diversity and inclusion consulting firm The FutureWork Institute, I’ve become much more educated on the exact difference between being inclusive over just being diverse in the workplace.

Most Americans within the workforce are not too shocked to learn about these findings because even Stevie Wonder can see the “types” of people who lead most, if not all, American businesses. White men, and men in general, typically are the head honchos at companies all across the country (and the world).

However, when considering the fact that we live in a “democracy” that values the differences of others, it’s quite odd how women of color (who are statistically shown to be some of the most ambitious persons within the workforce) are left out of having a seat at the table (thank you Solange) among the leaders of an organization. Many who have made it to the top of the corporate ladder describe it as breaking through a concrete ceiling instead of a glass one, and who wants to break through concrete?!

As we get more settled into the age of inclusion as a nation and begin to equally understand exactly why Black Lives Matter, I found it most fitting to list 4 concrete reasons why women of color deserve a seat at the C-Suite Executive table!

Women of Color are Statistically More Ambitious Than White Women

Young smiling businesswoman with team behind her

I’m totally not trying to throw any shade here, it’s just that the facts are the facts and statistics do show that 48% of women of color say they aspire to be a top executive, compared with just 37% of white women. If you work for a company that prides itself in hiring the best of the best, then why are some of the most ambitious workers not reflected in your leadership team? Women of color are dominating when it comes to graduation rates and starting businesses, which is all the more reason they are qualified to assist in running major corporations. Show how diverse and inclusive your organization really is by placing more ambitious women of color into your leadership roles.

Customers Prefer Supporting Businesses With a Diverse Work Culture

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In an article for VillageLife.org, Melissa Lauber reports that companies that have created diversity in the workforce are more profitable. The report goes on to explain the positive impact that diversity has had on the bottom line for top ranking companies across the country. It was concluded that  “the stock market performance of the firms that were high performers on the glass ceiling-related goals was 2.5 times higher than that of the firms that invested little in glass ceiling-related issues.”  

With larger companies showing the clear result of implementing diversity and inclusion practices into the status quo, the same can be said for the success of smaller companies as well. Findings show that the presence of diversity impacts individuals, teams, customer markets, and their local communities.  Research compiled by the Center for Talent Innovation shows that companies with a diverse team are 45 percent more likely to grow market share over the previous year and 70 percent more likely to capture a new market.“When a team has traits in common with the end user, the entire team better understands that user. A team with a member who shares a client’s ethnicity is 152 percent likelier than another team to understand that client.”

Americans today take pride in supporting brands and companies that promote inclusivity and diversity within their mission and practices. No longer do we care to see a few people of color scattered within your team photo. With America now being more diverse than it’s ever been, consumers are now supporting companies based on how connected they feel to the brand. It is more important now than ever before to have team members who are able to identify with the growing diversity in America.

Diversity in the Workplace is Profitable & Marketable Especially in Leadership

Two women looking at computer screen

Studies show that not only do consumers know more; they care more. Direct correlations show that when companies commit themselves to diverse leadership, they are more successful. Companies with more diversity are able to market and promote that to the public which in turn leads to an increase in customer orientation, and eventually an increase in return. In 2015 Nielsen reported about the power of black consumers having reached its “tipping point” in their impact, especially online. With the power of the Black consumer steadily on the rise, all it takes is one tweet about a companies diversity or lack thereof, that can set off a wave of positive or negative results. Now more than ever it makes sense to not only practice diversity and inclusion within your organization but to also promote your diversity to the public….. because they are watching.

Women of Color Hold All The Buying Power

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Recent studies show that Black buying power grew to reach $1.2 trillion in 2015 and is expected to reach $1.4 trillion by 2020, according to a report from the University of Georgia’s Selig Center for Economic Growth. The findings reflect a 275 percent growth since 1990 when black buying power was only $320 billion. The report also shows how Black consumers represent the largest consumer group of people of color in the marketplace. That trend will continue as the country continues to become more diverse, driven in part by growth in immigration from the Caribbean and Africa.

As the Black demographic continues to grow so too does the power of women’s spending habits. A Catalyst study revealed that Black women control 43% of the annual spending power of all African Americans, and Hispanic women control the majority of the $1.2 trillion of Hispanics annual buying power.  The study also showed how Asian American families have a higher median income and spend 21% more than the average US household.

Findings like these reflect a clear need for companies to appeal to the demographics who spend the most, which are WOMEN of color.  The best way to appeal to the people who have all the buying power is to show them that they have the possibility of not just working at your company, but they also can have a seat at the C-Suite Executive table….while sipping their tea of course!

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With 2017 fast approaching, now is the time for companies to begin strategizing action plans on how they will dedicate themselves to building and maintaining a more diverse and inclusive workplace for America.

Because we ALL deserve to have a seat at the table.

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