How to Retain Women of Color in the Workplace

female leadership in the workplace

Organizations with a diverse workforce are proven to perform better. Companies with female CEOs and CFOs see higher profits and stock returns. Yet there are more men named John in positions of leadership than there are women in leadership roles. And even fewer are women of color, so it’s no surprise to learn 50% of multicultural women are considering leaving their jobs in the next two years.  Fifty percent!

  • More than 30% of the entire workforce is looking for a different job. 
  • 63% of companies say retaining employees is harder than hiring them.
  • US employers spend nearly $3 million a day looking for replacement workers. 
  • Millennial turnover alone costs US companies $30 billion annually.  

So, if you’re a woman looking to climb a corporate ladder with broken rungs, how do you get ahead?  And if you’re an organization looking to develop and promote marginalized voices, how do you ensure that your DEI efforts can help recruit, nurture and retain women of color in the workplace?

The key is to eliminate barriers and counteract challenges being placed on women of color to allow them to succeed in leadership roles and pursue better careers.  Here are a few actionable ways to impact change.

Appreciate the People, Not the Press

Progress with DEI efforts is more than just a positive headline in the press.  It requires more than requesting women of color in your organization deliver more speeches and perform more media interviews. Don’t assume employees want to be symbols of representation for their gender or race. This assumption places tremendous pressure on voices from marginalized groups who can feel pressure to represent an entire community.  

Relook at the Promotion System

If your role in the company is a leader or manager, ensure you’re connecting with all employees, certainly women and especially women of color in the workplace. Many women of color report feeling invisible at their job, and lack discussions or awareness regarding their progress. Part of your solution to this problem is to address the concerns of women of color directly.

Learn More on How Women of Color Can Succeed in the Workplace

The barriers holding back women of color in the workplace is a systemic problem we need to fix. Raise Women has a mission to match 100k ambitious women of color in media and tech with female mentors, so in the years to come our mentees will rise to the top of the boardrooms creating substantial shifts in the business world. Visit raise women to learn more about how you can help build a generation of female leaders of color.

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