Being the “only one” in the room is an experience all too familiar for many women of color—particularly Black women—in the workplace.
The new Women in the Workplace 2018 study published by LeanIn.org and McKinsey & Company found nearly half of women of color are often the “onlys” of their race at work and over 80 percent face microaggressions.
The study showed these experiences are found to make women of color feel closely watched, scrutinized and excluded in their workplace.
For women overall, being an “only” contributes to feeling “under pressure to perform” and “on guard.” However, that isn’t the only impact.
Despite numerous reports of companies committing to improving diversity in their workforce, this study shows women are still facing barriers when it comes to climbing the corporate ladder.
Black women are 40 percent less likely than men to receive the first promotion to manager, reflecting the largely stagnant progress for the advancement of women in the workplace overall.
Women of color only make up 17 percent of entry-level employees and 4 percent of C-suite executives.
Although more Black and Latina women are requesting promotions and raises at the same rate as their white counterparts, they don’t get the same outcomes. This study reaffirms the lack of meaningful progress being made in corporate America which largely impacts the corporate talent pipeline.
“The business case for diversity is clear. Research shows it leads to better performance, more innovation, and stronger economic growth,” said Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook and founder of LeanIn.Org in a news release.
Over 270 companies participated in the report sharing data for over 13 million employees. Women in the Workplace 2018 also surveyed 64,000 employees on their workplace experiences.
Read the full report here.