June 16, 2011 by Ilene H. Lang
Diverse women are double outsiders. Women of African, Asian, Hispanic, Middle Eastern and Native American descent make up about 36% of the U.S. female population, but as today’s Take 5 highlights, many are excluded from high-paying leadership positions in corporate America:
1) In 2008, African-American women earned 61 cents and Latinas earned 52 cents for every dollar a white non-Hispanic man earned.
2) Among full-time wage and salary workers in 2009, Latinas’ median weekly earnings were $509—the lowest of all racial, ethnic, and gender groups—while Asian women earned $779. White men, on average, earned $845 per week.
3) In 2010, there were only nine diverse women general counsels in the Fortune 500.
4) Today, 70.1% of F500 companies have no diverse women serving on their boards.
5) The number of diverse women in F500 leadership remains stagnant: In 2010, they held 3.0% of board seats in the Fortune 500, down from 3.1% in 2009. Catalyst recently found that for diverse women, stereotyping, exclusion from influential networks, and difficulty gaining access to high-visibility assignments can impact access to trusting relationships with managers. Mentor and sponsor relationships—coupled with targeted diversity training and mechanisms to hold managers accountable for meeting diversity goals—can increase awareness and dismantle the challenges many diverse women face.