Racial Parity in the Workplace

People of color and, in particular women of color experience higher levels of microaggressions, wider pay gaps from their white male counterparts, and are rarely seen at the top ranks of a company. This has to change to ensure everyone is respected and has equal opportunity to advance in the organization.

Challenges in the workplace

Women and people of color, including those of different ethnic backgrounds, experience higher levels of discrimination and microaggressions that impact their ability to advance in their company. The intersectionality of gender, race, disability, and of those in the LGBTQ+ community is a challenge for companies due to outmoded cultural norms and ingrained biases–both conscious and unconscious. Companies need to take steps to curb and eliminate behaviors that hold diverse employees back–anti-bias training and sponsorships go a long way to fixing the problem. For more on what to do, download the Parity Model.

Here are the stats

Only 1 out of 5 senior leaders is a woman, and only 1 out of 25 is a woman of color.
BIPOC experience slower rates of promotion compared to their peers and suffer from a “worse perception of leadership potential.” Gartner, 2021
Only 7% of companies set representation targets for gender and race combined, which means too many companies aren’t setting specific goals around advancing POC.
Over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, the number of WOC in the U.S. labor force has fallen up to 7 percent, compared to just 1.7 percent for white men.
42% of employees in the U.S. have experienced or witnessed racism in the workplace.
POC make up 40% of the US population, but hold only 16% of total C-Suite positions.

Diversity in leadership pays off

Racially diverse companies are more likely to surpass non-diverse companies on profitability.
Companies with more culturally and ethnically diverse executive teams were 35% more likely to see above-average profits.
Companies were 43% more likely to see above-average profits when their Board of Directors were more culturally and ethnically diverse, showing a definitive correlation between diversity and profitability.
Source: McKinsey & Company, Diversity Wins: How Inclusion Matters, 2020

How do companies close the racial gap?

  1. Make your values known by publicly sharing your intention to close the racial gap at the top of your company.
  2. Evaluate your recruitment strategies and readjust them if needed to include racially diverse prospects.
  3. Listen to understand, not to defend. Be open to hearing about the experiences of the POC in your workplace and what they believe could make their experience better.
  4. Be aware of your unconscious bias and work to create an emotionally safe and open space for all employees. Set the example for what is or isn’t acceptable workplace behavior.
  5. Measure and report. If you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it.

Where do I start?


The commitment

The typical starting place for most companies – commit to strive for parity. Take the Pledge


The roadmap

The roadmap to reaching gender & racial parity in any company. Download the Parity Model.


The measurement

Tracking progress toward parity. If you don’t measure it, you can’t improve it. Get a Free Demo.


The recognition

The List recognizes companies for having benefits and programs that are family friendly and make it possible for women of all colors to advance.

Start your journey to gender and racial parity.

Take the first step to commit your company to gender and racial parity by taking the ParityPledge.

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