Professional Black women lack sponsorship and encouragement for risk taking at work. Diversity and inclusion efforts have failed to translate into rewards and recognition for their risk investments, according to Risk and Reward, commissioned by the League of Black Women Global Leadership Institute.
Black women are high risk takers, but support of feminist values and 40-plus years of diversity and inclusion efforts have failed to translate into the rewards and recognition they had expected for their risk investments, according to Risk and Reward.
Nearly half (49 percent) of respondents to the groundbreaking Risk and Reward Survey said they were behind where they had expected to be in their careers. The majority (64 percent) said “Not getting paid what I am worth” is the key barrier to their personal and professional well-being, followed by “lack of other Black women in positions of power” and “lack of resources and opportunities to pursue my goals.”
The survey also found that Black women get the least encouragement for risk taking at work and in their communities; they feel the least freedom to take risk in matters of public policy.
“Black women require workplaces where access to opportunity matches their global leadership ambitions,” said Sandra Finley, President and CEO of LBW. “To confidently take risks, Black women need support from their loved ones, community and powerful sponsors who are willing and able to support their advancement. Black women will no longer be distracted by superficial inclusion cheerleading.”
The LBW developed the Risk and Reward Survey, the first to measure professional Black women’s risk tolerance, with a team of researchers at DePaul University. The report includes recommendations for Black women about how to redefine risk strategy. It also calls on corporations to create environments that support risk taking and to immediately and deliberately diversify corporate boards. Currently, just 1.9 percent of corporate board seats are held by Black women, compared to 12 percent for white women.
To view or download the report, click here.