Study Reveals a Roadmap to the Top for Black Women Executives

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CorporateThere is a way for black women executives to increase their numbers in business leadership positions if conscientious and intentional steps are taken to recognize and reward their talents and contributions to business success. A qualitative study conducted by The Executive Leadership Council, the preeminent membership organization for the development of global black leaders, in collaboration with Springboard – Partners in Cross Cultural Leadership, builds on the findings of the groundbreaking research in the Black Women Executives (BWE) Research Initiative in 2008.

The current findings, published in the Black Women Executives Research Initiative Revisited, examine the facilitators and impediments to Black Women Executives (BWEs) in reaching the C-Suite. The new findings show that while nearly 27 percent of BWEs received promotions or advanced their positions in the same or a different company during the period, more than 50 percent stayed in the same or similar position, made lateral moves in the same or different company, or lost ground through diminished roles or transitioning out of the corporate workplace entirely. All of which took place during a severe recession, one of the most difficult economic periods in modern history.

“The findings of the Black Women Executives Research Initiative Revisited present an insightful perspective on the performance and opportunities for black women executives during a turbulent and challenging period for global business,” said Ronald C. Parker, President and CEO of The Executive Leadership Council. “It shows that although more than a quarter of the respondents advanced their careers under difficult circumstances, there is much more that needs to be done by black women and companies to recognize and reward the underutilized talent of these exceptional leaders.”

“This is the kind of research that helps us develop the necessary leadership development programs, strategies, and research that will help BWEs navigate the corporate landscape and find a path to the top,” said Steven Williams, Ph.D., SHRM-SCP, SPHR, Vice President & Chief Learning Officer of The ELC’s Institute for Leadership Development & Research. “The findings of this research will help guide our efforts to develop a pathway to success for BWEs that we believe will contribute to more positive results.”

Details of the study can be found on the ELC’s website.

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