I wanted to share more about the connections and conversations that happened at the Diversity MBA Business Leaders National Conference. Imagine, if you will, 200 women from different backgrounds, different professions, different disciplines, different levels, different ethnicities, and different identities coming together to hear and share deliberate dialogue about the state of women and leadership.
Executive women from across industries, such as Twitter, The Walt Disney Company, Prudential, EMC and BMO Harris, brought their authentic perspectives to set the foundation for the dialogue. While women have advanced over the past several decades, we identified a number of areas that require ongoing, focused attention. Below are some of the questions that were discussed:
- Why is the leadership role of women of color shrinking?
- Do women have to be more intentional in all aspects of their career development to ensure that they receive the same opportunities as men?
- While it might be difficult to gain sponsorship, is it now a success imperative that women have sponsors?
- How do you manage women who are obstacles and barriers for women?
- What are some of the advantages ethnic women can leverage?
- What is the responsibility of white women, who are the fastest growing group in management?
I would like to share some insights with you from DMBA 2015 Inclusive Leadership Index about women:
- 42 percent of all women are in the employee base;
- 34 percent of the women are in management and leadership roles; of those, 62 percent are white women;
- 29 percent of African American women are in the employee ranks with 12 percent in management and leadership roles;
- 11 percent of Hispanic women are in the employee ranks with 7 percent in management and leadership roles;
- 26 percent of Asian women are in the employee ranks with 9 percent in management and leadership roles;
- 8 percent of Indian women are in the employee ranks with 4 percent in management and leadership roles.
Knowing this information should energize women to continue to strive for not only being their best but bringing others along as well. That has to be our focus.
Yes, breathe and then exhale…