On The High Rise…

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Pam’s Blog:  Insights
Pam’s Blog: Insights



I find it amazing that everyone is just now comfortably talking about how white females are the group that has benefited the most from civil rights. Not sure what the marketplace understands about the advancement of white females, but all I want to do is shed some light on the realities and position the conversation as progress that needs to be celebrated and best practices learned to advance women of color.


The reality is that companies have experienced great strides in advancing women in leadership roles, which is absolutely a good thing. We want to celebrate this progress, yet, there is still much work to do. Why do I say and believe that? The truth is in the data. Insights from our inclusive leadership survey (DMBA Benchmarking) is focused on the most senior women in leadership roles, that are defined as the C-Suite or C-Levels which include titles, such as, (Chief Executive Officer, Chief Financial Officer, Chief Human Resources, Chief Information Officer, et.al. ). So let’s review some of the results:

  • On a 100.0 point scale where we have 68% of white men in C-Level roles and 32% of women in C-Level roles; 62% of those women in C-Level roles are white.
  •   14% of women in C-Level roles are African American;
  •   7% of women in C-Level roles are Hispanic;
  •   8% of women are in C-Level roles are Asian;
  •   3% of women are in C-Level roles are Asian Indian (this includes Indian born natives);
  •   3% of women are in C-Level roles are Native American (this is a surprising result);

These results reflect the outcome of intentional strategies to diversify representation at the senior leadership levels. When I previously discussed succession planning practices; this is what the outcome will do when companies provide access, exposure and assignment to women of color. So the gap in the marketplace is that white women continue to be the largest group advanced while women of color are well below the population trends. What is the point?

The point is that it is time for a paradigm shift so the focus and intention is to advance women of color at a pace that will equalize management roles in the next decade. It does not have to take a life time to do so but it does take the commitment of senior leaders. Let’s shift the Rise…

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Pamela McElvane
Pamela McElvane
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