Women of color are a force in the U.S. economy. They are projected to make up the majority of all women by 2060, which means they’ll also likely become the majority of the U.S. workforce. They also generate $1 trillion as consumers and $361 billion in revenue as entrepreneurs, launching companies at 4x the rate of all woman-owned businesses.
Developing a diverse leadership pipeline can benefit companies in all sectors. Firms with the most ethnically diverse executive teams were 33% more likely to outperform their peers on profitability, and those with executive-level gender diversity worldwide had a 21% likelihood of outperforming their industry competitors. A recent study of VC firms found that more-diverse teams had higher financial returns than their homogenous counterparts.
The problem is that, to date, companies have not been great at promoting women of color to senior roles. And this isn’t for lack of ambition among them: Black women are even more likely to aspire to hold a powerful position with a prestigious title than white women. And yet black women’s advancement into leadership roles has remained stagnant, even as the number of them in professional and managerial roles has increased.