There Are No Black Women Running Fortune 500 Companies
Black women have gone from under-represented to unrepresented in the highest echelons of corporate leadership in 2017. But there is a silver lining—at least down the road.
On Jan. 3, Ursula Burns officially stepped down from her role as CEO of Xerox. Her was tenure notable for many things, not the least of which is this dismal fact: She’s the only African American woman to have ever led a Fortune 500 company. Rosalind Brewer, the charismatic CEO of Sam’s Club will be leaving her position next month. Although she has not identified her next move, it still feels like a loss.
My colleague, Valentina Zarya has the whole rundown, including the good news, and bad news, on black women and corporate leadership. Where black women make up only 1.5% of senior-level executives in the private sector, there’s been some tremendous growth among entrepreneurs.
From her story:
The number of black women-owned businesses has more than tripled since 1997, making black females the fastest growing group of entrepreneurs in the U.S. Between 2007 and 2012, the number of black women-owned businesses grew by 67% according to the National Women’s Business Council’s Survey of Business Owners. For comparison: white women-owned businesses has increased by 10.1% within that same timeframe.
All of this makes the inclusion part of your work even more essential. Although I’d love to see more black women find success in executive ranks, diversity comes in many forms—as partners, contractors, and vendors, or through acquisition. With all of this business savvy needing investment, coaching, and contracts, it’s a diversity opportunity in plain sight.
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The Woke Leader
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