Supporting Women’s Career Advancement

Supporting Women’s Career Advancement

Challenges and Opportunities

New Horizons in Management series

Edited by Ronald J. Burke and Mary C. Mattis

This book documents the progress that managerial and professional women have made in advancing their careers, and the challenges and opportunities that remain. In the context of increasing numbers of women entering the workplace and indeed pursuing professional and managerial careers, it examines why so few women occupy the top positions in corporations.

Chapter 12: Best practices for women of color in corporate America

Katherine Giscombe

Subjects: business and management, diversity and management, gender and management, organisational behaviour


Katherine Giscombe1 INTRODUCTION Women of color in the United States – African-American, Hispanic and Asian-American – are moving into the labor force in greater numbers, as the country’s population becomes more diverse. For example, the presence of Asian-American women in the labor force is projected to increase 42 percent over ten years, from 5.3 million in 2000 to 7.5 million by 2010 (Fullerton and Toosi, 2001). Similarly, Hispanic women’s total employment actually increased 76 percent, from 3.8 million in 1990 (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 1991) to 6.7 million in 2001 (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2002) and is projected to increase another 37 percent by 2010 (Fullerton and Toosi, 2001). African-American women’s employment is expected to grow by 22 percent 2002 to 2010, a lower rate than for Hispanic and Asian-American women. However, at 8.5 million in 2002, African-American women are the largest group of women of color in the United States workforce (Fullerton and Toosi, 2001). In spite of their growing presence in the US labor force, and in spite of the existence of corporate diversity practices in many large organizations, women of color are vastly underrepresented in top management positions. While Asian-American women represent 3 percent of the US labor force, the percentage of corporate officers who are Asian women in the Fortune 500 is a disproportionately low 0.29 percent in 2002. Similarly, Hispanic women make up 4 percent of the labor force, but represent only 0.24 percent of corporate officers in 2002. African-American women were somewhat better represented,...

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