The Call For An Equal Workplace
The stagnation of women’s advancement in the workplace makes it tough to remain upbeat. Progress has been slow in the UK, and there are still wide disparities in wages, working hours, and representation in senior positions.
Diversity and inclusion initiatives have recently come to the fore, with employees calling for an equal workplace. In the UK, 52% of Black women plan to quit their jobs. According to the study, 68% of Black employees had dealt with workplace racial bias. From micro aggressions, sexism, and racism to inequality and invisibility in the workplace, Black women are at the receiving end.
A recent survey found that only 33% of Black women feel like valued team members at work, compared to 42% of white males, and 36% of Black women said they felt treated with respect by coworkers, compared to 46% of Black men.
Microaggressions at work
One of the main contributors to developing a hostile work environment has been the microaggressions of other employees.
Being a woman in the workplace is demanding. It’s even more challenging for Black women. From the constant interruptions during meetings to a lesser pay, Black women are used to these subtle yet grave microaggressions at the workplace. Making assumptions about the origins, upbringing, and expectation that Black UK workers must represent their entire race or ethnicity are more examples of these microaggressions.
The result of these microaggressions is that the victims frequently feel helpless and are reluctant to speak up, especially in the workplace or for fear of upsetting their friends or coworkers.
Unfair hiring process
Regarding career advancement, Black professional women encounter a nearly unbreakable “glass ceiling.” This is because they are surrounded by a system of discrimination that perpetuates inequality and hampers career advancement.
It takes Black women about two months to land their first job in the UK after school. Compared to their white British peers, ethnic minorities have a lower chance of finding decent employment. According to a Black Women in Leadership survey, Black women in white-collar positions feared they would miss out on advancements despite being equally competent as their non-black female coworkers.
How can you retain and promote talented employees?
Given that the feminist and Black Lives Matter movements have gained substantial popularity on the public agenda during these times, there is much to do.
For businesses, Black women are an essential and expanding source of talent. Corporate leadership is crucial in influencing the institutional culture. Transparency, objectivity, and accountability are imperative when examining how employees are given access to significant career prospects. Managers can initiate linking high-potential Black women with influential networks.
Businesses can set up formal training opportunities to inform employees about how unconscious and conscious prejudices contribute to exclusionary working practices.
Managers can also employ methods such as blind recruitment, diverse interview panels, and eliminating unilateral decisions in the employment process. In doing so, organisations can lower the risk of conscious and unconscious prejudice in their recruitment and selection process.
By creating professional development programmes and establishing guidelines for boosting diversity within selection committees that choose people who will be promoted, organisations can give Black women equal career progression possibilities.
Want to learn more on changing the status quo?
- Hear from inspirational Black female leaders at the BYP Leadership Conference
- Understand the perspective of others with the BYP Black Experience Course
- Sign up to be a Mentor and role model to other Black female talent with our mentorship programme (or if you’re a young professional, apply for your free Mentor)