The Invisible World of Black Women at Work

1*ZGE7ijmxG7wc-ZaXRuTIZA.jpeg - 65% of all bachelor degrees, 70% of master degrees, and 64% of doctorate degree are held by black women.

The Invisible World of Black Women at Work

Why so Baffled?

The invisible world of black women at work remains a blind-spot. Corporations remain baffled as to how to attract, engage, develop, and retain black women talent. Essentially, organizations need to employ the universal factors inherent in successful workplaces in order to draw out the inherent value of black women members of the C-suite.




Match the Market & Gain a Competitive Edge

Diversity confers a competitive edge when selling products or services to diverse end use.  This is known as “matching the market.” Inherent diversity—diversity in gender, race, age religious background, sexual orientation, disability, nationality—has been long recognized as a secret weapon for organizations looking to match the market. This is because individuals that fall under diverse demographics are better attuned to the unmet needs of consumers like themselves.

Diverse teams and companies perform better, are more creative, and are better at solving problems. And yet the workplaces particularly in the C-suite, are decidedly and uniformly white and male.



So why do black women remain shamefully underrepresented in corporate environments? It’s not just a pipeline issue. There has been a significant increase in rates of four-year college completion among black Americans, especially women.

She's Got the Ambition + Leadership Attributes



It’s certainly not for lack of ambition. Back women are nearly three times more likely than white to aspire to a position of power with a prestigious title; yet white women are about twice as likely as black women to attain one.

Could it be a lack of inherent leadership qualities? Unlikely. It’s difficult to miss that many of the classic leadership qualities align with the hackneyed stereotypes about black women. Direct, strong-willed, take-charge, no-nonsense, independent. Moreover, black women are twice as likely as white women to be leaders in their communities. 43% report of black women report running a school board, leading a youth initiative, heading up a charity, or leading a community organization. Yet, their experience outside of work falls off the radar at work.

So What’s The Major Malfunction?



This four-part series will explore the barriers between black women and the organizations that seek to attract, engage, develop, and retain their talent. We will explore:

  • The necessity of addressing black women’s experiences in the corporate workplace (Part 1);

  • The harmful dichotomy of organizations that make black women unduly invisible yet exceedingly visible (Part 2);

  • Black women’s search for psychological safety within organizations (Part 3); and finally,

  • Strategies that narrow the opportunity gap between black women and the C-suite.

Stay-tuned to this 4-Part Series! And please share your thoughts in the comments.



As an employment attorney and human resources consultant, I look beyond merely addressing conflicts. I uncover pathways for a more nimble dialogue between organizations and their employees. I believe that an employee’s deep commitment to her work and personal identification with her company’s mission should be aligned her employer’s efforts to encourage and promote those values. An employee’s value should be reflected by her organization’s investment in retaining, developing, and promoting her. It’s clear from the research that that when an employee’s dedication to her work is cultivated and deepened, the organization wins.


My work is based on my core belief that the quality of the experiences of my aunties, cousins, and friends depends on a concerted effort of their organizations to invest in a robust and genuine dialogue with them. My work is to create and nurture those pathways.  And hey, if that results in making corporations a ton of money by uncovering ways to match the billion dollar market of black women clients and consumers, so be it!