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What’s Keeping Black Employees From Moving Up the Corporate Ladder?




Workers at one of the 19 national pandemic flu service call centres in the country,  answer calls from people concerned about swine flu, July 23, 2009 in London, England.
Workers at one of the 19 national pandemic flu service call centres in the country, answer calls from people concerned about swine flu, July 23, 2009 in London, England.
WPA Pool/Getty Images

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A McKinsey & Company report on race in the workplace found that Black workers are underrepresented in the highest-paying industries and geographies, resulting in their overrepresentation in lower-growth regions and frontline jobs, which tend to pay less.

According to the report’s findings, Black employees collectively face workplace challenges, including few advancement opportunities, high attrition rates, lack of sponsorship and allyship, scarce Black executives and management, and an overall perception of their workplace as less fair, accepting, and authentic. On the current trajectory, it will take 95 years for Black employees to reach talent parity—12% representation—across all levels of the private sector.

While many companies have taken steps in recent years to prioritize diversity and inclusion, attrition losses offset many of the small gains companies have made in recruiting and promoting Black professionals. We dive into the research.

Guest:

Monne Williams, co-author of the report “Race in the workplace: The Black experience in the US private sector” and partner at the McKinsey & Company, a management consulting company