Overcoming Bias at the Nexus of Gender and Race

As responsible leaders, we must recognize that there is no gender justice without racial justice. The structures of racism and sexism have persisted in America since its beginning, and therefore, the solutions to assure a diverse workplace for women of color, will involve synergizing the two. We must adopt a fundamental understanding that achieving gender equity will require dismantling structures of racial oppression. The unfortunate reality of gender and race inequality has adversely impacted the upward mobility of women of color in the workplace by stifling their performance and, ultimately, their professional success.

In recent months, we have seen and felt the unrest in our communities, and across the country, resulting from the issues of racial injustice and inequality. We recognize the impact of this unrest at an individual and collective level, and we understand how it disproportionately impacts women of color in career advancement.

It is proven that racial and gender bias at work is hugely harmful to the professional, social, and emotional wellbeing of women of color, limiting their effectiveness and productivity. Therefore, companies must take intentional and deliberate action to overcome the negative impact resulting from racial inequity in the workplace. Women of color have unique talents and valuable characteristics to offer an organization. It is right to draw from the strengths of this remarkable culture of leaders to create a diverse and inclusive environment; thus, building healthy and more influential organizations. These skilled professionals must be given an equal opportunity for advancement into senior and executive leadership positions. Again, this is great for the individual and great for the company.

As we continue to evolve today’s workplaces as centers of excellence by offering growth opportunities for women leaders of all cultures, backgrounds, and experiences, it is important that we speak boldly, with courage and conviction, regarding our belief in gender equity and racial equity in the workplace. Our voices must be authentic, and the results therefore, must be conclusive in demonstrating a sincere commitment to an inclusive workplace for all.