Updated: Mar 24
In 2018 and 2021, I completed two different accounting internships that exposed me to the truths of corporate America. During my experience with these two firms, I noticed two things:
The structure within corporate firms is ever-changing, which allows them to adapt to more modernized changes as they occur.
Women of color are not adequately represented in higher positions at these firms.
The latter point became rather bothersome to me, especially since I was the only woman of color working in the auditing department during my last internship. Granted, everyone treated me like I was part of the firm. However, I couldn’t help but wonder why more women of color weren’t in these positions or higher.
Today, 1.6% of women of color represent Vice President roles, and 1.4% represent C-suit roles. These astonishing low rates show a significant problem within the corporate world that must be addressed today.
How can we spark the conversation and promote change? By discussing the three main changes that will occur once large corporations take the time to bet on women of color who are highly qualified for these types of roles.
Sales Will Increase Significantly
Corporations are facing a growing problem in their operations. For the past decade, they have struggled with recruiting women of color for higher sales positions. At the same time, many women of color are not gravitating towards these positions. Why?
There are multiple reasons why this scenario exists, some of which include:
Corporations being clueless on how to appeal to qualified women of color.
Women of color not feeling welcomed within corporate organizations due to a lack of diversity.
Another question now comes into play: why are these corporations aiming to bring on more women of color today? One answer is simple - because women of color possess the knowledge of the sales industry from both sides of the spectrum.
That’s right, ladies! Women like us are growing in the business industry, and becoming more influential in the field is why corporations want us on their team. It’s also because we unknowingly have learned two points about this industry: how to sell appropriately and how to buy cautiously.
Do you see how valuable you are, especially when you move up in the ranks? It will always remain like that, and women like you will drive these industries and corporations for years to come.
Wider Audience Reach
If you’ve ever questioned your potential as a woman of color, then hear this out:
Every year, corporations pay thousands if not millions of dollars on recruiters to ensure fresh talent is constantly coming through the door.
If a woman of color was in a higher position at these companies, she would be one of the primary recruiting/advertising magnets in the company. Why? Because:
Her presence would inspire other people of color to join the company’s workforce.
Women of color will become motivated by her presence and want to work to reach her position.
Younger children of color will feel more comfortable and motivated to reach for higher positions as they prepare for the workforce.
As the world continues to open up, more qualified and upcoming people of color will be looking for higher salaried and purposeful positions that highlight their skillsets and allows them to work with a team of like-minded individuals. If corporations cannot meet the diversity standpoint, then they’ll be in trouble with recruiting over the next five years and beyond.
Now this one may baffle you a little. How can women of color being in higher positions foster higher employment in corporate businesses?
Simply put, women of color who are in high positions inspire two groups of people: women and people of color. Statistically speaking, these groups of people tend to gravitate more towards certain jobs and positions depending on who’s in the leadership roles. And with more women of color joining the workforce to pursue their main career goals, this should be one of the focal points that corporations should focus on fixing.
Increasing the employment numbers among women of color will ultimately lead to other conversations that are way overdue within corporations, which include:
Equal pay for women in the workforce.
Redefining what diversity looks like in a corporate setting.
Setting new grounds for how people of color are treated in the workforce.
What Will The Future Look Like?
If corporations took the time to recruit qualified women of color to high positions in their companies, then over the next several years, those women will change the dynamics to improve the operations for the better. Since these groups of women bring a difference of opinions and high social influence, they can help to reach those goals effortlessly.
The future of the corporate world would look much better for people of color with more female influence to drive the force. From there, corporations would become more desirable to people hoping to work in higher settings and grow their professional careers. It’s time to start having that conversation today to work towards promoting change as soon as possible.