Women of color include Black, Latina, Asian, American Indian or Alaskan Native, Native Hawaiian, Pacific Islander, or mixed-race women1. Women of color continue to be the lowest percentage of employees that are in higher-level positions in companies across various industries. Women of color receive less support from their managers, have less access to senior leaders, face discrimination in their everyday working environment, receive fewer promotions and are paid less for comparable work2. Recent studies found that nearly a third of women of color—and almost half of Black women—think their race has played a role in missed opportunities and will make it harder for them to advance.
The HBA affinity group Women of Color (WoC) seeks to leverage HBA’s established principles and structure to further address the racial disparity that continue to hinder the advancement of minority women in the workplace. This group seeks to highlight common areas of interest and recommendations to bring forth solutions that create exponential growth of leadership opportunities for women of color in the health care industry.
By changing the underrepresentation of women of color in higher-level positions, we would significantly change the narrative for all women. In some cases, women are the primary earners for the family or contribute significantly to the family earning potential. As such, changing the earning power of women changes the lives of the entire family and community. We will seek to develop transformational strategies and implementation plans to change the current differences in women of color in the workplace.
One in five women says they are often the only woman or one of the only women in the room at work—in other words, they are “Onlys.”3 In particular, Black women are having a difficult experience. They are significantly more likely than other Onlys to feel closely watched and to think that their actions reflect positively or negatively on other people like them4. Our aim is to provide specific support and advice to those women that are considered “Onlys” and are having difficulty in finding supportive environments and are seeking specific advice from other women in similar circumstances.
The WoC affinity group is developing a multiple facets approach to supporting women of color including networking sessions, development of actionable strategies for companies, and facilitation of your ideas to support women in the workplace.
If you have a passion for changing the narrative for women of color, we welcome you to join our WoC affinity group. Please email us to learn more.
- The Importance of Mentorship vs. Sponsorship for Women of Color (access password: 3z$@6.Jf)
- HBA Launches Women of Color Affinity Group at Annual Conference
1 Women in the Workplace 2018 by McKensey&Company
2 Women in the Workplace 2018 by McKensey&Company
3 Women in the Workplace 2018 by McKensey&Company
4 Women in the Workplace 2018 by McKensey&Company