NEW YORK, Oct. 13, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- The corporate workplace is a microcosm of American society and for Black women striving to succeed in this environment, the situation is uniquely complex as they often have to walk a fine line between the expectations that are imposed on them, often at will, while simultaneously defining themselves on their own terms. In 2014, Harvard Business Review reported that Black women are nearly three times more likely than white women to aspire for a position of power with a prestigious title, but white women are almost twice as likely to actually attain it. Additional research provided by McKinsey & Company indicates that companies benefit from diverse leadership in all sectors and those with the most ethnically diverse executive teams are 33% more likely to outperform their peers on profitability. Companies with executive-level gender diversity worldwide also had a 21% likelihood of outperforming their industry competitors.
Although data proves diversity is an advantage for companies, Fortune announced in its May 2020 ranking of the Fortune 500 that only three women were CEOs of the largest companies—and not a single Black woman was at the helm. But why is the advancement of African American women in leadership roles stagnating and what can be done to make it easier for them to advance to top positions?
In their new book published by Wordeee, A BLESSING: Women of Color Teaming Up to Lead, Empower and Thrive(Wordeee (http://www.wordeee.com) On sale date: October 15, 2020; Hardcover ISBN: 978-1-946274-47-2 $27.95; E-book ISBN: 978-1-946274-46-5 $12.99; 244 pages) Harvard Business School alumnae Bonita C. Stewart and Jacqueline Adams provide a mission-driven, realistic analysis of Black female leadership. With a foreword written by Kenneth Chenault, Chairman and Managing Director of General Catalyst and former Chairman and CEO of American Express, the authors provide tools, data, and inspiration for entrepreneurial and corporate women of color as well as their allies—regardless of their race or gender.
Highlighting the work is their original proprietary research, Women of Color in Business: Cross Generational Survey ©, which examines the views of 4005 female "desk" or "knowledge workers" across four races (Black, LatinX, Asian and Caucasian) and four generations (Gen Z, Millennials, Gen X, and Boomers). Their book is filled with personal anecdotes and reflective experiences from the authors and accomplished women business leaders across industries and serves as a framework for women of color to work together, team up and shedding the cloak of invisibility and aloneness. At the close of each chapter, readers will have an opportunity to create their own personal journals of reflections in what the authors call the "Living Log" as readers answer critical, insightful questions that help them see themselves - their hopes, ambitions and desires – much more clearly and defined. And now, with Kamala Harris's candidacy for vice president, the insights and findings in A BLESSING could not be more timely or relevant.
Bonita C. Stewart brings extensive consumer technology and operational experience spanning a two+ decade career of digital transformation across multiple industries. Since joining Google in 2006, Stewart has risen to lead multi-billion dollar operations, driving adoption of digital technologies in the US and the Americas. Currently, she oversees the company's Global Partnerships team for the largest US publishers across Search, Mobile Apps, Commerce, News, Broadcast, Telecommunications and Domains. Stewart spent her formative years in Denver, CO, and graduated magna cum laude from Howard University and received an MBA from Harvard Business School. She resides in New Jersey with her husband, Kevin Stewart (HBS 1979).
Jacqueline Adams launched a second career as a communications strategist after more than two decades as an Emmy Award-winning CBS News correspondent and was the first female African American White House Correspondent for the network. Through her boutique consulting firm, J Adams: Strategic Communications, LLC, she counsels a variety of corporate and non-profit clients. Ms. Adams covered the groundbreaking campaigns of Jesse Jackson for President and Geraldine Ferraro for Vice President before spending five years as a White House correspondent during the Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush administrations. In the 1990s, she was a prolific contributor to CBS Evening News with Dan Rather and CBS NewsSunday Morning. She won a News and Documentary Emmy Award for the 48 Hours broadcast, "The Search for Matthew." A graduate of Harvard Business School, Adams serves on the Board of Directors of the Harvard Business School Club of New York.
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