On Black Women’s Equal Pay Day, New Research from LeanIn.Org and SurveyMonkey Shows Many Americans Remain Unaware of the Pay Gap, Major Inequalities That Hurt Black Women’s Career Advancement
- Less access to senior leaders: White men report having access to senior leaders at three times the rate of Black women—and white women at twice the rate of Black women.
- Less mentorship and sponsorship: Fewer Black women have had a mentor or sponsor at some point in their career: 19 percent, compared to 27 percent of white women and 31 percent of white men.
- Less access to training: Fewer Black women have ever received job or executive leadership training in their career: 19 percent, compared to 30 percent of white women and 33 percent of white men.
These findings are also supported by research from LeanIn.Org and McKinsey & Company’s Women in the Workplace study, which shows that Black women face more barriers to advancement and get less support:
- Less likely to be promoted: Despite doing their part and asking for raises as often as men and white women, Black women are less likely to be promoted. For every 100 men promoted to manager, only 60 Black women are promoted.
- Less support from managers: Only 25 percent of Black women report that their manager helps them navigate organizational politics, compared to 39 percent of white women and 41 percent of men. Black women are also less likely to get help balancing their work and personal lives (39 percent of Black women, compared to 48 percent of white women and 44 percent of men).
- Less likely for managers to promote their accomplishments: 35 percent of Black women say that their managers promote their contributions to others, compared to 46 percent of white women and 46 percent of men. Black women are also less likely to get opportunities to showcase their work.
- Experience everyday discrimination/
microaggressions: 40 percent of Black women report having their judgment questioned in their area of expertise, compared to 36 percent of white women and 27 percent of men. And 42 percent of Black women are asked to provide evidence of their competence, compared to 29 percent of white women and 16 percent of men.
In this year’s SurveyMonkey and LeanIn.Org study, over a third of Americans said they believe offering leadership training, increasing wage transparency, and creating flexible workplace policies are effective ways to provide opportunities to help women and men advance equally. To address obstacles that can contribute to the pay gap and prevent Black women from advancing, LeanIn.Org is issuing a series of recommendations for companies based on findings from Women in the Workplace:Put processes in place to ensure that employees doing the same work are being paid the same
- Don’t ask job candidates about their current compensation, which is illegal in some states and can perpetuate pay disparities
- Be transparent about the pay ranges for different roles so all employees know what to expect
- Audit compensation data regularly to maintain fairness—and review the data by gender and race to ensure Black women are being paid fairly
Ensure the performance review process is fair
- Require diverse slates of candidates for promotions (only 26% of companies currently do this)
- Set clear performance evaluation criteria before the review process begins—and put safeguards in place to make sure they’re applied consistently
- Track outcomes of promotions by gender and race to make sure Black women are being treated fairly (only 18% of companies currently do this)
Train employees to identify and challenge bias
- Less than a third of employees say managers often challenge biased language and behavior when they see or hear it. Unconscious bias training can equip managers to be part of the solution (less than 50% of managers currently receive it)
- Employees involved in hiring and promotions should receive unconscious bias training to help them make more objective decisions (less than 20% of companies require unconscious bias training for employees involved in hiring and promotions)
- Lean In’s 50 Ways to Fight Bias program highlights 50 specific exles of workplace bias and offers research-backed recommendations for what to do (