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Women of Color Continue to Lose Ground in the Workplace, Despite Companies' Efforts to Attract and Retain Them, According to New Study from the Billie Jean King Leadership Initiative and nFormation

NEW YORK, Nov. 16, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Today's workplace does not equitably support, endorse or promote Women of Color (WOC), according to an in-depth new report by the Billie Jean King Leadership Initiative (BJKLI) and nFormation of more than 1,500 women. This data emerges even when companies are working to prioritize diversity, equity and inclusion in their organizations. Notably, regarding WOC:

"Women of Color are leaving the workforce in historic numbers," said Billie Jean King, co-founder of the BJKLI which she founded in 2014 to foster workplaces that are free of discrimination and inequality. "We need to listen to women of color to uncover how to best support and champion them. This research is a step toward learning directly from women of color so that allies and changemakers can better understand how to lead from a place of change."

"Organizations are losing vital talent and Women of Color are the solution," said Deepa Purushothaman, co-founder of nFormation. "We have a unique opportunity to reimagine a new way forward that centers work on the needs and wants of Women of Color, which in turn, will drive success not only for business, but for everyone."

"It is not often our voices and our experiences are centered in workplace discussions," said Rha Goddess, co-founder of nFormation, "we know what needs to be fixed, and now is the moment for companies to listen to us because if you don't, we will take our gifts elsewhere."

The study also put forward an array of solutions that allies and companies can take, one of which is providing equal pay to their employees. Women of color are 25% less likely to say they are fairly compensated to white women in the same position. Companies can ? and should ? conduct independent audits of their compensation practices to ensure an equitable workplace. Another first step could be establishing more flexible work solutions ? 97% of WOC want a more flexible work environment. Organizations should also establish more formal processes ? for example, 96% of respondents feel that companies must establish better processes to investigate racism and discrimination at work.

Corporations should also consider how to better support and develop their talent pipeline ? 92% of WOC agree companies must establish specific goals for hiring and promoting WOC into influential positions and 72% of WOC want external coaching with experts who understand their unique challenges. For individuals in leadership positions, the survey clearly showed that they need to be true advocates and mentors.

Finally, when it comes to DE&I, 96% of WOC believe companies need to establish "true and honest" commitments. As one participant said, "This is a business problem; it's a human resources issue. We innovate around sales and new product development. Let's innovate around diversity and inclusion."

About PowHER Redefined: Women of Color Reimagining the World of Work

The online survey consisted of a multitude of questions answered by over 1,700 professional women. The respondents included 1,181 Women of Color with representation across Asian, Black, Latina and Multi-racial, Native American or Middle Eastern, and 545 white women. The survey asked respondents to share their experiences, skills, abilities and vision for what is needed for them to bring their talents to the world. One-on-one conversations with over 100 women and eight salons with 6 ? 8 women each were conducted with Black women, Latinx women, Asian women and white women across the country to further unearth the experiences of Women of Color and white women.

About the Billie Jean King Leadership Initiative

The Billie Jean King Leadership Initiative (BJKLI) is a nonprofit organization founded by Billie Jean King as part of an effort to encourage companies, corporations and individuals to embrace those with diverse personalities, backgrounds and lifestyles for the positive and unique contributions they bring to the workforce. The BJKLI's three pillars ? Listen, Learn, and Lead ? are dedicated to inspiring those in positions of power to promote diverse identities and challenge the status quo. To learn more about the BJKLI and to find out ways your organization can get involved please visit BJKLI.org.

About nFormation

nFormation is a first-of-its-kind community created by Women of Color for Women of Color. It is a vetted, membership-based technology platform for high-performing WOC that seeks to reimagine traditional power structures. nFormation provides a safe, brave and new space for WOC leaders to gather and a unique board and executive placement service that includes individual and corporate coaching, feedback, and support for two years post-placement.




SOURCE The Billie Jean King Leadership Initiative

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