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Stereotypes Are the # 1 Challenge for Professional Women of Color

 In a recent survey of professional women of color about the work place challenges they encounter,  two factors bubbled up as barriers to their continued success:

  1. Encountering stereotypes
  2. Not being taken seriously

Well over half (60%) of respondents indicated that dealing with negative stereotypes was the primary challenge for them. The surprise was not that women of color encounter stereotypes,  but that of  nine challenges listed, stereotypes was so prevalent at all levels of accomplishment from manager to senior director, as well as women with PHDs.

In a follow-up group discussion, respondents shared their experiences and the types of stereotypes they deal with on a consistent basis and the impact on their performance and careers.  To be clear, the stereotypes can be either gender or racially based or both.  They include experiences from trying to talk “black” (whatever that is), to having low expectations of intelligence and capability.

Professional Women of Color Workplace Challenges

Professional Women of Color Workplace Challenges

Frustration and disappointment are the most common reactions women of color experience with the on-going occurrence of such incidents.   Even companies that have diversity and inclusion programs in place have not provided women employees of color with strategies and tools to help them effectively manage what author and diversity and inclusion expert Stephen Young* calls microinequities.

As a result, some women have opted to leave good positions with reputable companies rather than seek out help and support.  It is more often cited as the primary reason that women of color leave corporate America and strike out on their own.  And it has resulted in an explosive growth of women owned businesses.

What challenges are you facing where you work?  Are you constantly looking for ways to be taken more seriously by your management and peers?  Could stereotypes and unconscious biases be roadblocks to your success?

Register now for a free  webinar on Wednesday November 12th, 2014

 Three Roadblocks Between You and Your Next Move

  • The #1 reason women of color struggle to be seen as professional
  • The emotional and financial cost of not being taken seriously at work
  • How stereotypes prevent you from being taken seriously





Deborah Gray-Young, CPC, ELI-MP

Certified Personal and Executive Coach



*Micromessages, Stephen Young

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