Why Black Americans Are Abandoning Corporate America

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Many Black Americans have the talent, motivation, and qualifications that are necessary to excel in corporate America, yet there is an obvious lack of Black people holding senior leadership roles within most of the country’s major businesses. Although there have been some efforts made to increase diversity in the American workforce, the results have been lackluster.

Recently we are seeing an exodus. Many skilled Black Americans are choosing to abandon the corporate workforce to instead pursue employment with smaller businesses or to start a business of their own. If you are a Black man considering a future in corporate America, you may want to learn why Black Americans are consistently unsatisfied with their corporate experience.

Here are some of the main reasons Black Americans are abandoning corporate America.

When working in a mostly white professional environment, many Black Americans feel pressured to hide certain cultural aspects of themselves in order to avoid seeming “out of place”. This leaves them unable to be completely authentic at work, which lends to a less fulfilling and more stressful work experience. Many Black professionals also have a deep seated belief that they have to work harder than their white peers, as the expectations for them are higher.

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As Black professionals scale the corporate ladder, they often notice the number of Black colleagues they have thinning out gradually as they ascend. By the time they approach high-level leadership positions, they usually are the only Black professionals to be found. This is a problem, because underrepresentation of Black people in business discourages Black workers from pursuing career advancement — “If no one else could make it, how could I?”

Many employers have ignored their social responsibility to recruit and hire talent from diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds. This is extremely noticeable at the highest levels of business. Despite decades of companies promising to implement effective diversity programs, there are currently only five Black CEOs of Fortune 500 companies in all of America. That means Black CEOs, only represent 1% of the top ranking American companies.

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Black workers make far less money than white workers. This is largely due to the fact that Black workers often occupy positions in low-paying service industries, while white workers have a more flexible range of job opportunities to choose from due to factors like location and education. Even in instances where Black and white workers have the same qualifications and manage to get the same job title, white workers may be paid more as the result of workplace discrimination.

● According to a report carried out by Payscale, on average, black men earned 87 cents for every dollar a white man earned.

Black professionals have a far greater likelihood of experiencing racial bias than workers of any other race. They are also at more risk of facing discrimination during the job application process. While the latter issue limits them from finding work, the former prevents them from achieving career advancement. This leaves them caught in a loop, struggling to find work. When they do manage to find an entry-level position, they often face barriers to their advancement that their white colleagues don’t experience.

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There Is A Solution

Although we have seen marginal advancement in progress towards solving this issue in the past decade, the coronavirus pandemic is likely to set Black workers back significantly. You can help us hold our ground by voting in the 2020 election.

The outcome of the election will have a significant impact on our ability to continue improving diversity standards in the American workforce, so it is imperative that you register to vote and cast your ballot on November 3rd. With your vote, you can help us build a government that is committed to creating policies that compel U.S. companies to recruit, retain, and promote African-Americans and other minorities without bias.

Let your voice be heard! Click here to pledge to vote in the 2020 election.

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