Women of color made huge gains in representation during the COVID-19 pandemic but are still lacking at all company levels – especially in executive leadership.
Capital One and DiversityInc shared the results of their collaborative research report on women of color in the workplace at the 2022 annual Women of Color and Their Allies event held in Louisville on Sept. 21 in conjunction with Humana. The report highlighted insights and actionable strategies to improve the representation of women of color.
“It’s not enough for us to have diverse representation,” said Theresita Richard, Managing Vice President, Head of Diversity Inclusion and Belonging, Capital One. “We need to ensure that everyone here is thriving, and we have a role to play in that our mission is to change banking for good.”
DiversityInc’s benchmarking from the DiversityInc Top 50 Survey and the Top 50 Competition confirmed that even best-in-class companies have work to do when it comes to the representation of women of color in the workplace. While Capital One saw an increase in executive representation of women of color, the company said it remains focused on diversifying its ranks by zeroing in on the power of sponsorship.
“They understand what those experiences are that are needed to grow in advance and because they’re in the room and they can advocate and they can say your name at just the right moment,” Richard said. “They can support you in getting those advancement opportunities that will help you to thrive and continue to grow in the organization. That’s one of the intentional spaces that we’re focused on within our company.”
DiversityInc’s research also found that participation of women of color in talent programs like employee resource groups had a positive impact on promotions and hiring.
“Encouraging participation in talent programs at rates that are higher than current levels of representation has positive effects,” said Dr. Chris Parker, Head of Research & Data, DiversityInc. “It influences higher promotion rates and because it’s a talent program and higher hiring rates as well. By working on your talent development programs, that provides a value add for people considering joining your organization.”
Watch the full session from our 2022 Women of Color and Their Allies event on DiversityInc Best Practices!