Just four of the chief executives running America’s top 500 companies are Black, yet the pool of highly educated, experienced Black professionals has never been greater. Black professionals who make it to the C-Suite are rarely given the profit-and-loss positions that serve as stepping stones to the top job. Here are some of the reasons why.
1. Black employees face more obstacles earlier in their careers.
A substantial body of research shows that people tend to view Black professionals more negatively, regardless of their qualifications or actual work performed. “We don’t get a presumption of competence,” says Orlando Richmond Sr., a Jackson, Miss.-based partner at law firm Butler Snow. A 2019 study of racial bias in hiring for postdoctoral positions revealed Black applicants were rated less hirable, likable, and competent than white, Latino or Asian applicants. A 2017 study examining callback rates for Black job applicants found discrimination