Honoring and Supporting Women of Color Leaders
The social sector must recognize them
Across sectors, organizations in the United States have long placed barriers between women of color and leadership positions. Women of color are significantly underrepresented in corporate leadership roles and face systemic obstacles in the nonprofit sector where, even with advanced education and experience, they are less likely to hold leadership positions than white men, white women, or men of color. When they do attain leadership roles, challenges persist; the intersectional threats posed by patterns of misogyny and racism intensify, rather than lessen.
Leadership roles involve increased responsibility, accountability, and potential risks for all people. For women of color stepping into leadership circles historically dominated by white men, the heightened risks include diminishment, harassment, prejudice and inadequate support.
But while this moment in U.S. history, marked by heightened racism and xenophobia, is subjecting women of color nonprofit leaders to increased pressures and risks, it is also generating greater civic engagement and providing them with more opportunities to lead. Today, organizations and society have an unprecedented opportunity to honor and support the leadership of women of color, and to transform the culture and systems within which all Americans live.
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