By: Vonya Hodrick & Vivian Blade
Published by: National Career Development Association (NCDA)
The article, Women of Color Navigating the Career Environment: Using Male Dominated Strategies to “FuelForward”, by Vonya Hodrick & Vivian Blade, originally appeared in NCDA’s web magazine, Career Convergence, at www.ncda.org. Copyright © June 2019. Reprinted with permission.
The career environment is complex, with formal and informal processes and networks, as well as plenty of office politics. Yet, professional women of color are missing critical relationships to enable success in their careers. These women must have influencers in their network to help navigate this environment and to help pull them through the ranks.
It is crucial for women of color to create and maintain networks to advance their careers. Women in general tend to have smaller networks of deeper relationships, choosing to primarily have people in their networks who share their value system as compared to men who view their networks more opportunistically, often as a way to advance in their careers.
LeanIn.Org and McKinsey & Company (2018) found in their major new study— with almost 30,000 employees across 118 companies — that women’s odds of advancement are 15% lower than men’s. For women of color the disparity in the opportunities for advancement is even greater. One reason the study cites is that women and men have very different networks.
Another reason is often that women do not have equal time to build and nurture these relationships. For example, women still carry a disproportionate burden of housework, childcare and elder care responsibilities, leaving men with more time to develop relationships on evenings and weekends.
Men also have more time for what researchers Monica Forret & Thomas Dougherty (2001) found in a landmark study to be two of the most powerful networking strategies:….
Continue reading the full article in the NCDA Career Convergence Web Magazine.
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