Woman of color on the job

The number of women of color in leadership positions is worryingly small in Cleveland. Organizations focus on changing that. Read the article to find out how.

Women of Color Unable to Get a Leadership Job in Cleveland

Cleveland, Ohio — The major city of this US state is another place in our country where there are still no equal opportunities for people of color — especially women. While the days of public segregation are long gone, there is still reluctance in those in power to place women of color in a leadership position.

This issue has especially come into limelight after last year’s Jon Pinney’s controversial speech at the City Club. Pinney expressed his concerns about most of the major organizations that can actually do something to improve our economy that is deteriorating. His major problem with them is that all the positions of power in these corporations went to white men.

The inclusion problem that Cleveland (and Ohio in general) is struggling with has become the focal point of several organizations that wish a brighter future for Cleveland — one that offers equal opportunity for everyone. The Appreciative Inquiry summit has popularized such efforts, as the summit is planned to take place later this year or in early 2020. The summit will focus on women who have hit the ceiling and simply don’t have the opportunity for career advancement.

This project will also be about women who have managed to overcome such an obstacle, and there will be discussions about challenges these women needed to overcome to be incorporated into a man’s world.

Women of Color Struggles

However, fourteen of the 16 women that are profiled in the project are white — another indicator that women of color have even greater challenges ahead of themselves. This is not something that happens only in Ohio — it’s a nationwide issue. Women of color make up only 6% of vice presidents and just 4% at the C-level.

Phyllis Harris, executive director of the LGBT Community Center of Greater Cleveland, states that women of color have been systematically discriminated against. In her own words, they are some of the most educated in the country, but the stereotypes that women of color need to deal with are still too great. Harris adds that people in power want to see people who are like them be in power. As a result, white men are struggling with accepting that women of color can do an equally good job as white women or white people in general can.

If these discussions can bear fruit, and the future of Cleveland becomes more inclusive, perhaps we’ll see diverse leadership, where women of color will get the same opportunities as other groups.

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