It seems that women of color still do not get the representation they deserve in corporate America. There are currently 37 women-led Fortune 500 companies, but only three of those companies are headed by a woman of color. And according to a study from CNBC and SurveyMonkey titled Women at Work, 75% of African-American women are ambitious about their careers. 40% of the survey respondents stated that they desire to hold management positions within five years.
For women of color who work in the corporate world, they're often passed over for promotions to higher-level positions. But even with this bias in corporate America, you can still succeed and fulfill your dreams. Here are some ways to do it.
Take Care of Your Mental Health
Sometimes it gets stressful when working in the corporate world, so you should take care of your mental health. If you need to meet with a licensed counselor, schedule time for a few appointments. Don't overload your schedule with non-essential activities during the week. Reach out to friends and family and allow them to encourage you during times of discouragement. Get enough sleep at night and limit screen time at least one or two hours before bedtime.
Know and Advocate for Adherence to Inclusion Laws
This is another important step to take when seeking to succeed in the corporate world. Find out what your federal, state, and local laws are regarding diversity in the workplace and policies against discrimination for employees of color. Signs of workplace communication include demeaning communication, suspicious interview questions, unwarranted disciplinary actions, and unequal pay of wages. If you sense that you're being discriminated against, contact a lawyer who specializes in these cases.
Your Professional Image Should Be on Point
It helps to keep a strong professional image at all times while at work. Your attire should be in accordance with your company's dress policy and you should be well-groomed. However, this goes beyond just how you look. Be an employee who shows up on time and goes above and beyond in her work duties. Be organized and contribute new ideas to your team if you're a part of a group. Educate yourself about the latest trends in your industry and use this to improve yourself professionally.
With these helpful tips, you can excel in the corporate world in spite of the rampant discrimination that exists in this environment. Your confidence is your best asset and it will take you far in your career. Don't let others discourage you from entering or advancing in corporate America. If this is your passion, keep your eyes on your goals no matter what.