New Data Highlights Bad Trend for Black Talent Gap

By: Anneken Tappe · November 29, 2023 · Reading Time: 2 minutes

Diversity Downshift

Corporate diversity commitments are commonplace in America. But they don’t seem to be working anymore.

While U.S. companies initially increased the rate of promoting Black professionals into management roles, they are now regressing, with the rate falling back to pre-2020 levels, according to a new report from McKinsey.

Inclusion Illusion

It’s not like the push for diversity hasn’t borne any fruit. The number of Black CEOs in Fortune 500 companies has doubled this decade, for example, though it’s still an uncomfortably low figure at only eight CEOs today.

However, this momentum has not translated on all levels. In fact, the rate of first-time promotions has declined for Black workers, but remained stable for their White colleagues, per the McKinsey data.

This shift has been particularly pronounced for Black women. In 2022, for every 100 men of all races promoted to their first management role, only 54 Black women were elevated. Just a year earlier, that ratio was near parity.

Diversity Domino Effect

A lessened focus on diversity and inclusion is bottom line bad news for talent, companies, and the economy.

Less representation in the higher echelons of management, contributes to higher turnover rates among Black employees, according to McKinsey. As companies struggle to retain talent as is, this is a wake-up call for corporate boardrooms.

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