WanderLuxxe on Women's History Month
As Women’s History Month comes to an end, we want to highlight challenges women have in the workplace, in particular shattering the glass ceiling. Most industries are dominated by men and women have to be strategic as they seek high-level positions in corporate America. According to CNN, “female CEOs are still underrepresented worldwide. In the history of the Fortune 500, only 64 women have made the list.”
As of January 2018, there are 27 female CEOs on the list and with some recent resignations, the number will decrease. These women run a diverse range of companies but they are predominately white. There are no black women on the list. In 2009, when Ursula Burns became CEO of Xerox, she became the first black woman to be CEO of a Fortune 500 company.
Even after facing the possibility of having a woman as the leader of the free world in the last presidential election, ambitious, assertive women are still having a difficult time in their climb up the corporate ladder. Like Hillary Clinton, we tend to be perceived as unlikable, which is not a concern for their male counterparts. What is considered to be a strength for men in business is often a weakness for women. Men are aggressive, women are pushy.
As black women entrepreneurs we find challenges in working in entertainment, a male-dominated field. We are often not taken seriously because we are women. When we have had men at the table serving in an advisory capacity, other men have deferred to them to make decisions not quite trusting that we have the authority to make them. It is an interesting dynamic to observe. As we talk about women’s empowerment and coin phrases like “Black Girl Magic”, the reality is while we celebrate ourselves and each other for the strides we are making in business, we have are still not even remotely close to being on an equal playing field as men with similar ambitions.
To the women who are trying to climb the corporate ladder and shatter the glass ceilings above them, we salute you. Continue your journey and remember to reach back to as many women as you can so as we look around the boardroom, we can see ourselves represented more and more. That is what we are striving to do as we build WanderLuxxe and your stories of overcoming obstacles keep us going.