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Women have been at the core some of the most significant happenings in modern history—from Sojourner Truth’s “Ain't I a Woman?” speech in 1851, to the successful culmination of the suffragist movement granting women the right to vote in 1920, to Rosa Parks’ refusal to give up her bus seat in 1955, to activist Fannie Lou Hamer’s declaration of being “sick and tired of being sick and tired,” to Shirley Chisholm’s run for POTUS to the election of Vice President Kamala Harris—the fight for women’s rights remains contentious.
According to a McKinsey and Company study, research shows that company profits and share performance can be close to 50 percent higher when women are well represented at the top. Senior-level women also are more likely than senior-level men to embrace employee-friendly policies and programs and to champion racial and gender diversity. These figures seem quite promising, but there is still much work to be done seeing as 22 percent of C-Suite members are women and only 3 percent of them are women of color.
As we strive to move onward and upward as a people, we cannot make light of this barrier to success for so many. This panel will address the Black woman’s role in leadership through personal stories and current advances, as well as where the future of women in leadership is headed.
At this point, it’s not a question of whether women can or should lead. Rather, we must ask, what do women uniquely bring to leadership and how can we ensure that women in senior leadership is normative?