Challenges Hit Women of Color in U.S. Securities Firms
Advancing and retaining women of color in securities firms can best be achieved by understanding the unique experiences they face, according to Women of Color in U.S. Securities Firms, the third report in Catalyst's landmark Women of Color in Professional Services Series. This study identifies how firms can evaluate, develop and execute truly effective programs by examining "intersectionality," the juncture between race/ethnicity, gender and birth country, and its impact on the advancement of women of color in the workplace.
"It is critical for securities firms to understand the differences in employee experiences and perceptions, particularly in today's challenging economic climate," said Ilene H. Lang, president and chief executive officer of Catalyst. "Black women, Latinas and Asian women have vastly different work experiences based on their own unique cultures, backgrounds and lifestyles. Recognizing that women of color are not a monolith and addressing these differences when developing diversity programs will not only benefit employees but also allow employers to fully leverage all talent."
The report finds that women of color experience exclusion from key workplace relationships. They were more likely to be dissatisfied with overall managerial interaction and support, distribution of key client engagements, access to influential mentors and access to business development opportunities. These disadvantages ultimately impact a firmís ability to benefit from the talent that women of color bring to the work environment.
Catalyst recommends the following suggestions to build a work environment that would attract and retain women of color and enable them to spend less time overcoming stereotypes and more time contributing to organizational performance:
Morgan Stanley is the lead sponsor of Women of Color in U.S. Securities Firms, and Goldman, Sachs & Co. is the partnering sponsor.