Black Women Navigate Ladder To the Top

Black Women Navigate Ladder To the Top

There has never been a better time in American history for Black women with a college education, says Chaz Kyser, author of Embracing the Real World: The Black Woman’s Guide to Life After College and a journalism instructor and newspaper advisor at Langston University. As Black women’s graduation rates have increased, so have the number entering fields that have historically been dominated by men. Many Black women are now in management positions that would have been impossible for them to secure decades ago. But the career ladder is competitive. To reach the peak, Kyser makes these suggestions: 

It’s lonely at the top: “In 2005, Blacks made up just 8.1 percent of the management and professional work force … when you realize there’s not a single solitary Black face in the entire building beside yours, you may start to feel very lonely and out of place.”

Be cordial, open-minded and try to develop professional relationships and friendships with your non-Black coworkers.”

The road is bumpy, so double-check the image you’re presenting: “Black women often have to struggle harder than their White counterparts to be taken seriously and respected; don’t let your own mistakes be the cause of this. Develop a strong reputation
by always presenting an image that demands respect.”

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