Highlights from the 2021 Status of Women of Color in the Workplace® Study


Women of Color in the Workplace® received 146 responses from women from diverse backgrounds and industries. The following notates some of the gaps between women of color and their workplaces. This document does not address the full study but highlights key areas that may be helpful to diversity, equity and inclusion efforts.

Demographic of Respondents

Do Women of Color envision retiring at their current company? The following is a response to what they had to say.

There is still a gap between women of color and opportunities at work. To keep women of color from opting out of their workplace, women of color informed WOCITW which event has to happen at work for them to continually invest in their companies.

About half of our respondents responded before the Covid-19 stay-at-home order. There may be a slight shift in whether some may be working from home or not. Yet, based on these responses, flexibility at work seems to be critical to women of color.

Having an ally at work is like forming a buddy-system. You vouch for one another and pledge to stick together. Usually, an ally consists of people who are in a similar boat as you. Oftentimes mentors are in a more senior position than you, but this is not always the case. A mentor is someone who offers advice, consultation, and amicable support. A sponsor can make a difference between where you are now and where you'd like to go professionally. Sponsors have a seat at the decision-making table at work and are willing to advocate on your behalf behind closed doors. The following are responses to which relationships they currently have at work.

The workplace is sometimes inhospitable and unfriendly to women of color. In this study, respondents noted how they were feeling at their place of work.

In our study, we asked women or color to rate their company’s diversity, equity, and inclusion practices.

Based on the above feedback, WOCITW assessed that workplaces must make it a mission to do more. In addition, companies must include their employees in their DEI decision-making.

Forty-three percent of women of color negotiated their salary at the time of hiring or when they were eligible for a promotion. Fifty-seven percent did not.

Out of those that negotiated, 40 percent got more than what was originally offered. The remaining 60 percent did not.

There is more work to do but we know based on the information provided that when women of color negotiate, they have a 40 percent chance of getting what they want. It’s worth taking the time to negotiate. Negotiating improves negotiation skills and builds confidence. It also sends a message that the employee believes in her value and that the company should too.  

Upon the release of the full study, you’ll learn how the workplace is positively and negatively impacting women of color. It will also provide direction on how to rectify some of the issues in our workplaces moving forward.

To get the full study, subscribe to our updates on the website.

Download the PDF version of the study.