Five Reasons Black Women Are Leaving Corporate America at Mind-Boggling Levels
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Five Reasons Black Women Are Leaving Corporate America At Mind-Boggling Levels

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Fueled by multiple factors, Black women are leaving the corporate world at astonishing levels.

Take Mandi Woodruff-Santos, the co-host of the popular podcast Brown Ambition. She reflected on what happened when she became an entrepreneur earlier this year and began offering one-on-one coaching sessions. After posting a link on Instagram, she got more than 200 applications within 48 hours.  

Most of the women were Black, and a whopping 90% reported they were looking to quit their jobs by the end of the year, Yahoo Finance said. Her social media followers are mainly women of color between the ages of 25 and 44. Most know her from her podcast and tend to be a career-driven group.

With more research, she discovered her survey exposed a much larger trend in corporate America: Black women are leaving traditional 9-to-5 jobs big time. Here’s a look at five reasons why Woodruff-Santos says those women are leaving such positions:

The pandemic ravaged jobs.

According to the Labor Department, Black women saw the slowest job recovery since January 2020 and had the largest decline in labor force participation. This was largely because women of color over-indexed in the types of jobs most susceptible to cutbacks, such as travel, tourism, and service jobs. The unemployment rate for Black women today is 6.9% compared to an overall unemployment rate of 4.8%.

Black women are launching businesses and starting side hustles.

Black women are among the nation’s fast-growing groups of entrepreneurs. Between 2014 and 2019, women-owned businesses grew by 21%, but Black women-owned businesses grew by 50%, a recent study by American Express showed. The number of Black women running a side business outside of regular work increased 99% compared with an increase of 32% for all “sidepreneurs.”

Black women are tired of waiting to be recognized by higher-ups.

Many Black women feel they must work harder than white women to advance at work, more so than any other racial or ethnic group. Further, women of color make up 17% of entry-level positions, but just 9% of senior managers, 7% of VP-level positions, 5% of SVP positions, and 4% of C-suite positions, according to the 2021 Women in the Workplace report by LeanIn.org.

It’s exhausting being a Black woman at work.

It’s hard to describe the mental and emotional toll it takes to be a Black woman in traditional corporate settings. Imagine enduring and dealing with managers who underestimate your talents, knowing you’re likely paid less than your peers, and feeling as if you’ve got to work twice as hard to have the same opportunities as others. Plus, COVID killed Black men and women at higher rates than other groups and hurt their finances, creating a recipe for burnout.


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