Honestly, the 'Lean In, Keisha' campaign is my response to racial prejudice in America. We are women empowerment with an purpose! The specific purpose being: inspiring professional development and optimizing the opportunities of young black women to advance in higher education and corporate America. The black woman must advance to a higher ranking in Corporate America (and America in general) in order to help herself, her family, and her people. By elevating ourselves to higher management positions in different industries: employment, supplier diversification, and racial prejudices will all improve. Though professional development, self- confidence, and race/gender relations, I believe that we can progress! We are black feminist, obtaining the skill set, resources and leadership positions required in order to create a socioeconomic state in which our people may prosper.
If (white) women have a glass ceiling that distances them from equal wages and top positions, then black women have a concrete ceiling to break. We know that black women are smart enough to do it, according to The 2012 US census Bureau 50.46% of AA women aged 18-24 were enrolled in college. That's the highest percentage of any race/gender group in the nation. Yet, even with the advanced degrees, Silicon Valley & Fortune 500 CEO list both have less than %1 African American Female representation. Only 5.3% of African American women are in professional management position.
Why are the percentages so low? Racial Discrimination is not the only cause for low percentages of African Americans in higher management positions.
"Your natural instinct is to cluster with those more like yourself. It's not willful intent to keep someone out," he said. "Whatever you call it -- the good-old-boy network, whatever, it's just human behavior and diversity requires pro-active intervention. It's not a natural thing yet." -Don Thompson, CEO of McDonalds.
Welp, here's to pro-active intervention! Black girls are getting degrees, but there's still a huge achievement gap. It is not uncommon for a black women with advance education and experience to work for a white man with lesser credentials. Even thought, the Washington Post covered a new study concluded that Among professional women, African Americans are most likely to want top executive jobs.
So we have a lot of young educated black girls with masters who accept level 1 jobs outside of their field and rarely are promoted. Let's change that. If you want to support the movement, this is the place to be. Programs like Lean In Keisha, The Empowerment Movement and Black Girls Code are the answer! How can you help? Take the Lean In Keisha Pledge!
"What I'm looking for is some kind of leadership to come out of this to say, 'This is what we want. This is what has to change, and these are the steps that we need to take to make these changes, and this is what we're willing to do to get it.' " - Oprah Winfrey