Our lists are among our most important franchises--and for good reason. With many of the media portrayals still offering demeaning images of African Americans, particularly in their depiction of women, our intention is for these lists to serve not only as inspiration for achievement and an affirmation of our vast contributions to business and enterprise, but as an opportunity to examine the environments in which these dynamic professionals thrive.
"Rising Stars 40 & Under," is our first list celebrating the achievements of young female professionals. At a time when the business community is experiencing limited access to funding and a tightening of loans, and when corporate professionals are witnessing high unemployment and a relaxed commitment to diversity and inclusion efforts, these young professionals have made great strides in what is the toughest and most competitive business environment in recent times.
Although there are programs and set-asides for minority women intended to level the field of business opportunities, and despite the data that show how companies benefit from having women in senior positions, black women still have to fight misperceptions and stereotypes in business and the workforce in every area, from compensation to obtaining contracts and promotions. "[Our] research shows that women M.B.A.s start at lower positions and salaries and do not catch up to their male colleagues, putting them and their employers at a disadvantage," says Katherine Giscombe, Ph.D., vice president, Diverse Women & Inclusion Research at...