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Survey: 44% of Black professionals feel they’ve been overlooked for advancement due to race

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Posted at 12:25 PM, Feb 16, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-16 14:25:21-05

While we're starting to have more conversations now about race and equity at work, we're getting a better idea of the challenges Black professionals are facing, like one Black pastry chef's experience that he shared with LinkedIn.

“He said that you're excited, you get the job, you get the offer. And you have a moment where you think is the color of my skin and an impact how I’m treated at work and for lots of Black professionals, that is a reality, we started conversations for change so that we can start to have those tough conversations, so that we get to progress on,” said Andrew McCaskill, a LinkedIn Career Expert.

About 44% of Black professionals feel they've been overlooked or intentionally passed by for career advancement opportunities because of their race, according to a new survey from LinkedIn.

Around one in four feel they may face retaliation for speaking up about racial justice issues or topics around diversity, equity and inclusion at work. And 40% say their companies are more talk than action around diversity and equity.

“When holding companies accountable, conversation is key, but that conversation has to come from leadership. We really need leaders to talk about inclusion, to talk about diversity, so that it filters down and it can't be just Black folks or people of color having these conversations,” said McCaskill.

About 40% of Black professionals surveyed believe mentorship or career coaching opportunities would help lead to a more equitable workplace culture. But you may not find that mentor at work.

“I think in the outreach, starting the conversation with why you reached out to that particular person is something about their career path that is inspired you or they're similar things about your career path. But don't be afraid to reach out to people who are different from you,” said McCaskill.

That career expert says companies can improve their inclusion efforts by doing blind recruiting, looking at resumes without focusing on any demographic information.

Also, McCaskill says hiring managers should change their idea of culture fit. He says whether or not someone would be good to have a drink with has nothing to do with if they'll be a good fit in terms of the work they do.

You can join in more of these “Conversations for Change" on LinkedIn’s website.