Study: Black Women Leaders Face Harsher Criticism

Researchers say the disparity may be one of the reasons Black women have been making the transition to entrepreneurship at up to five times the rate of other races.

Posted: 09/13/2012 01:29 PM EDT
Black women leaders face harsher criticism

Although many African-Americans can easily recognize the saying "a Black person in America must work twice as hard to be considered equal to white counterparts," a new study shows that for Black women, that rule of thumb may still not be enough. The Huffington Post reports:

"In a study conducted by Rosette and Livingston, 228 participants read fictitious news articles about a company’s performance, including permutations in which the leader was black or white, male or female and successful or unsuccessful. What they found was that black women who failed were viewed more critically than their underperforming white or male counterparts — even those of the same race.

The findings, which were published in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology this month, represent a case of "double jeopardy," the study authors say, or the product of being neither white nor male.

According to a report called "Risk and Reward" released by the League of Black Women Global Research Institute last year, professional black women made up only one percent of U.S. corporate officers, despite the fact that 75 percent of corporate executives believed that having minorities in senior level positions enables innovation and better serves a diverse customer base."

The researchers also noted that this disparity may be among the reasons that Black women are leaving corporate America for entrepreneurship at record rates. 

Read the full story here.

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(Photo: Cavan Images)

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