Lower pay, more harassment: How work in America has failed women of color

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Work is failing black and brown women.

A new report from LeanIn.org and McKinsey found that women of color make up an abysmal 4% of C-suite executives - while white women get 18% of exec roles and white men get 68%.

Not only are black and Hispanic women paid less than white women on average, studies find that they are more likely to work low-paying jobs.

Asian-American women, meanwhile, are most likely to get passed up for senior-level roles, and some ethnic groups (like Bangladeshi and Thai women) get paid much less than white men.

Read more: Nearly 3 in 4 women in tech have mulled leaving the field, signaling the industry still has a gender diversity problem

Even worse: women of color overall report higher rates of workplace sexual harassment and bullying.

Here are 10 ways that work in America is failing women of color:

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Black and Hispanic women are paid less than white people for the same work.

Black and Hispanic women are paid less than white people for the same work.

Black and Hispanic women are most affected by the gender wage gap, especially when compared to white men: black women make 67% of what white men earn, and Hispanic women get 58%.

Black women need to work an extra 233 days to earn what white men earn. Hispanic women, particularly Latinas, need to work 324 days.

And while Asian women are paid more than white women on aggregate, that differs if you break the number down depending on Asian ethnicities.

And while Asian women are paid more than white women on aggregate, that differs if you break the number down depending on Asian ethnicities.

Indian-American and Chinese-American women — who are part of the wealthiest ethnic groups in the US — out-earn white men, according to data from the US Census Bureau.

Yet if you look at other ethnic groups within the Asian-American community, there are far greater disparities: Burmese-American women make just 50 cents for every dollar that white men earn, and Thai-American women make 60 cents on the dollar.

Filipino-American women, one of the largest Asian-American demographics in the US, earn 83 cents for what white men earn, and Bangladeshi-American women earn 69 cents.

Black and Hispanic women are far more likely to work low-paying jobs.

Black and Hispanic women are far more likely to work low-paying jobs.

Workers of color — specifically, black workers, Hispanic workers, and Asian-American workers — are more likely to get paid poverty-level wages than white workers, according to a 2018 analysis by the liberal-leaning think tank Economic Policy Institute.

Black and Hispanic women are also overrepresented in low-paying work.

Black women, for instance, are more likely to work in food service, domestic work, and home healthcare — all some of the worst paying occupations in the country. They are additionally less likely to work in high-paying tech fields, the Institute for Women's Policy Research reports.

Hispanic people, meanwhile, account for just 15% of all jobs, but make up 36% of all high school dropouts — a group that typically gets low-paying work. As a result, largely Hispanic women make up 43% of all maids and house cleaners in the country, according to a 2013 report from The Atlantic.

Black and Hispanic women are particularly vulnerable to unpredictable schedules.

Black and Hispanic women are particularly vulnerable to unpredictable schedules.

Black and Hispanic women working hourly wages have the most irregular schedules, according to a New York Times article citing data from Shift Project. Workers of color were 30 percent more likely than white workers to have had a shift canceled in the last month — even if both groups had the same work experience and education.

There are consequences from having precarious schedules: night shift workers and people who have irregular hours are also 33% more likely to suffer from depression. The children of these employees have worse behavior and inconsistent child care, the Times reported.

Women of color make up an abysmal 4% of corporate C-suites.

Women of color make up an abysmal 4% of corporate C-suites.

Just 1 in 25 C-suite executive-level managers is a woman of color, a new report from McKinsey and LeanIn.org on the state of Women in the Workplace 2019 found. White women make up 18% of C-suite executives, while white men make up the vast majority at 68%.

Women of color aren't just greatly out-numbered at the top — they make up 18% of entry-level jobs, 12 percentage points less than white women. They then face greater challenges to getting that next promotion: McKinsey found that for every 100 entry-level men who are promoted to manager, just 68 Latinas and 58 black women are promoted.

Women of color, particularly in the low-wage sector, are more vulnerable to sexual harassment and bullying at work.

Women of color, particularly in the low-wage sector, are more vulnerable to sexual harassment and bullying at work.

Women of color overall are more likely to report sexual harassment at work, according to a 2019 study published in the journal Gender, Work and Organization.

Women of color low-wage sectors are particularly vulnerable. Black women and Latinas working in fast food, for instance, are more likely to report negative sexual attention than white women.

Women of color also face higher non-sexual harassment, like bullying. An analysis of survey responses from 800 employees found ethnic minority women suffered higher rates of harassment at work when compared to white people and men of color.

Researchers hypothesized this phenomenon occurs because women of color face a "double jeopardy" of being both women and ethnic minorities, groups more susceptible to harassment.

Read more: American workers say jobs should do more to help them cope with mental health issues like depression and stress

Black women are more harshly evaluated than white workers and black men — and feel they are more likely to get passed up for promotions and better opportunities.

Black women are more harshly evaluated than white workers and black men — and feel they are more likely to get passed up for promotions and better opportunities.

A Harvard University study found that black women are seen as less effective leaders than white women and white and black men.

Black women also get some of the least support from their managers and feel they are often unfairly passed up for better opportunities, Lean In and McKinsey found.

Black women get paid less money after graduating — and they have a harder time paying off their student loan debt.

Black women get paid less money after graduating — and they have a harder time paying off their student loan debt.

To attend four-year colleges, 86.6% of black students borrow federal loans, compared to 59.9% of white students.

Black students have a harder time paying them off, too: one in two black students defaulted on their student loans between 2003 and 2015, compared to just 21.5% of white students and 36.1% of Latino students.

Black women also take a longer time paying off their loans, research finds — in part due to making less money out of college. Black college graduates ages 21 to 24 earn $3.34 less per hour than their white peers, reported Jillian Berman for MarketWatch, citing an analysis by the left-leaning Economic Policy Institute.

Founders of color get less funding than white CEOs.

Founders of color get less funding than white CEOs.

Starting your own business is harder if you're a woman of color.

Citing various sources, Entrepreneur's Nina Zipkin reported that black women founders have gotten just .0006% of VC money since 2009. Roughly 1% of all Latino or Latina businesses between 2007 and 2012 used VC funding. And just 15% of investment professionals are Asian-American.

For this reason, Arlan Hamilton — one of VC's only queer black women — started Backstage Capital, a firm that invests only in minority-owned ventures.

Asian-American women are passed up for senior-level roles more often than other ethnic groups.

Asian-American women are passed up for senior-level roles more often than other ethnic groups.

Asian Americans are the least likely racial group to get promoted into tech management positions — despite being the most-likely group hired into entry-level positions.

For women, it's even worse: out of all the Asian-American women working in tech, only 1 in 285 is an executive, a study from professional group Ascend found.

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