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Double Outsiders by Jessica Faye Carter JD MBA

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CHAPTER 8 The Last Ceiling: Corporate Boards

The business world is familiar with the metaphor of the “glass ceiling.” In it, women aim for the top slots at companies, but the higher they rise, the more they find invisible obstacles that prevent them from moving up any further. Recent research on women of color has coined the term “concrete ceiling,” which refers to the virtual impasse that women of color encounter as they rise through the ranks of corporate America.

But the “last ceiling” for women of color to reach involves the highest level of responsibility and power within any organization—its board of directors. A company’s board is invisible to many employees of a company. But this invisible group exerts considerable influence over the ...

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