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Workplace Engagement and the Glass Ceiling

The Experience of Black Professionals

ELLA F. WASHINGTON, ELLYN MAESE, and SHANE MCFEELY

Being a Black professional in America has a unique set of challenges. Although Black professionals represent 12 percent of the US workforce, they represent 8 percent of management occupations (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2017). Further, Blacks continue to fill a minority of senior leadership positions across every major industry in the United States: only 2 percent of Fortune 500 senior executives are Black (Jones, 2017); likewise, only 7 percent of senior higher education administrators (Jones, 2017) and 8 percent of leadership and board members for nonprofit organizations are Black (BoardSource, 2017). ...

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