Research
Women of Color in Business:
cross-generational
survey©
The health, economic, social, racial and political pandemics of 2020 have radically altered the leadership landscape. Some experts have declared that a new era of leadership has dawned, demanding authenticity, increased empathy and compassion as well as better training for all managers.

The new 2020 Women of Color in Business: Cross-Generational Survey© was designed to stress-test and probe deeply several of our 2019 findings. Despite the volatile year, we see reasons for hope. Our new data point toward increases in reflection, confidence, and side-preneurship as younger generations of women at work assert greater control over their destinies.

The 2020 Women of Color in Business: Cross-Generational Survey© was commissioned by Bonita C. Stewart and Jacqueline Adams, co-authors of “A Blessing: Women of Color Teaming Up to Lead, Empower and Thrive.
Executive Leadership Council
The Executive Summary of the 2020 Women of Color in Business: Cross-Generational Survey© has been released in collaboration with The Executive Leadership Council and appears on the Google Keyword Blog.

“The past several months have seen multiple Black women make history rising to CEO positions in Fortune 500 companies and the highest leadership positions in government,” says Michael C. Hyter, President and CEO of The ELC. “The issue is not the lack of qualified Black women. It’s the lack of opportunity for Black women to ascend to these roles. The ELC is proud to support this research to empower and energize Black women, and enlighten their organizations, as they strive for future career success.”
Hyter
About The Executive Leadership Council
The Executive Leadership Council, an independent non-profit 501(c)(3) corporation founded in 1986, is the preeminent membership organization committed to increasing the number of global Black executives in C-Suites, on corporate boards, and in global enterprises. Comprising 800 current and former Black CEOs, senior executives, and board directors at Fortune 1000 and Global 500 companies, and entrepreneurs at top-tier firms, its members work to build an inclusive business leadership pipeline that empowers global Black leaders to make impactful contributions to the marketplace and the global communities they serve. For more information, please visit www.elcinfo.com.
Methodology
The 2020 Women of Color in Business: Cross Generational Survey © was conducted by Quadrant Strategies between November 17 and December 16, 2020. A total of 2420 respondents participated with a margin of error of +/- 1.99%. Respondents included American female “desk workers” across four races (Black, LatinX, Asian and white) and four generations (Boomer, Gen X, Millennials and Gen Z). For the first time, the survey included responses from 150 white male managers across all generations.

Research Methodology (Team Lead: Reem Omer, Research Associate)
Research
"Quadrant Strategies is thrilled to be part of this groundbreaking work. This comparative look at women-of-color desk workers across generations is long overdue, and it reveals some really unexpected insights that Jackie and Bonita use to chart a powerful path forward. Nearly every business and every person in a business environment will find these insights invaluable. Most refreshingly, the path they chart is full of optimism and energy. The entrepreneurial spirit and technological savvy for example, especially of young Black and LatinX women, clearly indicate there is huge business impact and wealth creation to be unlocked by absorbing the findings Jackie and Bonita so clearly set out." -- Scott Siff, Managing Partner, Quadrant Strategies
SS
About Quadrant Strategies
The company helps clients solve a wide range of brand and communications challenges by employing a broad set of qualitative and quantitative research tools. Quadrant’s partners have 50 combined years of experience helping Fortune 500 companies and other leading organizations address their most pressing branding and strategic communications issues in times of crisis and, more often, not. www.quadrantstrategies.com
Major Findings
the 2020 Women of Color in Business: Cross-Generational Study©
The Only
The authors continued to track “the onlys,” women who report being always or frequently the only person of their race in a professional setting. Despite 2020’s focus on racial justice, there was just a very slight improvement. In 2019, 47% of Black female desk workers reported that they were always or frequently the Only person of color in a professional setting. In 2020, the percentage dropped by just one point. More than a third, 36% of LatinX women in 2020 said that they were always or frequently the only person of their race in a professional setting, an improvement over the 41% reported in 2019.
Research
Side-preneurs
29% of Black women have a business they run or are developing in their free time, compared to 15% Latinx women, 11% of Asian women, and 10% of white women. The authors call this phenomenon “side-preneurship” or the “side hustle” and are struck by the three-times engagement of Black women vs Asian and white women.
Research
40 Allies and a Stretch Assignment
The authors advocate strongly for stretch assignments to increase the skills and opportunities for women of color in the workplace. For the first time, they included questions about stretch assignments in their 2020 Survey. The findings confirmed that this strategy works well for white male managers and is making a dent among women managers, especially Black female managers.

62% of white male managers said they have received a stretch assignment within the last 12 months, compared to 44% Black, 36% LatinX, 37% Asian, 35% white female managers.
Research
Manager Variability
Since the public phase of Stewart’s and Adams’ work began, they have identified a new, “ talent moonshot goal: Manager Excellence. The authors have devised a Manager Variability (MV) measure, comparing four management types against employee expectations and their respective inclusive leadership capabilities, which we categorize as cultural intelligence or CQ. Components of CQ move beyond IQ and EQ (emotional intelligence) to include awareness and appreciation of race, gender, and generational differences. The four types are: Transformational, Agile, Hands Off and Uneasy. The ultimate goal is to recognize and reward the most “transformational” managers. Those are the managers who will most successfully drive profitability, innovation and retention among their star performers, who increasingly will be women of color. “Agile” managers with inherent or learned CQ will likely move toward increasingly high-performing and satisfied teams. By contrast, managers who are “uneasy” or remain “hands off” will face a challenging management journey, if they fail to improve their leadership capabilities.
Great managers matter.
Research
Take the #TeamUp
Challenges
After analyzing all of their data over two years, the authors have come up with a series of challenges for both managers and individual desk workers. These challenges are intended to help everyone “lead, empower, and thrive” in their workplaces. Here is the first one:
Challenge #1
Eradicate the “Onlys” on your team by hiring more of them! Look around and understand where “Onlys” reside within your company and track when critical mass is reached, particularly in teams of 20+. Hire in multiples and strive for overall workplace belonging.
Goal
Reduce the 46% of Black women who have frequently or always been the only person of their race in a professional situation to 25% by 2025 and 0% soon thereafter.
#TeamUp
African proverb: If you want to go quickly, go alone.
If you want to go far, go together

"Bonita Stewart and Jacqueline Adams have answered the call to Black Women everywhere to team up and use our special skills, strengths and experiences to take our seat at the table. The knowledge and research in this book provides the blue print for personal and professional growth designed to create change and success for generations of “Blessings” to come."

-- Cheryl Mayberry McKissack, president and co-owner, Black Opal and Fashion Fair Cosmetics

Girls
Girls

"Bonita Stewart and Jacqueline Adams have answered the call to Black Women everywhere to team up and use our special skills, strengths and experiences to take our seat at the table. The knowledge and research in this book provides the blue print for personal and professional growth designed to create change and success for generations of “Blessings” to come."

-- Cheryl Mayberry McKissack, president and co-owner, Black Opal and Fashion Fair Cosmetics

Or download in Sections
SECTION I - Overview: Talent Convergence Theory, The Onlys, Scrutiny, Stress, Optimism
SECTION II - Diversity and Inclusion: In the Aftermath of 2020
SECTION III - Professional Development: Stretch Assignments & Allyship
SECTION IV - Employee Migration 2.0: Entrepreneurship or Corporate Advancement
SECTION V - Financial Literacy: Money Matters and the American Dream
SECTION VI - Perspectives From Managers: White Males and Women of Color