Published in 2007, the Black Women Executives Research Initiative delivered groundbreaking research that identifies the specific obstacles they and other women have overcome to achieve unprecedented career success.

Springboard is now leading a new research effort to update these findings, expanding the field to all women executives and their impact on global leadership. Please visit The Everest Project for more information on this sweeping research initiative.

The problem

Despite the current economic environment, there remains a relentless competition for the most talented employees. Your organization can no longer afford to lose women execs because they feel unable to advance or achieve their full potential. Most major organization, including yours, need women, women of color, black women executives to:

  • gain access to a broader range of customers
  • champion new viewpoints
  • support the retention of other women
  • expand the access to talented leadership from multiple cultures; and
  • navigate multiple social, cultural and global environments.

The solution

The Black Women Executives Research Initiative, conducted by Springboard Partners on behalf of The Executive Leadership Council, was designed to uncover success factors and impediments for senior black women executives.

Until now, there hasn’t been a playbook to help women black women attain C-Suite (chief of office) positions. This landmark study provided surprising insights on the perceptions of black women executives about their progress on the quality of their relationships and networks, the availability of feedback and their openness to feedback, and the all-important skills and experience metrics … and how their perceptions differ from the views of CEOs and peers. In the Black Women Executives Research Initiative report, Springboard provides you with actionable answers to those insights by revealing…

  • The 8 biggest impediments for black women executives in reaching leadership positions; these are the main sources of disconnect between top management and black women executives aspiring to C-suite positions
  • Insights from a broad range of  successful leaders, including Ken Chenault, Jamie Dimon, Ursula Burns, Vernon Jordan and Alexis Herman—on ways institutions successfully develop, retain and promote black women executives
  • Specific recommendations from these and other leaders as to what black women can do to be more visible and valuable in their organizations
  • Concrete steps organizations and individuals can take immediately to begin fully developing and retaining women executives
  • A new Leadership Assessment that women and other under-represented executives at all levels can use within their organizations to support their career advancement

Implications for organizations and CEOs

You’ll find specific recommendations regarding the following factors in the Black Women Executives Research Initiative report:

  • Relationship-building
  • Feedback from strategic relationships
  • Addressing specific barriers for black women executives
  • Coaching that encompasses experiences leading to the C-Suite
  • Alignment of values

For example, organizations can jumpstart and deepen relationship-building between black women executives and other senior executives by taking advantage of executive coaches to facilitate discussions that help each side become more familiar with one another, in order to build partner-like trust and a better working relationship.

Receive your FREE copy of the Black Women Executives Research Initiative report below.