Number of Blacks in Elite Careers Hurt by Declining Racial Diversity Efforts
As a Supreme Court ruling on affirmative action looms, a New York Times analysis shows that progress has stalled for African Americans in elite careers.
Only 1 percent of America’s Fortune 500 companies has a black CEO, and 3.2 percent of senior executive positions are held by African-Americans in our nation’s biggest companies.
Though Blacks account for 12 percent of America’s workforce, they are grossly underrepresented among architects, lawyers, dentists, and doctors.
The deep recession not only disproportionately hurtAfrican-Americans in many fields, but it also led businesses to make diversity programs less of a priority. And a growing number of states — including Arizona, Michigan, Nebraska, New Hampshire and Oklahoma — have moved to ban race-based affirmative action in recent years. California, Florida and Washington did so in the 1990s.
Such numbers raise the question of whether the private sector’s commitment to affirmative action and diversity programs is eroding, even as the Supreme Court again considers a high-profile case involving a public university.
“We’re at a precipice,” said John Page, the president of the National Bar Association, an 88-year-old group representing black lawyers and judges. “There is diversity fatigue. We could fall backwards very quickly.”
What do you think accounts for this decline in diversity efforts?
Are you hopeful that the Supreme Court will uphold affirmative action?
Sound off below!