The Women’s Leadership Alliance (WLA) is proud to present the second annual panel discussion focusing on the ‘Concrete Ceiling’, the barrier that prevents women of color as a group from moving up the corporate ladder. This year, the WLA panel will focus on specific strategies women of color and their allies can draw upon to deal with the Concrete Ceiling as employees. This will include 1) strategies they can use personally to manage racism and micro-aggressions in the workplace, and 2) ways to work with their employers to address the issue of the Concrete Ceiling within their organization.
Our panel includes women of color from our own community— Lisa Ghartey
, Assistant Commissioner, Child Welfare and Community Services, New York State Office of Children and Family Services; Melinda Martinez, Marist
; Pashmina Rashad, private practice therapist; Mecca Santana, Vice President of Diversity & Community Relations for Westchester Medical Center and Kavita Sehgal, IBM. Dr. Lubna Somjee, executive coach and psychologist, will moderate.
As leaders in their industries, the panelists will provide specific suggestions on how best to navigate this challenge. Attendees will also learn about the impact of the Concrete Ceiling on women of color in the workplace, learn how to recognize discrimination, learn to identify and manage micro-aggressions in the workplace, and learn how to seek professional support and mentorship.
For decades people have discussed the realities of the ‘Glass Ceiling,’ the unseen yet unbreakable barrier that prevents women as a group from moving up the corporate hierarchy. The ‘Concrete Ceiling,’ is an even more formidable barrier that women of color face in the workplace. While we are aware more women are rising to the top as compared to decades past, the reality is that women are not advancing as a whole, by virtue of being women. This is even more so the case for women of color as evidenced by racism, lack of mentorship, lack of role models, exclusion from informal networks of key colleagues, and lack of opportunity to showcase breadth of skills/experience. While there is ample data focusing on the challenges women face in the workforce, there is glaringly limited discussion as it relates to challenges women of color face.
Sponsors: Omega the Women’s Leadership Center,
Cindy M Smith CPA, Forté Capital LLC