Say What! Women Are Penalized for Helping Each Other?

What do you think of the statement, ‘women and non whites are penalizing each other if they advocate for diversity’? Or, ‘diversity programs are most effective and best led by white men’?

Does it make your blood boil, leave you confused? Or do you understand it, because you have experienced it yourself in your own company?

The above statements are actual findings from a University of Colorado research study, summarized in an article titled:  Women Penalized for Promoting Women, Study Finds by Rachel Feintzeig

It surveyed 362 CEO’s, Vice Presidents and Directors of companies from various industries.

  • They did not state what size of companies, whether those surveyed were male or female, and whether the vice presidents and directors were in an HR function or not; leaving me even more frustrated by it.

Both the study findings and the article drummed up a number of thoughts and reactions for me:

  • Could the authors of this type of article please provide advice or tips for the women, men, CEO’s, HR leaders or anyone to help change or impact the issue being presented?
  • Why in the world would a female writer advise women to stop advocating for each other. It is such a bad message to put out there, even the title  will send women running scared.
  • And it is infuriating for anyone to suggest non whites and others to stop trying to change old and outdated beliefs and mindsets which are negatively impacting their ability to advance and grow in business. Only those fearful and at risk of others, better than they are, jeopardizing their job, would push for this.

But, my greatest fear is that the people fighting so hard for change, will give up and abandon their passions, desires, and ultimate rights, because of the ignorance and words of others. We can only hope others value a good and fair fight for radical change, in order to make our teams, companies, and our lives better.

The better and more realistic test would therefore seem to be:
In what cause, or on what principle, would you risk your life?”
Christopher Hitchens


  • If you are in position of power and influence for change, continue to fight the haters, naysayers and the weak, for what is right. And whether you call it diversity or simply effective leadership – choose the best, brightest and most capable; and this issue is a story of the past. Let’s make history together!
  • Consider the details of this study, and survey your own team from top to bottom to assess their perceptions on this issue. It is critical to know up front if there are biases and attitudes impacting the hiring/promotion decisions being made within your company.
  • Female leaders, never give up supporting one another. Not because of quotas, numbers or data stats, but because it is right to do so.

The study will be formally announced in early August, so stay tuned. I will post it on You can read the article I was given from a colleague here:Women Penalized for Promoting Women, Study Finds by Rachel Feintzeig

What are your thoughts on this…Click HERE to place your comments!

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