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Women of Color Continue to Face Barriers in U.S. Law Firms, According to Catalyst Report

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A new report from Catalyst confirms what many already suspected: Women of color still face tremendous challenges for advancement in law firms. Based on a study survey of 1,242 lawyers, the report reveals a sobering picture. According to the report, women of color perceive their workplace as having an exclusionary culture replete with racial/ethnic stereotyping. They also feel that they are being overlooked by diversity efforts and that these efforts are imperfectly executed. Other research has shown that women of color leave their firms at a much higher rate than white women; in fact, nearly 75 percent leave by their fifth year.

Catalyst's report sheds light on the major roadblocks, which seem to come down to a subtle combination of institutional discrimination and unwanted and/or unfair critical attention that lead to an exclusionary workplace culture. This article contains some of the most important findings.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: June 1, 2009

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  • The Diversity Factor (TDF) is a highly regarded source of information in the fields of diversity, inclusion and organizational development (OD). Published since 1992, this e-journal brings in-depth insights and information to readers around the globe. It keeps executives, academics and those in the field of diversity training and education informed about what is really happening in the business sector, as well as in education, government, nonprofits, the arts, media and communities. TDF provides both theory and practical information for its readers—valuable, usable knowledge aimed at helping companies and institutions create a new awareness of the complexity of diversity today and develop the solutions and skills needed to develop a more productive, inclusive, and profitable workforce for today's highly competitive global business environment.

    Elsie Y. Cross Associates
    Putting diversity to work for better performance

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