The promotion of male and female employees is one of the most challenging processes in human resource management. In global and US organizations, the percentage of males who take leadership positions is significantly higher than the percentage of females who take similar positions (Cook & Glass, 2014). According to Beckwith et al. (2016), the problem of leaders’ ethnicity can be discussed as urgent in the United States, and the number of women of color who perform as executives in different companies is rather low.
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The general problem is that many biases are associated with a position of women of ethnicity in society, and these women are believed to have less experience and knowledge to take higher positions in organizations, resulting in limited opportunities for their promotion and upward transitions (Davis, 2016). O’Neill, Shapiro, Ingols, and Blake-Beard (2013) paid attention to the fact that most women of color are promoted in organizations horizontally, and Berrey (2014) stated that women of ethnicity are usually viewed as less educated, and their qualifications are evaluated lower in comparison to white women’s degrees. Beckwith et al. (2016) noted that women of ethnicity take only about 12% of managerial positions in the US organizations, and only 5% of these women are African Americans. This problem is connected with different barriers faced by women on their career paths.
The specific problem is that, in addition to having limited opportunities for promotion, women of ethnicity also face many obstacles while trying to obtain higher roles, resulting in creating more biases against women of color (Beckwith et al., 2016; Davis, 2016). In her study, Cain (2015) found that African American females report many barriers to being promoted in organizations because of their experience, education, leadership, and communication skills, as well as their decision-making and problem-solving skills. Previous studies in the field indicated that many barriers could influence these females’ work, promotion, and self-esteem, but there is a gap in the existing research regarding the experiences of those women of color who belong to the age group of 35-60 years (Butler, 2013; O’Neill et al., 2013; Wyatt & Silvester, 2015). It is important to focus on examining women’s of color lived experiences and add to discussing obstacles that can be associated with these experiences.