In the following pages, TNJ profiles the women on our ninth annual list of “25 Influential Black Women in Business.” This year’s theme is “Women Going the Distance.” Typically, our honorees include women who have attained the upper ranks of major corporations, key non-profit institutions and government agencies, as well as women who have built highly successful businesses of their own. Ironically, as women of color appear to be making gains in the corporate arena, such women increasingly are choosing to establish businesses of their own and are doing so at a pace faster than their white counterparts. Both environments are fraught with challenges. The failure rate of Black-owned businesses is higher than that of any other ethnic group and the chances of a Black woman making it to the top of corporate America are still slim. The report, “Connections that Count: The Informal Networks of Women of Color in the United States,” published in 2006 Catalyst, a leading women-oriented research and advisory organization, notes that African-American women make up 5.8 percent of the labor pool, but only 0.9 percent of them hold corporate executive roles.
What a distance our honorees have traveled!
Click here to read the profiles of these 25 Influentila Black Women in Business