It Will Take 103 Years for Black Women to Hold Executive Positions with Same Frequency as White Men

New Syndio research shows without radical change, Executive Opportunity Gap for Black women won’t close till 2124

SEATTLE — August 3, 2021 

Syndio, the leading Equity Tech software platform, today released research showing it will take 103 years before Black women and other BIPOC women hold high-level leadership positions at the same rate as white men. The Executive Opportunity Gap is one reason for the pay gap experienced by Black women, who make 63 cents on the dollar compared to white men. 

Today is Black Women’s Equal Pay Day —   the day that marks how far into a year the average Black woman must work to be paid what the average white man was paid the year before.

Researchers at Syndio calculated the Executive Opportunity Gap by analyzing federal data from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, along with proprietary Syndio data. Download the report for full results and methodology, including information about opportunity gaps experienced by other communities and gaps by state and industry.

To the Executive Opportunity Gap, Syndio looked at how much more likely white men are to hold leadership positions than other groups. Across the private sector, white men are substantially over-represented in executive positions (where they hold 59 percent of positions), even after accounting for overall private sector labor market representation (where they hold 32 percent of positions). 

The Executive Opportunity Gap for Black women is 9.2 —   the highest of all groups, meaning white men are 9.2 times more likely to hold top jobs than Black women. By comparison, the Executive Opportunity Gap for white women is 2.

The positions we looked at, likely the most powerful at an organization, are also the highest paying. Average compensation for employees in the executive and senior officials job group is roughly $333,000, while the average for employees in the mid-officials and managers job group is roughly $187,000.

“We know there are many reasons for pay gaps, but opportunity is a big one —   and especially opportunity to work at the executive level where pay is typically highest,” said Syndio CEO Maria Colacurcio. “We need to take many steps and create a lot of change to shorten the time to close the gap. Namely, leaders should understand the barriers to opportunity within their companies and how to dismantle them.”

About Syndio

Syndio’s mission is to empower employers to eradicate unlawful pay disparities due to gender, race, and ethnicity and make ongoing compensation decisions informed by fairness and equity data. Syndio customers drastically reduce legal risk, saving millions in ongoing remediation, and create a positive brand reputation, which helps attract and retain top talent at every level of the business. Syndio is proud to partner with brands leading the way in equity and setting the standard for workplace fairness.


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