- The peak was in 2007, the year before first White House win
- African Americans must still work ‘twice as hard to be equal’
“Blacks are still mostly being channeled into staff jobs rather than line jobs running business divisions that lead to the CEO office,” says Ronald Parker, chief executive officer of the Executive Leadership Council, an advocacy group for African Americans. “There’s still this guarded behavior around who gets to sit in that seat.”
Parker calls it “unconscious bias,” judging people based on how they look, a “common denominator” with what’s behind much of the racial strife in the country. The ugly point the U.S. has reached in race relations -- fueled by a spate of deaths of black men at the hands of police officers and the recent killings by black snipers of cops in Dallas and Baton Rouge, Louisiana -- is spurring some corporate reassessments, says Katherine Giscombe, a vice president at Catalyst, an advocacy group for female executives.