毫无疑问，如果在这种背景下再加入种族这个因素，前景看起来会更令人沮丧。调查与咨询公司DiversityInc一直在跟踪调查美国公司少数群体的发展状况。该公司报告称，2012年，《财富》500强公司（Fortune 500 ）中，仅有1.2%的公司CEO是黑人。（共有6位，而亚裔美国人有9位，拉丁裔美国人有6位，女性有17位。）
德鲁是纽约市非营利机构城市职业理事会（Council of Urban Professionals，CUP）的执行理事。这个理事会成立于2007年，旨在为少数族裔和女性提供培训、人际交往和辅导，以及其他职场资源等。它大约有1,500名个人会员和67家企业合作伙伴，这些企业均为《财富》599强公司，其中包括美国运通（American Express）、高盛（Goldman Sachs）、安永会计师事务所（Ernst & Young）和谷歌（Google）。
Dear Annie: It's great that [Sheryl Sandberg's book] Lean In has sparked a big public discussion about women in the workplace, but I really wish someone would start a similar conversation with regard to minorities. I am an African-American man and -- leaving aside the notable exception of the White House -- we're even more scarce in top executive jobs and boardrooms than women are. Yet no one is talking about that, maybe because people think that having a black President proves there's nothing more to say.
I disagree. As an Ivy League alumnus in my late 30s who keeps getting passed over for promotion from middle management to a senior job, despite more than a decade of outstanding performance reviews, I can't help wondering if my race has something to do with it, especially since there are no ethnic minorities in senior management here. I feel like there's some secret handshake I haven't learned. What do you and your readers think? -- Let's Talk About It
Dear Let's Talk: By all means, let's. Where do we start? Maybe by mentioning that there are at least two reasons why it's harder than it used to be for anyone (regardless of color) to get promoted these days. One of them is economic. The recession knocked more layers of management out of already-streamlined companies, so there are now even fewer senior jobs for middle managers to move into.
Then there's the matter of demographics. As a Gen Xer, you're probably bumping into what HR people call the "gray ceiling," made up of large numbers of Boomers in lofty positions who are in no hurry to retire.
No doubt, adding race to this picture does make the outlook even gloomier. Research and consulting firm DiversityInc, which tracks minorities' progress at U.S. companies, has reported that, in 2012, only 1.2% of Fortune 500 companies had black CEOs. (There were six of them, vs. nine chief executives who were Asian-American, six Latino, and 17 female.)
Law firms -- 6.5% of whose partners are people of color -- are a tiny bit more diverse, but minorities "have actually lost ground in corporate board rooms recently," notes Chloe Drew. "There are fewer non-white directors now than in 2004."
Drew is executive director of the Council of Urban Professionals, a New York City-based nonprofit launched in 2007 that offers leadership training, networking, and mentoring connections and other career resources to minorities and women. The group has about 1,500 individual members and 67 corporate partners, all of them Fortune 500 companies, including American Express (AXP), Goldman Sachs (GS), Ernst & Young, and Google (GOOG).
CUP aims to develop "a pipeline of diverse leaders," Drew says, adding that it also acts as matchmaker between employers and candidates: "We've placed over 100 new executives and board members, despite the impact the recession has had on hiring."