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The phrase “tear the paper ceiling” is becoming popular as it describes the invisible barriers that prevent experienced, skilled, and diverse workers from advancing in their careers.

One workforce organization has urged people to pledge to break stereotypes and misconceptions and view individuals based on their unique experiences, skills, and diverse perspectives.

Additionally, they’ve highlighted the untapped potential of over 70 million American workers who have gained their skills through alternative routes (STARs).

Recently, Career Communications Group held a seminar entitled “Solutions Fireside Chat: Leaky Pipes and the Women of Color Executive Leader Accelerator Program.”

The panel included Norma B. Clayton, who retired as the vice president for learning, training, and development at The Boeing Company, and Anita Estell, CEO of the Civic Engagement and Leadership Institute for Everyone organization. The seminar focused on the challenges that women of color face when trying to reach executive positions.

Studies have shown that women of color, especially Black women, receive the least amount of support when it comes to career advancement.

In order to promote and support the advancement of women of color as senior executives in public, private, and nonprofit organizations, innovative solutions are necessary.

During the session, the barriers that prevent women of color from advancing to the C-suite were discussed, and the Women of Color Executive Leader Accelerator (WoCELA) pipeline partner initiative was introduced.

WoCELA is a program designed to recruit, retain, and advance high-potential professionals to C-suite positions over the next five years. Attendees were encouraged to share their experiences and offer suggestions to help inform the program’s development, which is set to launch in 2020. The exchange also aimed to develop a customized program for mid-managers.


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