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Women literally make up half of the workforce, but only about 15 percent of those women are represented in top executive spots at Fortune 500 companies. Those numbers are even more heartbreaking when you factor in women of color. African-American women represent 1.1 percent of corporate officers in Fortune 500 companies, which equals a sad 106 African-American women out of a group of 10,092 corporate officers. Thank goodness there are women like Kim Reed who has been doing her part to insert diversity into the corporate world.

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Kim started Reed Development Group to work with global organizations, Fortune 500 companies, professional services firms and financial services firms to develop their diversity and inclusion strategies. Ultimately, what that means is to ensure that they are attracting, deploying and retaining women and people of color.

Kim is a champion for women of color. “The true piece for me is ensuring that women — especially African-American women —  and people of color, have an opportunity to experience corporate America and to have that seat at the corporate table and ultimately, the C-suite [or highest level-executive office],” she said.

However, it’s not just up to the majority to lift up people of color into these CEO roles because there are some Black women who hold these high positions and Kim says, “Once African-American women get into a leadership role, they rarely pay it back. I love us as women, but we’ve got issues.” And those issues are pulling other women of color up into those roles alongside of us. Kim delves into this touchy subject and offers her advice on ladder climbing. Get to know more about the woman who stands for people of color to be success stories at the top of the corporate ladder. Watch her insightful video above.


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