Equipping nonprofits to advance social change

Race to Lead: Women of Color in the Nonprofit Sector Executive Summary

The Race to Lead: Women of Color in the Nonprofit Sector report is live! 

Based on data from more than 4,000 survey respondents, this latest report in the Race to Lead series shows that women of color encounter systemic obstacles to their advancement over and above the barriers faced by white women and men of color.


Here’s a quick look at our findings:

  • Racial and gender biases create barriers to advancement for women of color. 
  • Education and training do not provide equity. 
  • The social landscape of organizations is fraught for women of color. 

Many women of color in the nonprofit sector are highly skilled and want to lead, but the survey findings and focus group and interview reflections shared in this report identify significant obstacles and patterns of everyday discrimination that women of color encounter in the nonprofit workplace. Many women of color described working harder to overcome these barriers; not only is this an unfair burden, no amount of individual effort can be expected to translate into positive outcomes when an organization’s social landscape is fraught with bias. The nonprofit sector must make real changes to ensure a fair and supportive workplace environment for all workers, particularly for women of color.

This Executive Summary gives a sampling of the data we collected, major findings, and our resulting recommendations. For a deeper analysis, visit www.racetolead.org/women-of-color and download the full report.

Leadership nonprofit sector Ofronama Biu Race Equity Race to Lead Women of Color