Black Women Make Major Employment Gains
Freddie Allen | , Nnpa | 5/17/2012, 3:09 p.m.
Cooper said it's about sacrificing short-term gratification for what really matters.
"I have friends that are going to school and working," Cooper said. "You have to do what it takes. At some point it's over and you've worked hard, you've sweated, you're exhausted and you've gotten through it and that's the attitude everyone should have."
Given that Black women lead a majority of Black households and graduate from college at higher rates than Black men, their success is essential as the Black community recovers from the worst economic times since the Great Depression.
A 2010 study by Georgetown University's Center on Education and the Workforce 2018 reported that 63 percent of newly created jobs or vacated by retiring workers will require at least some college education.
At a 2011 session at Stanford University titled "Black Women and the Backlash Effect -- Understanding the Intersection of Race and Gender," visiting scholar and expert in workplace diversity Katherine Phillips said that Black women are excelling in education and entrepreneurship.
"Two-thirds of African-American college undergrads are female," said Phillips. "And, between 2002 and 2008, the number of businesses owned by Black women rose by 19 percent - twice as fast as all other firms and generating $29 billion in sales nationwide."
Phillips, also a professor of organizational behavior at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill., noted that Black women in the workplace are often viewed as "as independent, competent, and demanding of respect -- all classic leadership traits."