Photo credits: Fisk University
Over the last several years, the numbers have clearly shown that black women are the fastest-growing educated demographic in America.
The National Center for Educational Statistics compiled data over the course of a quarter century (1990 to 2015), which proved that at all the nation’s HBCUs, black women were outpacing black men at earning their associate’s, bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees at a ratio of roughly 5 to 2.
Not only that, black females enroll in colleges and universities in significantly higher numbers than black males do. The National Center for Education Statistics reported that during the 2014-15 academic year, 140,000 black women enrolled at the nation’s HBCUs versus 86,000 black men.
This has also been the case at colleges and universities in America that are not HBCUs. However, when it comes to the number of black women elected to prominent positions in student government at the nation’s higher education institutions, the numbers are not in their favor.
A March 2018 report published by the Campaign for College Opportunity showed that there is indeed some dichotomous data when it comes to the amount of black male and black female leadership on college and university campuses across the nation.
One of the most extreme examples of this disproportion in the country is a reality at the University of California-Los Angeles (UCLA). According to the Campaign for College Opportunity’s March 2018 report titled Left Out, black women are only three percent of the academic senate membership population.
Also at UCLA, there are absolutely no black women in senior leadership positions in any of the branches of student government. The not-so-bright reality facing black women in the nation’s higher education institutions begs a single question: Where are today’s black female student leaders?
Dr. Yolanda Pierce was just appointed to the position of dean at Howard University’s School of Divinity. She is the first woman in the school’s 150-year history to hold this position. Dr. Pierce said that good black female mentors are vital for the younger women so that they can succeed at academic leadership.
“I think having a mentor is a really valuable and important thing. I also think that questions of racism and sexism always come into play,” Dr. Pierce said, according to TheNation.com.
“I think it’s very true that black women have to be two and three and four times better than their other counterparts in order to be taken seriously, in terms of their leadership,” she continued.
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