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    Nonwhite Women Too Scarce in Executive Suite, Says NEW

    CHICAGO -- The Network of Executive Women (NEW), a nonprofit industry group that advocates corporate diversity, has issued a new report urging corporations in the consumer products and retail industries to promote more women of color to top slots.

    CHICAGO -- The Network of Executive Women (NEW), a nonprofit industry group that advocates corporate diversity, has issued a new report urging corporations in the consumer products and retail industries to promote more women of color to top slots.

    The problem isn't limited to the supermarket industry, according to the report, entitled, "Women of Color: The Challenge and Opportunity Ahead." Only one Fortune 500 c.e.o. is a woman of color, and a Catalyst study cited by NEW reveals that women of color hold only 1.6 percent of corporate officer positions at 429 of the Fortune 500 companies surveyed.

    The NEW report also points out that women of color lag behind not only white men, but white women in promotion and pay.

    Making a business case for further diversifying the executive suite, the NEW survey says companies with the greatest gender diversity in their ranks have a 35 percent higher return on equity than companies with the lowest women's representation.

    The Network suggests a 10-point corporate action plan to remedy the situation, that includes such steps as crafting a diversity plan, setting goals, establishing benchmarks, and creating support networks and programs for women of color.

    The report is the second in a series of Best Practices studies designed to help NEW sponsors and members realize "the full potential of management diversity," according to NEW executive director Joan Toth.

    "NEW will continue to consult and advise its members on diversity issues, hold networking events, facilitate mentoring and champion the cause of industry diversity," Toth said.

    For copies of this and other Best Practice Series white papers, contact NEW executive director Joan Toth at (312) 373-5682, or e-mail [email protected].

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