It’s no secret that women, especially black women, are underrepresented when it comes to award nominations and recognition. This is a challenge that exists in almost every field – whether it be business, technology, science, or arts. The reasons why black women do not apply for these awards and recognitions are numerous and complex. I, as a black woman, will dive into the factors that impede women’s progress in this area.
Lack of representation is a primary driver behind the under-representation of black women in awards and nominations. Women are socialized to regard themselves as inferior, and when coupled with under-representation in popular media and society, the impact can be severe.
Many women who would make remarkable nominees or awardees may not have the confidence to do so because they believe that they are not good enough or that their work might not be as important as that of their peers.
This is a significant hurdle, putting unwarranted self-doubt and fear in the minds of some of the most skilled and deserving black women.
Another factor that contributes to this issue is the lack of information on nominations.
Black women might not be aware of these awards or how to nominate themselves or others.
This may seem trivial, but the lack of access to information that a piece of news or information that serves as a prompt can make a significant difference. Women require tailored information and support to have a chance at obtaining recognition.
Finally, the networks and connections that many women require to succeed are not easily available.
In many cases, networking opportunities favor men, in addition to men becoming mentors for other men.
Men often serve as gatekeepers to the proverbial chambers of venture capitalists’ offices, incubators, and accelerator programs, limiting women’s chances of access to vital resources.
Additionally, black women may not have access to the wealth of professional connections that non-minority business owners often possess.
As we can see, the factors impeding women’s progress, particularly underrepresented women, are significant and varied.
How can we address these challenges effectively?
The first step is acknowledging that they exist.
We need to recognize that a lack of representation pervades awards and nomination processes. Society must continually interrogate its subconscious biases about women and historically underrepresented groups to remind itself that they have a different experience.
Secondly, we need to prioritize outreach and awareness about these awards and nominations and make them accessible to every woman.
Many qualified and competent women may not apply for an award simply because they have not received the information on how to do so. Therefore, providing clear and accessible information on the nomination process could go a long way towards encouraging women to step forward.
This is why I personally invite black women entrepreneurs in the UK to participate in the upcoming 2023 Everywoman Entrepreneur Awards ceremony– an event that recognizes and supports women in entrepreneurship.
This is a great opportunity to push for change, challenge societal norms and biases, and encourage women to nominate themselves or other women who deserve recognition for their significant contributions to entrepreneurship.
The deadline for nominations is 12 June 2023, and the awards ceremony will take place on 6 December 2023. Don’t let this opportunity pass you by to take center stage and celebrate your accomplishments alongside women from varied backgrounds.
To nominate an underrepresented woman in business, simply go to this link: