Survey reveals African Americans in greater Madison area not receiving key advancements, promotions

A year-long study of the employment of African Americans in the greater Madison area has revealed inequities in the workplace.
Published: Sep. 21, 2022 at 5:59 PM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - A year-long study of the employment of African Americans in the greater Madison area has revealed inequities in the workplace.

The survey was conducted by the African American-Jewish Friendship Group of Madison and revealed that African Americans are consistently not getting promotions and advancements in many sectors.

“There is a lack of advancement of African Americans generally in Dane County in the positions that they have sought employment,” founder Jerry Sternberg said.

William Greer is on the writing committee for African American-Jewish Friendship Group of Madison and said attracting Black employees and students is based upon the employer’s motivation to do so. He also said an increase in diversity will only benefit these organizations.

“Organizations with these values make better decisions, attract a broader customer base and are better suited to thrive in the 21st century,” Greer said.

Some of the findings, according to the African American-Jewish Friendship Group of Madison:

  • For businesses, African Americans were below their percentage in the population, with a median of zero. The percent of non-professional jobs filled by Blacks was almost twice their percent in the population, with low percentages in management, executive or director positions.
  • For governmental bodies, employment of African American by municipalities, except for the City of Madison, was lower than for businesses, with average percentages of African Americans in all categories 2% or less, with most government bodies employing no African Americans.
  • Federal employment of African Americans in the Madison Area is below the percentage of the population. The percentage of Blacks in the professional and administrative levels never exceeds 3%; 70% of Blacks are in non-professional jobs but only 40% of the jobs are non-professional.
  • In education, the average employment for African Americans in public schools is half their percentage of the population, except in non-professional jobs.
  • The number of African American teachers is insufficient, even in the Madison Metropolitan School District. Five school districts have no African American teachers, two have one, and one district has two. Madison has the highest percentage of Black teachers, almost 3%, but also has the highest percentage of African American students, at 18.5%.
  • Of private schools that responded to the survey, average percentages of African Americans as professionals (including teachers) and administrators were 1% and 2%, respectively, with medians of 0%.
  • For religious organizations, the response was surprisingly low, with only 9 responding to the survey, of which, only one had any African American employees – 2 non-professionals.