Race in the Workplace: The Frontline Experience

Written by: Chris Copeland, Monne Williams, Bryan Hancock, Sofia Soto, Lareina Yee
Published on: Aug 26, 2022

diverse workforce
Photo credit: melita/Adobe Stock

The vast majority of Americans are introduced to the workforce through frontline jobs—whether waiting tables, stocking store shelves, or folding clothes. Approximately 70 percent of the current US workforce is concentrated in frontline jobs. Too often, however, frontline jobs are both a starting point and an end point for workers. Our research found this challenge is especially true for frontline workers of color, who face an array of impediments to moving up the ladder.

This report shines a light on the experiences of frontline workers of color, the pathways from the front line to the middle class, and the skills workers need to advance. It also offers steps companies could take to improve job quality and better support frontline workers of color to develop and progress in their careers.

Read the report.