Black women with a college degree or higher in Colorado are 10% less likely to have a good job than white men with only some college or a certificate.

Statistics like this stop us in our tracks. What’s the reason for this clear disparity? And how can we improve it? We’re motivated to move more Coloradans into jobs that pay well and have good benefits and continually work to ensure more women and people of color can access those jobs. The question remains: what else needs to be done?


Reduce unemployment to under 5% and reduce disparities.
Increase the number of people of color in $45,000+ per year jobs.
Increase the number of women in $45,000+ per year jobs.

Best Practices

Remove unnecessary degree requirements and establish skill and competency-based requirements for jobs.

Build job-based skills earlier in education so that more young people meet competency-based requirements for higher-wage jobs (internships, work-study, curriculum changes).

Increase post-secondary attainment and decrease the financial burden for students by maximizing federal assistance, scholarships, concurrent enrollment, flexibility, and lower-cost options.

Provide every employee earning less than $40,000/year an annual meeting with HR to explore career options and maximize education benefit.

Develop incentives to support employers who are training and upskilling workforce.

Change public policy to reward employees who are advancing their earnings by slowly reducing assistance.

Provide more support to employers on hiring, retaining, and promoting diverse employees through peers, best practices, and checklists.

Build HR resource pools for small employers and connect employers to alternative hiring pools.

Change benefits based on the needs of lower-paid workers – transportation, childcare, training and/or tuition reimbursement.