Nationally, African-American women in corporate leadership positions is down, but a local program promises to change that.
The Metropolitan Nashville Chapter of the National Coalition of 100 Black Women has formed a partnership with Belmont University College of Business Administration to launch a four-day program that will provide intense and rigorous training to prepare black women for positions on corporate boards.
The program offers two models for participants to choose from. There will be two modules. One is a four half-day module and the other is a full day model. The cost of the program is still being decided.
“This effort has been several years in the making and we are very excited about the development of a program like this which has so much value in shaping the diversity and perspective of board leadership,” said Veronica Marable-Johnson, president of NCBW Nashville.
In 2012, professional black women accounted for only 1 percent of U.S. corporate officers, according to a report titled “Risk and Reward” conducted by the League of Black Women Global Research Institute.
The numbers are similar when looking at the leadership spots in Fortune 500 companies where black women held only 1.9 percent of board seats compared to 12.7 percent of white women.
“We seek to create a resource for organizations seeking well-trained and knowledgeable black women who are ready to contribute to the overall management, growth and success of organizations,” added Marable-Johnson.
NCBW is an organization that focuses on the development and advancement of Black women in the workforce and in the areas of health, education and economic development. The program at Belmont is an extension of the organization’s overall mission.
The concept designed to specifically address concerns for female African-American leadership, is also right in line with the multiple development initiatives already being offered at Belmont according to Jill Robinson, director of Executive Learning and Marketing at the university.
Belmont professors will lead the training sessions. Upon completion, participants will receive a certificate. The African-American Women on Boards Certification Program with Belmont will be used as a model for board governance.
“The competencies emphasized in the program will enhance every aspect of a potential board member’s skill set for board service, from time management to strategic thinking,” said Belmont’s College of Business Administration Dean, Pat Raines.
The local chapter of 100 Black Women is not the only organization that is attaching itself to this new program. The Nashville Coalition of 100 Black Women Foundation, Inc., Meharry Medical College, HCA and members of the national leadership arm of the National Coalition of 100 Black Women, Incorporated are also involved.
In fact, the certificate program that this training program will be modeled after will likely expand to NCBW chapters across the country, according to NCBW National President, M. Delois Strum.
For more information on this program, contact Belmont at 460-6000.