Norfolk State University recently announced its partnership with Black BRAND, a local non-profit, to present Women Who Lead, a 12-week professional development program. The partners aim to support the career needs of primarily low- and moderate-income minority women seeking greater access to opportunity.
The program will provide professional mentorship for participants with the intent to lead them to career certification and other development programs that will enhance their lives.
“Women Who Lead aims to reduce brain drain in Hampton Roads by upskilling the region’s underdeveloped talent and creating a pipeline to career and contract opportunities,” wrote the University in a press release.
Program organizers have noted the viability of several area leadership programs including LEAD Hampton Roads, CIVIC Leadership Institute, and LEFCOE that are noted for networking business leaders and executives. Participants in these ongoing programs are selected by invitation/recommendation only.
Women Who Lead borrows elements from these programs and will provide opportunity to screened women participants believed most impacted by discrimination and institutional bias.
“During the pandemic, we watched as organizations carried essential supplies, vaccinations, and information about the coronavirus from door to door in nearly every under resourced community in Hampton Roads. Those initiatives were very effective. It’s time to do the same thing with opportunity,” says Blair Durham President and CEO of Black BRAND.
According to a recent report by Harvard Business School graduate Sam Pressler, if there were no racial gaps in income or employment in Hampton Roads in 2019, the region’s GDP would have been $17 billion higher in 2019.