Carnegie Mellon University Program Aims to Increase Diversity in Pittsburgh’s Corporate Suite

A leading group of Pittsburgh executives has launched The Advanced Leadership Initiative, also known as TALI, to ensure African-Americans gain leadership roles on executive teams of the region’s corporations and nonprofit organizations.

Pittsburgh is recognized as a surging economic market, but it trails top markets in one key area — leadership diversity. African-Americans represent 24 percent of the population of Pittsburgh and 13 percent in Allegheny County, yet African-Americans represent less than 0.1 percent of executive leadership positions.

Carnegie Mellon University is the academic partner in the new initiative. The signature program is the Executive Leadership Academy housed at the university’s Tepper School of Business.

African-Americans will be invited to participate in an eight-module executive education program that will address general and specific skills that African-American executives need to move beyond the obstacle of implicit racial biases. The curriculum, offered though Carnegie Mellon’s Executive Education program, will include classroom instruction, executive coaching, peer networking and a structured professional sponsor relationship.

Recruitment for the Executive Leadership Academy has begun, and classes for the inaugural cohort will begin in January 2019.

“The Tepper School values a diverse and inclusive community, not only because it is ethically and morally right, but because it leads to greater creativity and innovation in decision-making,” said Bob Dammon, dean of the Tepper School of Business. “We are proud to partner with The Advanced Leadership Initiative to extend our commitment to diversity and inclusion to the greater Pittsburgh region.”

Laurie Weingart, interim provost of Carnegie Mellon University, added that “together, we will enhance the pipeline of African-American talent in Pittsburgh by providing training and education for promising executive leaders and for corporations identifying and preparing the workforce of the future.”

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