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Ella L.J. Edmundson Bell The National Leadership Institute for Women of Color Program Description

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Women of Color (WOC) is a national organization committed to advancing women of color into positions of authority, responsibility and power in American companies. Through education, research and corporate partnerships, WOC works to illuminate the talents and skills of women of color and to prepare them to overcome the barriers they face to attaining positions of leadership.

WOC’s approach is a dynamic and comprehensive strategic process encompassing four target dimensions:

1. Leadership Development

WOC recognizes the need of women to have safe space where they can explore and discover their leadership abilities. They require an educational process that will enable them to emotionally heal and spiritually renew from the rejection they experience in the corporate world.

2. Research

WOC knows the value of building a solid knowledge base on the worklife experiences of women of color. There is a dearth of scholarly work on the careers and life experiences of professional African-American, Latina, Asian-American, Native-American and immigrant women. WOC will be a welcome home for young scholars who have the desire and curiosity to investigate the everyday realities of women of color.

3. Organizational Intervention

WOC will provide organization consultation to diagnose the structural barriers and cultural inhibitors that women of color encounter in a given workplace. Working directly with a company’s executive team, WOC will deliver and help implement a customized strategic plan to address those barriers.

4. A Place at the Table

WOC’s program centers on increasing the representation of women of color on corporate boards. Only a handful of women of color serve on corporate boards, with many of them holding multiple directorships. WOC will conduct executive board training for senior-level women, establishing a directory of potential candidates for both nonprofit and corporate boards, and serve as an advocate for those women.

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