The Council on Foundations (CoF) has relaunched its Career Pathways leadership development programme in the US. The programme works to increase the number of candidates from diverse backgrounds in philanthropy’s leadership pipeline and cultivate a generation of diverse leaders who are committed to the principles of diversity, equity, and inclusion.
According to CoF’s annual Grantmaker Salary and Benefits survey, the representation of women and people of colour decreases as one moves from administrative level to the professional level and onto the executive level. Furthermore, the proportion of CEOs of colour has remained almost flat over the past five years, hovering around 8 per cent.
In an initial three-year pilot, Career Pathways graduated 37 leaders from 35 distinct philanthropic institutions who went on to become well-regarded and accomplished CEOs, CFOs, and trustees of foundations, other grantmaking institutions, and non-profits across the US and the world. Two Career Pathways alumni – Ken Jones, vice president and CFO of The Annie E. Casey Foundation, and Tonya Allen, president and CEO of The Skillman Foundation – now serve on the Council’s board of directors.
Over the course of a year, selected candidates participate in individual learning, networking events, and career training. Sessions are facilitated by expert faculty representing senior executives and trustees in the field of philanthropy and other sectors, and all participants are matched with executive coaches. Programme graduates are invited to participate in alumni activities and leverage their knowledge and talents to support other emerging leaders from diverse backgrounds.