New fellowship to create pipeline of African American execs for healthcare boards

A new six-month fellowship for African American executives is quashing the myth that diverse talent is hard to find.

The fellowship was created by The Leverage Network, a membership organization that seeks to diversify healthcare boards, in partnership with Ernst & Young and executive search firm Heidrick & Struggles.

"I'm extremely excited to offer an initiative like this, because it will play a key role in improving health outcomes for African Americans by transforming board governance in healthcare organizations," Antoinette Hardy-Waller, CEO of The Leverage Network, said in a statement. "Our goal is to promote up to 45 executives on their journey to directorship over the course of three years."

Currently less than 10 percent of healthcare board members are African American, according to data from the American Hospital Association. However, minorities account for 32 percent of patients.

The fellowship aims to close this gap in representation by creating a pipeline of qualified African American executives ready for board opportunities. Curriculum is based on subject matter resources and governance insights from EY, as well as executive development from Heidrick & Struggles.

The first cohort will include 15 fellows, and The Leverage Network plans to offer the program annually.


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