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Executive Leadership Council Awards 132 Scholars With Over $1.5 in Funds

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The Executive Leadership Council recently gifted more than $1.5 million in scholarships to 132 Black college and graduate scholars. 

Announced at the company’s first gala after a two-year hiatus, business executives, leaders and philanthropists honored the students with the awards as part of their mission to increase the diversity amongst business executives. 

Most of the students are currently enrolled in an HBCU; 61% of the recipients study in an HBCU such as Howard University, Emory University, Florida A&M University, Morehouse College, Spelman College and the University of Miami amongst others. At these HBCUs, approximately 73% of these scholars, 61% of which are women, are working towards a STEM degree or a business-related degree. 

Along with the scholarships, the students will be presented with new opportunities, such as internships, that are part of the ELC Scholarship Program. They’ll also be available to attend online developmental workshops as part of a four-day event known as the Scholars Symposium.

“We are grateful to have the opportunity to come back in person to celebrate with our scholars their academic achievements and through these contributions, their future success,” said Lloyd W. Brown, II, the ELC Board Chairman, in a statement. “Our partners’ commitment to the next generation of Black professionals through an intentional investment of their professional development will exponentially help facilitate The ELC’s ongoing efforts to expand the pipeline of future Black executive leaders.”

While many companies have long since promised to diversify their boards, there hasn’t been much of an increase in representation amongst higher-up positions in the business world. According to the 2021 “Missing Pieces Report: The Board Diversity Census” by Deloitte, women from BIPOC communities made up just 4% of C-suite leaders from between 2018 to 2020. As for Fortune 500 companies, there were only four Black chief executive officers; in their entire history, stemming from 1999, there have been only 18 Black CEOs in Fortune 500 companies. 

“The access to Black professionals across numerous fields, academic enrichment and the ability to relieve part of my financial burden are the reasons why The ELC scholarship program is important to me,” said Jaida Headley, a student at the University of Miami and one of the participants in ELC’s program, in a press release. “Knowing that I will have a network of executives and peers, who look like me, and with whom I can network and learn, encourages me to pursue my passions. 

“I am excited to embark on this journey as an ELC Scholar,” she added.

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