Washington, D.C. — The Executive Leadership Council (ELC) and Base 11 have announced that they will work together on a national initiative to improve African American representation in strategic areas such as STEM jobs and corporate directorships. The partnership was made public during the virtual Next Frontier Conference & Expo 2021 on October 6.
The two nonprofit organizations will combine efforts around the Parity Project, a national call to action to achieve parity for Black America in 10 areas that will contribute to closing the education, income, wealth, and health gap between African Americans and whites in the next 10 years. Together, The ELC and Base 11 will work toward the goal of achieving a minimum of 13.4% African American representation — on par with the proportion of the Americans who identify as Black — in all STEM jobs, STEM degrees, public company boards of directors, and venture capital-funded entrepreneurs in the U.S. by 2030.
“Base 11 is excited to welcome The ELC as one of the newest partners of Base 11 and the Parity Project, as we work together for a more equitable, prosperous future inclusive of all Americans,” said Landon Taylor, founder and chairman of Base 11. “We look forward to the invaluable mentorship, expertise, and connections that The ELC’s distinguished members will provide to the young men and women we seek to empower as the next generation of leaders.”
As a first step, The ELC will be involved in the newly launched Boulé Base 11 Fellows program, which is designed to provide women and men from age 16 to 34, with the access, awareness, and belief they need to become highly-trained and well-connected STEM leaders. The program provides professional development, mentorship, and access to a powerful network of African American men and women through The ELC as well as Sigma Pi Phi (The Boulé) the oldest African American professional fraternity.
“The Parity Project is this perfect platform that allows The ELC, as a membership body that represents millions of jobs, to leverage our individual and collective skills and resources to help students develop into STEM careers and growth, which will contribute toward economic parity both for students and the companies that hire them,” said Michael C. Hyter, ELC president and CEO. “We’re honored to work with Base 11 to provide mentorship to the Boulé Base 11 Fellows, and to advance the essential goals of the Parity Project.”
The capstone of the Boule Base 11 Fellows program includes developing a proposal to address parity for African Americans in wealth, health or education. Fellows then have the opportunity to submit their capstone proposals in a competition, with prizes for the top proposals including a trip to Washington, D.C. to present to a panel of top African American senior executives from Fortune 500 companies. Competition organizers, including Base 11, The ELC, and Sigma Pi Phi, hope to make this an annual competition for the next decade.
While the Parity Project is based on achieving equity for African Americans, both Base 11 and The ELC realize that cannot be accomplished without gender equity, as well. To that end, The ELC sponsored a panel at the Next Frontier Conference & Expo 2021 on the topic “Gender Equality — ELC Leaders Paving the Way” to highlight women executives in Fortune 500 companies, and allow them to share their experiences and lessons learned to empower students and other conference participants.