The pipeline issue for women and women of color is a vexing one for most organizations. Companies face a leadership crisis as a result of the “vanishing middle” of high potential talent who are becoming harder to keep in the pipeline for executive-level leadership. While many development programs exist, many are not moving the needle at the speed of change. While Diversity & Inclusion programs are becoming integrated strategies within organizations, there is an untapped opportunity to leverage diverse populations as the catalyst for cultural change by investing in scalable, democratized and sustainable solutions that build a culture of proven accelerated performance and purpose.
In 2015, Velvet Suite founded The Brand Leadership Institute (BLI), a 24-week leadership readiness accelerator to innovate and disrupt the traditional talent development model. With data-driven insight, we focused on an unmet need addressing the “hidden barriers to leadership” of high potential working women. We transformed the traditional coaching model by creating a high value, interactive, 24-week experience at scale, giving greater access earlier in the career life cycle to women in the “vanishing middle” of organizations looking for greater clarity and confidence to move their career and life forward. We leveraged our evidence-based approach to develop a unique leadership “readiness” experience that merged elite virtual coaching on personal brand leadership, curated original content reflecting issues impacting leaders most and a safe cross-company cohort community of leaders from across the country.
The BLI has graduated hundreds of leaders across Fortune 100 companies since its inception. The results speak for themselves with 32% being promoted within 12 months of graduating from the BLI. There is an 80% retention of top talent along with graduates having greater clarity and confidence in purpose and personal brand value. The BLI platform delivers record-breaking results that empower companies to scale transformation and engage leaders as never before. Annually, leading brands enroll. This unique experience makes available executive coaching while building a sustainable community model. Our participants are more committed to the organization and have demonstrated measurable and sustained transformation both professionally and personally.