Since opening its platform for applications in March 2020, Valence’s membership has exploded. They managed to build an impressive network of Black professionals and creatives spanning industries such as tech, entertainment, sports, and finance. Many large companies now recruit through the platform in an effort to pull in more diverse candidates.
“We came to market with a real focus on building community, ensuring that the community had access to one another on the platform, access to opportunities through jobs and companies that were offering those opportunities, and access to capital through the valence funding network,” explains Emily Slade, one of the Valence co-founders.
Now, Valence is going a step further to help Black professionals thrive and ascend the ranks in their chosen industries through BONDS — their new mentorship program for Black professionals at or near the executive career levels.
What is Valence BONDS?
“It’s a membership-based community that’s really focused on the emerging black executives. So where our goal is to provide a space for development and peer support and accountability and coaching. So that our members not only see themselves as the leaders that we already know, they are, but are able to develop the confidence they need to promote themselves as those leaders within their organizations,” Tracy Williams, Vice President of Learning and Development/Head of Valence Bonds for Valence Community, explained to AfroTech.
The program will feature three key components:
- An on-demand curriculum that focuses on three different levels of leadership: leading self, leading others, and leading within the organization.
- Vanguard cohorts of 10 carefully selected members who offer each other peer support and accountability. The cohorts will be led by a coach who can facilitate deep discussions around the curriculum.
- Access to business icons, who Valence refers to as Beacons, to mentor cohort members and share their own career and leadership journeys.
How Will The Program Work?
In the first year, BONDS cohort members will focus on completing the on-demand curriculum designed by the Valence team and their content partners. BONDS members will also be given mentorship opportunities with Valence Beacons, who will be subject matter experts and leaders in their respective fields.
“We’re looking for that aspirational executive, one who has at least five to eight years of experience, someone who has maybe experienced people leadership already within their organizations, but for some reason, they’ve hit a wall,” Williams explains.
Williams also added that the program is designed for professionals who’ve been identified as leaders in their organization and are ready to work to advance their own careers while offering support to the Valence community as a whole.
“We have that expectation of our members as well that they will be great contributors to the community into the collective growth,” Williams adds.
Victoria Tinsely, Valence’s Head of Partnerships, also highlighted the mutual benefits the BONDS program provides to the industry at large.
“We’re here to support organizations that are dedicated to recruiting and retaining and promoting their black leaders and black professionals,” Tinsley explains.
So far thousands of corporate partners have joined the Valence network, recruiting for over 2,000 open roles. Through BONDS, Valence also hopes to help companies diversify their executive ranks while giving talented Black professionals more access to the upper levels of these organizations.
Applications are now open until May 31. To apply, click here.