“To become the catalyst for change that sees an exponential increase in Black leadership representation in corporate Canada in the next 10 years, and to shine the light on Black excellence in Canada; educating and supporting young Black people to dream big dreams and reach for the stars,” this is the goal of Black Professionals Canada (BPC), according to Charles Ifechi, the founder and CEO.
Canada is blessed with a diverse human capital – with Africans, Caribbeans, Europeans, and Asians all living together harmoniously. While our diversity as a country is a source of great pride, statistics show that Black Canadians have limited career growth opportunities compared to other groups. Although Black Canadians now account for 3.5 per cent of the population and is projected to reach 5.6 per cent by 2036, less than 1 per cent of Canadian corporate leaders are Black. Statistics show that Black Canadians make less annual income than non-racialized Canadians both as new immigrants and third-generation Canadians. Charles founded BPC to address these inequities.
BPC is a non-profit with a mission to work with Black professionals and organizations in Canada to exponentially increase Black representation at senior leadership positions and corporate boardrooms in Canada. Although BPC’s goal is targeted at college students and professionals who identify as Black, all Canadians 16 years and above who are interested in supporting Black excellence are invited to join this professional organization. Membership application is available at blackprofessionlascanada.ca and anyone who meets the membership criteria can join for free.
Black members of BPC can access the resume audit and career advisory services offered by the in-house human resource and recruitment team at no cost to them, immediately after registration.
BPC also hosts monthly networking and training events on a broad range of topics, including personal finance, interview preparedness, and mental health and wellness among others. In pursuit of their goal to achieve equitable representation of Black professionals in the workplace, BPC is in partnership talks with organizations to post jobs exclusively on BPC’s website to attract black talents.
Future plans include the BPC Internship and Mentorship programs, which will both be launched later this year. The internship program will allow Black undergraduate and graduate students to apply for exclusive internship opportunities with BPC’s partner organizations. The mentorship program will be a two-tiered program that will pair Black professionals with industry leaders, and black students with Black professionals in their fields of interest for a six-month mentorship.
On the need for partnership, Charles says, “corporate partnership is at the core of our model at BPC, we are constantly looking to partner with corporate organizations especially in their diversity and inclusion programs.
“Our job placements and internship programs are an important focus for us. We want to get 1000 black students into internship positions and support black professionals especially new immigrants with their first relevant Canadian jobs as they arrive. We want to end the discrimination against foreign-trained Black Professionals…Our job would not be complete until we have a black person in 10 per cent of the board rooms in Canada. “