Back to Connected Leaders Academy

Black Leadership Academy:
A catalyst for growth

We developed the Black Leadership Academy to help organizations improve their talent pipeline and equip Black leaders with the network, capabilities, mindsets, and behaviors needed to achieve their professional aspirations.
Since we launched the Black Leadership Academy in September 2020, we have enrolled over 18,000 participants from over 500 organizations, and we welcome new participants every month. Creating Black Leadership Academy is one of McKinsey’s 10 Actions toward racial justice and equity. McKinsey Academy has made this award-winning leadership program available at no cost to help accelerate the progression of underrepresented talent in corporate America.

The Black experience in the workplace

Being the "only" in a room, on a team, or in the workplace at large is not an uncommon experience for Black executives. Participants discuss the challenges posed by a lack of representation—and the importance of creating more inclusive and diverse organizations.

When you’re able to bring your whole self to work, it gives you psychological safety. You can feel comfortable expressing your opinions and know they’ll be heard and respected.

— James Nelson, Invesco

Participant perspectives

Participants from both the Black Executive Leadership Program and Management Accelerator talk about the power of being with and building community with other Black leaders, learning new capabilities, and expanding relationships and networks with their cohorts.

Growing and leading with courage

From finding different mentors to challenging the status quo, participants talk about how they've found their way in their careers. They talk about where their growth has come from and leading by example today.

Creating goals for myself and realizing my self-worth and value led to where I am today. Going through the program gave me the courage to get even more of what I needed.

— Karen Wilkins-Mickey, Seattle Seahawks


We would like to thank all our Black Leadership Academy participants who shared their stories and experiences with such vulnerability, candor, and courage. The program would not be possible without them.

Our programs

Leadership Essentials

Designed for early careerists and individual contributors with up to seven years of experience in the workforce who aspire to become team and people leaders, this program sharpens core business understanding, dives into effective day-to-day leadership and execution, examines self-leadership, and provides a robust network of peers and experts.

Management Accelerator

Designed for mid-career managers who are typically three to five levels below the C-suite and aspire to take the challenging leap into senior leadership roles. This program focuses on building core management and leadership capabilities needed to lead successful businesses and teams.

Executive Leadership Program

Designed for senior executives looking to ascend to C-suite roles, this program focuses on building the leadership capabilities and network that distinguish successful executives to help them achieve the next critical step in their careers.


Connected Leaders Academy

Advance racial equity by investing in future leaders

McKinsey Inclusive Business Accelerator

McKinsey Inclusive Business Accelerator’s mission is to advance racial equity and economic empowerment of Black communities by providing support to small and medium-sized Black-owned businesses.

Connect with Black Leadership Academy