The Pittsburgh Technology Council and Align Leadership have teamed to launch a program to give women an edge rising through the ranks.
The program, Education and Development through Group Experiences, targets women who are midcareer leaders in companies and nonprofits. EDGE kicks off with a two-day retreat at Seven Springs, starting on Jan. 19, with an initial cohort of 15 participants from a range of industry sectors. There will be monthly meetings, a virtual component and one-on-one coaching sessions with Christy Uffelman, Align Leadership partner. There is also a fee, the amount of which was not disclosed.
“It’s unlike programs currently in the market,” said Uffelman. “We want to form a pipeline of more women into the C-suite. There are programs for women already there, but we want to focus on midcareer.”
That’s the stage where women’s progress tends to drop off or stall, compared to their male counterparts.
By midcareer, Uffelman means experience, “say five or seven or 10 years, rather than age.” Participants range in age from 20s to 50s, she said, making for an intergenerational mix. “They’ll co-create and design [EDGE] as we go.”
Both organizations determined the need for such an initiative and tested it separately. Uffelman led a pilot program in 2016 and was pleased with the response. Justin Driscoll, PTC senior director, People & Culture Initiatives, said the council hosted three mini sessions last spring that attracted 150 women. So the two organizations decided to pair up.
“There was a ton of interest and excitement about midcareer development and it told us, there’s really something here, we need to develop this,” Driscoll said.
He envisions EDGE as “at least annual, if not more.”
This article originally appeared in the Pittsburgh Business Times.