Workforce Career Accelerator

BSO connects and supports mid-level Black professionals and industry employers to achieve greater industry equity


Among the key takeaways from BSO’s Being Seen, Being Counted and Being Heard research projects was the clear need for more Black professionals to occupy decision-making and gatekeeping positions within Canada’s screen industries in order to diversify perspectives and support the creation of more authentic and representative content on screen. 

This fall, the Black Screen Office launched the BSO Career Accelerator, a workforce development project to establish Black professionals in mid- to senior-level decision-making roles in Canada’s screen media industries. By placing and/or supporting qualified mid-career Black professionals in corporate and business affairs positions that exert influence, participating organizations help move the needle to dismantle oppressive funding, hiring and development practices across the industry. 

BSO’s Career Accelerator is a 4-6 month program for mid-career Black employees, newly or recently hired/promoted within organizations in the screen industry.  The BSO is actively working with and seeking more employers who have or anticipate having mid-to senior-level vacancies in such corporate areas as human resources, programming/scheduling, acquisitions, research and analytics, finance, marketing and communications, and business affairs and legal, etc.  With the accelerator, employers focus on defining and intentionally providing 3-5 critical experiences for the new hire to develop the skills necessary to continue to advance their career, including building relationships with senior management. The employer is expected to identify skilled mentors from within the organization and the BSO also provides a Black coach to support the new hire in meeting their goals. We also provide supplementary training in such areas as anti-Black racism, finance, stakeholder management, etc. as part of the accelerator framework. We have taken a holistic approach that offers support to the employer/manager, participant, mentors and coaches to ensure the development of skills needed to successfully navigate increasingly senior roles and deliver continuing value to the employer.

This is an opportunity for organizations to be active partners in enhancing the development of mid-career Black talent while benefiting from their effective contributions to the company. Many programs exist to build the skills of emerging/early stage workers, but few are available to people in mid-career and our research shows this is a critical gap. The program structure has been thoughtfully designed to provide ongoing oversight and wraparound support to:

  • Identify organizational gaps and create an organizational profile
  • Pinpoint the skills, capabilities, and necessary experience to be successful in the target role
  • Identify relevant projects that can offer the new hire critical experiences
  • Guide mentors as to what great mentorship looks like (breaking out of problematic dynamics)
  • Establish or enhance anti-racist and anti-oppression protocols and preparation activities (e.g., where bias/oppression may be embedded, anti-oppression and anti-racism made practical)

The BSO is building partnerships with leading organizations like CPAC that recognize that doing things the traditional way will not achieve the equity that everyone touts as an organizational value. Changing  organizational structures and approaches to equity, diversity and inclusion is a must. Our partners are taking deliberate steps that will put them at the front of the pack when it comes to achieving EDI objectives. Ultimately, the Career Accelerator is an engine every industry organization should use to harness and develop the skills of Black professionals and support them to rise into senior, decision-making positions and address anti-Black racism in the screen industry.

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