Nonprofit Seeking to Place Indigenous & Afrodescendants from Colombia & Brasil into US MBA programs Gets 1st Candidate Into Harvard Business School & Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management
TalentoTotal’s first TotalMBA Prep Fellow, Thomaz Barbosa, recently earned acceptance to the Full-Time MBA Programs at both Harvard Business School (HBS) and the Northwestern University Kellogg School of Management. TalentoTotal, an international non-profit organization created in 2018, seeks to build an Afro-descendant and Indigenous (ADI) leadership pipeline for businesses, corporations, non-profit organizations, innovative social enterprises, and entrepreneurial ventures in Latin America. In its first year, TalentoTotal achieved a remarkable feat by placing its first Afro-Brazilian candidate into two of the most selective MBA Programs in the world.
Of the first year accomplishment, TalentoTotal CEO Gem McCreary stated that “Thomaz’s successful engagement in the TotalMBA Prep Program is a clear demonstration of the capacity of Black and Indigenous international candidates and an indication of the interest that top U.S. Universities have in attracting more racially diverse talent from Latin America.” Thomaz is providing the inspiration for a new generation of Black and Indigenous young professionals in Brazil, Colombia, and greater Latin America. TalentoTotal’s current class of Fellows consists of 22 high potential young professionals with roughly 64% of the class representing Black Women from Brazil and Colombia. Dean of Harvard Business School, Nitin Nohria, recently said that HBS has continued to focus on improving gender diversity in recent years following a 2015 push to address deep-rooted disparities at the school.
“This is a new opportunity for Black and Indigenous young professionals in Latin America to craft compelling applications, secure critical exam preparation (GMAT), and become a part of a robust MBA Prep Program that will highlight their unique experiences and qualifications and place them in top leadership positions in Latin America in the future,” TalentoTotal CEO Gem McCreary said.
Today, more than half of Brazil’s 208 million people define themselves as African descendants – “black” or “mixed race,” making Brazil the world’s second largest black population after Nigeria. Afro-Brazilians, who account for more than half of the Brazilian population, are, like women, in a situation of inequality and underrepresentation, particularly at higher levels of employment. Afro-Brazilians have low participation rates in middle management (6.3%) and among executive staff (4.7%), according to a study carried out by the Ethos Institute and the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) that analyzed the Social, Racial, and Gender Profiles of the 500 Largest Brazilian Companies.
In addition, Afro-Brazilian international students are extremely underrepresented in top-tier MBA Programs in the United States and Europe. Knowing that MBA Programs are a major source of leadership talent for multinationals and leading national companies, TalentoTotal believes that developing an MBA talent pipeline for Afro-descendant and Indigenous (ADI) candidates could rapidly change the diversity and leadership landscape in Brazil and greater Latin America. In 2018, TalentoTotal set out to raise the number of international ADI MBA candidates and accelerate the careers of high-achieving women and men from underrepresented communities. TalentoTotal, empowered by an exceptional cadre of coaches and mentors, professionally develops and trains ADI candidates to increase the number of diverse leaders in businesses and organizations across Latin America.