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leadership diversity program elevates Black talent

2 min read | february 14, 2024

Chevron’s partnership with The Executive Leadership Council provides Black professionals with knowledge, tools and resources to take their careers to the next level.

Throughout her career, Telisa Toliver has been a trailblazer, breaking down the barriers of race and gender in the corporate world.

With her determination and willingness to take on challenges outside of her comfort zone, Toliver soared to the top of her field as general manager of Renewable Power at Chevron. Her success is a testament to her hard work and perseverance, as well as the support of the organization where she works.

Illustration of the need to lead - three people talking, large lightbulb above them

the need to lead

While women in the United States face challenges when climbing the corporate ladder, Black women are disproportionately affected by the “broken rung” phenomenon, which hinders their progress at the first step up to manager.

A McKinsey & Company “Women in the Workplace” report, released in 2023, showed that just 54 Black women are promoted for every 100 men, as opposed to White women (91%), Asian women (89%) and Latinas (76%).

in the U.S. up to


of senior leadership roles are held by Black employees

according to Black executives,


have seen positive changes in hiring, retention and promotion of Black employees since 2020

The Executive Leadership Council (ELC) is helping to support upward mobility. The nonprofit provides a platform for Black professionals to connect with peers, mentors and sponsors to help advance them into executive roles.

Illustration of person moving lever forward

advancing black talent

In 2013, Toliver became the first Chevron employee to join The ELC. Initially, she participated as a member and attended The ELC’s Women’s Leadership Forum.

“The opportunity gave me access to top executives who shared their experiences, insights and guidance with me,” she recalled. “I returned to work with renewed pride, excitement and a clear perspective on how I could accelerate my career progress in my day-to-day role.”

In the decade since, Toliver’s involvement with The ELC helped her become the leader she is today.

“To prepare for today’s and tomorrow’s energy industry, we must be a company where all employees feel valued and engaged in order to perform at the highest level.”

telisa toliver
general manager of chevron renewable power

why it matters

Developing a pathway to leadership for Black employees could inspire a collaborative effort to positively impact the energy industry. Toliver says The ELC partnership helps Black professionals have the confidence to achieve their career aspirations. That, in turn, could help:

  • Boost visibility, representation and more inclusive thinking across the energy industry.
  • Build better representation in the communities where industry participants operate.
illustration of the next step - a person helping another person up a graph

the next step

When it comes to helping advance Black talent, encouraging leadership development and creating equal opportunities, Chevron has:

  • Committed to a $675,000 multiyear scholarship, in partnership with The ELC, in 2021.
  • Established a reverse-mentoring program to help executives better understand how to support their Black colleagues.

The work, alongside The ELC partnership, is part of a broader push to advance racial equity within Chevron. And Toliver is a step in that direction.

“Being a member of The ELC affirmed, with absolute certainty, that visible role models are important and confirmed that rising to the highest levels in corporate America is achievable,” she said.

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