The folks at Major League Baseball (MLB) have created a new program called the Diversity Fellowship Program to recruit a more diverse talent pool to the front office jobs at MLB — but this isn’t your typical diversity pitch. Renée Tirado, the Vice President of Talent Acquisition for MLB and Diversity & Inclusion for MLB, says that this is not a one-off situation for looks and that MLB is serious about upping their talent diversity.
“First and foremost, we want talented and passionate people who have the ability and the willingness to learn a new skill,” Tirado says. “You don’t necessarily need to be a hardcore baseball fans. It helps if you do have some passion around the game but if you want to be in sports and you’re willing to learn and work hard, I can’t think of a better track to be a leader in the sports business than in our fellowship program. No one else is doing it in this way.”
The fellowship has two different tracks depending on the applicants interest. There is the Club Fellowship track, which partners applicants with different clubs across the country depending on the skills they have to offer and what the different clubs need. There are 20 spots available for the Club Fellowship and requires applicants to dedicate 18 to 24 months of their time to working for their club. The other part of the program is the Office of the Commissioner Fellowship track, which is more intensive and is a three-year rotation fellowship. Those in the Office of the Commissioner Fellowship will spend two years in baseball operations and one year working with labor economics.
Tirado is proud of the diversity work that MLB has done because she says it has always been intentional in nature and always strives to better those involved. Tirado says that MLB has been working diligently to increasing diversity and inclusivity for the past 15 years. This new program is one more step in further advancing MLB’s inclusive goals. The Diversity Fellowship Program is going to be tied to the Diversity Pipeline Program giving fellows a chance to advance within the company’s structure.
“This is about business competition, this is about competitive advantage. We’ve got to make sure that we’re tapping into the most inclusive talent base possible,” Tirado says. “We need to make sure that everyone or as many different voices as possible are at the table to make sure that we can create a product that is the most engaging for the broadest audience possible.”
Tirado adds: “A lot of organizations are looking at this. Sports has a way to go but I believe that our fellowship program, without question, is blazing a trail to think about diversity in a different fashion.”
The application process for the Diversity Fellowship Program is currently open and all applications are due by November 17 to be considered for a position in the fellowship. Tirado says that people with all degrees and disciplines should consider applying. She especially wants to call out Latinas who might think that the MLB is a men’s club. Tirado adamantly denies those claims and says that everyone is welcome.
If you would like to learn more about the MLB’s Diversity Fellowship Program, click here.