How recruiting software firms help close the diversity gap

The IT industry's not all discrimination, harassment and misogyny. Savvy, progressive recruiting software startups are focusing on diversity and inclusion from the beginning, and using technology to help firms hire the best and brightest from underrepresented talent pools.

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"Diversity has a positive effect on a corporation's performance and bottom line. Racial diversity within an organization or team leads to a wider selection of perspectives, experience and approaches, affecting everything from innovation to operations," say Porter Braswell and Ryan Williams, founders of Jopwell, a recruiting platform that matches leading companies with top minority talent. "Diversity is key to building a world class workforce. And organizations seeking global market relevancy must embrace the diversity of the consumers they are trying to reach in order to connect authentically with them," say Braswell and Williams.

Braswell and Williams founded Jopwell to drive the idea that diversity recruiting is not about exclusion, it's about inclusion. Jopwell is a reflection of their desire to correct the underrepresentation of specific racial groups in various industries, companies, and roles. Both were former Goldman Sachs employees who struggled to overcome barriers to access, and after entering the finance field, help mentor other minority candidates and colleagues.

"As an example, if a company has an applicant pool that consists of 95 percent caucasian candidates and 5 percent minority candidates, they might want to work to bring that ratio more into balance. Technology like ours helps create access. By providing companies like this with qualified, diverse candidates that they may not have otherwise seen, we help open the door to new possibilities for that organization," says Williams.

"That's why Jopwell partners with companies that believe increasing diversity is a business imperative and are committed to that effort. At the very least, these companies are working to ensure that their applicant mix is more representative of the demographics of this country," Braswell says.

On the candidate side, obstacles like a lack of access to top firms and limited exposure or resources can inhibit diversity in top industries like healthcare, technology or financial services. Jopwell's platform helps minority job seekers overcome those obstacles by connecting them with opportunities at firms they might not have considered. "That's why our ultimate goal is to be the tool that transforms how companies view both the importance of and the process for accomplishing minority representation," says Williams.

Diversity's future

Technology can create access for anyone, regardless of race, gender, geography or educational factors. Firms like Entelo, Piazza and Jopwell - in partnership with progressive, innovative employers, are opening the doors of the IT industry to tap the best, most capable talent pool, to the benefit of both hiring companies and job seekers from traditionally underrepresented groups.

Copyright © 2015 IDG Communications, Inc.

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