The Tech Founders Connecting Black, Latinx, And Indigenous Talent to Remote Work Through Their Startups
Jibril Sulaiman launched Incluzion, a job technology provider that programmatically amplifies the remote roles of companies to BIPOC professionals, during the pandemic.
He saw a gap that needed to be filled.
Black workers often strategically engage in code-switching — adjusting their speech, appearance, and behaviors to optimize the comfort of others with the hopes of receiving fair treatment, quality service, and opportunities.
During lockdown – studies and surveys conducted by researchers found that a lot of people of color actually preferred working from home because it meant they didn’t have to code-switch as much or experience uncomfortable situations.
Jibril then went on to expand his services launching Incluzion Learning gives users access to online courses and Incluzion’s Remote Jobs Board which offers professionals additional access to telework opportunities.
The idea is to provide diverse talent with access to resources so they can thrive professionally and personally. Users complete courses at their own pace, which includes everything from technical training, financial literacy, business development, and emotional intelligence.
Speaking about his startup back in 2020, he said: “My intention isn’t to teach a developer how to be a better developer,” Sulaiman told Urbangeeks. “We’re going to teach you how to handle anxiety and isolation, create boundaries in your new work/life balance, develop additional side hustles, or to teach you how to be more financially savvy.”
Although he wasn’t given any VC or angel investment for his startup – he managed to raise $70,500 in a crowdfunding campaign from the general public.
The inequities of venture funding are well known, with women receiving 2.3% and Black founders receiving 1.2% of venture dollars but there are some Black and Latinx founders who aren’t letting these figures get in their way.
Here are other Black or Latinx founders that launched diversity hiring platforms
Stella Ashaolu is the CEO and founder of WeSolv, a tech startup dedicated to revolutionizing the traditional model used to source and hire diverse candidates.
Her company began out of her experiences as an MBA candidate, where she had difficulty being noticed by hiring managers because she didn’t fit the typical background of an MBA, along with a work history that didn’t match that of many of her peers.
Ashaolu’s startup history dates back to her undergraduate days at UCLA, when she began Westside Student Tutoring (WST), which was also centered on a social mission, reported PCmag.
The company delivered affordable tutoring to low-income families that couldn’t afford more premium services. Due to Ashaolu’s efforts, that business grew by 300% in the first two years and later helped her conceive of WeSolv, it reported.
With WeSolv, Ashaolu isn’t looking to promote diversity hiring, she’s looking to make it obsolete.
Jasmine Whaley is the founder and CEO of Black Owned and Hiring, a career planning platform that connects Black talent to job opportunities at companies that value diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging.
Black Owned and Hiring’s jobs board focuses on inclusive work environments from companies that have a reputation for treating Black employees fairly, as well as companies that want to get to that point.
Whaley said she launched Black Owned and Hiring after a series of professional experiences in which she said her work was undermined because of her identity and a lack of agency in the workplace.
“I was tired of being one of the only Black employees,” she told Technical.ly. “And then that feeling was a lot harder with when George Floyd was murdered because no one else seemed to care at my organization. Black people as a community [were] struggling to go through day-to-day activities, but when you are working at an employer that doesn’t care about the same things that you value, it’s hard.”
Michele Heyward is the founder of PositiveHire, a platform that connects Black, Latinx and Indigenous women who are experienced scientists, engineers and technology professionals to management roles.
PositiveHire faced challenges during the pandemic with team members contracting Covid-19 and suffering lags in productivity, while also experiencing difficulties in the hiring process. In response to human capital management gaps, PositiveHire continued to simply focus on its goal of helping Black, Indigenous, and Latinx talent get into work, its founder told Nasdaq.
Despite these setbacks, PositiveHire’s was still able to continue our boutique event specifically targeted for Black, Indigenous and Latinx women in STEM.
Shannon Morales is the CEO and founder of Tribaja, a double-sided talent marketplace and community for underrepresented tech and startup enthusiasts.
Founder and Chief Executive Officer Shannon has told media that she launched Tribaja in 2020 as way to help propel underrepresented communities forward in the tech space. The platform provides career advancement resources and job opportunities at equitable workplaces.
The startup’s name comes from a combination of the word tribe, along with trabaja, the Spanish word for work. Morales said Tribaja is a community that represents the future of work in culture and skillset.