Voices of Change: Finding Diversity in Entrepreneurship

 |   Gareth Burrowes, Co-founder and Head of Product and Growth at The Tech Connection

The recent Globe Spotlight series “Boston. Racism. Image. Reality.” took a necessary look at the inequality that still lies within Boston’s systems, population, and policy. These structural inequalities are prominent in the intersection of race and technology, which we see firsthand in our work to provide access and opportunity to all Bostonians through technology. The data presented in the Spotlight Series really struck me and changed my perspective. So many amazing and thoughtful people in Boston are working hard to address equitable access in our city. While it’s clear we must do more, I thought we should ask some of these leaders what we can do now. This Black History Month, we asked local leaders to reflect on this series to explore how we can use technology to bridge Boston’s opportunity gap.

— Aimee Sprung, Civic Engagement Manager

Recently, the Boston Globe published their exposé series entitled “BOSTON.RACISM.IMAGE.REALITY.” It highlighted the racial gap and the effect on different areas within the city of Boston. Boston continues to stand out as one of the nation’s least diverse metropolitan regions while boasting itself as the country’s best city for fostering entrepreneurial growth and innovation.

This is a significant problem we need to tackle as many companies are struggling to find and retain diverse talent. It is projected only to get more difficult as, by 2055, the country will no longer have a majority ethnic group. The effects of this will be apparent sooner than later as between 2020 and 2030, Boston Consulting Group projects significant worldwide labor-force imbalance shortfalls. Therefore, according to the LinkedIn Talent Solution Global Recruiting Trends of 2018, the top four (4) factors that will shape the future of recruiting and hiring will be:

  1.    Diversity
  2.    New interviewing techniques
  3.    Data
  4.    Artificial Intelligence (AI)

In the heart of Boston there are plenty of organizations working to tackle this problem. Our company, The Tech Connection (TTC), is one such recruiting platform that allows employers to make meaningful connections to engage and empower diverse talent in inclusive companies.

Boston native, Co-Founder, and CEO of the Tech Connection, Melissa James, is quoted saying, “We want to create a solution that is going to have a lasting impact in our city, and bridge the gap between underrepresented diverse talent and companies that need them to grow.”

We partner with various schools and associations to recruit an extensive database of diverse candidates and support a fair share of diversity initiatives like Hack.Diversity, Black Tech Boston Meetup, BeVisible Latina, and the Women’s Coding Collective. Our innovative method of placing diverse candidates breaks away from current hiring practices, which consist of gathering resumes on job boards or LinkedIn profiles, just to comb through for buzzwords.

Our platform uses an Insightful Candidate Matching Algorithm™ that pairs candidates to companies based on soft core skills, technical skills, and company data — not a resume. The result: candidates find jobs and businesses which fit their strengths and give businesses the confidence that their diverse candidates are not just token additions, but match their company culture and seamlessly integrate with their team. Along with the platform’s blind recruiting capabilities, we can reduce bias and increase a company’s diversity pipeline, reduce the percentage of bad hires, and reduce recruiting times.

Melissa James is a first-generation Jamaican-American, the first in her family to go to college and on a mission to diversify Boston’s business arena.

Gareth Burrowes is Co-founder and Head of Product and Growth at The Tech Connection. He is passionate about build products which will impact the society. Follow him at @GarethBurrowes on twitter.