In this episode we sit down with Marie Roker-Jones, Co-CEO of Essteem. Her company routinely hosts equalithons (think hackathon for equality) and you can checkout the links below to find events, sign up, or learn more.
Marie believes companies who struggle to find diverse talent have a sourcing and network problem. Recruiters need to expand their network using LinkedIn and connect with HBCUs, bootcamps, or other organizations that promote diversity. Companies should also drop the CS degree requirement for software roles, because you can't tell much about someone solely based on their education or resume. That's why Marie is passionate about organizing hackathons, as it lets employers get a real look at what a person can bring to their team. When implemented correctly an apprenticeship is also a great way to onboard and ramp up employees into a new organization. Marie shares that employers lose 16 billion dollars a year because of diverse talent turnover! The key to retaining these employees is building a culture of belonging where people feel like what they bring to the team matters, it's valuable, and that they're respected.
Marie Roker-Jones is Co-Founder and Co-CEO of Essteem, a company that organizes social impact driven hackathons as a way for employers to recruit, hire, and retain women and people of color in tech. She is also a Diversity and Inclusion Consultant helping startups and tech companies establish best practices for DE&I hiring and retention. Marie is committed to supporting tech companies that want to create impactful, psychologically safe and trusted work cultures of inclusion and belonging.
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