It’s not a secret that the tech industry has a diversity problem. From Google to Twitter, people of color and women are disproportionately represented at the companies that are quite literally building the world’s future.
Stephanie Lampkin aims to change that. Today (March 11), the Black engineer launched Blendoor, an app that lets job seekers apply to work at participating tech companies using résumés that have been stripped of identifiers that could signal their race, ethnicity or gender. It is essentially a blind job matching service, where names and photos are hidden from view.
Studies show that companies exhibit bias when deciding who to call in for interviews. The National Bureau of Economic Research found that people with “white-sounding” names received callbacks at the same rates as someone with an “African-American sounding name” and eight years more experience.
Lampkin spoke to Forbes about the need for the app:
“It’s quantifiable,” Lampkin said. “We realized that hiding names and photos created a safer space. Women and people of color felt better sharing their information.”…
“I know a number of really successful, Ivy League-educated, African-American people between about 35 and 45 who refuse to use LinkedIn out of fear of discrimination,” she said.
“These [online networking] companies are founded by white guys. There’s a psychology I understand as a woman of color that’s driven how and why I’ve shaped the product the way I have.”
The app’s beta version went live today. Nineteen large tech companies have already come on board to use the app for hiring, including Intel, Google, Facebook and Apple. Besides the résumé upload service, the app also includes company profiles that focus on current inclusion programs and resource groups. Click here to sign up.