What if I didn’t go to a top recruiting school or have a relationship with a high-powered tech CEO? Can I still obtain a reputable job in the tech industry? LaborX’s founder says, yes.
Recently, Black Enterprise caught up with founder and CEO of LaborX Yscaira Jimenez to find out why she created the platform that she says is very personal to her.
When her brother attended high school in the Bronx, he was sent back three grades because of his inability to speak fluent English. “He was left behind three grades. That started a vicious cycle for him of unemployment. Meanwhile, I came here really young, went through the school system and I was really lucky. I ended up at Columbia, MIT, and saw that the difference between me and my brother were not very much. We grew up in the same household. We were both immigrants, I just happened to come here at an earlier age.”
Jimenez saw a massive flaw in the way that tech companies were hiring candidates. “When you look at companies and the way they hire, 80% of it comes through networks, and they value pedigree and who you know and I just refuse to believe that the quality of the work you do is really dependent on whether you went to college, where you went to college, and who you know,” says Jimenez.
“LaborX solves the big gap that companies have in finding qualified talent, diverse talent— particularly talent with non-traditional backgrounds—and the people who are looking for these jobs [and] who can do these jobs but maybe lack the networks or the fancy degrees.”
As the current 2017 Code2040 Entrepreneur-In-Residence, Jimenez set out to solve this problem by creating LaborX, a talent marketplace for graduates of innovative training programs and companies looking to expand and innovate their talent pipeline. After speaking to former Code2040 EIR, Aniyia Williams, Jimenez was encouraged to apply.
Jimenez states that the program has been extremely helpful. While attending, she has established a pilot program with the City of San Francisco, to match over 6,000 job seekers and 40 training programs with 1,000 companies. “They reached out to us to be the platform that kind of matches all of that together,” said Jimenez.
This seems to be a great start to insert more underrepresented candidates into tech jobs in an ecosystem that often claims that there are not enough qualified candidates. If you are interested in finding out more about LaborX or how you can get involved, click here. In addition, you can watch the full interview below.