Black Woman Engineer Creates Clever App To Curb Job Discrimination

News & Views | Gerren Keith Gaynor | 03/11/2016 | 09:45 AM EST

(Photo: Stephanie Lampkin via Twitter)

Stephanie Lampkin's Blendoor allows candidates to upload resumes to employers without bias of names and photos

Discrimination in the workplace is a tough thing to navigate for many Black professionals--and that's if you're lucky enough to get through the door.

Knowingly or not, employers often operate with a lens of bias when determining who they're hiring, or even interviewing for the job. Recognizing this cultural dilemma, Stephanie Lampkin, a Black woman engineer, created a clever app that would curb hiring discrimination. 

Blendoor helps match employers with qualified candidates based on merit and not one's racial or physical makeup. It's simple: the app allows candidates to upload their resumes, and then hides their names and photo from employers.

“It’s quantifiable,” Lampkin told Forbes. “We realized that hiding names and photos created a safer space. Women and people of color felt better sharing their information.”

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Blendoor will go live March 11 at this year’s SXSW digital festival for public beta testing, and Lampkin already has buy-in from 19 large tech firms. Her goal, she says, is to have 50 on the app in the near future.

“My company resonates more with white men when I position it as, ‘hey, I want to help you find the best talent. Your unconscious mind isn’t racist, sexist — it’s totally natural, and we’re trying to help you circumvent it," 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," she added.

“When you think about it, names and photos are not necessary for the transaction."

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