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.”
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."