Diversity in IT: To Hire Black Tech Pros, Partnerships are Key

Written by: Mary K. Pratt
Published on: Feb 23, 2022

Black woman using digital tablet
Photo credit: Rido/Shutterstock

Course Hero executives say their company performs better when its workforce reflects society. “The more we resemble our customers, the better we can meet their needs,” says Josh Tyler, the company’s executive vice president of engineering.

So the company, which makes an online learning platform, has made diversity a strategic priority. In 2019, as Course Hero started to see accelerated growth and a related spike in hiring needs, it evaluated its culture, adjusting programs to ensure the workplace environment was equitable and inclusive, a place where workers from various backgrounds feel they belong and know they can succeed.

It tweaked its interview and candidate evaluation processes to make sure they were “consistent, fair, bias-free, and accurate,” Tyler says. The company leveraged an augmented writing platform by Textio to identify any biases in job descriptions and then updated them so they would appeal to a full spectrum of candidates. It developed rubrics to systematize interviews and remove subjectivity.

And it broadened recruitment efforts and formed new partnerships, including one with CodePath, a nonprofit training program that aims to increase diversity in tech.

Those efforts proved effective: The company doubled the percentage of underrepresented groups in its new hires in just one year, going from 21% in 2020 to 41% in 2021.

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