A lot of companies talk a good game about diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) initiatives, but are these companies actually following through?
Thanks to Black-owned tech startup Blendoor, this company is using data to score other companies on how diverse they really are.
Blendoor, founded in 2014, is described as the “standard for corporate DEI ratings. The startup’s ratings are what help impact investors, diverse executives, and corporate boards align their company’s business strategy with fairness and equity.
According to TechCrunch, Blendoor founder and CEO Stephanie Lampkin launched her company with a mission to focus on finding qualified diverse candidates by minimizing the bias that exists within companies’ hiring processes. As a natural starting point, the startup chose to target companies that have already made public DEI pledges.
“We decided to create an index, a credit score, and we pulled in a ton of data from their diversity reports, their EEO One forms if they publish them and all of this buzz around different pledges and investments and partnerships, etc.,” Lampkin told TechCrunch.
Following the murder of George Floyd last year, she said that moment in time sparked a turning point for Blendoor. Though we saw a surge in diversity pledges across industries, Lampkin wanted to ensure her startup wouldn’t be used as a puppet for other companies to demonstrate if they truly cared.
“So we decided to double down on BlendScore and in doing so hold companies accountable for all of these big financial commitments that they’re making in order to track the deployment of that capital,” she shared with TechCrunch, “but also the downstream effects in terms of their hiring, retention, promotion rates, compensation equality, etc.”
As a result, Blendoor recently published a report that revealed data proving whether or companies’ public DEI pledges matched their public persona. The purpose was to expose if there was a negative correlation between these pledges and actual performance.
According to Lampkin, she said the “only area where we found that to be true was with Black employees versus Black Lives Matter pledges.” However, all other areas seemed to be consistent with positive correlation between companies who wished to improve gender diversity and pay equality, and those that were actually doing that.
Looking ahead, Lampkin hopes that Blendoor can actually help these companies with the governance of their diversity pledges. She believes her startup’s approach can make a real impact in helping prospective diverse candidates choose to best company to work for, and in turn attract the best talent for those companies.
While corporate America looks to make diversity a political issue, Lampkin insists on shifting the focus to looking at diversity as a fiduciary responsibility.
“I’m doubling down on [Environmental, social and governance] and fiduciary responsibility. No more talk about what’s good for a society,” she tells TechCrunch. “[It doesn’t matter] what you believe is good for society. This is now about risk management and ESG.”
For more information about Blendoor, visit its website.