Kapor Capital People Ops Tech Competition
Two years following the push for the high tech industry to release their employee demographics, the numbers remain grossly stagnant. In 2016 only 2% of Google’s employees were African American, and 3% were Hispanic/Latinx. The stats are nearly identical for Facebook.
Tech giants have blamed the lack of a pipeline as the problem, but it’s much deeper and more multifaceted than that. According to USA Today, “top universities turn out black and latinx computer science and engineering graduates at twice the rate the leading technology companies hire them.” These students are overlooked in the hiring process, lack the advanced coding expertise to land the roles or opt-out from pursuing technical careers all together. What’s more, women and people of color that are hired are leaving the industry in droves due to inhospitable cultures inside of these firms.
Pattern matching and other biases have allowed these trends to persist for decades, making the HR/People Ops sector ripe for disruption. People Operations Technology (POT) is helping to change this narrative from decisions based on human hunches to a data-driven science leveraging technology.
“Given the changing demographics of the U.S., given the renewed attention to diversity and inclusion, we think this will raise the floor for what companies have to be doing,” says Freada Kapor Klein, partner at Kapor Capital and founder of the Level Playing Field Institute. Instead of throwing up our hands and saying “it’s just a pipeline problem that the schools need to fix” or “there is no pipeline problem, it’s a tech culture problem”, it is time to look for rigorous solutions at scale.
On December 7, 2016, Kapor Capital, will host the second annual “People Ops Tech Competition” in Oakland, CA, which aims to continue to grow the sector of people ops tech solutions to mitigate bias at scale. The competition will bring together leading entrepreneurs and investors with diversity and inclusion experts, all striving to help tech and other sectors remove biases from their People Ops practices.
The forum will highlight 10 ventures that will have the chance to pitch their for-profit startups to a curated group of investors and judges, who have a track record in People Ops Tech, for $100,000 in prizes. This will be followed by a demo and showcase.
We are currently recruiting entrepreneurs from across the U.S. that are mitigating bias in every aspect of how people are hired and treated as tech employees, such as:
- Leveraging machine learning/AI/data science to find the best candidates often overlooked by recruiters
- Flagging potentially biased language in job descriptions that could unintentionally limit a pool of candidates
- Enabling hiring managers to conduct more accurate, transparent assessment of skills in the hiring process
- Increasing the validity of performance appraisal data to improve performance evaluations, succession planning, compensation adjustments, retention strategies, development initiatives, and engagement plans
- Creating pathways to careers for individuals outside of traditional recruitment pipeline, such as low/middle wage workforce, ex-offenders, veterans, and moms returning to the workforce.
- Rethinking benefits packages to protect the welfare of employees in the gig economy
- Offering career coaching and/or mentoring for underrepresented talent to better navigate path to executive leadership
- Alternative higher education models such as credentialing platforms that provide the “last mile” technical training demanded by employers and connect students directly to great first jobs
- Using tech to decrease all types of bias in every aspect of employment
Eligible enterprises must be either pre-seed or seed stage ventures with an established Minimum Viable Product (MVP), at least one full-time team member, and have less than $1M in revenue or raised funding.