Talk about colorization.
The United States is more racially and ethnically diverse now than at the turn of the century, and so is the workforce, according to a 2015 report released by Career Builder.
That’s why Jopwell founders Porter Braswell and Ryan Williams hope to be at the forefront of the evolving economic trend.
“There’s a very real diversity employment gap that Black, Latino/Hispanic, and Native American professionals are challenged with today,” says Braswell, 28. “These minority groups account for more than 30% of the total U.S. population, but only 18% of domestic professional roles.”
The company, which describes itself as the LinkedIn of diversity hiring, is a two-way service that helps today’s leading companies find and recruit Black, Latino/Hispanic, and Native American professionals and students. Like LinkedIn, Jopwell is used by companies, recruiters and job seekers.
“Our site lets you connect and communicate directly with HR and recruiters from the world’s top companies,” explains Williams, 26. “All you have to do is create a free profile in under five minutes. After that, you get a curated list of the best career opportunities that syncs with your talents, experience and interests.”
The two African American entrepreneurs launched their professional careers thanks to established diversity programs, but acknowledged that those same opportunities weren’t necessarily afforded to their peers.
“We realized how fortunate we were in a sense,” said Braswell. “So, in the summer of 2014, we started Jopwell to help other Black, Latino/Hispanic, and Native American professionals and students increase opportunity and achieve career success.”
Finally, some of America’s top corporations are recognizing the need for diversity too.
In the last year, more than 40 leading companies have signed up to use Jopwell’s technology. The number of minority job seekers using the platform has skyrocketed by 275 percent, according to data supplied by the company.
The team also has garnered the attention of several investors, including famed pro athlete and business mogul Magic Johnson.
"Backing Jopwell fits into my mission—to support, empower and strengthen underserved communities,” said Johnson in a statement. “I also like working with companies that can really innovate the way we do things and make them better.”
For more than 30 years, Johnson has backed start-ups like Jopwell. But despite contributing to the financial success of businesses that specialize in diversifying America’s workforce, Johnson knows his contributions can only go so far.
“It all starts with the employer. They have to look at diversity as an overall commitment,” said Johnson. “But it’s more than just a CEO statement on a website. They have to work at it. It doesn’t just happen overnight. Companies need to be persistent in their efforts to ensure their employee base is diverse.”
For more information or to sign up at Jopwell, visit the site HERE.