It’s Time to Champion Underrepresented Talent

Diversity, or the lack thereof, has been the topic of conversation as the highly anticipated Silicon Slopes Tech Summit came to a close. Though tech companies in the Silicon Slopes area have provided an influx of new jobs in Utah, the amount of underrepresented talent employed by these companies is low. We could blame it on Utah’s general “lack of diverse population”, on the homogenous religious communities, or on the difficulty of finding qualified underrepresented talent. We could  blame it on numerous factors, but it doesn’t change the fact that underrepresented talent in Utah is just that—underrepresented.

While Utah’s startup community is on the road to becoming the next Silicon Valley, companies face significant recruiting challenges in the most competitive talent market since 1969. “Leaders can no longer afford to ignore any opportunity that could present qualified candidates. This includes creating an inclusive environment where everyone feels like they have a place”(Mentorli, 2020). The truth is, Utah is 78% white and predominantly Mormon. While many of the cultural responsibilities that come with Utah’s dominant religion prove beneficial for entrepreneurs, “the very thing that is transforming Utah into the next tech mecca could be the very thing that ends up holding it back” (Bluestein, 2020). 

It’s no question that the companies on the Slopes are in need of cultural pivots to better recruit, hire, and retain more underrepresented talent. The call for diversity has been issued, and a new company, called Mentorli, appears to have the solution. Through their mentorship platform, Mentorli increases a candidate’s chances of landing a job by 15x. “We’re leaning into that power to close the opportunity gap underrepresented candidates face,” says CEO Luke Mocke.

Creating equal opportunity for job seekers is simply the right thing to do, but it turns out there’s a significant business case too. For one, there’s a linear relationship between earnings and racial diversity on the senior leadership team—to the tune of .8% in earnings for every 10% lift. However, the most compelling reason for fast growing companies in the US, and Utah specifically, to hire diverse talent is to open their talent pool for future hires. Homogenous organizations unknowingly marginalize talent that looks different to them. To ensure they’re creating an inclusive environment for all qualified talent, they need to create a representative workforce. Failing to do so is already creating monumental challenges as minorities in the US become the majority. 

Mentorli supports this philosophy by empowering underrepresented employees to recruit candidates from similar backgrounds—showing candidates how to set themselves up for success in the interview process and thrive in a new environment—building diverse networks from the grassroots level. Read Mentorli’s full press release here. As a participant in the recent Silicon Slopes Tech Summit, Mentorli is offering a FREE first hire to companies that schedule a demo before February 7, 2020. Check it out today!

Intro to Mentorship

Mentorship is often defined as the relationship between an industry experienced professional and a less experienced professional. Many people use a mentor to help navigate through industry’s niches and connect with those in a position of success. 

The practice of mentorship has proven to be successful time and time again.  Below are some tips to help ensure a successful mentorship experience

  • Choose your mentor carefully
  • Be proactive in scheduling meetings
  • Be clear on the end goal
  • Put forth effort
  • Be respectful of the mentor and their time
  • Ask questions
  • Be resourceful
  • Be engaged

By following the above suggestions, your mentoring experience will improve significantly. Success is a collaborative effort. 

Mentors are more than willing to help, but you need to put forth the right effort to make the mentorship effective. The result of a successful mentorship varies based upon one’s level of engagement and ability to clearly communicate the desired outcome.  Be sure to show up to your mentor meetings on time and with 5-6 thoughtful questions written down.

Don’t be afraid to approach potential mentors and ask for their help. They are there to help you succeed. Do your research on potential mentor candidates prior to approaching them to determine compatibility. 

Be proactive and engaged throughout the process and you will be sure to have a positive mentorship experience. 

Below you’ll find two resources with more information about what to look for in a great mentor and where to find them. 

Finding and Becoming a Great Mentor Workshop by Dave Myers (RevRoad Talent and Sales Chief Officer). View here

Download A Quick Guide to Mentorship.

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