When certain companies are hiring new people, usually the first step is to review the CVs of interested candidates. And then, the company eliminates those candidates who don’t have the specific qualifications they’re looking for, whether it’s the experience in that job/industry or education.
But if you just look at the resumes and reject candidates based on them, without talking to them, you can miss out on people who would contribute to your company. By rejecting diversity, that is, by not digging into each candidate before making a final decision, you may not hire the best.
In this episode of Taking the Lead, our host Christina Brady welcomes Kimberly Evans, a global sales enablement director at Logz.io. Kimberly and Christina get into the importance of diversity in the company and providing opportunities for people. They discuss how previous experiences can be used in a completely new environment and how companies can contribute to increasing diversity.
Give People an Opportunity
“We have to give people an opportunity. Someone gave me an opportunity, and if we are all being honest, someone gave you an opportunity. So you have to pass it on; you have to look back and pull somebody else up as well. That is how this thing called life is done and done well. And not be afraid; you never know what that opportunity and that experience can do for someone — and not just for them but just for a group of people. You change the trajectory of the lens of somebody’s life. So, give them a shot. What’s the worst that can happen? If they’re not a good fit, then they’re just not a good fit. But it’s so much larger than just that job. Perhaps they’re not a good fit for that job, but there could be a new opportunity in that company that opens up, and that’s a better fit.”
Companies Should Be Open to Change
“Why do I have to make a decision between giving birth and spending time and bonding with my newborn and fear of losing my job? It just doesn’t even make sense when you say it out loud. So I think companies, HR departments, et cetera, have to take the time to sit back and peel back the layers of this onion. Perhaps what worked ten years ago is no longer working, and if you still are waving the banner to say, ‘We want a diverse workplace; we want a healthy workplace; we want a place where people feel comfortable and heard,’ then those things matter. […]
The biggest thing is to ask the people what they want. Pull into your workplace; they will tell you. Create a culture where people can feel empowered to speak their voices. There are your answers. You don’t have to be Einstein. It is not rocket science. Ask the people, pull the community. ‘What do you like at your job? What do you think is missing here?’ If people feel as if you are working to make a change, then they will stay on; they’ll be on for the ride. Because people want to be a part of the change, especially positive change.”
Kimberly as a Speaker and Founder of SaNora Cares
“I speak at my former university where I got my master’s, which is a three-year university, so I speak to a lot of the students that are transitioning into the workforce, whether it be with their bachelor’s or their master’s. So I’m very passionate about giving them the nuggets and the tips that I’ve learned and acquired along the way, of course, especially to minorities, be it women or women of color. I am actually headed to West Africa next week for ten days. I have a platform there where I am speaking to some of the young entrepreneurs that live on the continent about enhancing their technologies to make their businesses more successful. […]
One of my additional passionate spaces that is very near and dear to me is that I am the CEO and founder of a nonprofit entitled SaNora Cares. Our mission is to give support, including housing, academic resources and mental health resources, to young women that were never adopted. So, at the age of 18, they transition out of the US foster care system into independent living, but of course, we know that there is a break in the chain from going from that population to independent living; it is not seamless. And so, SaNora Cares is there to bridge that gap and to offer them support and help them along their way. So I speak to their girls, and I provide housing and the necessary resources to be all that they should and desire to be.”