Meet Darryl Smith!


 

Meet Darryl Smith – Executive Director

 

Diversity Recruiters™ is pleased to announce that Darryl Smith has joined HomeSight as their next Executive Director.

 

Smith will lead one of Seattle’s most innovative non-profits to make homeownership a reality for all.

 

As the Deputy Mayor of the City of Seattle, Smith’s leadership was instrumental on issues related to police reform, homeless encampments, women and minority contracting, community economic development, immigrant and refugee affairs, and housing policy. Aside from his role as Deputy Mayor, Smith spent thirteen years as a Real Estate broker with Windermere Real-estate, a career he embarked on when he first moved to Seattle looking to start a family and realized that the market was not serving individuals like he and his wife.

 

“Being self-employed as a creative artist made it hard to purchase home and that’s when I started looking at working in real estate. I needed a good day job and I fell in love with working within the community I was part of.”

 

Smith is excited to once again go back to his real estate roots to make home ownership a reality for families.

 

Most recently Smith served as the Site Director for Year Up Puget Sound, a non profit whose mission is to close the opportunity divide by providing young adults access to education and corporate internships. Smith knew his own career path to success was not linear and he spent five years creating partnerships and being a role model to the youth he served.

 

“My path was not linear and it was a combination of transferable skills that allowed me to build my career, and it served a part of the journey”.

 

 

With this exciting new next step in his career journey, Smith is humbled to be the new Executive Director of Homesight. He excited to continue to set stride to the already great work Home sight has established

 

“The idea of building wealth and claiming where you are is why I am so excited to join Homesight. Bringing in conversation to development work. We get to survey the community and ask them what they want to have built in their neighborhoods. Schools, housing, business. Communities. I feel very strongly about the mission and being a visible partner”. In my first sixty days I plan to understand  the lines of business, where I can support the strong work that is already going on. One thing I know for sure, if I understand and believe in your mission and I will run through a wall to support it”.

 

 

 

 

 

HomeSight’s programs help fulfill the organization’s mission of building strong, vibrant communities through homeownership, economic development and neighborhood revitalization. HomeSight offers first-time homebuyer education, financial counseling, purchase assistance, new home development, and 1st mortgage originations. HomeSight believes homeownership is one of the best investments you can make in your future. HomeSight currently serves King, Pierce, and Snohomish counties in Washington State.

 

 

ABOUT DIVERSITY RECRUITERS™

 

We are a social enterprise that connects talented people of color, women, and other underrepresented employees with employers who are actively engaged in creating diverse, equitable and inclusive workplaces.  We believe that a talented and diverse workforce supports innovation and economic freedom.

 

Diversity Recruiters™ prides itself in ensuring quality, and guarantees its services so that they fulfill their mission in helping organizations diversify their workforce. Contact us at info@diversityrecruiters.com for information on how to diversify your talent strategy.

 

HomeSight’s dedication to diversity, inclusion, equity, and belonging does not go unnoticed. On behalf of the entire community, and staff at Diversity Recruiters™, we applaud HomeSight for their efforts.

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Finding the Right Mentor

By Tony Wright
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Finding the Right Mentor

 

01/10/2020

Mentoring can be a powerful force in accelerating the skills we need to become better leaders. It can also be a not-so rewarding experience if there is a lack of synergy between the parties involved.


Mentors give up their most valuable asset – time – to help aspiring managers. Mentees should acknowledge this up front, and take great care in embracing this very important personal investment.


Throughout my career, I’ve had the opportunity to mentor several directors and managers. During those relationships, I’ve learned a few things:


(1) There is a lack of diversity in mentorship. Under-represented employees overwhelmingly seek out diverse executives for career advice because they believe they have no other options.


(2) Many mentees don’t receive honest feedback from their direct supervisor. Managers should not be afraid to talk to their direct reports about opportunities for growth. Ignoring tough conversations almost always leads to a false sense of success, and will eventually become the next manager’s problem.


(3) Mentors must set hard boundaries and establish the purpose of the relationship up front. This should be a solutions-oriented relationship that’s agreed upon by both parties.


(4) Mentors must be fully invested in the process to influence sustainable change. Mentoring isn’t always easy. It can be very tough depending on the dynamic between individuals involved. If the mentor isn’t willing to stay the course, don’t get involved.


(5) Mentoring can help mentors broaden their perspectives. Understanding the perspective of others arms us to become better listeners and leaders.


If you’re seeking a mentor, be clear of your goals. Also, understand why you believe your desired mentor is a good fit for you. If you’re clear about what you desire from the start, communication should flow smoothly. Be open to feedback, set an end date, and most importantly, set goals for your success!

Representation Matters!

By Melanie Chavez
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Representation Matters!

 

01/09/2020



Do you remember career day in elementary school? What did you remember about the speakers? Did they come from your communities? Did they look like you? Could you envision yourself in their job?

 

There is no doubt that the power of visualization is strong. If you see it, you can become it. 

 

But what happens if you don’t see it? How do you become the leader you can’t see?

 

Growing up, I did not see people like me in executive leadership positions. To be frank, I didn’t see them in many careers at all. The Latino community on television was usually portrayed as gang members, illegal immigrants or maids. 

 

Who were the faces behind these stories? Did they come from my communities? Had they ever met a Latino CEO? 

 

The first time I met one of my mentors, something sparked inside of me. She was a Latina woman who grew up in a similar neighborhood in South Los Angeles, like me. She worked in the non profit sector. She invested in real estate. She started her own business. For the first time I saw someone like me and knew I could achieve what she had achieved for herself. 

 

Until I saw it, I didn’t believe I could do the same things she had accomplished.

 

We need those stories. We need to see ourselves in positions of power or in opportunities we never dreamt of because no one told us we could. It’s not about becoming the gate keeper, it’s about becoming the key maker. When we see leaders who look like us, we too then can say “If they can do it, so can I”, then the ripple effect happens, change happens. 

 

Representation matters.

 

Who was the first person you saw that made you believe, “Hey I can do that too”?

 

 

 

 

 

Diversity Is Just The Beginning

Don't mistake diversity for inclusion. Leaders assume that singularly focusing on diversity can solve all of their personnel woes. That couldn't be farther from the truth.

One quality placement at a time. We aspire to change the way firms and their communities interact to increase their con

Too often, leaders assume that singularly focusing on diversity can solve or improve all their organizational woes.

 

Diversity often focuses on the differences, and is referred to as “the mix.” Inclusion is the deliberate act of welcoming diversity and creating an environment where all different kinds of people can thrive and succeed.

 

Diversity is what you have.

 

Inclusion is what you do!

 

Audiences that represent a single demographic can struggle with inclusivity. 

 

Diverse teams don’t have to be inclusive. In fact, many diverse teams lack collaboration.

 

Being inclusive is an intentional act. Leaders that lead through inclusion are generally more thoughtful and work harder to eliminate all forms of discrimination.

 

Inclusivity promotes equal treatment and opportunity.

 

I would also venture to suggest that equal treatment and opportunity strengthens the workforce and reduces employee turnover.

 

Being in the mix is not good enough. Certainly, it’s a start – but, it’s time for leaders to dig a bit deeper to truly respect our differences. We all benefit in the long run.

Measuring Diversity

Measuring Diversity: The Metrics That Matter

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McKinsey & Company’s 2018 “Delivering through Diversity” report stated companies in the top quartile for ethnic/cultural diversity on executive teams were 33 percent more likely to have industry-leading profitability. Additionally, companies in the top quartile for gender diversity on executive teams were 21 percent more likely to outperform on profitability and 27% more likely to have superior value creation. These facts are proof that efforts to elevate your D&I initiatives can have a bottom-line impact on your organization.

 

Moreover, research has proven that, without inclusion, diversity is unsustainable.

 

Additionally, the idea of “belonging” is becoming increasingly important to a strong D&I strategy. Belonging is the sense that all employees can be their authentic selves, and as such, are essential to their team’s success. However, to continue effectively driving your D&I initiatives in the right direction, you need to know what is working and how well.

 

The metrics that measure the success of any people initiative are the same for D&I. Performance indicators, especially financial performance (specifically profit margin), should be paired with softer metrics for a complete picture. Correlate financial performance with measurements of employee engagement, employee retention, talent attraction, customer orientation, employee satisfaction and employee participation in decision-making.

 

In addition to these, there are a couple of specific initiatives you should implement to focus on measuring D&I:

 

Diversity Reports:

 

From a broad view, your company may appear to be diverse, but consider segmenting the company several ways to ensure it is representative of all levels and functions. Completing a quarterly or biannual report that shows the following (compiled from Project Include) will lend insight into your initiatives’ success:

 

  1. Employees overall, by function, seniority and tenure (cut by demographics)
  2. Employment status (i.e., full-time, part-time, contractor) (cut by demographics)
  3. Management and leadership (cut by demographics)
  4. Salary (cut by demographics) – Raises and bonuses (cut by demographics)
  5. Board of directors (cut by demographics)
  6. Candidate pools and hiring funnels, by role (cut by demographics)
  7. Voluntary and involuntary attrition rates (cut by demographics)
  8. Promotion rates (cut by demographics)
  9. Formal and informal complaints (cut by demographics) – Complaint resolution status (cut by demographics)

 

As an executive placement firm specializing in workplace diversity, we ensure that our clients have a keen understanding of what it will take to create the best culture to create a sense of belonging for all cultures. We aren’t just an executive headhunter. We are committed to being the best D&I search partner that we can be. Give us a call if you’re interested in finding out more.

 

 


 

Meet Oscar Cardona – Central City Concern


 

Meet Oscar Cardona – Chief People Officer

Diversity Recruiters™ is pleased to announce that Oscar Cardona recently joined Central City Concern as their Chief People Officer.

 

Before joining Central City Concern, Oscar was the chief human resources officer at Holiday Retirement, the largest independent living company in the country for older adults.

 

Oscar has held executive-level HR positions at Nike as head of HR for its U.S., European, Middle Eastern and African businesses. Oscar’s Puerto Rican heritage, his family upbringing and his professional experience and volunteer work have enabled him to have a better understanding of the challenges and opportunities facing people in diverse organizations.

 

Oscar has been involved with several nonprofits, including Aspira, United Way, Lines for Life, Junior Achievement, Tualatin Valley Youth Football, and Beloit College.

 

Oscar earned a BA from Beloit College, and a law degree from McGeorge College of Law.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Central City Concern meets its mission through innovative outcome-based strategies which support personal and community transformation.

 

  • Direct access to housing which supports lifestyle change.
  • Integrated healthcare services that are highly effective in engaging people who are often alienated from mainstream systems.
  • The development of peer relationships that nurture and support personal transformation and recovery.
  • Attainment of income through employment or accessing benefits.

 

ABOUT DIVERSITY RECRUITERS™

 

We are a social enterprise that connects talented people of color, women, and other underrepresented employees with employers who are actively engaged in creating diverse, equitable and inclusive workplaces.  We believe that a talented and diverse workforce supports innovation and economic freedom.

 

Diversity Recruiters™ prides itself in ensuring quality, and guarantees its services so that they fulfill their mission in helping organizations diversify their workforce.

 

Contact us at info@diversityrecruiters.com for information on how to diversify your talent strategy.

 

Central City Concern’s dedication, inclusion, equity, and belonging does not go unnoticed. On behalf of the entire community and staff at Diversity Recruiters™, we applaud them for their efforts.

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Diversity Is Not Enough


 

Diversity Is Just Not Enough

 

How can females, black and brown people, or individuals from our LGBTQ community have a voice when they are constantly drowned out by the majority?

 

How can we appreciate the true spirit of increasing diversity without seriously including the voices of those who have been historically marginalized? 

 

While diversity can create the potential for different voices and ideas, it is inclusion that allows those voices to be realized.

 

Many firms genuniely believe that demographic diversity is the be all end all. Demographic, or surface-level diversity, is indeed a fantastic start, but all firms should strive for a deeper understanding of what it takes to embrace those of us who are different. This is often referred to as deep-level diversity. As a diversity executive recruiting firm, we’ve seen companies with good intentions fail because their culture didn’t fully embrace demographic diversity. 

 

After years of conversing with other diverse executives, we’ve learned that, while they have incredible jobs, many feel marginalized for their differences. In some cases, their only difference is the color of their skin, their sexual orientation, or their gender. More importantly, marginalization has a negative impact on productivity. And, while many diverse individuals feel constantly marginalized at work, their firms continue to celebrate their demographic diversity – claiming that xx% of its workforce is this or that – not knowing that they haven’t quite figured out how to fully embrace their own diversity initiatives in a meaningful way.

 

The cornerstone of any inclusive culture is trust. Everyone must feel safe enough to openly share the full breadth of their background, knowledge and opinions, both to each other and to their leaders. 

 

And, the leaders must actively listen in order for inclusion to happen. 

 

Without inclusion, diversity will not be sustainable. We achieve diversity through inclusion, not the other way around.

 


 

 

 

 

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Hiring Diverse Candidates Is Not Enough — It’s About Keeping Them

Hiring Diverse Candidates Is Not Enough — It’s About Keeping Them

By Maynard Webb, Forbes Contributor

 

We all know that building a company that embraces diversity is the right thing to do, ethically. But it’s also the right thing to do to make your company stronger. The performance of your business will be better if you are more diverse because your  company will be more representative of society as a whole. It better understands its customers, its community and its purpose. Don’t just take my word for it: there’s evidencethat diverse and women-friendly workplaces perform better. A report from McKinsey & Company indicates that the top racially diverse tech companies are 35% more likely to have financial returns higher than the tech sector’s national median. Companies that are more gender diverse are 15% more likely to outperform others, and those that are ethnically diverse are 35% more likely to do better than others. 

 

And yet, in Silicon Valley, where I live and work — and a place that I love for its commitment to innovation and support of founders — has been exposed as an environment that could be vastly improved for a large percentage of the working population.  There’s room and reason for all of us to become better at building workplaces that support and celebrate diversity.

 

As a leader you have to do some important work to allow all that talent to thrive — and this means creating an environment of inclusion and belonging. I went to a panel of experts for advice on what to do to build this kind of workplace. Here’s what they had to say:

 

Examine your culture. Diversity isn’t something you can just hire your way out of. To truly make the workplace more inclusive, evaluate your methods of mentorship and promotion.

 

Support a culture that celebrates inclusion. Embracing diversity requires means that you may need to change the way you work to accommodate a broad range of people.  Employ policies that are equitable for both men and women.  

 

Just as you have to be aware of unconscious biases in the hiring process, it’s important to mitigate issues like unconscious bias through all phases of the employee life cycle. Particular areas to evaluate and make sure they are inclusive include the evaluation process, promotions and succession planning.

 

Understand that workplace enhancements that also promote diversity and inclusion are also efforts that help traditional workers, as well as millennials.  This may including promoting work-life balance; demonstrating the meaning in the work, and rewarding loyalty — all of which are important to many types of workers.  Find a way to welcome and celebrate everyone and ensure no one feels isolated. Provide gender-neutral bathrooms and everything employees need to feel comfortable.

 

Listen. Consider developing a task force internally, made up of anyone who is committed to seeing your business become more diverse. Meet monthly, and give them latitude to take practices from other companies and employ them. Listen earnestly to their suggestions. And give them the latitude to speak and write about their findings — it may be uncomfortable, but building transparency about your company’s interest in improvement will help to win over your next generation of employees.  Solicit feedback from your diverse candidates and ask them to score how you are doing and share what they think you can do better.

 

Grow the circle wider. As you work to become a more modern, inclusive workplace, I encourage you to expand your circle of concern outward. Consider building an internship program with all-female or historically black universities. Adopt a school in an at-risk neighborhood, and send them supplies, bring students into the office, and commit to the school’s improvement. Let your employees tell the story of your company’s journey, in the hopes that you inspire others to follow you.

 

Remember this work must be constant and it requires your consistent commitment and nourishment, but with it you will see the rewards.

 

 

 

 

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WHY THE (ENTREPRENEURIAL) FUTURE IS FEMALE

WHY THE (ENTREPRENEURIAL) FUTURE IS FEMALE

Women own only 5 percent of startups. So, when we talk about inequality, how about talking about women entrepreneurs?

 

By: Jeffrey Hayzlett

 

This time of year is normally filled with stories about holiday cheer and yuletide goodwill to all. ‘Tis the season after all. No wonder that in years past, I’ve typically written about Christmas movies, business or some other jolly topic.

 

Related: The Best Places for Women to Work in 2017

 

This year, however,it would an oversight to address the holidays without addressing what’s dominated the pre-holiday news cycle: gender inequality and sexual harassment. Everyone is talking about these things, and not just media personalities, Hollywood celebs and other high-profile individuals. (Those are the ones making the headlines!)

 

One reason why so many are talking? While public figures, in a public setting, are the ones we’re hearing about most, the reality is that sexual harassment and discrimination occur on a regular basis, even in fields like ours.

 

We can’t eradicate the underlying inequality from every industry by snapping our fingers, but we can do something to combat it in our own industry. Entrepreneurship, after all, is contagious. It’s a state of mind, a way of life: A good idea deserves to be launched, regardless of who is launching it. Yet the reality is so often about who gets that opportunity, and when.

 

Let me show you some numbers:

  • Women own only 5 percent of startups.
  • Only 7 percent of partners at top 100 venture capital firms are women.
  • Women hold only 11 percent of the executive positions in Silicon Valley.
  • Last year, venture capitalists invested just $1.46 billion in women-led companies, while male-led companies earned $58.2 billion in investments, according to M&A and venture capital database Pitchbook.

 

How do we, as entrepreneurs and business owners, help address this national issue? How do we address the gender gap in our own midst, in entrepreneurship? And what does a middle-aged, white man know about this gap to begin with?

 

I’ll start by admitting that I’m not an expert in the topic, but as a student of human nature, I see that the tools to combat this are right in front of us — if we know where to look. Here are some steps we can take.

 

Set goals.

 

Rome wasn’t built in a day and the issue of gender parity won’t go away in a week, a month or even a year. Set a goal. For example, Oath CEO Tim Armstrong said during a cable TV news interview that his mission was to fill at least half of his company’s leadership positions by 2020 with women.

 

He also said that Oath (a company that was born from the merger between AOL and Yahoo!) is “roughly [at] the 30 percent [level] right now.” He said he wanted to achieve his goal of 50 percent female leadership by promoting from within and creating new positions in areas where women can lead.

 

He said that his initial plan was to launch a new company within the Oath umbrella, where all leadership positions would be filled by women. In fact, the entire company would employ women.

 

His plan seemed flawless until he had a conversation with none other than feminist icon Gloria Steinem.

 

She reminded him that women don’t need a separate workspace — quite the opposite, actually. She pointed out to Armstrong that business owners at all levels need to take more risks within their own ecosystems, as companies perform better where men and women can work side by side.

 

According to a McKinsey report, companies in the top quartile for gender diversity are 15 percent more likely to outperform above average, financially, within their industry.

 

At my own company, I’ve hired more women than men. I know what they’re capable of and I’ve taken steps to empower them to make decisions. One of those steps involves my response when someone asks me a question.

 

“I will not do the work of my very talented team,” I sometimes reply. That means that I want those team members to make the decision. If their decision ends up being wrong, it’s a learning experience. (More often than not, my team makes the right decision.)

 

Ensure equal access to capital.

 

Despite many advances in gender equality, it’s still an old boys network in terms of financing and investing in startups. A study by Harvard Business School found that investors prefer entrepreneurial ventures pitched by men. The study also took a look at video pitches and found they were twice as likely to get funded when they were narrated by men.

 

This doesn’t even make sense to me. If it’s a good idea, with a good business plan — fund it!

 

A quarterly report by Fundera found that female entrepreneurs on average ask for roughly $35,000 less in financing their small businesses than men. The report also found that across the board, women entrepreneurs get offered smaller loans (2.5 times less money), than men do.

 

Because it’s so hard to get funding from VCs or angel investors, especially female-led startups, many organizations have taken steps to address these challenges. Companies like Watermark, SheWorx, Merge Lanes and BBG Ventures, to name a few, are making it easier not just to acquire capital, but to access it as well.

 

Despite women-led businesses being the fastest growing segment of entrepreneurship, they still comprise a small percentage of companies funded by VCs. Some blame this on under-representation of women’s businesses, but I think that statement is a cop-out. As I’ve said before, good ideas aren’t a monopoly for one segment of the population to own.

 

In my own company, I encourage anyone with an idea to step forward — whether it’s the president of the company or the intern. A good idea from a female entrepreneur deserves the same shot at funding as any other good idea from a male colleague.

 

Share the spotlight.

 

Earlier this year, I attended a conference in New York City. Throughout the conference, I noticed that the majority of the panels were all-male, and I thought to myself, “Why isn’t there a woman on that panel?” Our company does a lot of events throughout the year, so I made a mental note to tell my C-suite network team to make sure we have a diverse list of speakers and panelists at every conference and summit we do.

 

In fact, this problem is a prevalent one. The upcoming Consumer Electronics Show (CES), was recently called out by female tech executives for its lack of inclusion and diversity. It might be one of the largest tech events, but its keynote-speaker lineup lacked any women.

 

Twitter CMO Leslie Berland, in particular, took to social media on Dec. 3 to make her feelings known, tweeting, “I’ve got a long list of amazing women to hit your stage. Let’s talk. #changetheratio.” And JP Morgan Chase’s CMO, Kristen Lemkau,  chimed in, naming a long list of women innovators in “less time than it took to drink coffee.”

 

As a result of this backlash, the show organizers made changes to the program. And that was the right thing to do: Giving women exposure as part of a panel, as a keynote speaker or in some other visible role, helps narrow the gender gap — if only in a small way.

 

Make no mistake about it: The problem we face is a big one. It’s a systemic problem that none of us can change alone, but when we all work toward multiple solutions, progress happens.

 

As business owners and entrepreneurs, we need to take a good, hard look at ourselves and tackle this issue head on. We must ask ourselves, “Are we part of the problem?” And, if so, we have to fix it!

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