Episode 5 – Blendoor: A new app to combat discrimination and bias during the job application process. (Interview w/ Stephanie Lampkin)
Stephanie Lampkin is the founder and CEO of Blendoor – a mobile job matching app that facilitates diversity recruiting in tech companies by circumventing unconscious bias. Despite very humble beginnings, Stephanie first learned to code at 14 through BDPA, by 15 she was a full stack web developer and by 16 a network admin. Fast forward 17 years, Stephanie has worked in tech for companies like Northrop Grumman, Microsoft, Lockheed Martin, Deloitte and TripAdvisor, but is now focused full time on changing how people, organizations and companies connect in a way that fosters diversity. Stephanie graduated from Stanford University with a B.S. in Management Science & Engineering and MIT Sloan with a MBA.
Despite being from the inner-city (Washington, D.C.), Stephanie qualified for the Junior Olympics for Downhill Skiing at the age of 16 and it still continues to be one of her favorite activities.
She questioned common excuses given for the lack of diversity in tech companies; such as a forced “lowering of standards” and “lack of qualified candidates” in the pipeline. After personal experiences and learning more about what is known as “unconscious bias” of employers, she decided to do something to help diversity recruiting for tech companies.
Stephanie participated in several business ‘pitch competitions’ and received validation for her idea while winning a number of cash prizes. On the technical side, she spent 3 months in her mother’s basement coding the first version of the software herself.
She had no Human Resources (HR) experience and had to learn all about the social science behind the industry in order to appropriately target this viable niche.
- Start with finding like-minded people – talk amongst people you respect and have expertise in the given space.
- Doing it alone is really tough but doing it with people who are not completely aligned with your vision, nor have the skill-set you need, is even tougher.
- Have a really strong plan on how you will build your team.
*Book and/or Resource:
- “Outliers: The Story of Success” (book) – Malcolm Gladwell
- Entrepreneurial Thought Leaders Series – Stanford University (Host Recommended)
*Books are Amazon affiliate links.
“At the end of the day people won’t remember what you said or did, they will remember how you made them feel.” – Maya Angelou