The tech industry could use a diversity boost. Black employees make up only 7.4% of the nation’s industry, while Hispanic employees comprise about 8%, according to the Diversity in High Tech report from the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
To broaden inclusion within Charleston’s tech community in particular, Charleston Digital Corridor has launched the CDC Diversity initiative.
The initiative aims to increase participation of underrepresented entrepreneurs and business professionals with no-cost usage and workspace at the Charleston Tech Center. Participants will have access to curated business resources, mentoring and educational tools.
The first recipients of the CDC’s support are Jackie Kohlhepp and Brittany Betit of the Charleston-based The Rez Rev LLC. The woman-owned and military spouse-owned software as a service platform connects job hunters with talent seekers and employers.
The company’s mission is to “rehumanize” the hiring process by allowing users to create and submit video resumes and video job requisitions. The personalization of the job search process will save users time, money and patience, the owners said in a statement.
“As non-technical female tech company founders, we’re especially grateful for the opportunity to grow and develop our company with support from the CDC, experiencing firsthand their expert mentorship, top-notch resources and motivating entrepreneurial spirit,” Kohlhepp and Betit said in the statement.
“We are proud to partner with the Charleston Digital Corridor on this very important diversity initiative,” said Jason Gumbs, Comcast regional senior vice president. “This effort aligns perfectly with Comcast’s commitment to diversity, inclusion and bridging the digital divide in Charleston and across the nation. We are thrilled to make a monetary grant to the CDC that will support their efforts in this critical space.”
The newly completed Charleston Tech Center opened its flagship doors in April at 997 Morrison Drive in Charleston. A month later, the CDC launched The Charleston Digital Corridor University, which is a series of business seminars, technical workshops and talks presented by Charleston-area experts and tech entrepreneurs.