Black Creatives: How the Okanlawons Bridged the Diversity Gap In Corporate America

Sibling duo Joshua and Sarah Okanlawon of Atlanta, Georgia, saw an opportunity when they noticed their native Nigerian last name was often mischaracterized in the professional world. “One challenge we saw was that having a Nigerian name leads some people in corporate America to preconceived notions about character and our ability to fit into the company culture, before ever having a conversation,” Joshua said.

Looking to bridge this and many other gaps in the job hiring process, the Okanlawons started brainstorming ways to help candidates earn face-to-face conversations with hiring managers without biased obstacles. In 2016, MyIntro came to life.

“Sarah and I knew that many job candidates just needed to get their foot in the door for face-to-face interaction with hiring managers,” Joshua said. “People are often overlooked due to factors such as their school or their name, and details like this shouldn’t be relevant to the hiring process.” 

Sarah Scroeter, Co-Founder of MyIntro

 MyIntro is a platform for employers and job seekers to connect in unconventional ways through technology. The professional community is dedicated to linking employers with job seekers through virtual and in-person introductions, networking and recruitment events, interview preparation, and more. Job seekers can join the online community for free, and companies can seek out candidates at a variable cost.    

“One of the reasons we started MyIntro is to ensure that the first interaction a candidate has with a company is as pure and genuine as possible,” he said. We want to impact our community by providing solutions for a brighter, equal future.” 

Joshua Okanlawon, Co-Founder and CMO of MyIntro

MyIntro has made excellent traction so far and has partnered with key companies like Carmax, Infosys, and Genpact. Even with these exceptional milestones, MyIntro is still a growing startup. This year, the company is focused on expanding its footprint into a broader market. “We’re looking to get more medium and large companies to pilot our platform and sponsor candidate events. We’re also strategizing new ways to keep our technology consistently up to date,” Joshua said. “We believe in keeping our candidates at the forefront of our strategy, and keeping our sponsoring companies actively engaged and excited for what’s next.” 

As the Black Lives Matter movement picks up a rapid pace in the U.S., and allying companies seek ways to help end racism and injustice, MyIntro provides ways people can reach equality, especially in corporate America. “There are many ways to help eliminate systemic and historical oppression, starting with necessary conversations,” Joshua said. “Actively denouncing racist, sexist, and hateful dialogue is a big step. Using your talents to educate others is also a great step. If you are a painter, create expressions through painting. If you’re a speaker, use your words to educate. Using your talents to help this cause is truly a positive, contagious step forward.”

Team!

If you’re a tech investment or venture capital firm looking to partner with MyIntro, or if you’re an organization looking for sponsorship opportunities, please contact Josh Okanlawon, CMO, at josh.okanlawon@myintro.com.  

Instagram: @myintro_

Website: myintro.com 

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