Matching that Matters – Diversity

Matching that Matters – Diversity

Our experience is that many people think of diversity as about being solely about gender and/or ethnicity, when in fact true diversity is about so much more and relates to traits that you can’t necessarily ‘see’.

When I first began research around the idea of how to better match people to jobs, at global scale, I came across this ‘Diversity Wheel’ attributed to Pitney Bowes.

Over the last five years it has proven to be a guide for how our company and algorithms have been developed to solve the diversity challenges of organizations across the globe.

Diversity is important because it helps companies to better represent and empathize with their customer. This empathy drives more effective product development, marketing, engagement and service, generating greater ROI and fueling growth. This enables the historical job and wage growth we have seen in the last five years.

Our UK company included people from 14 different countries speaking 9 different languages and our current team includes people from several different ethnic cultures as we as diverse populations including veterans, disabled, LGBTQ. Due to our work within the US defense industry, our tech team is made entirely of US citizens but that hasn’t kept us from achieving culture, religious, ethnic, LGBTQ and gender diversity within our team.

At Uprise Festival (2016) in Amsterdam I led a Team Diversity Workshop and moderated a related talk that included senior executives from, Accenture and ABN Amro Bank ($350 Billion in assets). It was encouraging to see how many attendees and people in the audience wanted to talk about how ‘diversity’ should include poorly understood cognitive abilities like Aspergers and Autism and that we need to help fellow team members understand diverse populations and how to be supportive and inclusive as we grow teams built to thrive in the 4th Industrial Revolution.

Hiring Recovering Addicts and Alcoholics

Millions of people of all ages in the US alone deal with alcoholism and/or drug addiction. That is a lot of people, many of whom have extensive experience and knowledge in their fields. But it can be difficult hiring those addicts and alcoholics even if they’re in recovery. How do you gauge their commitment? How can you determine if they will do a good job? Why would you want to hire someone in recovery? Most importantly, how can you as their employer support them in their recovery?

Many people in recovery have an abstinence-based approach, therefore they are not likely to be out all night drinking, needing a “sick day” the following morning to nurse their hangover. There is also a sense of gratitude in giving them the opportunity to get their life back on track, which leads to a higher level of commitment in the workplace and loyalty to their employer. These can be invaluable traits in an employee, and many employers have reported hiring recovering addicts and alcoholics has had a beneficial impact on their business.

12-step meetings are a crucial part to maintaining peaceful sobriety. Having options for flexible work hours or working from home can make it easier to attend these meetings. If the space is available, holding on-site meetings during the lunch hour or right after closing time, can also benefit those working to maintain their sobriety. The key to this is to maintain anonymity, which is the “spiritual foundation” of any 12-step program, so holding this meeting in a low-traffic area that isn’t easily seen from outside the meeting room is best.

Encouraging employees to take scheduled breaks and vacations can also help employees maintain sobriety, as overworking is one of the biggest contributors to developing a substance abuse problem or relapsing. With regular breaks and vacations, stress is significantly reduced, and stress reduction plays a huge part in helping those in recovery stay sober.

Hosting an Employee Assistance Program (EAP) can give employees in recovery a confidential space to talk through issues that may arise in the workplace. These are usually staffed by professional counselors and provide short-term counseling, but it can make a huge difference in the well-being of your employees.

Alcoholism and addiction aren’t discriminatory diseases. People of all ages, careers, and walks of life can be taken over by these afflictions. That doesn’t mean they’re all of a sudden incapable of being an effective member of society, or a valuable employee in your company. Transparency with your candidates and employees on your company’s stance on recovery and sobriety can do a lot to make them comfortable being just as transparent.

Employing recovering addicts and/or alcoholics can contribute to their sobriety. Helping them reintegrate into society and providing a safe space to do so can be hugely beneficial to your company as well as your employees. Small steps can make a big difference.

LGBTQ+ Hiring


There are many benefits to increasing diversity in any workplace. Companies that employ a diverse workforce experience 35% higher financial returns than the national average. It also creates a more comfortable, accepting work environment that encourages further diversity. However, with current EEOC laws, it’s illegal to inquire about anyone’s sexual identity or preference. So how can employers work to increase LGBTQ+ diversity while still staying within their legal obligations?

The first problem to tackle is how to attract these candidates. Do some research on what factors attract LGBTQ+ candidates as well as the factors that repel them. You can access survey data from third party groups or diversity consultants. This data can help you build LGBTQ+ friendly rhetoric in your job postings and recruiter communications, which is key in attracting and retaining these candidates.

Building your brand to be LGBTQ+ friendly and either hiring talent recruiters that are experienced in assessing diverse candidates, or training current recruiters to do so, can do a lot to attract these applicants. Corporate involvement in related causes make a difference, as people in the LGBTQ+ community are often aware of which companies and organizations support their rights, and which ones do not. Participating in local Pride festivities is a good start, but sometimes it isn’t enough. Contributing to charities that help LGBTQ+ teens such as the True Colors Fund and the Born This Way Foundation will let the world know that your company not only respects the LGBTQ+ community but also provides real support.

The world is shifting as more LGBTQ+ people are choosing to live out loud and proud. This means their population within the candidate pool is also increasing, so don’t limit your company’s potential by refusing to foster an accepting environment.

Startups vs. Corporations: Which Is the Better Fit for You?

It seems like every week, there’s a new startup with a mission to revolutionize the way we eat ice cream or make everyday tasks a little easier. Working with these young companies is a different experience when compared with working for a company like IBM or Nike, which have been around for quite some time and have an established presence in their respective markets. Understanding how they differ is the first step in figuring out where you would be a better fit.

Read moreStartups vs. Corporations: Which Is the Better Fit for You?

Jump Back Into Your Career, Mom!

ThisWay Global’s Founder and CEO, Angela Hood, has taken more than one stab at the start-up venture. She’s built beautiful, customized homes, designed fashion-forward sportswear for women, and is now completely changing the way people approach hiring.

Read moreJump Back Into Your Career, Mom!

What Is It Like to Be an Environmental Consultant?

The rules and regulations that protect the environment today can be complex. Environmental consultants like Rachel Tuohy, 26, work to help organizations understand how to comply with legal requirements for their harmful emissions, water usage, and other environmentally impactful practices.

Read moreWhat Is It Like to Be an Environmental Consultant?

3 Key Concepts of an Enjoyable Workplace Culture [Part 3]

Whether your company culture is more like the creatively propelled Warby Parker, the competitive-to-no-end nature of Amazon, or somewhere in between, there are a few common themes that can be found in companies that reap success from the culture they’ve established.

Some are easier to launch than others, but with the right team of people and enough patience, any company can develop the kind of culture they desire, and ThisWay Global can find the people that will fit perfectly.

Read more3 Key Concepts of an Enjoyable Workplace Culture [Part 3]

Neurological Research as a Career: What You Need to Know

As a term used to describe someone’s career, “neurological research” sounds a bit vague. So, I asked Cameron Blount, 22, to expand on what her day-to-day at the office looks like, as well as her experiences as a bisexual woman of color in a predominantly male field.

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Personality Tests Useful in Your Professional Career

The premise of personality tests ranges from Friends episodes to ice cream flavors, superheroes, and more. It’s hard to deny they can provide excellent entertainment or even a nice distraction from the everyday hustle and bustle. Most of them are just that, though: entertainment.

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Successful Culture Creation – More Than One Approach [Part 2]

In Part One: Intro to Workplace Culture – It Makes A Difference, I touched only briefly on a few of the things that set eyeglasses designer and distributors, Warby Parker, ahead of their competition in the great company culture race that has caught momentum since Amazon came under a bit of fire for their guerilla-style management policies.

Read moreSuccessful Culture Creation – More Than One Approach [Part 2]