Hello listeners! Welcome back to Tech Forward. Throughout the month of November, we’ll be releasing 3 episodes as a part of our “job seekers” series, which covers tips, tactics, and resources for underrepresented talent to identify opportunities in tech. Today’s guest is Andrea Guendelman, founder and CEO of BeVisible. BeVisible is a social media career network that connects Latinos and Latinas across the country with companies searching for new talent. For recruiters, BeVisible makes it easy to access a talented pool of individuals whom they already know self-identify as Latinx — something no other platform can do. Together we discussed Andrea’s journey as a tech startup founder, and some of the many initiatives she’s led throughout her career to expand access to opportunities for the Latinx community in technology.
After graduating from Harvard Law School, Andrea worked at a Washington, D.C. based non-profit that helped underrepresented talent connect to leadership positions. Upon moving to New Mexico, she realized the extent of the gap between the huge pool of talent and employers looking to fill jobs. Though she spent several years afterwards working as a corporate lawyer, Andrea longed to do something creative. Drawing upon her previous roles making connections between employers and potential employees in underrepresented groups, Andrea founded BeVisible in 2015.
On the BeVisible platform, users connect with each other and with employers, tag and search for people by city and industry, and post jobs and upcoming events. What sets BeVisible apart from major career platforms like LinkedIn, as well as other diversity recruitment platforms, is the sense of community. Since first-generation college graduates often lack a background in soft skills such as networking and self-promotion, LinkedIn can be intimidating. BeVisible, on the other hand, is a welcoming community where the focus is on establishing relationships rather than purely pitching to a company. With over 15 thousand registered users gained primarily by word of mouth, it’s clear that people definitely wanted a place like BeVisible.
Reflecting on the last few years of creating and launching this platform, Andrea says, “My original plan was to do something creative just for a year, but one thing just led to another. It hasn’t been easy! But I don’t regret it.” Her focus now is on developing version 2 of BeVisible, and refining the business model in order to begin VC fundraising. She’s also currently launching an initiative to source, train and connect the nation’s most talented software engineers to the most progressive companies in the innovation economy.
Andrea, thank you so much for coming onto the show today! I can’t wait to see where you take BeVisible in the coming years. Thank you also to all of you out there tuning in, subscribing, reviewing, and sharing the show with your friends. We’ll see you next week for another episode in our job seekers series!
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