From an outside perspective, Marcus Sawyerr seemed to have it all — he worked his way up to multiple executive level roles in a few large corporations, accomplishing more than many do in a lifetime. But as he advanced into higher roles, he saw fewer people of diverse backgrounds serving next to him, and he wanted to change that.
Sawyerr took his experiences and passion for helping others get access to opportunity and launched EQ Community in 2021. The organization has three main prongs — connection, community and career — devoted to helping members build relationships, create a referral base and gain access to roles that may not have been available to them otherwise.
And its successes have added up. A top-notch leader frustrated with the lack of advancement opportunities in her company joined EQ and soon moved to a C-suite job making 10 times more in salary. An algebra teacher who wanted to transition into the data science field was given an opportunity to showcase his skills at EQ and soon accepted a position in his new field. And a sales leader EQ placed in a new firm became the top salesperson globally in that company. Sawyerr is proud to have helped these people — and many others — better their lives through meaningful employment opportunities that they might not have had access to otherwise.
Sawyerr and EQ Community also help inclusive staffing firms and employers recruit top talent from diverse populations and equip them to increase their DE&I impact.
And there is a lot more to come. “One of the goals is to get to 10 million users and help more companies in the ecosystem for staffing and recruiting build their own communities to get more diverse talent placed,” Sawyerr says. EQ also wants to see every recruiter be inclusively certified, and they built a curriculum to accomplish that.
“What we’ve been most proud of is when people talk about the quality of talent we have placed in their organization,” he says. “We have not just hired people to hit a quota, but we’ve hired top people.”
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