LOS ANGELES--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Today, ZestFinance, a financial technology company, announced several commitments to increase diversity in its workforce as part of the first-ever White House Demo Day focused on inclusive entrepreneurship aimed at providing more Americans with the opportunity to pursue their bold, game-changing ideas [see also: White House Fact Sheet]. ZestFinance’s commitments build upon the company’s ongoing efforts to foster an inclusive culture and workplace.
“Good ideas come from everywhere, and people with radically different worldviews approaching a problem together will always generate more creative ideas and solutions,” said Douglas Merrill, Founder and CEO of ZestFinance. “Simply put, diverse teams yield better business results. Every company should be focused on hiring for diversity. It’s good for the world and good for business.”
The company hopes increased focus on the issue will help drive substantially more diversity, both within the technology sector and corporate America as a whole.
“Workplace diversity is about more than skin color and gender or hitting an arbitrary hiring quota,” said Sonya Merrill, Chief People Officer of ZestFinance. “Socioeconomic status, cultural background, sexual orientation, and all the advantages and disadvantages each of us bring to the workplace are all important factors in how we view problems and make decisions.”
To demonstrate its dedication to the breadth of diversity that matters in the workforce, ZestFinance has set the following hiring commitments:
- Gender parity in its workforce by 2016, which builds on the company’s success achieving this goal for its C-suite earlier this year.
- Increasing minority diversity by 25 percent by 2Q 2016.
- At least doubling the number of veterans in the company by the end of 2016.
- At least tripling the number of employees with disabilities by the end of 2016.
- Ensuring a diverse slate of candidates that includes at least one woman and person of color for every job position by the end of 2015.
Startups, in particular, often have a difficult time sourcing and hiring diverse job candidates due to limited recruiting bandwidth. To help alleviate this issue, ZestFinance plans to create a consortium that will help startups throughout the Los Angeles area source and hire people of color, women, people with disabilities, and veterans.
ZestFinance, Inc. applies its unique credit-decisioning technology — based on data science and machine learning — to help lenders effectively predict credit risk so they can provide lower cost credit to people. And, the company uses its technology to provide loans to consumers. ZestFinance was founded in 2009 by Douglas Merrill and a team of former Google employees with the mission of making fair and transparent credit available to everyone. In a joint venture, called JD-ZestFinance Gaia, the company has partnered with JD.com – China’s largest e-tailer – to provide credit-decisioning services to lenders in China. ZestFinance is headquartered in Los Angeles, California. For more information, visit www.ZestFinance.com.