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APX Voices

APX Recruiting for Diversity: How to strengthen diverse hiring

Diversity in teams has become one of the success factors of start-ups and the question of team composition is part of every pitch. To support the teams of APX’s portfolio companies in recruiting diverse teams, APX invited young tech talents to a “Recruiting for Diversity” event.

All photos by Dominik Tryba

Diverse teams are more successful. According to comprehensive research by McKinsey & Company, diverse teams are more likely to outperform their peers. Yet, the progress in this field remains slow. To support the APX portfolio companies in recruiting diverse tech talent, APX invited young tech talents to the event “APX Recruiting for Diversity”. During the event, talents from the fields of software development, product development and marketing had the opportunity to talk to potential employers and could be sure that their gender identity, race, religion, sexual orientation, age, disability or any other classification or characteristic would not be an obstacle to employment, but on the contrary: welcome.

The panel itself was a diverse round, coming from different backgrounds, disciplines and companies: Markus Dreckmann, Head of People & Culture at Porsche Digital, Gülsah Wilke, Chief Operation Officer at Ada Health, Julia Carloff-Winkelmann, Chief People Officer of Dance, and Marie Kanellopulos, MD & Senior Consultant at DONE!Berlin. The panel was moderated by Mor Eini and Amélie Gagné from APX.

Diversity as an asset to the company

Marie, helping others find the jobs of their dreams, knows the job market by heart. “The global market is insane”, she explains. To fill in open positions, she and her team have to look for talents all around the world. She underlines the importance of taking care of the people you bring into the company and specifically investing in the onboarding of new members.

For Julia, promoting diversity starts even earlier: “For me, it starts with the job description and to make sure it is as inclusive as possible.” She emphasizes that there is plenty of research that suggests that men apply for different job advertisements than women. “It continues by making sure that the hiring panels are diverse”, she further underlines.

Gülsah directly appeals to the audience: “I would look deeper into the company and look at the leadership team.” From her point of view, diversity must be lived from the top. At Ada Health, 50% of the management team is female, and it consists of four different nationalities. Moreover, she is confident: a company that targets a diverse audience can only cater to their needs if the team is diverse as well.

Breaking the language barrier

Hiring from other countries can still be a challenge for German companies — especially when connected to big corporations like Porsche Digital is to Porsche AG. Markus’ strategy is to create a strong foundation, including everyone by default: ”All our documents are in English. And we have a very common rule: as soon as one non-German speaking person enters the room, we switch to English.”

Drawing from her own professional experience, Gülsah knows that there are huge differences from company to company. Even though English is a much more inclusive language than German, big corporations often struggle to go English-first. “But they are working on it”, she is sure.

Meet & Walk with your next employer

5-minute meditation by MinQi

Following the 45-minute panel, APX portfolio start-up MinQi presented digital methods that can lower the stress levels of female employees and candidates during job interviews.

With LifeLive, another portfolio company was involved in the event and took care of the hosting of the first APX hybrid event. Only the Meet & Walk, where potential candidates could get in touch with the companies, was primarily reserved for visitors on site. Afterwards, thanks to LifeLive, online visitors were also able to exchange ideas online with companies such as Porsche Digital or Hirefreehands.

If you are a young startup looking for an investor and partner on your journey, send us your pitch deck. We have invested in more than 100 companies from Europe and beyond across 20+ industries. Found out more on APX.vc.

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APX

Europe’s leading earliest stage VC. Based in Berlin and backed by Axel Springer and Porsche, we support the most ambitious pre-seed startups. APX.vc.