Businesses Building Diverse & Inclusive Workplaces with Help from Level D&I Solutions

The Level D&I Solutions team at CoHatch Worthington - Photo by Katiana Carmon

Level D&I Solutions helps place minority and diverse candidates with local organizations and strives to create equitable work spaces and resources in the business field. One of their main services is providing diverse, well-rounded individuals with job placement in various business and IT fields. Working out of COHatch in Worthington, Co-Founder & CEO Kristine Tsirigotis and Co-Founder & President Chelsea Akers focus on diversity, equality, and inclusion within the business community.

“We try to differentiate ourselves from other firms that kinda do pieces and parts of what we do, and tackle diversity from really every angle,” said Tsirigotis. “So both helping our clients, community building, and helping individuals in the community to get better paying jobs with better upward mobility.”

Level D&I conducts assessments with organizations to help with planning and structuring their job search process. About a third of the business is helping clients with recruitment by providing access to a diverse group of candidates by focusing on less traditional searching practices. Partnering with groups like BlackTech614, Color Coded Labs, and BLK hack, they not only help organizations find the right diverse candidates for the job, but help change business and internal practices to meet the needs of their diverse workforce.

“When we started Level we didn’t want the focus to be just women and we didn’t want it to be just IT,” said Akers. “Across the board people are discriminated against. You know there are inequalities for different groups, not just in IT and it’s not just in one area of business.” 

Building relationships with individual companies, Level D&I is partnering with PR firms to help their clients tell their stories of diversity, equality, and inclusion (DE&I), highlighting client placement, training and business social practices that help grow a better inclusive diverse workplace.

“I think that’s been the biggest learning curve for us. The Columbus tech community is a very close-knit group, everyone knows everyone,” said Tsirigotis. ”We’re really limiting ourselves and limiting who we can help and the impact we could have if we don’t branch outside of this.” 

Spending time branching outside of the tech community and making new relationships has impacted Level D&I in a positive way.

Along with assisting individual clients with hiring, they offer a range of instructional leadership training programs that aim to build on internal processes, practices, and organizational retention. Level D&I offers deep industry knowledge along with customizable solutions to help solve the most relevant issues to an organization. Taking a top-down, bottom-up approach helps promote saturation of DE&I initiatives for clients. 

“We do alot of engagements where we’ll do retained work, where we’ll have one of our D&I experts come on site and do a full audit of their existing process and procedures and help them to really put in a place a robust D&I program,” Tsirigotis said. “That’s going to last them beyond the engagement that they can continue with. We also do a lot of in-person and virtual trainings.”

Level D&I will hold its first business conference May 5 to help people learn how Level D&I is ingrained in the community. The conference will also feature discussions around best business practices in diversity, equity, inclusion, and representation, led by industry experts and those impacted by biased processes and practices in the business world. Registration for the conference is available through Level D&I’s website.

Since starting the business and working within the D&I framework, Tsirigotis and Akers have found that most clients want to be more diverse and inclusive in their workplace, but don’t know where to start.

“We can use our past experience and knowledge to say, ‘Hey we think this is the best course of action and this is where we should start,’” Tsirigotis said. 

Level D&I launched in late 2019 and has grown over the years into a woman-owned powerhouse network. As they’ve hired employees, the company has grown, multiplying clients and ramping up recruitment, training and consulting.

Akers talked about the future goals for the company and the current challenges in tech that could affect diversity, equality, inclusion and evolvement. Akers says most business practices are built with a bias, but Level D&I hopes to build an “innovation arm” to stay ahead of the curve.

“[We want to] identify how that bias is impacting the work that we’re doing, and then figure out what is the solution for that,” Akers said.

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