In a newly announced partnership, the Black Professionals in Tech Network and the Royal Bank of Canada are planning to launch a program to help more than 1,000 Black professionals under the age of 30 find work in Canada over the next few years. Lekan Olawoye, BPTN’s founder and CEO, spoke with the Globe and Mail this week to discuss the plans for the program and the excitement around this major push to create a substantial pipeline for diverse talent.
“…this relationship could be historic. We can actually build the largest pipeline ever of early career Black tech in Canadian history. With our growth and them turbo-charging it, it creates an opportunity to do something incredibly special,” Lekan said to the Globe.
While the program is intended to help candidates find work with a range of employers, RBC has itself committed that moving forward they are planning to ensure 40 per cent of all summer-student positions hired by the organization will go to applicants who are Black, Indigenous, or people of colour. Additionally, the funding will allow BPTN to contribute funding to non-profits focused on science and tech education among Black Canadian youth. It’s in these ways that Lekan and his BPTN organization are hoping to put in place a fully realized support system to make improved diversity among talent a reality across Canadian organizations.
A passionate advocate for organizational change and lasting progress, Lekan Olawoye is a leader who is equally comfortable offering high-level business advice as he is passionately speaking about how to be an effective ally. His organization, the Black Professionals in Tech Network (BPTN), is the largest of its kind in Canada and the third largest in the US with an organization spanning over 10,000 members. Lekan’s cross-sector experience gives him the skills to foster transformational change and provide critical guidance on harnessing the power of meaningful diversity.