Pictured above (L-R): Members of the ProsperCity team, including Dean Bardouka, Rebecca Channer, Gloria Cruz, Emilia Contreras
They call us underrepresented entrepreneurs. ‘They’ being the startup community.
Not too long ago, an exceptional woman named Arlan Hamilton founded Backstage Capital and surfaced the term underestimated entrepreneur: an affirmation that though we may not fit the pattern or mold, we have the capacity to represent and change the world.
Diverse individuals, collective power.
In an industry overwhelmingly led by white cis gender males, our support team at ProsperCity is a remarkably diverse group, a vivid example of intersectionality that reaches beyond race and gender. We are also close friends, and so there is an authentic feeling of diversity to accompany our good looks.
This is us. All of us, together.
In July 2018, just five months ago, we launched ProsperCity.
Every step of the way, you saw us, heard us, and joined arms with us.
Here is a small sampling of what we created together:
- Early Adopters: Right out of the gate, within 30 days of going live, ProsperCity acquired dozens of paying customers and pledge supporters in Oregon and beyond. In the startup world, this is both uncommon and magical. It was also a sign that we were on to something important.
- Leadership Partners: Portland’s #1 talent recruitment firm, Boly:Welch, stepped up as a true champion of pay equity and flooded our job board with meaningful work opportunities.
- Spreadable Ideas: Seth Godin’s altMBA program invited us to design and deliver a workshop on diversity and inclusion for the alumni community. We also captured an above-the-fold spot on their featured alumni page.
- Public Recognition: ProsperCity was nominated for the 2018 OEN Tom Holce Entrepreneurship Award in the Bootstrap Stage category, and then selected as a semi-finalist.
- Network Effect: And then, more pledge signers came aboard, and more jobs were published by employers with statewide and national impact, including The Oregon Community Foundation, Bluedot Innovation, MRG Foundation, Ronald McDonald House Charities, CASA for Children, Cascade AIDS Project, Oregon Environmental Council, Nonprofit Professionals Now, Community Cycling Center, and so many others.
- Culture Change: We learned about two employers who took intentional steps to ensure greater pay transparency, including IDEA Public Schools in Texas and Inflexion in Oregon. Both of these changes were sparked by internal employees (and ProsperCity advocates) willing to have courageous conversations with their managers. *BOOM*
To celebrate, we threw an ‘early adopter’ appreciation party with sponsorship support from Nossa Familia and Element Five. It was an intimate celebration of our underestimated community who came together to help us make change happen.
As we turn toward the new year, let us strive to stay focused and keep going. Closing the gender wage gap and ensuring pay equity for all are not small goals, but together we can make these changes happen.
Thank you for representing all that is bright and beautiful in the world. Thank you for not underestimating our collective power. Thank you for making a difference.
Founder & CEO, ProsperCity
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