By Evan C. Loving
In the age of incredible advancements in technology and DEI strategy, Chuka Ikokwu stands at the forefront Divercity.io, a tech company radically closing the workforce equity gap in the US.
“As the co-founder and CEO of Divercity.io, I oversee our efforts to connect organizations with underrepresented talent. The better part of my role involves coming up with product vision, hiring team members, fundraising, and sales.”
The nature of his business necessitates building relationships with diverse professionals and inclusive organizations alike. Chuka embraces the importance of communal solidarity and support in his professional work.
“Community engagement is everything for me. In my career I have helped hundreds of underrepresented professionals with their careers and helped them to get high-profile jobs via career mentorship and internships,” he explains. “Personally, I strongly believe in community and the idea of ‘it takes a village.’ Growing up in West Africa, everyone was involved in raising me, and I always felt safe. This is something I really hope to replicate in my current community.”
Looking forward into 2023, Chuka is excited to further establish Divercity.io as the gold standard for diversity and inclusion and solidify its growth prospects.
“Next year, we plan to significantly grow our company’s revenue such that we can cover our own growth prospects without depending on funding; we aim to release a few features on the platform that will help us accomplish these goals.”
As with any successful business leader, there is a cohort of mentors in their corner on their journey. From family to business advisor’s Chuka is grateful for the earnest support that he’s received over the years.
“Some of the mentors that have made a meaningful impact in my career include my father, Chibeze Ikokwu, a man who has always strived for excellence and expects that of all his children,” he reflects. “In addition to that, my father-in-law Dwight Bolden, CEO of Impact Strategies, is another highly impactful mentor for me. He is a Harvard trained strategic advisor that constantly thinks of opportunities to grow our business; he is an excellent mentor and inspiration. And lastly, Mr. Marc Mills, CEO of Pacific Rim Capital. Marc has been pivotal in helping Divercity get to where it is today.”
In order to be an effective leader and to overcome the challenges of the next year, Chuka offers the following advice:
“First of all, never give up; secondly, believe in your ideas till the end and make sure they have viable business models behind them. Once those tenets are in place, then stop at nothing to see your vision to fruition.”
“With regard to your team,” he continues, “ensure your vision is clear to your team and that everyone on the team has an essential function. Additionally, make sure that there is always money in the bank and make sure that the business and its list of strong prospects are growing. Lastly, strong leadership, especially as a minority, is not for everyone, so if it’s for you, be prepared to sweat, bleed, and cry for your ideals.”
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