Employers start to drop degree requirements to diversify staffs

The tech industry is filled with people who have the same type of education and advantages. As the sector expands, economists say this reinforces inequality. Ovia Health is among a number of companies identifying entry-level jobs like the one Knowles has and dropping the degree requirement. The objective is to diversify their staffs and gain a market advantage.

“We were missing out on a lot of talent by having what we saw as an arbitrary requirement for a lot of positions,” said Paris Wallace, CEO and co-founder of Ovia Health. “It’s not about doing the right thing for us. It’s about being a great company.”

Wallace is African-American and a graduate of Amherst College and Harvard Business School. Two years ago, he says, his leadership team decided to remove the degree requirements for all jobs.

Other companies like the financial firm State Street, the hotel chain Hilton and the publisher Penguin Random House are doing the same for some jobs.

Read more from NPR.

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