Equity Accelerator: Opening Career Pathways

Equity Accelerator Okta

At Okta, we are committed to advancing innovative solutions. And in this spirit of innovation, we’re excited to announce the launch of our Equity Accelerator. This program is a 6-month, full-time, paid workforce development program to expand economic opportunity for and with under-represented talent, with an emphasis on BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) applicants with at least 5+ years of experience. The Equity Accelerator offers new talent the opportunity to earn tech and non-tech certifications and access to mentorship and coaching aligned with professional development goals. In addition to the Equity Accelerator, Okta is partnering with CoLabL to facilitate a 6-month mentoring program called Breakthrough Mentoring, which closely aligns with the goals of the Equity Accelerator.

Program objectives

Equity Accelerator objectives Okta

Program objectives include

  • Providing upskilling opportunities in high-demand skill areas including tech / non-tech competency certifications.
  • Strengthening connections for and with under-represented talent pre- and post-hire.
  • Expanding exposure to and experience within the tech sector across functional areas.
  • Achieving a high conversation rate to hire.

Ideal participants

The program is looking for unique individuals who are

  • Early-to-mid career talent with 5+ years of work experience (tech experience is a plus, but not required), and seeking to expand their economic opportunity.
  • Eager to reskill/upskill through hands-on experience, training, and certifications to advance their career.
  • Seeking to expand their professional networks and engage in career mentoring relationships.
  • Able to commit to a paid, 6-month professional work experience.
  • Of a growth mindset, with the ability to thrive in a fast-paced environment.

Participant selection

Equity Accelerator partners Okta

For the pilot Equity Accelerator program, we are inviting participants and alumni from the following five community program partners to apply:

The Equity Accelerator will be using a non-traditional selection process to evaluate the competencies of the applicants through the following assessments:

  • A letter of interest, short video, or audio submission.
  • Interactive activities where Okta and community program partners can see applicants’ skills in action.
  • Group-based networking opportunities and interviews with Okta employees from diverse functions and levels (i.e., participating managers, employee resource group members).

Participant experience

Participants will engage as a cohort throughout the 6-month experience at Okta. To support continual learning goals, participants will engage in professional development training and have the opportunity to earn additional certifications. Participants will engage in a group-based mentoring experience to expand their professional network with individuals from diverse functions and levels. Upon completing the program, participants will be able to leverage their expanded portfolio of experience and social capital to secure additional career and economic growth opportunities.

Program timeline

Throughout June, in collaboration with community program partners, Okta will be actively recruiting and selecting pilot program participants through the non-traditional selection process outlined above. We are aiming for the pilot cohort of Fellows to begin in July 2021 and to complete the Fellowship in December of 2021.

Breakthrough mentoring

Breakthrough Mentoring is a program designed for under-represented talent ages 18+ interested in expanding their professional network in the technology sector, upskilling in areas of high demand, and unlocking opportunities for economic growth. Breakthrough Mentoring will kick off in July 2021 and run through December 2021. Mentors and mentees will meet at least monthly for coaching and mentoring, which CoLabL will facilitate. The career mentors will be employees from Okta and Okta partners representing a variety of roles, levels, and experiences. The mentees will also be recruited from the Equity Accelerator’s five community program partners including Per Scholas, COOP, JVS, Jopwell, and Year Up. Mentees will be either just starting their careers or early in their careers, and seeking opportunities for advancement.

Any questions? Please contact Okta’s Diversity, Inclusion & Belonging team at [email protected]. If you have any questions regarding the Breakthrough Mentoring program, please contact Daniel Horgan at CoLabL at [email protected].