For the Culture: New job portal works to diversify workplaces with Black Greek members


TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – A career recruiter is merging his corporate connections and Greek organization affiliation to diversify corporate companies.

Torrence Traynham is a Career Recruiter based in New York, but his reach extends far beyond, including to the Tampa Bay area. Traynham works with hundreds of corporate companies on a daily basis. He knows how they operate, what they look for in candidates and more. When Traynham learned about Wells Fargo CEO blaming the bank’s lack of diversity on a “very limited pool of Black people,” he knew he had to do something.

“There’s no way these CEO’s can possibly think there is a talent gap of Black talent because I see it day in and day out through my exchange throughout my fraternity,” Traynham said.

Traynham is a member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. This is one of the nine historically Black Greek organizations a part of the National Pan-Hellenic Council. The council is composed of five fraternities and four sororities. The council is also referred to as the ‘Divine Nine.’

As a whole, the Divine Nine has more than two million members across the globe. All members are either in college or college educated professionals.

“The Divine Nine are comprised of nine historically Black fraternities and sororities, you kind of have an understanding that majority of the candidates will in fact diversify the pipeline you have going on,” he said.

As a part of his job, Traynham noticed a need to connect educated-Black professionals with corporate companies.

“Corporate America has been built by white men, played by white men and that’s why for us, people of color and Black folks in general, it’s a bit nauseating trying to put ourselves in that game because it wasn’t built for us or by us,” he said.

That’s why he created ‘The Divine Nine Resume Exchange.’ It’s a job portal site exclusively for members of the Divine Nine. Members upload their resumes and Traynham connects with job seekers to employers. The portal is even open for those seeking internship opportunities.

“We are going to basically showcase it to employers who are interested in diversifying their talent pipeline,” he said. “It about engaging the Divine Nine where they were and also engaging employers who don’t know much about the Divine Nine.”

It’s an opportunity members of the Divine Nine say they are taking full advantage of.

“I definitely would benefit from this and it’s definitely an asset to the divine nine community in general,” Taneisha Clark said, member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated.

The site has been open for two months and already has 3200 candidates in the database. In these short eight weeks, nine candidates have already received job offers. Traynham says his goal is to continue diversifying corporate companies with well-qualified Black talent who are members of the Divine Nine.

“You said you wanted to diversify your pipelines. You said you want to attract more black, qualified talent, well the captive audience is already there and it’s in the divine nine,” Traynham said. “My hope is that as more of our candidates from the D9 resume exchange engage with employers, that employers will say, why on earth were we not thinking about this before?”

Beginning in December, Traynham will roll out free professional development classes covering several topics like; resume crafting, interviewing (virtual), effective communication, emotional intelligence and salary negotiation. For more information, click here or follow Traynham’s Instagram page @TheCareerPlug.

Wells Fargo’s CEO apologizes and company changes are underway

As it relates to Wells Fargo’s CEO, he apologized for his comments in September. Wells Fargo’s Spokesman Jacob Jordan says several efforts are now underway in an effort to make permanent changes at the company. The following changes are being instuted, according to Jordan.

  • Last week, we announced the hiring of Kleber Santos as head of Diverse Segments, Representation and Inclusion, reporting directly to our CEO. He officially joined the company Monday. He will be responsible for advancing the company’s diversity efforts in the marketplace and workplace.
  • The company has committed to significantly increasing their number of senior Black executives.
  • Wells Fargo continues to work with historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs), and Hispanic-serving institutions (HSIs), to identify talent and build engagement through the University Programs team.
  • The company is changing the compensation system to hold senior management accountable in meeting the diversity and inclusion goals.
  • In the U.S., the company is requiring a diverse slate of candidates — and a diverse interview team — for key roles with total direct compensation of more than $100,000. Outside the U.S., they have country-specific requirements in place to ensure that they are considering diverse candidate slates for executive-level roles.
  • The company now requires unconscious bias training for all managers, and are developing anti-racism training, which will be mandatory for all managers.

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