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Four Chicago tech companies share how their commitment to diversity and inclusion gives them a competitive edge, and how they are working to strengthen their existing programs and initiatives. Paylocity, which develops cloud-based human capital management software, employs over 2,500 people and is still expanding. To ensure that its growing team remains as diverse as the users of its product, Director of Strategic Initiatives Karen Klimara said the company has partnered with universities to create programs for developing and hiring diverse talent, rather than focusing their hiring on those with professional experience in the industry. CancerIQ develops cloud-based software designed to help physicians identify patients with a high genetic risk of cancer. Given that the disease affects people from all walks of life, it’s crucial to CEO and Founder Feyi Olopade Ayodele to have a diverse team both developing the company’s product and working with health care providers. “We target diverse populations when recruiting, we make diversity and inclusion part of our company culture, and we consistently track and measure how we’re doing so we can do better,” Ayodele said.

At Yaro, a healthtech company that takes a fintech approach to helping consumers purchase health plans and understand their benefits, Senior Data Engineer Irvic Rodriguez said the company’s commitment to diversity starts at the top with its executive leadership, and that the impact filters all the way down to the features his team develops. Finally, Codifyd, which has offices in Chicago, India, and the United Kingdom, works with business-facing manufacturers and distributors to enhance the customer experience. Human Resources Manager Rhys Hunding said diversity is a huge competitive advantage, because most roles are client-facing so the Codifyd team has to be able to communicate effectively with people from a variety of backgrounds.

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