Social Capital as an Overarching Structural Barrier

I would add to the challenges the Research Team has identified- inequitable social capital- whether it’s LinkedIn research about being 12x more likely to land a job with a referral or our about the mentoring gap and its alignment with risks, apart from talent, social capital is such a huge driver of workforce opportunity from getting in a union, to apprenticeships to re-training to unpaid opportunities that eliminate folks and don’t offer onramps.

This is not to say certain folks don’t have social capital, it’s that they may not have the social capital that unlocks job opportunities. We need to find scalable ways to disrupt.

We are working with LinkedIn and others (Project Basta, Braven, Beyond 12, Year Up, Coop) on ways to positively re-wire networks and address this. All things to consider within the equation and such a huge part of navigating successfully.

Thank you so much for sharing these thoughts, @dshap54! Equity, in all forms, is something we hope to target through this prize. I think the points you raised about social capital are important for our team to capture, especially as it relates to access. Is any of your work with LinkedIn, Project Basta, Braven, Beyond 12, Year Up, and Coop public yet? Would love to learn more! Thanks!

@grbell5 and @Bart, you may also be interested in this discussion. Please feel free to weigh in! We’re especially interested in (potential) solutions to address this problem.

Thanks so much, @BryanNamba. This is what’s online about it- Network gap | Social Impact. I can give you a little more depth in conversation at some point if helpful as well as some other parts of the landscape at this intersecting point. Here’s another look from some work with Working Nation: https://workingnation.com/tag/mentor/ . And another is some tools we’re developing with the support of Schultz Family Foundation to develop tools and training around supporting young underrepresented workers.

Social capital is probably the most under-appreciated factor that contributes to career success. If you have lots of it you can enjoy opportunities galore. Without it, everything can be 5x harder and many doors simply never open. My friend Nitzan Pelman was Social Capital Entrepreneur In Residence at LinkedIN and then started a company called ClimbHire that helps overlooked people train for 200 hours to be ready for entry level tech jobs, and helps them build professional networks and social capital in addition to a skill. It is a pretty cool approach to improving lives while leveraging the free market’s need for talent. https://climbhire.co/

That sounds like an interesting company! I’ll invite them to join our community :slight_smile: