Chris Motley is the co-founder and CEO of Mentor Space. He re-launched the platform during the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020. He had visions of the platform hitting the market with a positive response.
What led to the idea of mentorship space?
In early January and February 2020, companies focussed on connecting professionals with color jobs. But Chris thought that wasn’t enough. He saw an opportunity where black people got rejected for some roles. So in March, he planned to connect mentors with young people to get experience on soft skills before attending any interviews.
When did the original mentor space start?
The startup started in 2017 as a job-candidate screening. It was an ideal site for recruiting the best candidates for jobs. Unfortunately, the moment a candidate gets hired, the relationship gets terminated. This factor wasn’t good for Chris. He wanted to remain consistent in helping Latinx and black people develop courage in chasing their dream jobs.
Why focus on blacks and Latinx?
Motley had a long interview with Forbes, and he said “One of the key pain points of young people of color. And I mean underrepresented Black and Latinx communities, is a lack of confidence,” The network gap is what drives them away. If a person starts a career, they must have a mentor in that field. Looking at experienced fellows in your area will give you more lessons. Motley’s motive is to facilitate the relationship between the two players. New young people should meet their elders to get direction.
What’s different from re-launched Mentor Space?
The new mobile application closes the network gap with mentorship classes. Any mentee or protégé can submit any question on skills or industry they work in. A mentor who has experience in that field will come up with an answer or advice. There are several groups for a variety of topics and careers. As a result, it becomes easier for mentees to locate mentors.
How does the company earn revenue?
Students and young professionals around 10,000 access the platform freely. But once a person secures a well-paying job, there is a subscription fee they pay. Mentors space has partnered with Black Colleges and Universities like Spellman College.
What has been the market response?
Since the slogan ‘Black Lives Matters,’ the platform has gained popularity. The killing of George Floyd brought some chaos to the United States. Black people have joined the platform to discuss how they feel about their lives on jobs.
What is the impact of Universities on Mentor space?
Motley said “Universities are more focused on connecting students with pathways to employment.” There is limited interaction between companies and students as it used to happen before the Covid-19. No physical mentorship is taking place. In-person career counseling is limited to schools. Motley speaks out on how companies can’t do the way they used to in the traditional days. No one knows when will Covid-19 cease. Therefore, it is a chance to promote mentor spaces to help youth achieve their goals.
What’s the job market for blacks?
Before the pandemic, the Bureau of Labor Statistics, white employed people were twice black. The ratio of white Americans to black was 6.3% to 3.1%, respectively. At the birth of the covid19 vaccine, the latinx still reports the worst number of unemployment cases in 2020. The whites reported fewer unemployment cases of 12%.
What about wages?
The wage gap is also wide. The white earns much more than black and Latinx workers. A US report indicated that black Americans are more likely to die of Covid-19.