This month we caught up with Angela Hood, CEO and Founder of ThisWay Global, to learn more about her journey to becoming a game changing female founder. ThisWay Global is an award-winning and industry leader known for unbiased matching of people to jobs. ThisWay Global supports employers, recruiters, and staffing agencies that acknowledge the importance of removing bias and increasing diversity in their organizations.
- What was your professional journey that led to creating your own business?
I have been an entrepreneur since I was 12 years old. I started my first business with a group of friends and we would charge people $2 for every 15 minutes to stand in line for tickets to events on their behalf, this was before online Ticketmaster was a thing. And of course we accepted tips! I was born and raised in Plano, Texas and went to school at Texas A&M where I majored in Construction Science. In my time at Texas A&M, I noticed a lot of opportunities were being missed so I decided to create and head a semi-annual career fair to provide my fellow students with more interview opportunities. The career fair is still hosted by the TAMU College of Architecture - Construction Science department and helps hundreds of students start their careers each year.
Over the last 25 years I watched the market, waiting for the time when technology was advanced enough to tackle the problem of eliminating bias in companies' hiring processes and I found the perfect technology incubator at ideaSpace - Cambridge University in England. Following years of R&D, ThisWay Global was founded and now headquartered in Austin, Texas. Being from Texas, I wanted to bring this company to my home state and had my eyes on Austin because the technology market here is great and most of our family is in Central Texas.
- Why did you start this business?
I have always worked in male-dominated fields and experienced bias firsthand. I also witnessed biases that have directly impacted my family. My husband is a retired Marine, my son is currently an active duty Navy Diver, and my daughter is a member of the LGBTQ community. I have also lived internationally and witnessed biases against myself and others. I continuously watched as biases were brought into every conversation and situation and thought, “If I can do something about it, I should take action.” Biases affect every single aspect of our lives and it felt crazy taking on such a big project but the need and market size were so significant and the solution was so valuable that I dug in and ThisWay Global was born.
- What basic actions can businesses/corporations do to be more unbiased?
- Make a legitimate commitment via funding and stop just adding "lip service"
- Take the elephant down one bite at a time. Start with one area of the business and focus on transparency and meaningful outcomes.
- Ask for outside help. Contact a company like ThisWay Global and share your goals so that they can help you achieve your desired outcome.
- What advice would you give to women who are interested in starting their own business?
- Reduce your personal debt as much as possible. Learn to live, lean, and save money.
- Have a support structure around you through partners, roommates, family, etc. that supports what you are doing because it can be a very lonely experience.
- Practice the art of perseverance.