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director of inclusive innovation | Houston Exponential | Houston, TX

Houston Exponential

Director of Inclusive innovation

Houston, TX Full Time

We are looking for a change-maker eager to disrupt the tech industry through innovative new approaches and big, bold, creative swings. This role will be the primary interface between a (stealth) $50M Venture Capital fund investing in high-growth, high-impact startups led by under-represented founders at the seed stage and Houston Exponential.

We believe the DE&I Playbook is due for an update, and there is still much work to be done to address subtle and persistent forms of bias in the ways underrepresented founders access the resources, capital, and talent needed to thrive here in Houston.

As the most diverse city in America, we must lead in creating a tech economy that works for all. The Director of Inclusive Innovation will lead that charge by prototyping and testing new inclusive ideas and ways of operating, galvanizing a community of ecosystem-builders, founders, and talent; and creating onramps and opportunities for underrepresented founders to succeed in Houston.

About the Houston Exponential Team:

Working at Houston Exponential (HX) is like having a front row seat to the future of Houston. There is no team quite like ours anywhere, inside or outside of tech. It's a unique opportunity to both work at an agile, exciting startup and spend your days owning, executing and advancing our inclusion and impact efforts. You will be surrounded by some of the most curious and driven people you will ever meet and held up to the highest standards every day. Our team members come from backgrounds as diverse as VC, consulting, economic development, product management, and medical research. Each member of the team has a voice in the development of strategic initiatives and are encouraged to do so.

There are a few things we look for across all hires we make at HX, regardless of role or team. First, we assess whether a candidate demonstrates our values: Clear Communication, Positive Energy, Efficient Execution, and Continuous Learning. Second, we look for signals that a candidate will thrive in a culture like ours, where we default to trust, embrace feedback, disrupt ourselves, and expect sustained high performance because we play as a championship team.

What you’ll be doing (i.e. job duties):

  • Strategy & Roadmapping: Partner and galvanize a community of passionate ecosystem builders. Define and drive the future of inclusion with Houston’s startup community. You will possess a clear vision of the future of inclusive design and have the courage to purpose forward thinking practices that focus on creating equitable opportunity for underrepresented groups.

  • Project Management and Operational Execution: Lead the implementation of our D&I strategy through cross-functional stakeholders and teams. Ensure internal alignment on goals, and cohesion in execution. Plan, execute and deliver experiences that foster inclusion with a specific focus on creating equitable opportunity for underrepresented groups.

  • Cross-functional Leadership: Partner with our internal teams to create a strategy that activates underrepresented groups, with a focus on expanding top of funnel recruiting efforts through community partnerships, emerging and industry talent, professional associations, etc.; Work closely with leadership on strategy, programs, and execution of all diversity and inclusion initiatives.

  • Build and Foster Community: Create and develop supportive, inclusive founder communities

  • Data-driven program design: Take a data-driven approach to D&I, which includes owning (and iterating) on our existing framework for measuring the impact and effectiveness of inclusion and diversity, and connect what we see in the data to an understanding of its impact on the development of the innovation ecosystem

  • Champion D&I: Be a strong voice for inclusion and belonging with internal and external audiences, championing our culture and values to audiences in all communities; Build and represent HX in external partnerships. Play a vital role in culture across the entire company by supporting expansion efforts globally.

What we look for in you (i.e. job requirements):

  • Growth mindset: a curiosity to approach (hard) problems in novel ways and an orientation toward continuous learning

  • Structured problem solver: can tackle complex problems, developing data-driven solutions

  • Operational prowess / change management: ability to craft practical operational plans to achieve clear, measurable goals

  • High emotional intelligence: an ability to connect with people with varied views, actively listen, coach and influence to drive toward common goals

  • Ease with data: a facility working with data to understand a problem, to tell a story, to influence others

  • Exceptional written and verbal communication skills.

  • High degree of discretion in working with sensitive and confidential information.

  • We are looking for experienced professionals (5-10 years) and are open to a variety of backgrounds including but not limited to: experience in in startups, people strategy & operations, and management consulting

Because of our desire to have a diverse slate of candidates, candidates who are female and/or Black or African American, Hispanic or Latino, American Indian or Alaska Native, Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander, or two or more races are strongly encouraged to apply.


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