Blockchain: An Equal Opportunity Employer
“Blockchain and crypto have real potential to foster diversity and inclusion. For example, a lot of people, including me, would like to see more women get into the crypto space because of the potential access to wealth and opportunity,” said CEO of Holistic, Tom Alexander. “The blockchain technology is so egalitarian the way it is designed and distributed that it is a level playing field.”
Holistic uses company data to help executives understand their employee’s experience and jumpstart conversations about diversity and inclusion (D&I). While Holistic does not currently leverage blockchain, Tom is a big enthusiast of the new technology and believes it is a gateway to opportunities specifically when it comes to D&I. We sat down with Tom to learn more about his background, what we should expect from new technologies and what the intersection of technology and D&I looks like.
Tom graduated from the University of Chicago with a Bachelor’s in Political Science and went on to receive a Master’s in Public Policy at Northwestern University. His career includes time in politics as he was the Policy and Communications Program Director at the Office of the Governor in 2009 and Deputy Communications Director from 2011-2014 at the Office of Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel.
In February 2014, Tom joined Chicago’s technology and entrepreneurship center, 1871, as the Chief Operating Officer. He managed operational challenges, oversaw business development and led expansion opportunities as well as was responsible for media and government relations.
“1871 is like a weathervane for the technology industry,” he said. “1871 also helps members understand new technologies and how they will impact the community.”
It was at 1871 that Tom was first introduced to blockchain technology and bitcoin.
“People that I know got into the bitcoin space early on and I had a few friends that were miners. I was more interested in the conversation when it diverged between crypto and blockchain,” he said. “It was then that I realized the potential blockchain has and the impact it could make on so many industries.”
An Equal Opportunity
Blockchain’s wide reach extends to the concept of diversity and inclusion.
“Blockchain is still in its early phases and a lot of people would agree with me when I say that its best advancements are yet to come,” said Tom. “Many people could benefit from getting involved in this early stage and the barrier to entry is really low. “
While Tom believes blockchain presents an equal opportunity for any interested party, he also thinks it encompasses the technology of the future.
“It’s a very inclusive technology, which is a feature of many new and modern technologies,” he said.
Dedicated to Diversity and Inclusion
Tom has been working on D&I initiatives for over a decade. He is focused on helping companies and individuals reach their maximum potential by creating fair and inclusive environments.
“Holistic works with companies to understand their employees’ experience. There is a lot of pressure to be thoughtful around fairness and advancements. They also have to keep in mind what type of environment they are creating,” he said. “We help put some science behind it.”
Tom explained that Holistic leverages company data to facilitate the right conversations.
“Payroll data, performance data, company DNA,” he said. “Any and all policies and procedures – we take any information about the company that we can get that impacts the on-the-job experience and we use this to facilitate dialogue.”
At Hehmeyer Trading + Investments we have interviewed many experts in the blockchain space about how it will impact the financial industry, real estate and art. After our conversation with Tom, we see the potential extends even further.
“Blockchain is a far reaching technology that has the potential to impact a variety of industries,” he said. “It presents a ton of opportunities and has leveled the playing field in terms of barriers to entry.”
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