Dessa: Growing a Diverse and Inclusive Artificial Intelligence Company
(6 pages of text)
In 2018, Vince Wong, the founder and chief operating officer of Toronto-based artificial intelligence firm Dessa, faced the challenge of developing a diverse workforce and a culture supportive of diversity through his hiring practices at the rapidly growing start-up. Until now, Wong had handled all of the hiring at the 30-person firm himself. However, as he expected the firm to double in size within the next year, Wong had hired an internal recruiter and was considering how to formalize and transition hiring in a way that supported expanding diversity within the firm. Wong’s main focus was on determining how to support diversity through hiring and inclusion via the development of a staffing system that aligned with his desire to develop a more diverse and inclusive workforce.
This case can be used effectively for both undergraduate- and graduate-level courses on leadership, human resources, entrepreneurship, or small business management. By working through the case and assignment questions, students will have the opportunity to do the following:
- Discuss the strategic importance of diversity and inclusion for firms as well as the challenges to developing more inclusive staffing practices in the tech industry.
- Discuss the need to formalize operational processes, including staffing, as an entrepreneurial firm grows and the founders move away from day-to-day management and toward more strategic efforts in the firm.
Information, Media & Telecommunications
Canada, Small, 2018
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