Impacting the Lives of Underrepresented Talent

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation funded a research and innovation project with Mentor Spaces to explore the efficacy of personalized career pathways for Historically Black College students.

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation logo

After years of research, Mentor Spaces was developed to support young Black professionals with building their confidence.

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What is the Project?

The project is intended to explore the impact of intermediaries between Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), students and employers on job placements and provide evidence in support of the foundation’s investments in tools to improve student career outcomes.

What problem are we addressing?

Students struggle to identify and execute suitable career pathways. This issue is exacerbated for black college graduates.

We are working towards narrowing this attainment gap by focusing innovative approaches that better connect students to the labor market.

person interacting with their laptop

Seniors graduate without a job offer


Recent black graduates are underemployed


Recent black graduates are unemployed

What is our solution?

We provide students access to a self-awareness and career discovery application that helps them recognize their strengths, values, and interests to confidently approach their career goals.

Mentor Spaces and the Clarity assessment will be available for free for HBCU students to:

  • Gain self-awareness of their motivations and values to prepare
  • Connect their coursework to workplace skills
  • Conduct more fruitful interactions with employers
  • Identify workplace cultures that would promote their development

Project steps

Students complete Clarity

Student gain self-awareness to articulate soft skills and values, and confidently approach employers.

Hiring teams complete Clarity for Teams

Employers capture baseline data to target their content to relevant students that qualify for their roles and match with their company culture.

Students and Mentors connect on Mentor Spaces

Students discover mentors through shared values, desired soft skills, and culture preferences.

Research data is made public

Our team will broadly disseminate aggregate research data to our partners for collaboration and re-use.

Participating Institutions and Diverse Consortiums

  • Penn Center for MSIs logo

Participating Historically Black Colleges and Universities

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Address your diversity and inclusion goals by taking advantage of this funded project.

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Support organizations for underrepresented professionals

Offer the opportunity for your members to benefit.

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