How Dean Haynesworth Helps Improve Diversity

Racial bias tool improves representation at the executive level

There has been a close spotlight on how companies approach diversity, equality, and inclusion (DEI), so Dean Haynesworth is helping address DEI by improving representation at the executive level. 

Haynesworth is the CEO of Black Progress Matters (BPM), an organization on a mission to help corporate America diversify its leadership teams. Aside from offering staffing and training, BPM launched a tech company called UnBiasIT, which created a tool that can help mitigate risk by monitoring communication channels for language, phrases, and behavior that indicate racial bias, discrimination, and hostile environments for people of color.

Dean Haynesworth
Dean Haynesworth.

Black Progress Matters

Both BPM and UnBiasIT launched a year ago with Haynesworth at the helm. BPM's main priority is its staffing division, which helps organizations recruit and directly place minority candidates in executive roles.

UnBiasIT, also financially supported by BPM, created an alert tool that can integrate with any digital communications and collaboration platform, including Microsoft 365, email, social media websites, and instant messaging apps.

The alert system detects and reports communication that shows racial bias or discrimination from employees so executives can make more informed diversity, equity, and inclusion decisions.  

"When we were first discussing the minority-owned businesses we wanted to incubate at BPM, my priority was a Black-owned tech company with significant technologies that could speak to the BPM mission," Haynesworth told Lifewire in a phone interview.

"When we talk about change at Black Progress Matters, we are speaking directly to structural and cultural change—and with UnBiasIt, we are empowering organizations to do both."

Quick Facts

  • Name: Dean Haynesworth
  • Age: 47
  • From: Baton Rouge, Louisiana
  • Random delight: His favorite book to read is The Count of Monte Cristo. "Every entrepreneur needs passion in their life. It is often not the 'what you do,' but the 'why you do it.'"
  • Key quote or motto:  "Pressure—turns coal into diamonds."

Progression for the Black Workforce

Raised in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Haynesworth was born to a Black father and an Italian-American mother. His biracial background and the hardship he faced is why he put his work into confronting racial bias and progression for Black professionals. 

"Since my childhood, I have seen the best of our shared experience," Haynesworth said. "Growing up in a bi-racial family, we faced the same inherent conflicts that more than ever threaten and debilitate corporate America today. The inevitable racist confrontations and invaluable lessons learned from my childhood still provide the framework I use to guide my family, my children, and my business."

Haynesworth first got his start in entrepreneurship working in medical sales. Working in the healthcare sector showed Haynesworth the importance of advanced technologies. He wanted to mix his passion for cutting-edge technology with Black progression, and BPM and UnBiasIT were born as a result.

Haynesworth left the corporate world and medical sales in 2019 to start pursuing his ventures. He declined to provide information on employee count, but he said his company is entirely self-funded with a team of "great partners."

Dean Haynesworth
Dean Haynesworth.

Black Progress Matters

Helping Others Thrive

One of Haynesworth's most rewarding moments in his entrepreneurial career was starting his own business that helps others thrive. He said he's been fortunate enough to gain support from people who welcome his companies' missions; that's what keeps him motivated.  

"I am well on my way to surpassing my wildest dreams of success through Black Progress Matters and UnBiasIt," he said. 

Ultimately, Haynesworth wants to help increase Black representation in executive roles in corporate America.

He said his biggest hurdle with this work is assisting organizations in understanding that racial bias is a problem they need to attack head-on, starting with diverse representation at the executive level. Both BPM and UnBiasIT are focusing on onboarding leading organizations this year. 

"Black Progress Matters truly believes that in any organization, if you look to the top at the executive level and see a person of color, it will inspire every one of color in that organization," Haynesworth said. "It speaks volumes about the character and true opportunity available in that organization—and this is what Black Progress Matters is dedicated to providing."

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