Alumni Profiles

Trailblazers for Talent Diversity

Kayla Michele

Good intentions about diversity, equity, and inclusion don’t always translate into truly diverse work environments. Realizing this, Kayla Michele SAS’17 and Chisa Egbelu SAS’16 cofounded PeduL—a company dedicated to helping employers build pipelines of diverse talent. PeduL works with clients to provide scholarship opportunities to college students who are prime candidates for internships and other positions within companies.

Watch this video to learn more about PeduL and the issues it’s working to address.

In September, PeduL was among 50 businesses selected for inclusion in the Google for Startups Black Founders Fund. Startups receive $100,000 in capital, $120,000 in ad credits, and more. PeduL was also recently accepted into Techstars, a prestigious Colorado-based technology acceleration program with an acceptance rate of less than 1 percent.

“PeduL is the embodiment of New Jersey’s innovative spirit,” said New Jersey governor Phil Murphy in a statement when the grant was announced. “I look forward to seeing PeduL’s success in the months and years to come.”

Video Transcript

[Upbeat, inspiring music throughout]

CHISA EGBELU, COFOUNDER AND CEO: So what PeduL is, PeduL is a platform that helps corporations diversify their workforce with scholarship programs.

KAYLA MICHELE, COFOUNDER AND PRESIDENT: Talent managers are typically barred from getting in front of underrepresented talent because of EEO compliance. But what they can do through PeduL is create a scholarship for that exact candidate profile, then those applicants can now be considered for internships and entry level positions and other professional development opportunities.

CHISA EGBELU: The company was made at Rutgers, right—we made this in the student center. For us, my co-founder, I met her in class literally in journalism school and all of our day-to-day processes, the foundation of who we are, was built on campus.

KAYLA MICHELE: Rutgers played a significant role in formulating our company because they provided the community, the environment, and the network for us to thrive and to start. They have always been committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion. It’s a part of the fabric of the culture of Rutgers. They have always taken the atypical and the unusual and made it the standard, and that’s exactly what we’re trying to accomplish at PeduL.