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DEI Directive Wins Best in Tech & Web 3 at the 2023 Blaze Business Awards

DEI Directive Wins Best in Tech & Web3 at the 2023 Blaze Business Awards

Step into the world of Flo Nicolas, the trailblazing winner of the "Best in Tech & Web3" award at the 2023 Blaze Business Awards! In this insightful interview, Flo shares her entrepreneurial insights, spilling all the deets on her journey in the tech industry and her commitment to reshaping the tech landscape.

Flo is a lawyer with experience in; bankruptcy and real estate, telecommunications technologies as well as the technology industry. She is also an emerging technology enthusiast who researches and follows what's going on in the technology industry.

Technology can be pretty complex, and what Flo noticed is that a lot of people have a hard time understanding all this evolving technology. It is for this reason that she created her own show called Get Tech Smart to help people stay up-to-date with technology and digital transformation. She also co-founded DEI Directive, a technology company that focuses on helping organizations prepare for the Future of Work.

Brace yourselves for some major inspiration as Flo reveals the secrets behind her groundbreaking business and drops hints about her exciting future initiatives!

About DEI Directive

DEI Directive is a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) technology firm helping organizations make better decisions around their DEI health, so their efforts can yield a real impact that is sustainable in the long term.

With our DEI Intelligence Platform, Human Resource and DEI Professionals can have real-time and comprehensive access to DEI data, taking the guesswork out of the equation, measuring the progress of efforts, and improving the outcomes of their DEI initiatives.

DEI Directive Wins Best in Tech & Web3 at the 2023 Blaze Business Awards


Delving Deeper

"One thing I noticed since I have been in technology for, you know, over 10 years, is the lack of diversity in this industry so I have become a huge advocate for creating a tech industry that is inclusive where everyone can essentially feel like they belong they have a voice, and they can be heard," said Flo.

DEI Directive Wins Best in Tech & Web3 at the 2023 Blaze Business Awards

We are so proud of you and your inspiring win, Flo! Can you share a little bit about your business journey? What inspired you to start your business?

Flo: Honestly, I started my own business because of a lack of opportunities. When I worked in corporate, I was so excited. I thought "Here is my chance to get into the C-Suite." But I was naive.

What I didn't realize is that there are challenges and barriers for women, especially women of color, in terms of scaling in the corporate industry. If you look at the data analytics that's out there, women generally (women of color, specifically) are missing in top management and executive roles.

So essentially, I got tired of begging and I got tired of continuously working hard and just not seeing myself scaling up the ladder of success. I also got burnt out mentally and physically and I had to make a tough decision of whether to stay or leave - and I decided to leave.

After I left, I started interviewing at other major corporations and it became exhausting going through interview after interview after interview and getting rejection after rejection. And that too became a mental challenge for me.

So I said to myself "You know what, if they're not going to be willing to give me an opportunity, then I will create and build my own opportunities." So I created my business out of necessity because I was having a hard time trying to get doors to open for me. I created my own doors to survive.

I joined the business where I am a co-founder - DEI directive - in February of 2023. I watched my friend Malobi Achike build the business, cheering her on as she did so while I also worked on my own business, Get Tech Smart.

When she noticed that I started to get highly involved in promoting inclusive and diverse workplaces, she said, “You know, Flo, this is a no-brainer. You should be a part of DEI Directive; together we can continue to build this business and really help organizations leverage technology, specifically data analytics, to create inclusive and diverse workplaces."

And that's how the journey began!

Yasssssss, Flo!!! You did the darn thing and built your own table! We love to see it!

Just like every business, we're sure you must have faced your own unique set of challenges since launching your business. Can you talk a bit about that and how you have been able to overcome them?

Flo: The biggest challenge of building a business is raising the funds to build the business! Another challenge is also trying to get investors to understand the product that you are creating and to believe in the need for the product that you are creating. And statistics have shown that it is a big challenge for a woman-owned business or woman-of-color-owned business to get investors to want to take a risk and invest in you.

One of the things that we knew that we had to do was to build strategic partnerships with people who believe in what we're trying to do, which is to help organizations create inclusive workforces. What has been working is creating partnerships with organizations that believe in the power of data analytics, reporting, and benchmarking.

Presently, we have a partnership with UNH Center for Business Analytics and our goal with this partnership is to use their standing as a high-ranking University to help us build our brand credibility. We are also in talks with other organizations, which I can’t presently mention, but we are starting to pick up attention and are raising brand awareness.

DEI Directive Wins Best in Tech & Web3 at the 2023 Blaze Business Awards

Amazing! Approaching the challenge from a strategic place is definitely the way to go!

So tell us, how did it feel to be recognized as a winner in your category at the Blaze Business Awards and what other achievements have you had on your entrepreneurial journey?

Flo: Being recognized by the Blaze Business Awards is phenomenal! Malobi and I have been working so hard to build brand awareness and recognition and as newbies in the technology sector, we really needed this win to show that what we are building is worthy of recognition and attention.

This win is a huge victory for us, to be named Best In Tech & Web3 because we are proving that we can do it! Not only are we building a much-needed DEI Intelligence Platform, but what we are building is award-winning and innovative, and deserving of recognition.

Right now we are so excited because we recently announced that we created an early adopter program that gives organizations the ability to test drive our platform at no cost. One of the things that we request from any organization that wants to participate in this program is feedback.

This is a huge victory for us to be at this stage in the development of our platform because now we have the capabilities to allow users to start playing around with all the tremendous features that we offer. Their recommendations will help us continue to improve our platform so that we can optimize it to provide the best value for our customers.

We also have another huge milestone which I, unfortunately, cannot share at this time - but stay tuned for the announcement in mid-July!

Whoop whoop!!! Super exciting news all round! You deserve everything and more, sis. The work you are doing is impressive and worthy of all the recognition! So can you share a bit about your impact goals and vision for your business?

DEI Directive Wins Best in Tech & Web3 at the 2023 Blaze Business Awards

Flo: What is at the core of our business is helping organizations to prepare for the future of work. There is a global transformation of the workforce and what we are seeing is that globally, our workforce is continuing to evolve into a diverse workforce of people from different backgrounds, cultures, genders, and much more.

The bottom line is that the world is changing and organizations that are not strategically prepared for this more diverse workforce will lose employees and potential customers.

Our software is designed with the intent of helping organizations create long-term and sustainable inclusive workplaces which will in turn help them decrease employee churn and increase positive engagement from employees to increase productivity. We know from experience that an increase in productivity equals an increase in revenue as well as an increase in customer satisfaction.

The bottom line is that we are building a tool that helps organizations prepare for the future of work. We saw what happened with the great resignation, and we saw some of the feedback from employees stating that they were tired of feeling like they didn't belong or feeling like they weren't heard or seen.

The other feedback from people surveyed during the Great Resignation was the lack of diversity which had a tremendous impact on the well-being of some employees. The data that's out there shows that most employees want their organizations to be inclusive and they want to show up to work and feel like they belong.

Our bottom line and the impact that we want to have is to help organizations successfully create inclusive workplaces where people can show up, be themselves, feel welcomed and feel empowered to have a voice. That is one of the goals of our highly innovative DEI Intelligence Platform.

One way that I envision growing in this business is by continuing to create strategic partnerships with organizations that really believe in creating diverse and inclusive workplaces. So that could mean teaming up with larger organizations like the EEOC and other organizations that are focused on making sure that companies are compliant with existing laws that protect employees from being discriminated against in the workplace. We also have goals to partner with organizations such as Google, Microsoft, and many others.

C'mon, ambition! We can't wait to hear about the beautiful manifestation of all these goals! If you were to give advice to other aspiring Black women entrepreneurs, what would you tell them?

DEI Directive Wins Best in Tech & Web3 at the 2023 Blaze Business Awards

Flo: Just do it! The only person that can stop you from achieving your dreams is you. It won’t be easy but guess what, if it were easy breezy, then everyone will be like Oprah or Bill Gates.

The question you have to answer for yourself is "How badly do you want it? How far are you willing to go to do what you love doing?"

Again the most critical thing that I would want anyone to really know is that it is a challenge and not everybody is able to make it as an entrepreneur and that's just the facts. But they are success stories out there where people started with nothing and have built million and billion-dollar empires so we know it can be done.

Being an entrepreneur is like riding a roller coaster - it's exciting, it's thrilling and it's horrific all at the same time. But if you know what you want, then go for it. Make sure you surround yourself with gladiators that will cheer you on but at the same time, will provide you with the feedback that you need to help you grow your business.

You want to make sure that you start going out there to network and get your name out there so people know who you are what services/products you offer. You also need to start using social media platforms to build your brand awareness. It's all about who knows who you are.

And the one most important thing I will say is that you will have moments where you want to give up, you will have moments where you second guess yourself, you will have moments where there is a lack of confidence and you will have moments where you will be rejected & disappointed. But just know that these emotions are normal!

You will have your good days and you will have your bad days. But if you believe you can do it, then it can happen, just as if you believe you can't do it, then guess what, it won't happen. So it is really on you to choose whether you want to dream big, whether you want to work hard, and whether you want to pursue your passion and find your purpose as a black woman entrepreneur. The bottom line is that the power is all in your hands to determine the path that you want to take

You dropped soooooo many gems, Flo. Everything you said is the TRUTH! We know that you are speaking to the hearts of many Black women who are on the same journey.

So what's next for DEI Directives? Any upcoming projects?

Flo: Yes! We have many exciting things coming up but again, I am not able to announce them currently. So stay tuned! Mid-July, there's gonna be a huge huge announcement and we are beyond excited.


Flo, you are such a force to be reckoned with in the tech industry and we have the utmost respect for the impactful work that you are doing through DEI Directive! Thank you for sharing your journey and important insights with the community. We are always here cheering you on every step of the way :)

If you'd like to connect with Flo or learn more about the work that DEI Directive is doing, you can use the links below:


Learn how to grow from an entrepreneur to CEO with Blaze Group. Access community messaging, virtual co-working sessions, customizable business templates, business courses, and more — all from a single source. Try it free today. LEARN MORE


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