We set goals based on what we’ve seen


What if there was a place where you could browse through different roles in an industry of interest, and follow the career journeys of people in the kind of place you want to be? What if you could easily share back your experiences with people who want to learn from them, and publicize helpful events, programs and community groups for those industries?

We think it’d be pretty cool too.

Zimela is a platform that gives control back to the individual, curating career resources (in the form of other’s stories, relevant events and programming, etc.) for others based on their interests and needs. People not only get jobs because of people they know, but also learn that the jobs exist from the same sources. Those people in our lives— the neighbor down the road, friend down the hall, acquaintance of a colleague at work— they have the information that helps direct us to our next steps. Let Zimela be that person for you, connecting you to the right plug.



Meet the founders


Erika Hairston

Erika is passionate about disrupting the workforce, making all industries truly representative of the population. Raised in New Jersey as the youngest of four, Erika at an early age recognized how much she benefited from having a village of role models. In high school (where she met Arnelle!), her passion for tech and social justice blossomed. Throughout her time at Yale, where she studied both Computer Science and African-American Studies, and also completed Engineering internships in Silicon Valley, it became clear to her that the lack of accessible role models was part of the issue tech companies faced in hiring and retaining diverse talent. She started Zimela first to address this problem, making relatable role models (all of you!) easier to find.


Arnelle Ansong

Arnelle is passionate about streamlining the career finding process. Throughout her time at Stanford, she studied psychology, economics and computer science, and tried out several different career options— working at a nonprofit, writing her own cookbook and blogging, working as a software engineer, and then as a product manager at a health startup. Each time, she got leads on her next steps from people in her life who knew her, or from investigating the stories of those who inspired her. She is working on Zimela to make the process of finding relevant career resources and stories more simple. She hopes that she herself can use it to find some amazing role models and even inspire a few people, too.


Want to get involved? The founders are funding themselves as they work build out zimela, and Would appreciate feedback and donations. DOnate now, and Sign up to get updates from us!