Diversity and inclusion are important in sales but what do these things mean exactly? In today’s episode, Stephen Hart and Sharon Manker are joining Donald in talking about what diversity and inclusion mean in sales.
Diversity and inclusion in sales
- Diversity is being invited to the table and inclusion means having a seat at the table to participate in whatever opportunity there is.
- It’s not just about getting the seat at the table but it’s also about having the equity component. We need to break down the unconscious biases that we have. We need to employ true diversity, equity, and inclusion not only in the sales team but also in an organization as a whole.
- For the black men and women, what the media portrays of us doesn’t really represent who we are.
- Growing up, you may have developed a certain mindset towards people of color and that translates into the workplace. Naturally, you gravitate towards the things that you know and what you’ve been taught.
- There are biases that we were brought up with that we need to check at the door.
- Getting over the things that you’ve been taught is an uncomfortable conversation. There’s a need for willingness and openness to have these difficult conversations.
- There are things that you can do to change the cycle and have more diversity and inclusion in your organization even if you’re only a small group.
Shaping the culture
- Culture is very important. Sharon’s organization is very committed to the culture of inclusion and diversity. They recently hired a Chief Diversity Officer, an initiative that highlights the differences. There’s self-reporting that employees can do. You can go and report that you’re an LGBTQ without any repercussions.
- You need to be comfortable in the skin that you’re in when you go to work.
- Organizations should encourage people to have difficult conversations to ensure that the culture is sustainable. It needs a top-down approach where people at the top invite everyone to be heard.
- The goal is to create an environment in the workplace where everyone can talk about the biases and differences. Every member of the organization should be able to see each other and be able to show empathy.
- Organizations should champion training everyone on unconscious biases, on how to talk about difficult conversations, and how to be advocates.
Expanding the workforce for people of color
- At the end of the day, you’re going to hire the most suitable person for the role. But it’s also important that organizations represent society and have different perspectives in the team.
- If everyone is looking through one lens, then you’re missing an opportunity.
- The more you know, the more you grow. In sales, the more you know of the things that you’re trying to achieve, the more likely you’ll get success.
- Unless you have a diversity of thoughts in the team, you won’t have innovation.
- Unless you are inclusive, you won’t know what else is out there.
“Diversity: What Do Diversity and Inclusion Mean in Sales?” episode resources
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