Select your preferred player below to subscribe now:
About This Episode
Unless you’ve been on a deserted island for the past few months (which actually sounds really nice) you’ve noticed that the country is experiencing ongoing racial tensions.
Protests, demonstrations, riots.
As a result, an awful lot of companies are speaking up and speaking out about diversity. They’re making commitments to be more diverse in hiring, recruiting, and every other part of their business.
Which is great.
But it begs the question: What does true diversity look like in a large organization?
On this episode of the Sales Engagement Podcast, we sit down with Elias Torres, CTO & Co-Founder at Drift for a conversation all about diversity in the workplace, and the difference that having a founder of color can make.
Nicety vs. Necessity
While it might make for great headlines, the truth is that far too many businesses are way too behind when it comes to being intentionally diverse in their operating models.
But as a founder that immigrated to the United States from Nicaragua at the age of 17, Elias has a different take on diversity in hiring.
People of color don’t wake up and ask themselves, “How can I be intentionally diverse today?” Because diversity is their life.
Every conversation, every action, every decision is filtered through the lens of diversity, because as a person of color, it has to be for them.
When diversity is who you are and what you care about, when it’s your passion and the foundation of your core beliefs, you can’t escape it. You can’t relegate it to a checkbox on a company form.
But it Doesn’t Come Easy
This isn’t to say that having a founder of color, or founders of color, make diversity a snap.
It’s still work, and it still needs to be something that every leader focuses on. And if it’s this difficult for a company with 2 founders of color, imagine how difficult it’s going to be for companies with no representation at the top?
It’s naturally going to be incredibly difficult to fight for diversity & inclusion across the company if your executive team all look the same.
Make it a Habit, Not a Goal
But as Elias puts it, diversity & inclusion ought to be a habit, not a goal.
Think of it this way.
What is the number that you would settle on when someone asks, “What percentage of the company should be made up of traditionally underrepresented groups?”
Hopefully you’re laughing right now, because you can see what a silly question that is.
There is no answer. Nobody has an answer to that question. Imagine how silly it would sound to say, “okay well the average company has a workforce that is 13% made up of underrepresented people, and we are only at 11%. So we need to work really hard and get 2% more minorities.”
See how silly that sounds?
It’s not about hitting a goal. It’s about creating an environment where diversity is understood, celebrated, and habitual.
From hiring practices to interview questions, from company meetings to performance reviews, diversity ought to saturate every aspect of your company’s culture.
Again, it won’t be easy.
Every company is going to mess it up. Every company is going to have benchmarks that they’re going to miss.
But every journey has setbacks. And no company is perfect.
Start now. Hire someone whose job is to make the company a more diverse and inclusive place. Because you can’t have one without the other.
Diversity is counting heads.
Inclusion is making the heads count.
And doesn’t everybody want to work for a place where everybody counts?
If you don’t use iTunes, you can listen to every episode here.