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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?
This post is based on a podcast interview with Elias Torres. To hear this episode, and many more like it, you can subscribe to The Sales Engagement Podcast.
If you don’t use iTunes, you can listen to every episode here.
About The Podcast
The Sales Engagement podcast is the #1 podcast focused on engaging your customers and prospects in the modern sales era. This show features real-life stories and best practices from revenue leaders doing the job day in and day out, in a casual, radio-like talk show.
Each episode features modern tactics, strategies, hacks, and tips to get the most out of your sales engagement strategy and help you navigate the next generation of sales. You’ll find energetic talks that will provide you with real actionable value around building meaningful connections and creating a better selling experience through authentic conversations that you can measure.
The Sales Engagement podcast is here to help B2B sales leaders, customer success leaders, and marketing leaders innovate and usher in the next era of modern sales by building pipeline, up-selling customers, and ultimately generating more revenue with more efficiency.
Hosted by Joe Vignolo, Senior Content Managing Editor at Outreach, and Mark Kosoglow, Vice President of Sales at Outreach.