The Black Lives Matter movement has sparked change and ignited critical discussions around the United States — in fact, people are taking notice around the world. Protests, news outlets, and social media have provided platforms for many to share their experiences with racial inequality.
The outcry for justice is being met with outstretched hands — both physical and virtual — from all races and ethnicities. Unfortunately, many advocates are concerned the flames of passion for change will extinguish over time.
When the popularity of the movement dwindles, medical sales leaders and co-workers must continue to stand with Black employees and the various minorities in the movement for justice and equality benefits.
Every medical sales leader needs to focus on solidarity for the long-term. It all begins with evaluating and addressing the issues now.
We reached out to business leaders currently focusing on improving the diversity within their workforces and addressing issues of racial prejudices. Here’s what they’re doing to ensure diversity and inclusivity are more than awareness topics — they are forerunners in their companies’ success:
Send anonymous surveys
I believe our hiring practices at WikiLawn are already inclusive, but there’s always room for improvement. Any business owner who doesn’t feel that way right now needs to take a good, hard look at what they’re trying to accomplish and why.
We’ve spent the last couple weeks discussing our policies as a company. It’s not fair to put that burden on people of color, but we want input from those who are most affected. We’ve solicited anonymous feedback and have found that while our hiring practices are good, there’s some discrimination occurring in the form of casual racism. This is something we’ll be addressing with mandatory training.
Research training opportunities with a company that aligns with your current internal issues and end-goal. Some training strategies just scratches the surface, while others focus on deeper-rooted racial problems and how to continually address them.
Use your team’s anonymous surveys to start the search. Once you have it narrowed down to a few, survey your team again to include them in the decision-making process.
Support marginalized manufacturers and product creators
I have employees from all walks of life, and GadgetReview has never discriminated based on
race, sexuality, or any other factor. That said, we still have room for improvement.
One of the biggest things we’ve found is that we’re not doing what we can to support manufacturers and product creators of color. Many of the products we feature are designed and sold by companies composed almost entirely of white men.
The stance could be taken that there are just more white men in this field, but I don’t think that’s going to cut it. We have the ability to give a platform to marginalized people. We’re currently soliciting submissions from companies with Black owners and, in most cases, a majority Black workforce.
Being Black in Corporate America: An Intersectional Exploration, a 2019 report by Center for Talent Innovation (CTI), reported that Black Americans make up 12% of the U.S. population, but occupy only 3.2% of the senior leadership roles at large companies in the U.S. and just 0.8% of all Fortune 500 CEO positions. CNBC recently reported that of those 0.8%, none of the CEO positions were held by Black females as of May.
Make a conscious and continuous effort to look for opportunities for your company to support diverse, minority-owned and operated companies, including manufacturers, product developers, marketing agencies, staffing agencies, and more.
Don’t stop evaluating
I think it’s important to constantly evaluate your company for potential issues with diversity, even if you think you are doing it well.
Sometimes when it doesn’t happen to us, we don’t see the issue. It’s important for companies to monitor, observe, and listen. To do this, I’m always asking myself questions like:
- “Do I have enough female speakers?”
- “Do I have representation from people of various ethnicities?”
- “Do I have speakers from the Black community?”
- “Are representatives from the LGBT community here?”
- “Have I spoken to members of the disability council?”
- “Do people of all ages feel welcome?”
- “Whose voice is missing here today?”
When the answer to any of the questions is “No,” I make a real effort to change it to a “yes.” We are all in this together after all.
Lead an open discussion during meetings with your team — regardless of your role in the company. Work to identify your company’s weaknesses and strengths when it comes to diversity. If you recognize diversity is lacking, help create an advisory board to revise hiring practices, such as hiring diverse recruiters and helping alter the hiring criteria to encourage diverse medical sales applicants and new hires.
If your company already prioritizes and fosters a diverse workplace, discuss how you can continue to assess and assist in keeping that momentum moving forward in your company and in the community.
Read to learn how to recognize if your company or one you are applying to supports a culture of diversity and awareness surrounding equality in the workplace.