How Inclusion and Diversity in Sales and Business Can Enrich the Workplace, with Sara Jones, Episode #144
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A large number of sales organizations in America are still dominated by white male leaders, which means they’re missing out on the great benefits of inclusion and diversity in sales. Exposure to other cultures, ethnicities and backgrounds has the potential of taking organizations to the next level, providing fresh perspectives and innovative solutions.
My guest on this episode is Sara Jones, CEO of InclusionPro®, where she consults thoughtful leaders on building inclusive cultures, with a particular focus on team performance and innovation. Sara has more than 20 years of experience in diversity and inclusion, talent, workforce, operations, partnerships, content/product, fundraising and legal strategies. Sara is also Co-Founder of Women Tech Council (WTC), a national organization focused on the economic impact of women in driving high growth for the technology sector.
Listen as Sara shares her experiences and insights on the importance of diversity and inclusion in the workplace.Sara’s Story: From an Orphanage to the Board Room
Sara came to the U.S. in the 1970s as a Korean adoptee. Growing up in a religious community in Salt Lake City, UT, she experienced what it felt to be different. Not only did she look different than her parents, but she arrived in America as a two year old with a strange tattoo on her arm. Little did she know that that tattoo would be the clue to find her birth family many years later.
Listen to the fascinating and emotional story of how Sara reunited with her brothers in South Korea after decades of being separated and how that encounter inspired her to improve diversity and inclusion in the corporate world.
This episode is sponsored by XANT, the enterprise leader in sales engagement. Xant has authored the Definitive Guide to Sales Cadence. Get your copy at www.SalesCadenceGuide.comThe Power of Inclusion and Diversity in Sales
Sara says that people at every company want to be accepted for who they are, including their cultural background and ethnicity; they don’t want to be seen just as an asset or a job title. They are human beings with different perspectives and worldviews that can contribute to the organization.
A person’s identity shapes their thoughts and actions at work. When sales leaders don’t recognize that those perspectives have a real business value, they are missing on the potential of different sales techniques that the leader may not be accustomed to.Inclusion by Design
Sara notes that everyone started their careers without all the skills and the knowledge they needed, even white people, but were given the opportunity. That’s because people are hired on potential.
CEOs and Sales Leaders must be intentional in hiring a diverse workforce, even if it means giving opportunities to people from minority backgrounds that don’t have all the skills yet, but have the potential to grow in their careers.
Sara calls this inclusion by design: when leaders are strategic in building a diverse organization. This was the case with Vengreso. My co-founders and I created a minority-owned diverse business with Latinos, Asians, African-Americans, men and women, Millennials and Boomers at all levels of the organization. We focused on building a diverse workforce, which is why our About page includes people of all ages, races, and locations.
Listen as Sara and I tell stories that illustrate good and bad examples of diversity in the workplace and tips on how to make your organization more inclusive.