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DEI Initiatives

I am looking for advice in getting DEI initiatives off the ground at our sales company. Our CEO hasn’t been prioritizing it and our culture is suffering and people are leaving left and right. Especially Women. Any advice or insight into getting C levels to open their eyes?

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1
closedwon
Politicker
+7
VP Sales
Do they care if people are leaving and culture is suffering? Ask yourself this first. Β Most companies say the right things but never actually try.Β 

Also makes a huge difference if this is a privately owned business, public company or does business with Fed government. Β 

Can you prove people are leaving because of this specific reason?Β 


Anything worth doing is difficult and you must care enough about your company to want to make an impact!Β 

It’s a slippery slope because you are trying to do good but not everyone will see it that way.Β 

Do you have anyone in a leadership position that you trust and may provide some guidance or bounce ideas off of? Or at least tell you how to get time with CEO to present your initiatives?
HypeWoman
Fire Starter
+1
District Sales Manager
We are privately held and I may have enough leadership to make a difference. I’m trying to think of ideas that we can implement for a faster change. I have been able to get some feedback from people that have left and it is directly correlated to DEI and lack of empathy
closedwon
Politicker
+7
VP Sales
Great start! Maybe it’s as simple as asking to set-up an anonymous survey and provide questions related to DEI and how employees feel how the company is doing at addressing?Β 

Perhaps, if the results are dramatically different than what the believe the current culture is, it could help influence starting the conversation?Β 
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Trinity
WR Officer
+7
BusDev
I find it interesting that the CEO is not prioritizing this, nor does the other leaders in your org. Employee experience should always be top of mind and as important as customer experience.

You need to provide supporting data. An anonymous survey is a start but analyse the why, i.e. comments (qualitative) from the survey, provide more insight than the numbers (quantitative). From there, you can define the strategies needed to come up with initiatives.
HypeWoman
Fire Starter
+1
District Sales Manager
I think that with COVID and our swift move to work from home the focus shifted and we are not able to keep up with the growth. I definitely will put together some research to see what we can do.Β 
Trinity
WR Officer
+7
BusDev
Btw, kudos to you for taking the initiative in changing the trajectory of your company's culture.
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YoungGoat
Opinionated
+2
Surgical Technology Specialist
I’ve been going through this at my company as well. Our initiatives didn’t gain any momentum until we were able to find one person at the C level who bought into what we were trying to do.

I’d focus my efforts on that first. Trying to get buy in from 1 or 2 stakeholders at various levels and then arrange a meeting to discuss first steps.

That being said if you’re hitting a wall and getting resistance with everything you try it may be time to start exploring new opportunities. I strongly believe the companies that don’t figure this out will suffer long term and the ones that do will far surpass the ones that don’t.
HypeWoman
Fire Starter
+1
District Sales Manager
Love those ideas!Β 
SalesPharaoh
Politicker
+8
AM BDR
May I ask, why haven't you thought of leaving yourself?
HypeWoman
Fire Starter
+1
District Sales Manager
I have thought of leaving, but I feel like I have to fight before I give up. I think that the company has redeeming qualities(maybe im just drinking the kool aid).Β 
SalesPharaoh
Politicker
+8
AM BDR
Fair point honestly
Numbers
Good Citizen
+1
Associate regional manager
Hi, hype women I work with a company called UIT that takes a good amount of stress off finding qualified DEI candidates and trains them continuously, all they ask is for the company to be serious about there strategy! Would love to explain in more detail elsewhere I don't want to come off as selling just answering your questions.
HypeWoman
Fire Starter
+1
District Sales Manager
I think the problem is that my company won’t pay someone for a DEI role when we need it badly.Β 
Numbers
Good Citizen
+1
Associate regional manager
And that's typically the problem, from experience a company does not actually support something if they aren't willing to back it with any money. Most people in these communities don't even know they're capable of being in this industry, resulting in not even trying. Like myself, but without the community that UIT built I still wouldn't know and 100's of others as well. which takes time... and in most situations people like to be compensate for their time (:
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