Many employers and businesses have made great strides to promote diversity and inclusion in their organizations. In its 2019 Gender-Equality Index (GEI), Bloomberg reports on 230 companies committed to transparency in gender reporting and advancing women’s equality in the workplace – which more than doubled in size from 2018 . According to the GEI data, women had a 40% increase in executive level positions between 2014-2017.
While there has been great progress in equality and representation in the workplace, there’s still room for improvement. As a WBENC-certified business, we understand the importance of gender diversity in organizations across all levels. But, that’s not all. A diverse and inclusive workplace also encompasses heterogeneity across ethnicity, religion, political beliefs, and other inherent characteristics.
As important as it is for companies to prioritize diversity and inclusion, it’s just as important for professionals from different backgrounds and walks of life to pursue senior-level roles so boardrooms are representative of all groups in society.
It’s time to change the conversation around diversity from just a mere discussion into proactive action.
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How Women and Minority Marketers Can Climb Up the Corporate Ladder
Marketers like you can lead the movement in shattering the glass ceiling – the unseen obstacle that keeps women and minority professionals from rising to the top of the corporate ladder.
Let’s take a look at the three things a marketing executive talent agency believes diverse marketers should keep in mind to successfully break through.
Know why you deserve a spot at the top
You can’t expect anyone else to believe that you can succeed as a leader if you don’t believe it yourself. Self-awareness is important in pursuing any senior-level role, and understanding your strengths (as well as weaknesses) is key in successfully going after what you want.
You deserve to be chosen for a leadership role, but you have to demonstrate that you deserve a place in the boardroom. That starts with being confident in what you can contribute. Those who exude confidence and proactively demonstrate leadership are more noticeable, no matter what their background is.
As well as understanding your professional marketing expertise, recognize the value your perspectives as a diverse professional brings to the table. Unique traits whether they’re gender- or ethnicity-specific give you one-of-a-kind perspectives. Acknowledge the role these perspectives play not only in your career, but in a business, its customers, and society as a whole.
Understanding the impact diverse leadership has in the grand scheme of things is what makes a true difference. Playing off your unique views as a woman or minority and professional strengths is a powerful force.
The Skill of Self Confidence | Dr. Ivan Joseph
Video by TEDx Talks
Explore companies hiring for diversity
If you’re seeking a new job, actively look for organizations that value diversity. While some companies are obvious about building a more inclusive workplace, some aren’t. So, you may have to do some research to see how diversity and inclusion fit in with a specific organization’s values.
For instance, you may see that a company is hiring for a Diversity and Inclusion Manager. This is a positive sign that they value diversity and want to hire people of different backgrounds. Certain career job boards and sites specifically cater to a diverse pool of candidates.
Another indicator that employers support diversity is their view on work-life balance and flexibility for employees. Are they family-oriented? Do they believe all of their employees should have a good work-life balance? You can get a good understanding of their culture through job descriptions and company site. Employers who are self-aware and are careful about inclusion will ensure that their job descriptions are appealing to everyone, and don’t alienate any group. For instance, a simple gender pronoun – using “he” over “he or she” – can indicate that the company isn’t as mindful about hiring for diversity.
Learn the ins and outs of the company you’re exploring (or your current employer if you’re seeking a more senior position) and always make sure their values align with yours.
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Seek mentorship from other diverse executives
It’s always valuable to share journeys and gain perspectives from people who are or have been in a similar place as you. Seek out wisdom from executives you can relate to – learning about others’ experiences can help you get lifelong, meaningful career advice.
Seek mentorship from those who have broken through barriers, as it is invaluable to the course of your own career journey. Having people in your corner to support you throughout your climb up adds fuel to your journey.
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With these approaches, and the confidence and determination to break past any barriers that you feel are placed upon you, you have the power to take your career to new heights. Have the confidence to raise your hand, and raise your visibility. Once you own your successes and are able to demonstrate them, you can courageously pursue a seat at the table.
As a marketing executive talent agency, we always emphasize the importance of lifelong learning. Being a woman or minority gives you a unique perspective that complements your skill set and expertise. Remember that it is your work that truly speaks for you and propels you forward no matter your gender or background.