Diversity in business is a topic that many of you know about, and some of you may even speak about. But for business owners like me, or like you running a speaking business, diversity doesn’t always come into consideration when building out your team. But it should. Let’s talk about why building a diverse business matters.
Recently, my team leader and I were talking about a new hire we are bringing onto the team on our weekly Zoom call. Our focus had primarily been on finding someone who possessed the very specific skill set that we needed. We weren’t focused on any other particulars, such as gender, race, country of origin.
But it just so happens that this particular hire is from the United Kingdom, black, and male. So that checks three boxes for us that we hadn’t checked with our team. And I quickly realized how much it mattered.
Because one of our goals is to appeal to a broader base of speakers, we need people who bring a different perspective to our team. Having a broader base of diversity helps to achieve that.
Here’s a perfect example. When George Floyd was killed, and the Black Lives Matter movement began, I received criticism for sending out my weekly podcast email on a day meant to honor the movement. I was unaware, as was my team. While we were all aware of the BLM movement, we had missed the importance of going silent that day. And someone let me know!
But here’s the thing. Being called out was so good for me (thank you to the woman who wrote to me)! It made me realize that this was an area of our business where we lacked that much-needed additional perspective.
As a result, it also forced me to review all of our podcast guests through a new lens. I did a thorough review with the question, ‘was I being diverse enough in my guest selections?’
The resounding answer came back as NO! When choosing guests, we based our choices on topic, not on individual or varied perspectives that could be shared. This is an area where we could do better, and I vowed we would.
I hope you have noticed that we have been far more representative this past year than in years prior. Because as Maya Angelou once said:
“When you know better…. you do better.”
When it comes to being more diverse in your speaking business when building your team, I don’t have a 4 step process you can follow. I do, however, have one tip:
Have an awareness of the diversity of your team.
That’s it. Just be aware. Pay more attention.
If you want to do business with a broader base, then be thinking about expanding your ideas. The best way to do that is to hire people who better understand the base you are going after and bring that fresh perspective to your team.
See you soon, Wealthy Speaker!