Damon Reid, Regional Sales Executive at Medicopy, shares his perspective on how to cultivate a more inclusive environment at your company.
As a Black gay man, Damon Reid has had to overcome many obstacles due to his race and sexuality. But, thanks to active efforts to increase diversity at Medicopy, he feels accepted and included in his workplace.
As Medicopy’s Regional Sales Executive, Reid believes in making the voices of minorities heard on all levels of business. By listening to people of color and evaluating built-in biases, companies can institute an accepting and tolerant culture.
In this episode, Damon Reid and Elliott Noble-Holt have an important conversation on how to ensure everyone on your team feels safe, accepted, and included at work — no matter their skin color.
The amount of diverse representation in a company can heavily impact its culture. But, it’s crucial that this inclusivity is seen in all levels of the business, spanning from the bottom to the very top.
“Anyone can say they have a very diverse staff, but if all of your diversity is in the lower level: there’s no one in management, there’s no one in sales, there’s no one that’s forward-facing that. It’s not the greatest look,” said Reid. “I think it’s important to make sure that you have that representation everywhere at all levels.”
That means that diversity and inclusion efforts need to expand past just the hiring process and become integrated into the promoting process. Inclusion needs to be an active part of a work environment.
“It’s not just that you’re hiring people of different colors, different races, different genders, different backgrounds. It is that you are hiring and promoting in all positions, that there is a representation of all kinds of people at every position.”
Medicopy’s own team has paid attention to integrating voices from all backgrounds and experiences — 77% of the team are women, 49% of the team are people of color, and 77% of the management team are African-American or LGBTQ. This diversity offers up opportunities for employees to learn about experiences separate from their own.
“When you have a diverse staff, you have people who otherwise would have never been in the same circle or be friends,” said Reid. “There are some black people here who have never really been close to white people or anyone of any other race and vice versa. I think the importance is it’s not just about the workplace. It’s about the growth and what happens outside of the workplace.”
Creating a safe space is of the utmost importance in maintaining a diverse workplace. Conversations are indispensable to cultivating this sense of safety and belonging.
“It’s not just a policy that you implement through HR or with the big heads at the company,” said Reid. “I think if you pull those people aside and have a very informal conversation showing that you care, that you want to learn, and you want there to be a comfortable and safe workspace for not just them, but everybody. I think having the conversation is the first and most important step.”
These kinds of conversations can be a starting point to ensuring that a safe space is built for everyone, regardless of their race, sexuality or gender. If you clearly communicate your commitment to inclusion, it allows people to feel comfortable being themselves.
“I think diversity and inclusion is a safe space. I think that it creates a safe space for all people. When you don’t feel judged for who you are or what you do when you come into the workplace, you are free to be who you want to be,” said Reid.
To learn more about this show and to join us on our journey, please rate, review and follow this podcast wherever you listen to your audio content. Also, follow us on Instagram and Twitter at BaldBeardedBoss and visit us online at baldbeardedboss.com.