How many women are on your sales team?
Most of my buddies (guys) in sales leadership are proud to boast a 25% female / diverse sales team. Hell, they’ve worked hard for that! But I think we can all do better.
Truth is, being the only female Sales Manager and Director was normal to me. Can’t say I’ve been a flag-carrying, bra-burning feminist since, well, ever.
So how the hell did I wind up founding #GirlsClub and why should you care? Thanks for asking.
I noticed women were having the same conversation every year about getting more female leadership and nothing was happening. So I decided to try doing something.
If you’re ready to beat 25% and take advantage of the power women bring to sales (higher quota achievement being one), there are about 20 things you can do about it. Doing five of them will wind you up on our list of Top 25 Companies Where Women Want to Work (you’re welcome sales recruiters).
Take 30 minutes to grab the quick wins. Then set goals for leadership to grab more. You’ll thank me later.
- Open up your talent pool by recruiting for potential (attributes + behavior), and NOT just experience. The talent pool is shrinking, you can’t still get 2 years experience and a competitive sport!
- Watch your job descriptions for masculine terminology (i.e. “competitive” or “aggressive” are words to avoid).
- Get women and diversity on your website.
- Get women and diversity on your hiring committee.
- Get women and diversity on your leadership team (they check!).
- Hire outside of traditional sales backgrounds. We love military, teachers, and working moms!
- If you’re doing positive things at work, share it on your website and social media. Women check for this!
- Add to your description – “it’s okay if you don’t meet 100% of the qualifications, still apply!”
- Create specific groups at work for women to collaborate.
- Demonstrate balance by giving employees at least 1 work day a month to focus on themselves, their development, philanthropy, or a passion.
- Demonstrate balance with initiatives like “No Meeting Mondays”, “No Slack Wednesdays”, “No Camera Fridays”.
- Set goals for diversity at a leadership-level. Give specific targets and ask leaders about progress.
- Focus on role model inclusion. “Diversity is a metric, inclusion is a choice” – Ginni Rometty, former CEO of IBM.
- Call out BAD behavior when you see it! We all need to hold people accountable.
- Find reasons to encourage the women on your team – they won’t raise their hands or toot their own horns.
- Provide training and development BEFORE the promotion – women prefer to train ahead of time so they can rock the position ASAP.
- Be sure all jobs and opportunities are posted – including the criteria and process. It balances out the feeling of “unfair advantage”.
- Affecting change from below? Share your ideas & be persistent!
- Job seeking? Apply for the jobs where you have 50-60% of the criteria – don’t wait for 100%!
- Partner with companies like FlockJay to help source and hire diversity.
If you missed our recent webinar on “How Award-Winning Companies Recruit, Retain, and Promote Women”, you can access the video replay here! It’s a must-watch for employers focused on supporting their female workforce and on D&I initiatives.