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Do You Know How It Feels To Be The Only One In The Room?
Val Wright -- Global Leadership and Innovation Expert Val Wright -- Global Leadership and Innovation Expert
For Immediate Release:
Dateline: Los Angeles , CA
Tuesday, December 24, 2019


"I’m the only man in a workshop with 50 women. I was just told this is how women in IT feel every day. The entire room had a good laugh. But I have a new perspective."

 That is what SVP at The Channel Company Robert DeMarzo shared this week. Sometimes you need to have a moment just like that to truly be able to begin to understand how someone else might feel every single day of their life.

There were 10 men among the 1000 leaders attending the event I spoke at The Women of The Channel East Summit in New York. GoogleCloud worked with the organizing team to create a parallel experience: Men As Allies to educate, understand, and inspire action.

It was a refreshing change. Hearing from men who wanted to be advocates for addressing pay gaps and career advancement support rather than gathering women to solve the issues. Same applies to other discrimination, don't gather your under represented minorities and ask them to solve the hiring, retention, and representation issues - take on the challenge yourself.

If your team all looks the same, thinks the same, and has a similar background, you won't create the best products and experiences for your customers.

It starts with understanding what it feels like to be the only one in the room.

What can you do?

Attend events where you will be the only one like you. Did you know Afrotech had 10,000 engineers, entrepreneurs and founders attend this year? 

Follow diverse voices online. Arlan Hamilton went from sleeping in San Francisco airport to investing over $5m in founders who are people of color, women, and/or LGBT. Listen to her podcast and pre order her book It's About Damn Time.

Attend events and conversations where you can seek to understand and take action. Watch this space for what the The Channel Company will be doing next at there events, I predict they will continue to lead in this area.  

Listen to those who are ahead of you in taking action John Zissimos VP at Google is on the advisory board of The 3% Movement he has a fascinatingly candid twitter feed where his honesty is refreshing.

Finally, probably most importantly STOP blaming your recruitment team for not delivering you a diverse slate of candidates - go out and build your own network and take this on yourself.

Share this article publicly and tag someone who is making a difference in this area so others can learn from proven success.

Share this article privately if you want to start the conversation in your company about what action you can be taking to change the game.

It's time to be thoughtfully ruthless.

Dedicated to growing your business,


P.S. I hope you enjoyed this week's VAL-uable Insights, sign up here to get them in your inbox each Monday morning: http://valwrightconsulting.com/newsletter-sign-up/

  Val Wright is a recognized leadership and organization expert. Working with Xbox, Microsoft, Amazon and LinkedIn, she has spent the last 20 years partnering with executives to accelerate growth and gain market superiority across the the games, technology, retail and e-commerce industries.

She is know for telling leaders what they need to hear, not what they want to hear. Leaders seek her out when they need to accelerate their business results, build organizations, develop leaders and create world-class people strategies. Val is a dynamic speaker who will provoke, inspire and provide immediate value to your audience. She has been quoted in Fast Company, E-commerce times, Yahoo.com, Aol.com, usnews.com, NJ.com, TheNetworkJournal.com and TechNerwsWorld.com.

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