On International Women’s Day (IWD) 8th March 2022, Scale Your Sales celebrate and profile a sampling of the many influential and often unsung shero women in sales.
Today’s world has started to inch towards a more gender-equal and diverse world. We still have a long way to create a world without bias, stereotypes, or prejudice. This is why we celebrate the achievements of women and campaign for a world where we can all #BreakTheBias.
The IWD 2022 pose is a cross of arms in an ‘X’ to show solidarity against bias and discrimination.
Here at Scale Your Sales and through the podcast, we believe it is important to highlight that women and diverse groups are still underrepresented in sales and campaigns for parity.
According to the report “Gaining the Talent Advantage: The Case for Gender Diversity in Sales” by CEB:
- 35% of sales managers said they could not find qualified candidates for open positions, yet women are underrepresented in sales as a whole. Only 19% of women in sales are in leadership positions— (the sales industry has the second most significant gender equity gap).
- A slightly higher percentage of women in sales (70%) make quota over men (67%), and women are paid less than men.
- Women typically stay in their roles longer than men (one year longer).
- Companies with greater gender diversity outperform their counterparts.
It is a myth that men are better at sales, while the statistics show that women are more successful in sales and often outperform men. A 2019 study by incentive solution provider Xactly reported that 86% of women achieved quota, compared to 78% of men. The B2B sales landscape is shifting towards women in sales roles. The Covid-19 pandemic has led to a step-change in this trend, but organisations still need to step up.
Britta Lorenz said: “We have the power to change the way we live, work and engage with each other. All people must be given equal opportunities in a modern workplace and society. Individually, we are responsible for our thoughts and actions, and we can collectively #BreakTheBias by lifting each other’s potential and be human.”
When we asked Shruti Kapoor how she is trying to #BreakTheBias, she said: “Sales makes the world go round 🙂 I realised that the most successful bankers weren’t the geeky folks winning because of complex analysis – but because they were the best salespeople (backed by a strong brand). I also realised that sales weren’t just the traditional context of a company and a buyer. Sales extend to many other interactions, e.g. selling your idea at a meeting or your spouse. As an investment banker and founder, every aspect of my job is about selling – to co-founders, future employees, prospects, investors, analysts and reporters. Now let me sell my son on healthy eating! ?”
Marlen von Roth said, “We are all guilty of unconscious bias and must be open to the idea. We need to be consciously aware of it and address it. Drowning out voices, belittling opinions, excluding people from meetings can all be traits of unconscious bias. How do we acknowledge bias in ourselves and others versus thought-through commercial decision making and process? Let’s all start by analysing our behaviour and decision-making processes and #BreaktheBias.”
“I believe in the possibility of #breakingthebias TOGETHER. By living deliberately, crafting circumstances, forging alliances, magnetising players and working tirelessly to create a world where we love without limit and embrace differences!” says Toni Portmann.
No one believed that a 327-pound black woman could make it in sales, and I did not “look” the part. Yet, this full-figured diva took the business world by storm and won BIG! Being incredible in Sales allowed me to write my own paycheck and show other sisters that they can too! Let us all #BreaktheBias.” said Precious L. Williams.
Leslie Venetz says, “Remember that the vast majority of sales scripts were not written by women or for women. Remember that almost all sales processes were created without considering women’s unique strengths like empathy and curiosity. This sales profession was not created for women, but it’s time we start taking up more space as sales professionals. You have a unique perspective and your voice matters, and it’s time to use it.”
Meshell Baker says: “I believe sales is a noble and wonderful profession that is the lifeblood of every business. Imagine a marketplace where sellers worked with buyers to deliver experiences that inspired more possibility! Amazing always begins with #confidence.”
Janice B Gordon, founder of Scale Your Sales, also provided a quote on how to #BreakTheBias: “Selling is the oldest profession – people must trade to live, it touches everyone, everywhere. What would happen if we lifted up every human with full access to equality if we served with great dignity and unbiased humility. I want to live in that world: –) Let us all #BreaktheBias.”
According to The Pipeline’s Women Count 2021 report, Companies and the UK miss out on £ billion in pre-tax profit. An additional £123 billion in profits would be gained if companies with less than 33% women on their executive committee performed as well as those with 33% or more. Demonstrating that having more women in your workforce is essential to help scale your sales.
The Economist noted: If the gender gaps in participation, hours worked, and productivity were all bridged, the world economy would be $28.4 trillion (or 26%) richer.
A recent McKinsey study conducted in 2021 showed that women at all levels of the corporate ladder have slowly gained more representation, but more work is needed.
According to the McKinsey study, women leaders were twice as likely to spend significant time on Diversity Equity and Inclusion, which falls outside their formal job responsibilities. This includes supporting employee resource groups, organising events, and recruiting employees from underrepresented groups. Women are also more likely than men to create allyship in mentoring women of colour, advocating for new opportunities, and actively confronting discrimination.
My view is that this is a clear leadership advantage.
Following the pandemic, World Economic Forum’s 2021 Global Gender Gap Report, the gender gap grew by 36 years in 12 months. I do not want to wait 135.6 years to gain gender parity or more for inclusivity; I am demanding it now, not for me but us all.
Many of these contributors also contributed to the book Heels to Deals: How Women are Dominating in Business-to-Business Sales documents how dozens of diverse women around the globe shattered the glass ceiling to become leaders in the field of professional sales. Their stories are reminders for young women that they can not only work in sales but also be front-runners.
Let us know how you will #BreakTheBias in your comments.
This article was compiled by Alex Jang executive assistant to Janice B Gordon – Scale Your Sales