Episode 7: Prioritizing Inclusivity and Diversity with Rachel L. Proctor
Live Date: Friday, June 19, 2020
Show Description: Today on This Intentional Life, Heather is joined by author, speaker, and second-generation entrepreneur Rachel L. Proctor. Rachel’s greatest passion is helping people turn ideas into successful online businesses. A self-proclaimed market research junkie, Rachel has hit seven-figure sales marks as she’s built a versatile and trusted learning resource hub for aspiring and successful business owners, just like Heather. With an emphasis on real-world skills, accessible technology, and holistic learning, Rachel helps students pinpoint their unique ideas and turn them into profitable, life-changing business ventures. On this episode, Rachel and Heather discuss the challenges business owners face in our current climate, including social justice and #BlackLivesMatter, diversity and inclusion in the workplace and network, doing life and business with people who don’t look like you, and resources for learning more.
- As a small business owner, it is vital to prioritize diversity and inclusion in the workplace. Rachel shares a few first steps towards these goals:
- Remember that this is a long-term goal, not a short-term solution. This isn’t a one-off issue that will be solved overnight. This is a long-term plan for overarching and lasting change in your organization.
- Be intentional about continuing education. Continue to learn, read, and listen – that deep work – to understand the systematic issues of white privilege and oppression.
- Find accountability. Find someone – a business trainer, a diversity coach, emotional intelligence professional – who can help you stay accountable to these goals.
- Create policies for your company culture. This requires your entire organization to understand and contribute to inclusivity at work.
- Clearly communicate opportunities for growth. Make sure that potential or new employees understand their potential future in your organization. Share the opportunities for growth and advancement.
- Recruit at HBCUs. Look for local organizations that can help connect you to talent at Historically Black Colleges and Universities.
- Make sure that they know their differences are an asset, not just something that makes them different. Adding a Black woman to your team isn’t just checking a box or hitting a quota.
- The goal in all of that we are experiencing right now is to build relationships with each other. Like with any relationships, vulnerability and intentionality are keys to success and growth. Make the first move – reach out and be the bridge builder. We may not always say the right thing or do this perfectly, but take the first step.
- Are you looking to network with Black business professionals and industry leaders? Rachel tells us: “Don’t overthink it.” She reminds us to reach out and share our heart. Share why you want to connect and how you can serve and support right now. If we are reaching out from a place of authenticity, it will show.
- Keep scrolling for links to resources for further education.
- “God doesn’t make spare people.” – Rachel Proctor 1:17
- “It honestly feels surreal in this moment because it’s a moment in terms of the unification I’m seeing take place. And, we know that there’s a lot going on in terms of how people feel and there’s still a lot of division in many areas. But, I think right now, we’re seeing more unification and people that are more willing to just stop and listen. We are seeing more of that than we’ve ever seen. And I think it’s a beautiful thing.” – Rachel Proctor 4:23
- “I’m just so hopeful in this moment that, together, we can actually start to see some real progress and traction in the unification and the dismantling of all these systems that have oppressed African Americans for hundreds of years.” – Rachel Proctor 5:09
- “I don’t think that the goal is for others to understand necessarily because to understand means you’ve walked in our shoes, you’ve had those similar experiences.” – Rachel Proctor 9:55
- “We have to not look at it as whether this is the right decision, or right thing to say, or wrong things to say. But, looking at it as: is what I’m about to say, what I’m doing moving me closer to this overall goal of more inclusivity or more diversity? If it’s moving you forward towards that, then you double down on that. If it’s not, then you make a new decision.” – Rachel Proctor 13:35
- “One of the big conversations has been around #BlackLivesMatter versus #AllLivesMatter. One of the analogies I really love is the one about a house on fire. If you go into a neighborhood of houses and one of the houses is on fire, and the person in the house that’s on fire comes out and says ‘hey, my house is on fire,’ and then the neighbor comes out and says, ‘all houses matter.’ It’s not that all houses don’t matter. We are talking about this particular house that is on fire. We’ve got to get this fire out first.” – Rachel Proctor 28:35
- “I may not have had that experience, but this is what I do have. Even though it may not be as much as I want to give, or I may not know all the steps to take, but just to come alongside us. I think that’s it.” – Rachel Proctor 29:53
- “This isn’t a black or white thing. It’s a human race thing. We are all created in the image of God. We are all image-bearers. That’s what it means to me when we talk about bridging that gap.” – Rachel Proctor 30:57
- “Our commonality is what brings us together.” – Rachel Proctor 38:32
- “I don’t think there’s a separate set of rules and values that you hold when you’re at home, versus what you hold when you’re in business, versus what you hold when you’re at church. I think that what your values are and what you value in terms of how you’re going to treat people, I think all of those things should be displayed whether you’re in your business, whether you’re operating at home, whether you’re operating at your child’s school, or whether you’re at the grocery store.” – Rachel Proctor 41:35
- “You have to do it anyway. You have to do it afraid. You have to lean into the fear.” – Rachel Proctor 46:40
Resources and Links from Show:
- Power and Justice Resources on Rachel’s website
- Latasha Morrison
- Be The Bridge
- Be The Bridge Facebook Group
- “Be the Bridge: Pursuing God’s Heart for Racial Reconciliation” by Latasha Morrison
- 1619 Podcast from The New York Times