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Managed services News

Solution Providers Explain Top DEI Investments

Mark Haranas

Solution providers tell CRN about their top DEI investments today and what they are doing inside their company around diversity, equity and inclusion.

Faisal Ahmed, CEO

Benchmark Network Solutions

Durham, N.C.

The Channel Company’s DEI session yesterday I attended was almost an eye-opener to a certain extent.

Some of the things I’ve been thinking about: It’s getting harder and harder to retain people or hire new people. I’ve been interviewing for it feels like forever to get the right people. I just realized from the session that maybe we need to change some word language we put our job ads. Maybe we’re not attracting diverse people just because of the way we write stuff.

Because we say, ‘We want an aggressive person, hard-working, etc.’—maybe it’s only attracting then males and not females. All these things that we weren’t doing intentionally, but it’s just unintentionally maybe turning off people.

What I learned yesterday is how much more profitable you can get if you have a diverse mindset because everyone’s bringing all these different ideas to the table so you can have more innovation in the stuff you’re doing. So I’m excited to definitely take advantage of some of that.

That’s something I pride, or I thought I prided myself in—I wanted to make sure everybody felt very welcome. I’ve gotten rid of vendors or subcontractors who have said anything bad about something like gender because I don’t want to tolerate that at all. I want everyone to feel welcome.

We’re still all biased somewhere either in our writing or the way we speak and all that, so I want to be more careful so I actually encourage more open dialogues.

Because that’s one another thing I just realized—I did notice some people in my company are always less likely to speak up in meetings because I’m always asking for everyone’s opinion because I really want to hear them. Some people might just think, ‘Oh, maybe I shouldn’t speak up because he’s the CEO. So whatever he says sticks,’—and I don’t want that because then you’re leaving out a lot of good ideas.

 
Learn More: XChange
Mark Haranas

Mark Haranas is an assistant news editor and longtime journalist now covering cloud, multicloud, software, SaaS and channel partners at CRN. He speaks with world-renown CEOs and IT experts as well as covering breaking news and live events while also managing several CRN reporters. He can be reached at mharanas@thechannelcompany.com.

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