A word from a CEO #65

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Bringing your whole self to work

Hi all –

I’ve struggled my entire life with the line between personal and professional.

I have *failed* for most of my life to bring my “whole self” to work.

I never talked about my ethnicity.
I never shared my story.
I never saw it as my place to fight to change things.

I was afraid.

I always felt as the other, alone, like the outsider.

I felt this way because for over half of my career I never saw anyone in my industry who looked like me. I never knew of another Latinx person doing what I did, I never saw them in the places I worked.

That changed at Drift mostly because of the courage that my partner, Elias Torres, was able to give me. For the first time, I didn’t feel like I was alone.

But very few have been as fortunate as me. Their voices have not been heard. Their lives have not been saved. They have not had the luxury of choice that many, including myself, enjoy.

That is why we CANNOT be silent anymore. We must speak out so they know they are not alone. We must act now and forevermore.

Which is why, in addition to other actions we’re taking, we’ve made a commitment to highlight diverse voices on the Drift blog and use our platforms to amplify the underrepresented.

It was an honor to have Kyle Sutton, Senior Director of Marketing at SolarWinds, contribute the first piece in this important initiative. You can read Kyle’s thoughts on marketing’s diversity problem below.

Dear Marketing, I Love You, but You’ve Got a Massive Diversity and Inclusion Problem.

by Kyle Sutton

I’m Kyle. I spent a decade in ad agencies ranging in size from startups to global holding companies. My years in the agency space were rewarding. I picked up skills and contacts that have helped advance my career.

But, there are some realities of the agency environment that everyone notices but no one dares discuss.

Inequality is a massive issue for Black staff in marketing agencies. I wish I could point to a few bad actors but the problems in the agency space are structural.

As a Black marketer, I’ve been content to trade my personal truth for a collective comfort. That stops now.

I’ve outlined a few steps for agency leaders that are seeking to make meaningful strides towards a diverse and equitable working environment.

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