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March 11, 2020 | Inside Thomson Reuters

“We’re Not Old School Sales”: Advancing Diversity & Inclusion

When I tell you I work in sales, what do you picture? You might imagine a man in a suit, knocking door to door, aggressively trying to sell a product. Do you trust him? Probably not. This old school sales stereotype is one that permeates to this day, and that’s a problem.

At Thomson Reuters, we’re not old school sales – our work culture welcomes diversity, and our customers trust us. Creating a team that defies the old school sales stereotype is essential to me for two reasons.

The first is that I am a proud parent and my job as a Director of Sales comes second. As the father of two sons and a fiery 8-year-old daughter, I want to work to create an environment where everyone has the opportunity to be happy and successful. I raise my kids to value equality because I want my daughter to have just as many opportunities as my sons – diversity and inclusion are personal for me.

The second is that as a people leader, it’s a business imperative to create a more diverse and inclusive workplace, not maintain the traditional sales landscape dominated solely by men.

For example, sales is often the entry point to Thomson Reuters. If you walk the halls of our Eagan office, there is a good chance you’ll see someone from marketing, operations or new product development, which started as an inside sales rep or client manager. Sales talent flows throughout our organization globally and with our goal to reach 40% of women in senior leadership by the end of 2020, we need to ensure that we are attracting and hiring diverse talent.

So, how are we advancing diversity and inclusion?

We put our commitment into action. Externally, we’ve set goals to increase the representation of diverse talent at all levels. We’ve expanded our location strategies, developed community partnerships and instituted panel interviewing to minimize bias from the interview process.

Internally, we’ve had our sales leaders participate in unconscious bias sessions to bring awareness to our own. My big takeaway was being more self-aware of my filters during the hiring process. It’s easy to gravitate toward others you relate with, but unknowingly hiring others with similar skill sets and backgrounds can inhibit your team’s dynamics and ultimate success. At our Annual Sales Meeting, we hold a Business Resource Group (BRG) networking event to increase exposure to our BRGs like Women at TR, Pride at Work, Veterans Network, Early Careers Network, Black Employee Network, Disability Employee Network, Asian Affinity Network and the Latino Employee Network.

I think the best way to drive interest and engagement is to play an active role and encourage others to follow. We all carry responsibility for creating an environment that is welcoming and open to all people. We’re not doing this to check the box; we’re doing this because it’s the right thing to do for our employees, our customers and our business.

I’ve been lucky to have advocates help me throughout my career, and actively supporting our diversity and inclusion initiatives is a great way to share my appreciation and pay it forward.

When I think about my daughter and her future, I hope that someday she can work for a company like Thomson Reuters — one that values diversity and inclusion and backs it up with action.

Interested in joining our sales team? Check out our open roles and join the Thomson Reuters team here: http://adtrk.tw/tp/rj6-jLq2-y-K.

About: Pat Eveland is Director, Sales & Client Management, Government State & Local Legal at our Eagan, Minnesota campus. Pat started at Thomson Reuters in 2004 and is the proud father of three.

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