How B2B businesses and teams can best support Black colleagues


Key takeaways from the 2020 LesbiansWhoTech Pride Summit


United for Change: Standing in Solidarity with the Black Community

Rosanna Durruthy Head of Global Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging, LinkedIn interviewed by Veronica Carrera, Sales Manager at LinkedIn


Rosanna Durruthy, Head of Global Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging at Linkedin, states that at this time, companies are responsible for amplifying and providing visibility for marginalized voices. In her talk, she gave an overview of how B2B businesses and teams can support Black colleagues:


1) Every leader has to do the work. Know yourself, close gaps with learning, then leverage your privilege and social capital to create opportunities.

For Durruthy, a truly inclusive leader doesn’t just understand diversity and inclusion from training, but demonstrates how to remove bias and racism from decisions they make and create opportunities for others. According to Durruthy, white B2B business leaders must examine themselves, identify their gaps and learn, and then provide opportunities for marginalized voices by using their privilege and social capital to uplift marginalized voices and give them space rather than contribute to a world that takes away from others to gain advantage.  


2) Recognize what your network looks like, how it operates, expand it beyond what is already known, and create space for difference.

Durruthy stresses that this is not a conversation about scaling down, but growing. White leaders and team members must question everything that they have believed to be true and create space and hold space for what is different. This begins with relationships and people. Members of the B2B business community must nurture authentic relationships with people who have different experiences. “The alchemy of life doesn’t come from sameness,” stated Durruthy. “It’s the differences that create untold wealth. Difference plus difference equals richness of spirit and life.”


3) If you have been reluctant or fearful of conversations, now is the time to lean into them with real action and responsibility for the outcome.

Durruthy emphasizes that the shift that is necessary at this time does not grow from fear or reluctance, but having the cultural humility to be curious of others. It involves a level of responsibility; if you make a mistake, you pledge to do better and actually do better.

Durruthy explains that intentions alone are not sufficient, because intentions leave marginalized people feeling deflated, defeated, and responsible for a lack of understanding. Intentions require action and action requires responsibility for the outcome.


Durruthy closes the talk with this statement: “Learn every day to be better leaders, allies, and professionals. Create space for talented, marginalized individuals, and work together to create better outcomes for the [marginalized] community, companies, and the world.”

If you are interested in more diversity and inclusion resources or simply have questions, get in touch with Rosanna Durruthy on Linkedin.


Next steps:

This blog post is part of Brainrider’s Key takeaways from the 2020 LesbiansWhoTech Pride Summit series. Read the rest of the series here:

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About Brainrider

Brainrider is a B2B marketing and creative agency. We help clients hit KPIs by providing B2B marketing execution services through an on-site & off-site resourcing model to fill capacity and capability gaps. We’re focused on helping you achieve your business objectives and identifying opportunities for continuous improvement so you’ll always stay ahead of the curve. Get in touch here.

All images courtesy of LesbiansWhoTech Pride Summit.

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