Happy February. Today kicks off Black History Month, an annual observance that honors the contributions of Black Americans. This month is a great time for employers to do more to make their workplaces more equitable for people of color.

As a woman of color, Cherilynn Castleman, a Fortune 500 global sales executive, says she knows what it’s like to feel undervalued and be ignored on personal and professional levels. She says that if you want to recruit, retain and elevate women of color on your sales team, tell them, “I see you.”

In this issue of PromoPro Daily, we highlight Castleman’s suggestions on how leaders can recognize, elevate and value minority professionals — particularly Black and brown women.

1. Get to know people as individuals. This means learning their names and how to pronounce their names. Castleman says she disliked people calling her Sherry or CC or any other name variation. One of the best and easiest ways to show that you see someone is to use their name correctly. You can’t show genuine appreciation to someone if you shorten their name or misspell it or mispronounce it. When you get to know your staffers, also find out how they’re doing and learn what they like outside the office. Castleman suggests learning the names of their family members and pets. This can make a big difference.

2. Call attention to achievements. When women of color on your sales team do great work, don’t let it go unnoticed and don’t let someone else take credit for their results. Castleman says you could recognize them in weekly stand-ups or huddles or send a personal thank-you note. Remember that team culture is set at the top, she says, so when you praise good work, you’re teaching others to notice and value hard work as well.

3. Show your belief in their potential. If you see a woman of color on your team one day stepping into a chief officer role, sitting at the executive table or running the company, tell them so. People who like what they do and are valued for their contributions often want to be challenged and prove themselves, Castleman says.

4. Help others see them on social media. Another way you can appreciate women of color in sales is to engage with them on social media. This could mean connecting with them, liking their content or giving a shoutout for their excellent work. Castleman says this can make a remarkable difference because many people highly value their digital footprints these days.

Showing appreciation to women of color in sales comes down to leading with compassion. By simply listening and withholding judgment, leaders can create the kind of workplace that values the contributions of all team members.

Compiled by Audrey Sellers

Source: Cherilynn Castleman is a managing partner and executive coach with over 30 years of experience as a Fortune 500 global sales executive.