HubSpot’s CX Spotlight 2021: What you missed on Diversity and Inclusion

Here’s my experience of attending HubSpot’s CX Spotlight 2021. I’ll breakdown the spotlight into the following:

International Women’s Day

The CX Spotlight 2021 took place on the month of International Women’s Day this year. This was highlighted by the fact that it was 100% female lead. As a woman, it was fantastic to see so many amazing female leaders sharing information on a wide range of topics related to Customer Experience. A recurring theme throughout the spotlight was diversity and inclusivity. With gender equality being the first step, I think it was brilliant to hold the spotlight with a focus on Female Leaders.

Not only that but when one looked at the speaker list, you couldn’t help but notice the diversity shining throughout the agenda. However, the reality really took hold when most of them started talking; it didn’t take long to realize just how ethnically and culturally diverse they all are. It was amazing to see the multitude of countries being represented at the Hubspot event: Romania, Scotland, Ireland, Pakistan and countries that you don’t often get to see represented in the speakers at a global event. Thank you HubSpot for giving us a different perspective during the CX Spotlight 2021.

HubSpot CX Spotlight 2021

The First Session at CX Spotlight 2021

Debbie Foster from Tech Talent Charter kicked off the first session with a bang, taking to task the need for corporate citizens to actively address diversity by having tough conversations for meaningful solutions. A simple question really got the ball rolling: “Where is your company in 2021 in terms of diversity, inclusion and belonging?” Knowing that most of us would be a little unsure, Debbie offered four easy phases that most organizations fit into:

  1. Early Days, we are still trying to get things started
  2. We’re getting things in place in terms of gender and making some progress
  3. We are making good progress on gender and are now starting on other areas (e.g. ethnicity, disability, etc)
  4. We’re making good progress on inclusion as a whole and are beginning to share best practice and work with others in this space

This was a great way to get yourself thinking about your own company and what you could do to help level your company up. But where is the compelling reason to change our behavior or the structure of our teams that are functioning just fine the way they are? Don’t we all just hire the best candidate for the job anyway? Debbie explained that there is clear evidence that not only is inclusion great for social justice, but from a competitive point of view too. Analysis has shown that diverse organizations have better financial returns, increased innovation and creativity as well as a more attractive employer brand.

However, if you think that you can simply hire people to make your organization diverse, think again. It’s all about creating a culture of diversity from the top down to the bottom of your organization. You have to start somewhere. Start by having these tough conversations to get meaningful solutions.

My Favorite Session at CX Spotlight 2021

My favorite session was hosted by Jennifer Shaw-Sweet from LinkedIn. I just found it extremely interesting, though it was hard to choose a favorite from all the wonderful speakers. So Jennifer spoke about the next decision-makers, the BETAs. If you’re between the ages of 21 and 40 years old, then you’re a BETA.

What is a BETA?
What is a BETA?

This information was all from a whitepaper titled: “Work in BETA: The Rising B2B Decision Makers” by Lucie Greene and Jason Mander for The B2B Institute and GWI. I’ve added an image here that breaks down the acronym BETA, but do yourself a favor and do some research into this or read the whitepaper.

As someone who falls under that category, I related to what Jennifer was saying. I really found the next fact very interesting. If you manage BETAs, you often take on some of their traits.

All of this is important for Customer Experience in that you can start relating to your customer if you know what they are all about. As I could write a whole article on this session alone, let’s just take the last letter as an example; A. The decision-makers are activists. They care about what the company or organization is doing when it comes to social issues.

Last year, this issue became more important than ever. To ignore this, would make your company come across as old fashioned or culturally unaware. Where this wasn’t such an issue in the past, BETAs are demanding that action is taken or they simply stop buying. Your product could be the cheapest on the market, but they will pay more if they can based solely on this one point.

Role of Brand Power in CX

It wouldn’t be a good spotlight on Customer Experience without Brand Power. Ridhima Thukral, Global Brand Marketing Director at Unilever, really bought the brand power with the many products that Unilever sell. Shape, sound, smell and even color can be associated with a brand.

Ridhima showed how even your packaging can be used to improve customer experience. Taking into account accessibility especially for consumers that suffer from color-blindness. At Unilever, they put the benefit of the product on the packaging. They stick to the Brand color and feel. Making sure information like variant and size is easy to read and understand.

For the best customer experience, combine desirability with availability. To get desirability, connect emotionally with your customers with your brand purpose. While availability is making your product available on the channels that your customer is more likely to use. This combination makes for long time survival of your company.

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Diversity and Inclusivity

As I mentioned, one of the main themes throughout the spotlight was diversity and inclusivity. We have made head way, but what exactly does diversity mean today?

“Diversity is so much more than gender diversity, it is the cumulation of cultural backgrounds, work experience, perspectives, sexual orientation, accessibility, race, gender and so much more.”

Ghazal Asif, Google

So how does this relate to Customer Experience? Very simply, you can’t relate to your customers very well, if you have a wide range of customers and you only have your viewpoint to go on. It is vital to have some diversity and inclusivity in your teams that are creating or dealing with things your customer experience.

A study by McKinsey and Company called Delivering through Diversity showed that top-quartile gender diverse teams outperform in profitability by 21%! If that doesn’t convince you, I don’t know what will. Instead of thinking that great minds think alike, start thinking that great minds think differently. Diversity and inclusivity can improve innovation, reduce and identify risks.

Diversity can drive delightful CX!


I thoroughly enjoyed this year’s CX Spotlight. What I’ve written above is only an excerpt of the information that these amazing speakers bought to the Spotlight. I look forward to next year’s Spotlight and will definitely be rewatching many of the sessions. The amount of actionable information combined with thought-provoking discussions has left me with a lot to implement and think about.

I’d love to know what you thought about these sessions too?  Leave your comment on any of our social media channels. Good, bad or ugly, we want to hear from you.