Various sessions marked the opening day of the Cannes Festival of Creativity at the iconic Palais des Festivals et des Congrès des Cannes. From Pinterest to TikTok, Meta, Netflix, Cannes Diversity Collective, and LinkedIn as well as trade events by WSJ Magazine and numerous brand activations lined up the Croisette boulevard. One such brand activation was the LinkedIn Black Joy Brunch which brought together Black leaders in communications from across the globe to one spot. Amidst this vibrant atmosphere, Omawumi Ogbe, Editor-in-Chief at Glazia Magazine, had the opportunity to sit down with Chantel George, the founder of Sistas In Sales (SIS). 

Sistas In Sales
Chantel George and Omawumi Ogbe

“Women are incredible sellers. They’re very emotionally intelligent and very intuitive. They’re very good at relationship building and very good at being observant of someone’s needs.”

Chantel George, Founder of Sistas in Sales (SIS)

About Sistas In Sales (SIS). 

Sistas In Sales (SIS) is the largest global organisation established to promote, support, and encourage women of colour across all industries. SIS partners with Fortune 500 companies, tech start-ups, and consulting businesses to help them attract, hire, and retain women of colour sales professionals. Additionally, SIS offers world-class training, networking opportunities, and a sense of sisterhood for this underrepresented community.

In this exclusive interview, Chantel discusses the challenges and successes faced by women of colour in sales, the inspiration behind Sistas in Sales (SIS), how this year marks their first activation at Cannes Lions, and her vision for the future. Join us as we explore Chantel’s journey, her impact on the sales industry, and her unwavering commitment to fostering a supportive and empowering community.

Omawumi: Can you tell me how you started Sistas In Sales?

Chantel: I worked as a sales professional and there were not any women who looked like me who were climbing up the corporate ladder, but I wanted to be in sales and not get discouraged. So I started with 10 women that I knew who worked in sales at a diner and they had such a good time connecting. They were so inspired by one another and it took off. And the next event we had over 100 people at Salesforce with no marketing, no website.

It was all word of mouth. And now, seven years later we have 12,000 members in 36 countries. And so it’s been inspirational. I’ve been able to grow a team to 15 people. When we have our conference every year, we expand our team to 70 people. And, um, we expect to have 800 to 1,000 people at our conference in New York in September.

Omawumi: That’s incredible. This year marks your first activation in Cannes. Can you tell us more about it?

Chantel: So we activate actually in three industry events every year. CES with Walmart Connect, Cannes, and South by Southwest. Cannes has been on our radar for a while because it is where marketing and sales professionals come together. And, um, funnily enough, as a sales professional, I never had a chance to come. So I was able to work with partners such as the Brand Tech Group, Unilever, and Beersdorf. They provided support for us to create an activation here on Thursday, June 20th. And we have seen over 400 RSVPs in just a couple of weeks. So that means it’s needed and desired to be here.

Sistas In Sales
Chantel George
Omawumi: That’s amazing. What are some key insights and statistics you’d like to share about women in sales and Sistas In Sales?

Chantel: Women are incredible sellers. They’re very emotionally intelligent and very intuitive. They’re very good at relationship building and very good at being observant of someone’s needs. But as of right now, how a woman’s natural cycle through life operates is if she decides to have a family, if she decides to slow down, there’s no reentry point back into working in sales. And so by creating the ecosystem we’re creating you always have an opportunity at your fingertips. 

Even if you take a break and come back, you know you can get another sales job. If you want to do a different kind of sales job, some recruiters will recruit you for account management or customer success which may be less gruelling. If you don’t want to travel we have recruiters and partners who have remote sales jobs. And so we can support women through the entire life cycle of their journey. So they never feel like they have to completely leave the workplace. They’re able to take the course as they make decisions that are personal to themselves.

Omawumi: Great! What should people expect from your event at Cannes? When is it and how can people who are here at Cannes participate?

Chantel: Thursday. It’s on Eventbrite. It’s called Creative Unlocked. Women of colour in sales and marketing converge. Copal Beach, 12 to 3. And I would love to see everyone there. 

Omawumi: Your one word for today’s sisters in sales?

Chantel: Be Bold!

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