I n December, the Xposure Inclusion & Diversity Council launched a new website,, provid- ing a variety of useful materials including group updates, events, educa- tional resources, and opportunities to get involved and donate. The new website was a big step for Xposure, a nonprofit which launched in 2019 as the technology industry’s only business resource group dedicated to inclusion and diversity, with a mission to create equity regardless of race, creed, skin color, religion, sexual preference, or gender identification. We had the opportunity to speak with Xposure CEO and co-founder Kelli McMillan, who told us about the path that led to launching the group. Accord- ing to McMillan, it was through the help of a mentor that she learned to act with greater autonomy, gain a deeper under- standing of the technology ecosystem, and establish a plan for growing and elevating her career. Now, McMillan and the Xposure team are paying it forward and working to help provide these experiences for others. McMil- lan spoke about her experience at a previous Channel Partners show, and how she noticed a lack of diversity — something that needed to change. “I rounded up the few people that look like me in this space, and said we need to change this narrative,” McMillan said. “We have been greatly afforded this opportunity to be in the technology industry, and we need to be able to give back to others. Obviously, I’d like to see more Black people and people of color in this space, but I also want to see more people that have diverse thought in mind, and people that are true bootstrappers.” Xposure is now aiming to have its members impart their wisdom on the next wave of up and comers, so they can attain a higher level of success, at a faster pace than doing it on their own. “Xposure literally means exposure to things that you don’t know,” McMillan added. “It’s exposure to understand- ing why CCaaS or UCaaS is important to our partner community, and how it is helping to change lives and grow businesses. At the same time, it’s also about exposing people to how they can start their own partnership or their own business as an entrepreneur, or how to find the right career path for you within a vendor or a master agent. So, we try to tackle all the things that will make you successful.” Of course, the benefits of exposure and diversity extend beyond just personal empowerment. According to McKinsey’s “Delivering Through Diver- sity” study, companies in the top 25th percentile for gender diversity on their executive teams were 15 percent more likely to experience above-average growth. And companies with more culturally and ethnically diverse execu- tive teams were 33 percent more likely to see better than average profits. At this point, most executives are aware of these benefits but are still struggling to take action. According to Brandon Knight, who is co-founder of Xposure as well as vice president of contact center practice at Telarus, part of the problem facing businesses involves finding employees who are diverse, and then going out and recruiting them effectively. This is something that the Xposure team is working on improving. “Something that’s been really impactful for me is the companies that reach out and say they would like to be more diverse, but they don’t know how. ‘How do we go find people that are not like us, and recruit them? How do we hire them?’ They want to know where people are hiding, so to speak. I think those conversations have been good.” As Knight explained, the Xposure team also has been able to have conversations across the channel about not just recruiting more diverse staff but creating a culture that is accepting of that as well. “Once you start bringing in all these people that may have different thoughts on life, [the next step is to] maintain a culture that makes every- one feels comfortable and understands the importance of being diverse,” Knight added. Looking forward, there is a lot of excitement surrounded Xposure, and the organization is on track for a break- out year. The group will be launching a mentorship program comprised of professionals from across the channel, providing education to facilitate every- thing from brand building to making sure your voice is heard. In addition, Xposure expects to launch a vendor sponsorship at some point in the near future, and there are plans for an annual meeting and presentation at the Channel Partners conference. A podcast and newsletter are also both in the works. Additional events to keep your eye on include a diversity panel at Channel Partners Virtual (March 19), and the annual X-CHANGE! summer gala at the Cosmopolitan Las Vegas (June 18). o By Gerald Baldino CHANNEL MANAGEMENT Xposure CEO and founder Kelli McMillan Xposure Brings Needed Change to Channel 42 CHANNEL V ISION | January - February, 2021