Meet Dr. Sidjae Price, a best-selling author, speaker and entrepreneur of sidjaeprice.com.
She is the owner of Priceless Planning, LLC, the parent company for multiple brands, the Founder of Speak Loud Incorporated, a youth-based nonprofit organization, and creator of Rise and Shine Jamaica Expo.
A passionate advocate and supporter of entrepreneurship, Dr. Price is appreciated for her ability to provide academic and professional knowledge with a millennial spin. She has helped over 25 individuals become best-selling authors, guest lectured at universities in the U.S. and the Caribbean, worked with businesses in four countries to improve their operations, co-authored a textbook and served as a reviewer for an academic journal.
Earlier this year we worked alongside Sidjae to open up conversations about the commitments companies made to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) amidst the start of the Black Lives Matter movement, and where companies stand today in the wake of George Floyd’s murder.
Q: What inspired your work to teach your community of entrepreneurs about the DEI efforts different companies were making?
In 2020, we saw countless companies rushing to get DEI training in response to the rise in protests of anti-Black racism throughout the country. Many of those companies completed the training, but chose not to implement anything from their training. This left us as corporate trainers feeling defeated.
Then I learned how Bench was implementing DEI practices. They publicly shared their efforts, created an inclusive community and provided the general public with quarterly DEI reports.
This made many of us in the Black community feel included. In fact, I even saw a few individuals comment that they were switching to Bench as they found them as an ally of the Black community. Seeing their DEI efforts made me feel comfortable in reaching out to Bench. Knowing our values were aligned in fostering a diverse community both internally and externally, I wanted to amplify these conversations.
It truly takes a group effort to create the change we want to see when it comes to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. That’s why I am so glad I decided to do the #benchxblackcommunity campaign.
Q: Why is sharing this message important to you?
As a Black business owner, I want to leave generational wealth as that’s something not currently in my family. [Because of systemic racism and the racial wealth gap in America,] there were no properties passed down, no business, no savings account, nothing. My goal is to change this narrative.
I wanted and got the opportunity to showcase a company who is an ally to the Black community.
Q: Why is it important to make DEI a priority?
Black women are the fastest growing group of entrepreneurs and are contributing a big percentage to the economy. So why are we constantly left out? Why is it that companies wait until Black History Month to show inclusiveness? This is no longer acceptable in today’s culture and we are over it.
While there are no regulations for companies who choose not to implement DEI practices, I do know that there is power in the Black dollar. And I am proud to spend my Black dollar with a company who makes me feel included as a Black woman entrepreneur.
Q: What do you recommend organizations do to foster a diverse community?
When companies ask me this during my corporate training sessions, my response is always to show people that you care. The solution that Diversity, Equity & Inclusion provides is deeply rooted in the simple matter of ethics, accepting everyone for who they are and being fair when it comes to opportunities.
Q: What about Bench’s commitment to DEI has inspired you?
Bench’s DEI efforts have been amazing! We are in a time where many companies have done training and have silently brushed DEI efforts under the rug now that it’s no longer in the mainstream media. But Bench is still committed to providing the public with quarterly DEI reports, allowing for transparency. This allows all marginalized groups to feel included.
For me personally, it feels good to know that I am working with a company that is an ally for all marginalized groups, but even more so for the Black community. This also makes me so proud to recommend Bench to my clients and colleagues.
Bench’s year-round transparency of diversity is one that other companies should follow suit in. In fact, this is a perfect example of how to not just rely on a month of recognition to show diversity, foster inclusion and create opportunities.
Bench uses their platform to not just highlight Black business owners on their social platforms but to also create a list of programs and resources designed to give Black business owners access to capital, networking and more. They’re literally helping us, Black business owners, make history, create generational wealth and leave legacies.
Not only am I spending my Black dollars with a company that includes me, but also one that creates opportunities and access to resources so that I can continue to learn the financial ins and outs of business.
Q: What has your experience working with Bench been like and how has it helped you as a Black business owner?
Using Bench has really allowed me to improve how I manage my books. As a Black business owner who is building a business for legacy and generational wealth, it is so important that I have my financial books in order.
This allows me to pay accurate taxes so that I can create wealth through not just my business but also owning rental properties, home ownership, and gaining access to business grants and other funding opportunities as they come up and more!
The truth is we sometimes negate the fact that if we are building generational wealth, we need to have our books in order so that factors like our income-to-debt ratio allow us to get a mortgage, own land, commercial properties, or even franchise a company. It all comes back to your financial books, and that’s why I love Bench as it’s the starting point for small business owners.
Want to hear more from Sidjae? Check out this short video she shared with us.