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Last year, when the world watched protests sweep across the country, one message became clear. People of color were tired of the prejudice so deeply ingrained into our culture that it perpetrated inequality in the justice system, workplace, and everywhere else we went. And countless companies listened. They voiced support for Black-owned businesses, joined the 15% Pledge, and made bold promises about diversity.

Analyses by MarketWatch and Harvard Business Review lay out the hard truth. Companies that promote diversity within their culture are 70% more likely to capture new markets than organizations that don’t. This is a huge number of potential customers and clients these companies are missing out on. Of course, promoting diversity just for the sake of drawing in customers is not smart business. Customers are quick to catch on if a company is trying to cash in on “woke advertising” and they are not afraid to call them out. Promoting diversity has to come from a place of sincerity and the companies that fail to do so will plummet.

An Advertising Company that Gives Back

Sherman Wright TEN35 COO
Sherman Wright TEN35 COO

For companies like TEN35, being multicultural isn’t just about fulfilling a quota. It’s part of its DNA. TEN35 is an advertising company that “rewards creativity born out of an unrelenting curiosity for culture”. They do so with the purpose of promoting growth for their employees and clients.

“At Ten35, we reward creativity in a number of different ways, but primarily in guiding our partners in building meaningful connections and creating moments that transform culture. For example, to increase awareness for talented Black artists who oftentimes don’t get the spotlight, we worked with LIFEWTR in creating the Black Art Rising campaign, where we highlighted eight rising artists in a digital exhibition documenting the diverse responses to the Black Lives Matter movement in 2020. The gallery was created not only to preserve this moment in time but to help keep the movement alive and ensure future generations have access to the art and artists who are acting as vanguards of change.”

The company is led by COO Sherman Wright and CEO Ahmad Islam who master the art of “speaking Multicultural, Millennial, and GenZ”, with an impressive employee makeup of 80% people of color, 70% women, and 20% LGBTQIA+. Their company is also committed to helping its community by leading award-winning programs like PepsiCo’s Dig In, which supports Black-owned restaurants, and guiding Pearl Milling Company through its historic name change.

Ten35 also participates in the Ten Hours program, which encourages all TEN35 employees to contribute to a local charity through ten hours of community service. Once complete, a $35 donation is made on behalf of the individual employee from TEN35.

TEN35 Wins Small Business of the Year

Ahmad Islam TEN35 CEO
Ahmad Islam TEN35 CEO

In light of its efforts, TEN35 was recently recognized by the U.S. Black Chambers, Inc as the 2021 Small Business of the Year. They have also tripled their revenue and worked with other notable brands such as Air Jordan, Amazon, Microsoft, and Mountain Dew. These are impressive achievements that acknowledge the power companies can have when they not only stand up for what is right, but reflect the beauty of our multicultural society.

“As curious creators who strive to consistently grow and evolve, this Award is a powerful testament to the fundamental strength of culture and growth that TEN35 has experienced over the years,” says TEN35 Chief Executive Officer Ahmad Islam. “We’re proud to partner with forward-thinking brands looking to make an impact, and it is an honor to be named 2021 Business of the Year by the USBC.”

TEN35 is just one example of the future of business. Companies perform better when they have a diverse team with wide points of view. Speaking multicultural ensures that companies are connecting to both older and current generations and making a difference in their communities.

What do you think of TEN35’s recent achievement? Let us know down in the comments.

This article originally published on GREY Journal.