Jackie Ferguson: hello and welcome to the diversity beyond the checkbox podcast, season five, I'm your host, Jackie Ferguson certified diversity executive writer, human rights advocate and co-founder of the diversity movement. On this podcast, I'm talking to trailblazers game changers and glass ceiling breakers who share their inspiring stories, lessons learned and insights on business inclusion and personal development.
As we close out season five, I want to say that I appreciate that. You're all spending time listening to the perspectives of some really amazing guests this season. And I'm so excited. To be able to close the season with my guests today. Patsy door Patsy is a leading expert in the field of corporate social responsibility, diversity and inclusion and sustainability.
Her greatest passion is helping large organizations build and develop initiatives that best position them for long-term success and a diverse global environment. Patsy has worked in financial services for leading organizations. Like credit Suisse and Thomson Reuters, and is currently the chief executive officer for the association of junior leagues.
International. Patsy. Thank you so much for being with us
Patsy Doerr: today. Absolutely delighted to be here.
Jackie Ferguson: Thank you. We'll Patsy. I always like to start by asking our guests to talk a little bit about your background, your family, your identity, whatever
Patsy Doerr: you'd like to share. Sure. I'm happy to. So, where should I start?
I was born in a small town called Manhattan, very small town, but I do like I did, I grew up, I grew up in Manhattan, actually on the upper east side of Manhattan in New York city. Um, we did spend a few years in Houston, Texas, uh, as part of my childhood due to my dad's business. Uh, but most of our time was spent here in Manhattan, which is where I'm currently with.
I'm one of four, the youngest of three girls. And then I have a little brother. We all have lived basically all over the world in different places. And right now there's two of us in New York, one in DC, one in Dallas. Um, I have two children. I've got a 16 year old daughter. Who's a junior in high school.
And it depends my old high school, which is really important to me. Cause I went to a very small all-girls high school, a couple blocks away from here that I remained very active in. So I was so happy that she chose to go. And my son is 19, a sophomore in college and he attends St. Andrews in Scotland. So, yeah, and loving it.
He's my international man of mystery. We, we lived, uh, yes, I call him that we lived in Hong Kong for a significant portion of my children's life. And so I think that really impacted their approach to travel and food and new experiences, which is why he chose to go to college overseas. So that's. Then I went to college in Virginia, so decided to leave the big city to go to a small town in Lexington, Virginia, to Washington and Lee.
I was the second class of women there. So when I attended Jackie, it was all. Um, basically a hundred women and 1500 men. So that's frankly, where I started my diversity journey in the sense that I wanted to be a change agent. I wanted to be different. I wanted to be part of a new exercise at 250 year old school that had decided to change its entire focus and become co-ed.
And, um, yeah, and I loved it and I remained very active there too. So I'm very active with all the academic institutions that I've attended, including my graduate school. Uh, so in addition to the work that I do, I got my masters at Fordham university here in New York. And I teach a lot of classes there, both to the faculty and to the students.
So I feel very fortunate from my connections to the academic institutions that provided me the opportunities that I've had to date. What else? I, on a personal note, I'm a very avid runner. I run every day. And run a lot of races. In fact, I'm doing a half marathon on Saturday, which I'm excited about. My running keeps me sane in the midst of everything else that's going on in our crazy lives.
That's a little bit about me personally. I
Jackie Ferguson: love that. Patsy. Thank you for sharing that. You know, what I'm hearing is you are a busy, busy woman, but it's important to also take time. To do those things that
Patsy Doerr: keep you grounded
Jackie Ferguson: and give you space to, um, to reflect and, and just, you know, be yourself right. And, and live in the moment, um, with, with what you're doing.
So that's, that's so important. Thank you for sharing that. Patsy, can you tell us a little about your early career and you know, what were you doing? What did you think you'd be
Patsy Doerr: doing at this point? Sure. Very happy to. Um, now I failed to mention one thing that, uh, my mother was who passed away 15 years ago, unfortunately, um, was an avid feminist.
And I tell you that because she drove it to. For the national organization for women in the 1970s in Houston. And I share that with you personally, but also professionally, because that's really where my passion started to develop. When I saw my mother playing an active role in that space and really expecting that all of her daughters and her.
Would somehow be advocates for change and to really be leaders as women. And first, my brother as a man, but really drove that into how we operate and how we function. And I'm trying to do the same with my daughter and both my child's. But to your question specifically? Um, I was a biology major, actually, so I'm a math and science brain.
I was going to be a doctor. That was my plan. Yes. 100%. I still am a math and science brand. I love numbers. I can't remember what I said an hour ago, but I can calculate any problem in any second and tell,
Jackie Ferguson: oh, that's fantastic. And that led you into, you know, the finance financial piece of your career. Can you tell us a little about some of the
Patsy Doerr: highlights.
Sure Jackie. Absolutely. And I love that you picked up on that. So specifically, because a lot of people say, well, you're in the people part of the business. I'm like, yes I am. But I still worked in financial services where that was that math data science grounding. So basically when I came out of college, my, I have an older sister who's 10 years older than me and she's.
And I saw what she went through in terms of the commitment. And frankly, Jackie, I wasn't mature enough to make that commitment at 22. So I thought, you know what, I'm going to look at other options. And banking seemed to be a great option with the training programs in place. So I went to JP Morgan, went through the training program where you learn about everything, right?
You could take on any role in financial services and going through that program, I learned a whole host of things and I ended up going into sales. On the trading floor and then moved in very quickly into talent development. I realized I liked the people side with, as I said, the math data analytical aspect of the business.
And then that's when I got my master's at night at Fordham. When I was working at JP Morgan in talent development, I decided to go down that path, pursued that I went to Deutsche bank in London after JP Morgan, and then went on to credit Swiss in both New York and Hong Kong. And at that time, I started to build out my diversity equity and inclusion experience.
So I've really been doing the diversity piece now for over 20 plus years because I've sadly, despite my desire to remain 29, I have been in, in the working world for 30 years. And so 20 of it really ended up being on the diversity path. And, and part of that, Jackie was really being in the male dominated industry, having gone to avail college.
And then in that industry, I thought, you know, I really want to make a change here. My mom did this type of work. I found it fascinating. Um, and I really, really wanted to use my voice in this space. And, um, I've always felt that using my voice was important to be successful. And so I developed my career in diversity.
Um, I've had the opportunity, as you noted earlier to work at three investment banks and one database organization, Thomson Reuters in three different continents in New York, London, and Hong Kong. So Asia, Europe, and the United. And I'll tell you one other thing that really sort of threads through my career to your question, which is I have never taken an existing role walking into a role as is I've only taken brand new build-outs or times of transformational change.
Wow. And that's a deliberate effort. Yes.
Jackie Ferguson: And tell me Patsy, why that has been a deliberate effort. What is the benefit of building out
Patsy Doerr: your own? Yeah, it's a great question. It's I've thought about it quite a lot. I, you know, one of the things that I feel strongly about is, and I encourage mentees of mine and peers and friends to do the same is true.
Be clear on what skills and attributes you bring to the table outside of your domain expertise. And I've always been very clear on three things. Now someone's going to hire me or, or wants me to speak or otherwise there are three things that I do and they are one build teams, get people excited about things and go out and speak.
Those are my three attributes that I bring to the table. And I found, I have found over the years that those are best applied in situations where we're trying to drive change. And so it's always been part of who I am to really take that opportunity to utilize those attributes, but also to be in a place to say, okay, how do we move from a to B?
And how do we do this effectively? It's hard work, Jackie, as you well know, and it takes commitment, but it's, it's an exciting challenge in my view. That's amazing
Jackie Ferguson: Patsy. And how have you seen the diversity and inclusion
Patsy Doerr: industry or practice change over 20 years?
Jackie Ferguson: Right? A lot of companies are just now in the last few years getting into the practice of this, but over 20 years, I'm interested in how you've
Patsy Doerr: seen that change.
Yeah, no, it's also also another great question that I've thought about quite a bit recently. I mean, I, 20 years ago, and I know you've had a lot of experience in this space as well. Of course, I feel that diversity, two things, number one, it was primarily a compliance sort of checkbox exercise. Right. And then secondarily, which sounds sort of counter-intuitive, it was a nice to have.
Right. It's great. Okay. Have a diversity program. That's a really good idea. Let's try to build that. I have seen it grow rapidly and particularly not only in the past two years, for, for many of the societal reasons that we're well aware of most of them unfortunate, but in the past eight to 10 years, I've seen businesses take it much more seriously.
Because of the business case. And I know many people are kind of done talking about the business case, but I will never be done talking about the business case because at the end of the day, there is a positive correlation between diversity and inclusion and particularly belonging and engagement productivity, and the bottom line.
Organizations are seeing that more and more over the past eight to 10 years in particular. And there's so much more pressure Jackie, on organizations of any type I'm now running a nonprofit as you know, but I come from the corporate sector. Really it's three drivers. It's it's number one. It's the talent that organizations are trying to attract.
Right? There's some data out there that tells us that 80% of job seekers are looking for organizations that care about diversity and social impact more broadly, more than any other factor. And that's a huge number. It's something that is very important for us to consider. The second are clients or customers, and people want to spend their money and work with organizations that care about diversity and include.
'cause they know, right. They, they want to work with organizations that care about it and actually operate in it, knowing that that's how you get the best solution. And then thirdly, which I find fascinating, not everybody does. This is the numbers. Part of me is invested. Investors want to invest in organizations that care about diversity and social impact.
And we know that for a fact, because impact investing as an industry is at the moment about 50 trillion us dollars assets under management growing at 25% a year. And so responsible investment is on the rise. And so if you're an organization and you're not paying attention to your talent, to your customers and your investors, that's going to be a real problem for the bottom.
Jackie Ferguson: exactly right. Bazzi thanks for sharing that, you know, it's important for organizations to understand why they need to prioritize diversity, uh, include and inclusion in their, in their business. So that's amazing. So you mentioned corporate responsibility, and I know that that has been part of your roles in the past.
Can you tell us what corporate responsibility is and why that's.
Patsy Doerr: Absolutely. It's the way I define it. It's really about community engagement. So it's about engaging in the communities that we live and work through giving back. And it's, it's really that piece of the work. And, and I, I believe the term corporate responsibility resonates for many organizations because it is organizational responsibility to do this type of work.
Right. I mean, to really give back and to allow or enable, I should say a better word. Their employees and their stakeholders to have the time and the opportunity to give back to their community. So it really is about that engagement. It's about having an impact in our communities, you know, actually, you know, doing the work volunteering, but actually having an impact on how communities operate and how individuals feel within their communities and how we provide those resources, um, financial time and support to individuals, particularly in underrepresented populations, but more broadly across all of our communities.
And it's become more and more similar to. Diversity and inclusion and the business case it's become more and more a responsibility for organizations to do that for their people. And to also have a voice in this space and to really talk about the importance of it both within their community and on a global scale.
Jackie Ferguson: Absolutely. Absolutely. So, Patsy, let's talk a little bit about how you got involved with the junior.
Patsy Doerr: I was a member of the junior league, myself in both New York and London back in the nineties when I first came out of university in New York. And then when I moved to London and I literally was looking to find opportunities to meet new people, but also to give back and also to help train women leaders.
That's a big part of our value proposition. And that's my background before I went into diversity. So there were a number of factors that drove me to be a member. So this past year, I've only been there for 13 months. So I've been the CEO for 13 months. It's still fairly new. I was working at credit Suisse for my second time there.
So in total, I was at credit Suisse for 12 years and I was their chief diversity officer. And I received a phone call from the recruiter for the junior league saying, we're looking for a new CEO. Uh, we realized that the junior league, you know, it's a hundred year old organization. Right. But we have wonderful history and we have some history that we're not so.
And we're not the most diverse organization by any means we're changing. And so for me, the attraction factor was fourfold. Number one, it was an organization that I had some history with and really always enjoyed and had great respect for. So not only was I a member, but I have family members who remember, and I had tons of friends who were members all over the country.
So I had a personal connection to. Um, number two, the work that we do is leadership development and community engagement. And that's what I do for a living. So perfect to be able to work in that space. The third piece was I've sat on and I continue to sit on a number of nonprofit boards, but I've never worked full-time in the nonprofit sector.
So it was an opportunity to do that. So it wasn't brand new to me because of the board work, but it was new enough that it was a new adventure. And then finally, um, honestly, great opportunity to be a CEO. You know, I I've, I've been chief diversity officers I've run. I've been the C-suite for a long time, but not as a CEO.
So it's been a fantastic learning experience, particularly at this stage of my career in terms of running an entire organization across all aspects of it. Um, in addition to that, the diversity work that we lead that is so
Jackie Ferguson: fantastic. And, you know, Patsy. You mentioned that, you know, there's, uh, not a lot of diversity with the junior league and, you know, some people believe that there's, you know, an elitist kind of reputation that the junior league has.
How do you respond to that? And you mentioned that you are working to change that. Can you tell us a little about that and how you plan to change that as.
Patsy Doerr: Absolutely. And I should have said there were five reasons why I joined the junior league because the fifth one was to drive transformational change because the brand of the junior league has become a bit stale and not as relevant as it used to.
Right. And that is because the fact is that we have not historically been particularly diverse and we know very well. I know, you know, this Jackie better than I do, or the demographics of our society in the United States and globally have changed dramatically and we need to reflect. And so one of the reasons I joined was to be able to rebuild that brand, to rebuild the experience of the junior league.
And so what we're doing is a number of different things over the past year and continued to do so going into next year. Number one, we redefined our strategic direction in terms of what our goals and our focus areas are. And one of our key goals and focus areas is diversity equity inclusion. Number two, we've built out a whole infrastructure around diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging.
I should say we built out a council that represents, uh, all of our members, leaders, board members, and team members who really care about this work and want to be part of. We've built out a strategy. We've built out an action plan and we have rolled out a number of different educational seminars on diversity and inclusion.
So we're, we're still early in the journey and it didn't just start upon my arrival, you know, years before they had started to think about this and it put in place a number of. Efforts, particularly focusing on race and ethnicity because obviously we're all women so that the gender issue is not an issue for us, but we really have to focus on race, ethnicity, the LGBT community disability, and other aspects of diversity and inclusion.
So those are the pieces that we have in place now. We're building out our action plan, moving forward to make sure that we have measures of success over time and that we can build into everything that we do. What I call the member life cycle, the same way you would call it the employee life cycle. Right?
How do, how do we attract new members? How do we recruit them? How do we develop them? How do we engage them? And ultimately, how do we retain them and build that culture of inclusion and belonging.
Jackie Ferguson: That is really fantastic. And, you know, Patsy, one of the things that I want to stop and just recognize is sometimes companies, especially companies with long history saying, you know, gosh, this is too hard, right?
We're we're too far past this, but if organizations like the junior. Right. Can make these changes and work on this journey, right? It start from wherever you are, any organization can do it and so important to do that for sustainable business. So I appreciate your sharing your journey with the junior league and how you plan to become more inclusive.
I think that is amazing.
Patsy Doerr: So thanks for sharing that. Absolutely. We're excited. I mean, it's early days, but we are making progress and very excited about. That's amazing.
Jackie Ferguson: I love that. I love that. So Patsy, you volunteer, you know, I do obviously research on all my guests to find out a little bit about them and you volunteer for some amazing organizations.
Can you tell us why volunteering is so important?
Patsy Doerr: Absolutely. So I've been doing it, um, for a number of years. And as we mentioned, and as you've mentioned, particularly in a, in a board capacity as well, and I, and all of the boards, I have sat on and continue to sit on, have all one common thread, and they're all focusing on women, girls and education.
And diversity and inclusion more broadly. So that's really been the driver for me. You know, diversity inclusion is my passion. It's my work in any way that I can build it into my life. In addition to my professional role, I try to do so. So between the board work, volunteering as a professor, so I teach courses at Fordham university, for example, as I mentioned, And do speaking engagements on the topic as well, any way that I can find a place to really be a voice in this space and give my time and my experience to others who are interested.
Um, I find it very rewarding. I feel that it's my role, and I feel that in many ways, it's my calling to be a voice in this space. And, and that's really why I do that type of work. I love that.
Jackie Ferguson: Tell us, you know, when, when we, as women get into industries or companies
Patsy Doerr: where we're one of a few, or maybe the
Jackie Ferguson: only what advice do you have for us to be able to do our best work, to stand out, to grow within the
Patsy Doerr: organization, our industry, I would encourage women to use their voice.
Right. We've, we've heard for so long that we want to have a seat at the table. Right. But really it's more about having a voice at the table and you can have a seat at the table, but if you don't use your voice, it's not going to be productive. So I encourage women in particular because, you know, historically we haven't always been as aggressive in this space, you know, to use our voices, um, to take.
To be open to new opportunities and new responsibilities and not to doubt ourselves, you know, I, I, I spoke personally about my mother driving the tank and I, you know, if there's anything that I learned from her, in addition to her work around. Was to be confident and to believe that I could do anything, frankly, now it doesn't always work out.
And I don't think I've slept in 25 years. I will say that I do believe that it's possible to have everything that you want and to find a way to make it work, meaning have a career, be a mother, be a spouse, be a friend, um, all of those things. And so I encourage women to. Look through that lens, as opposed to the opposite, which we often do, and really think that we can be achievers and we can get what we want and to really try to build a system around that, to make that
Jackie Ferguson: that is fantastic.
And Patsy, let's talk a little about mentorship. Um, so in a Forbes blog, you wrote, you talked about why having a mentor and being a mentor is beneficial. Can you share your thoughts?
Patsy Doerr: So I am a big believer in networking. And, uh, and when I seen that working, I mean, meeting as many people as possible and learning from every experience.
And so as part of that, mentorship is so critical. And, and what, what I mean by that is I think we all need no matter where we are in our careers, but at what stage we're at that sort of body of people, 10 to 12 is what I would recommend. Who really are mentors to you and advisors and ideally sponsors and advocates.
So you want to have mentors and you want to have sponsors or advocates as well. And mentors give you that career advice or professional advice. Whereas sponsors and advocates are the people that are talking about you when you're not in the room. And I think it's important to have. You've probably heard that expression, you know, having your own board of directors.
And I really live by that. I always, I have a group of people I can call on if I need some support advice, or even help with a project to really just build that out and spend the time to create those relationships and to cultivate them over time. You know, I always say Jackie that, and, you know, we, we all sign up for networking events and sometimes we don't, we can't go because we're too busy, but I always say that an hour spent at a networking.
Is worth 15 hours. Answering emails. I mean, honestly, and it may not be that exact number, but at the end of the day, it is so much more valuable than sitting behind your computer, responding to emails at the end of the day, the more you can be present, meet people, gain mentorship naturally. I mean, of course, if your organization has a formal program, take advantage of it, but I believe, and I've run many a mentor program in my life, but I really believe that natural relationships build the best mentor.
Relationships, if you will, over time,
Jackie Ferguson: amazing advice, Patsy, what's the best advice
Patsy Doerr: anyone has ever given you? Gosh, I really feel like I've been very fortunate in terms of advice that I've received in one being used your voice. This is very specific, but it's always in the back of my mind because I do a lot of speaking right.
In my role and outside of my. Um, but I've found this one. It's always in my mind. And it was a woman who taught me this when I was at JP Morgan years ago. She said that whenever you're speaking, make sure you clarify why you're saying what you're saying. Simple piece of advice that has impacted me in every situation that I'm in.
So every time I'm presenting last night, we had a board meeting, I would say, here's what we're going to tell you. And this is why we're going to tell you. And I've learned that over time and it's been such a powerful piece of advice. It sounds so simple, but yet at the end of the day, it really makes a big difference.
So I would say use your voice, take risks. And when you're speaking and talking about anything, explain why you are telling people what you're telling. I love
Jackie Ferguson: that, you know, you're right. It's so important. It's so important because people, they don't like change. Right. And they, the question like, especially if you're doing something new there, they're questioning it, but explaining why is such an important part of the communication?
I think that's wonderful about. Wonderful. Thanks for sharing
Patsy Doerr: that.
Jackie Ferguson: Let's talk about, you know, some of your travels. So you've been all over. You've worked all over. Tell us about some of those different experiences and how working
Patsy Doerr: in,
Jackie Ferguson: uh, one culture versus another was
Patsy Doerr: different for. Somehow it's in my blood.
I love to travel personally and professionally. And as I said earlier, my son in particular, but both kids have definitely inherited that gene. You know, for me, it's been about risk. It's been about opportunity. I feel very comfortable being the different one in the room, if that makes sense. And I feel that particularly on a professional.
Being having that cultural competence, that cultural intelligence is critical to diversity and inclusion. And frankly, I honestly think it's a part of diversity and inclusion that is often underplayed. Right. We don't talk about it enough to understand different kinds. Through food, through traditions, through language, all of those are so important to appreciate how to operate in the global world that we live in today.
And it's only becoming more and more important, right? Because everybody is so all organizations and individuals are so connected on a global scale. Now, living in those cultures I think is particularly powerful and not everybody has the opportunity to do that. So gaining exposure is fantastic at any way that he can, but living in, particularly in a.
Very very different experience may really, you know, what was fascinating about my role there in particular? And it applies personally as well, is that we were based in Hong Kong, which is of course a fully developed market. But my responsibilities span 14 countries across Asia, which ranged from fully developed markets like Hong Kong, Singapore and Australia, all the way through to the Philippines, to Thailand, to Cambodia, you know, to different countries that were going through.
Going through different experiences economically and socially. So having the opportunity to work, but also visit and be part of those cultures was just absolutely phenomenal. And then the same in Europe, of course, a more developed market living in LA. Always traveling. I worked for a German bank, so I was in Germany all the time, but of course all across Europe, again, having that opportunity to be exposed to those different cultures, um, through a variety of different ways has really shaped who I am.
You know, I, I would love to live in another country again. Um, I've got plenty, more years to work at this stage and I'm hoping that we'll continue. In enhance that experience over time. And I'm really glad that the kids have that same interest as well, because it does make you a more well-rounded person.
And I think if you have an orientation towards taking risks and looking for new opportunities is the best way to do it. Absolutely.
Jackie Ferguson: And you know, I, I think that's so great because having a global perspective first, what you said about. Diversity and inclusion from a global perspective is so important.
And very often what I find is organizations get very narrow, right? And they're just us focused on, you know, the cultures that exist just around them, but business is international and you've got to understand and open up that perspective. But I think having that global perspective past. Helps people to understand and just be open to different ways of thinking different habits, different practices.
And you know, when you are in an environment where people are so similar to you, you don't have the experience of being open to new things in the same way. And so I love travel for that reason. So thanks
Patsy Doerr: for sharing. Absolutely. And it's important to leadership as well. Right. In order to be an inclusive leader, you really need to have that cultural competence and appreciation for it too.
Jackie Ferguson: Absolutely. So, Patsy, you talked about. Risk, you know, being willing to take risks and looking for opportunities and not afraid to be different, but that's not everyone's experience. Right. A lot of people shy away from that. Can you give us some advice on how to lean into that a little bit?
Patsy Doerr: I mean, I think, you know, in terms of thinking about it, I think a understanding your appetite for risk, you know, be understanding why it would be important to experience a new adventure or to take on a new opportunity.
And, and I think in bullet points, by the way, as you can probably tell and see, see, I would say to really make sure to apply that right. Think about your orientation, think about what you're trying to achieve and then apply that in action. So I'll share with you a personal story that happened to me and what led me to Hong Kong, which really was, you know, changed my life and my children's life.
I was working for a Swiss bank. And I was working for a ultra conservative Swiss man who is a fantastic man and a fantastic leader, but I knew what his thoughts were about women working mothers and diversity and inclusion. As much as I respected him, I didn't necessarily agree with his views. And I was having my performance review in July of 2006.
And we're having a review. It's all going very well. And at the end of the review, and this was a subtle way of doing it. So you don't always have to be fully direct at the end of the review. So thank you so much. I really appreciate it. But I have one more thing to share with you. And he said, okay. I said, I just want to tell you that.
Please do not rule me out for an international opportunity because I have two small babies at home. You know what happened, Jackie? A week later, I got a call with an offer to move to Hong Kong with. Oh, my goodness. Yeah, it was that one little nugget just because I knew him well enough, but I didn't want to be too, too aggressive about pushing it.
I just wanted to plant a seed that I knew that he wasn't thinking about for that reason. And it changed our lives.
Jackie Ferguson: Wow. You know, that's, that's so great on two levels, one, because very often. We have these inclinations, right. That someone is judging us or putting us in a box based on whatever thing. And to call it out one, like what incredible forethought.
Right. And then the ability to take a risk. Right. And just saying that thing out loud, and then. You know, calling out a potential bias is so important, right? Because a lot of times with our biases, we're not even aware of them. We're not even paying attention to it, but it was likely that he wasn't considering you because of that, but not necessarily consciously, but the fact that you just brought that straight out is so amazing because it, it likely made him say.
Hm. You know, I was kind of judging her on, on that and, and ruling her out because of that. And I, I think that's amazing that you did that. That's so important. It's so important that we advocate for ourselves so important that we advocate for others. And I love that, that you did that. That's such a great example of how we need to advocate.
For ourselves, especially as women, um, in the workplace. That is fantastic. Thanks for sharing that. Of course. Patsy, tell us something about you that not a lot of people know.
Patsy Doerr: Oh boy, that's an interesting question. You know, as serious as I am about my career and as ambitious as I've always been about pretty much everything that I do.
Um, I'm, I'm pretty much a jokester and a prankster. And I laugh at every situation. I'm very sarcastic in a positive way, not in a negative way. I like to find the humor in any situation. And, um, I think that really helps me remain safe. Being like you and all many of us, you know, very, very busy person, but finding that humor in any situation.
And honestly, as I said, particularly when I was a kid and it still hasn't changed much, I am a bit of a prankster. Um, that's
Jackie Ferguson: awesome. Awesome. Thanks for sharing that. So, Patsy, one question that I have in, you know, you're CEO, you volunteer you're on boards. You're a mom. How do you fit it all in?
Patsy Doerr: How do you get it done?
I don't know if I know the answer to that question, but I will do my best to answer it. I, I think, um, I have an, I joke that I don't sleep. I really not a great sleeper, but, but that's a whole other issue. I it's, you know what it is, honestly, I've thought about this over the years. For me, I'm an 80 20 person.
I am a progress is the best thing person. So if I feel that I'm making progress at 80 20, as opposed to 99.9% of perfection, I feel that I'm doing a good job. And I have applied that principle more broadly to my life, primarily my career and other aspects. I wouldn't apply the 80, 20 to my children. I think that's a slightly different topic, but, um, but generally speaking, I believe in progress over perfection, any.
And that's how I do it. And I also believe in building a system around you that allows you to have that those opportunities and whether it's, you know, the system that's needed for your children. The time that's needed for me to run, you know, building it into my calendar, making sure there's an hour in my calendar every day that's in there.
You know, little things like that that really make a difference is building that system around you. That allows you to do the things that you need and want to do.
Jackie Ferguson: I love that progress over perfection. And, you know, that's so important because especially with us as women, we think we have to get it all done all the time.
Every day, you're at a hundred percent on every single aspect of your life. But to give yourself a little bit of grace, To, you know, depending on the day, you know, making progress here or here, or I think that's so important because we're too hard on ourselves and what we're trying to accomplish and the number of things.
And we limit sometimes the number of things that we're willing to take on because we think we have to get to that 100%. And really getting to 80% and making progress over perfection is so important and it allows us to
Patsy Doerr: do more and try more. Yeah. I, I so agree with you, Jackie. I think in particular, women are, tend to be more in the perfectionist side of the house, if you will, and it can hold us back.
Absolutely. You know, I think, uh, you know, sometimes we have to give ourselves a break, but also expect that, you know, accept the fact that progress is.
Jackie Ferguson: Absolutely. So Patsy, as we wrap up and I've enjoyed this conversation so much, what's the message that you want to leave our listeners with.
Patsy Doerr: I've enjoyed our conversation very much too.
So thank you for having me. Uh, I would go back to voice. I really would. I know I've said it a few times in different ways, but I would like to leave this session today with underscoring, the importance of using your voice, whether you're in a leadership role or you're not in a leadership. You know, this concept that we've heard for years lead from every seat, I really think plays out in the world in the real world, in the professional world, as well as in the personal world, but to really use your voice and to call things out as you see them, as you mentioned earlier, um, to the extent that you're comfortable understanding your level of risk, your comfort with risk, I should say, but really use your voice.
And I think as well, what's really important in today's society. And this is more on the professional side of the house. The importance of collective voices, right? So whether it's your own board of directors, as we talked about earlier, or whether it's organizations coming together and nonprofit profit sector governments, and otherwise to really talk about these difficult issues and to solve them together, the more successful that we will be as a society, as it applies to diversity, social impact, corporate social responsibility, all of those things.
Jackie Ferguson: Patsy. Thank you so much for taking time and sharing your insights and sharing about what you're doing. We appreciate it. And you know, I really just personally, I think you're amazing. The things that you're doing are just so great. And I appreciate your taking time to, to talk to me.
Patsy Doerr: Anytime Jackie is a real pleasure.
I enjoy speaking with you very much. And then thank you for all of the great work that you're doing. We really appreciate it.
Jackie Ferguson: Thanks for listening everyone. If you like the show, subscribe on apple podcast. Spotify or wherever you listen. And if you really like it, leave us a rating and review as well to keep up with our seasons and our guests. Follow this podcast on LinkedIn, Instagram, and Twitter. This show was edited and produced by your fluence.
I'm Jackie Ferguson. Join us for our next episode of diversity beyond the check box. Take care of yourself, Andy.
As we’re all flooded with the busyness of work and all the things we need to do in our daily lives, it’s important to figure out what keeps us grounded and how to give back. In the season 5 finale, The Association of Junior Leagues International CEO Patsy Doerr talks with Jackie about her career in DEI, how her team has built an infrastructure around DEIB (yes, with a B), how she keeps herself grounded, and why she focuses on progress over perfection.
Listen to this episode on Spotify or Apple Podcasts.