Jackie: You’re listening to the Diversity: Beyond the Checkbox podcast.
I’m your host, Jackie Ferguson, author, speaker, human rights advocate. On this show, I’m talking to trailblazers, game changers and glass-ceiling breakers who share their inspiring stories and insights on business, inclusion and personal development.
Last month, we finished our seventh season of the show. And, while we gear up for season eight, I wanted to share with you some moments from our most popular episodes of all time. If you missed one of these episodes, the links to each will be in the description, so go back and listen to what made these episodes so special.
Jackie: Thanks for listening to some of my favorite moments from Diversity: Beyond the Checkbox’s last seven seasons. Be sure to take a moment to leave a rating and review, and subscribe so you’ll be reminded when season eight premieres. And believe me, it’s going to be a good one. in the coming months.
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This show was edited and produced by Earfluence.
I’m Jackie Ferguson. Take care of yourself and each other.
What is a Virtual Privilege Walk?
Jackie: Oftentimes people associate privilege with one race or gender, or with affluence. However, privilege is reflected in many situations, many lifestyles, and among many demographics. For example, how many of you had at least one supportive, loving parent? That advantage made life easier for you. You didn't have to fight to discover your personal self-worth because you had someone cheering for you and showing you love, even during the challenging times, and privileges often have nothing to do with how hard you personally.
Privilege isn't necessarily a reflection of you as much as it is the perception and assumption to others about who you are and what you're capable of. Do you feel safe sleeping in your own bed, going for a jog, bird watching what happens when a police officer stops you for a broken taillight? Clearly not everyone has equal privilege.
Thankfully, I think more people are leaning in on the acknowledgement of privilege. And right now we need people, all people to use their privilege, their access, their influence, their platforms and their resources to make systemic change across our country. And I hope this inspires you to feel empowered with your privilege to do so.
So now that we're level set on privilege, let's talk about the privilege. This is a little different because traditionally these are done in person. The group stands side by side and takes steps forward or steps back based on the question of privilege or challenge. The purpose is to be mindful and present with your individual level of privilege.
Now, some people find them to be very enlightening and some people don't care for privilege walks because of a perceived embarrassment or conviction with having too much privilege or too many challenges. But I wanna offer an alternate perspective. If you discover higher levels of privilege in this exercise, you're empowered to use your advantages to advocate for equity and inclusion across your organizations and communities.
Your voice is so important in allyship. If you find that you've had to overcome significant challenges in your life, you're empowered to inspire others and to be empathetic leaders and culture drivers. So let's talk about this virtual privilege walk. I'll read a series of 41 statements. We'll all start with a score of zero with each statement.
I'll ask you to add one if a particular privilege applies to you. Remember, adding one doesn't mean better than it simply means you had a specific privilege. And not adding one doesn't mean less. It simply means you had a specific challenge. Okay, let's begin. If you are right-handed, add one. If you never had your utilities cut for non-payment while growing up, add one.
If there was never substance abuse in your household, add. If you were never told by your parents that you'd have to work harder than everyone else to get ahead because of your race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, or disability, add one. Please take a moment to calculate your privilege number and if you'll share those numbers in the chat at the bottom of your screen.
I'd like to see what some of those. Wow. There's a range. There's a broad range from high thirties to nineteens, eighteens 11. Amazing. Thank you for sharing those. One of the arguments of privileges, I worked hard for what I have. , and I'm not disputing that. In fact, I respect it. However, if you think back over the statements, all 41 privileges related to something that was outside your personal control.
So when people say we all have access to the American dream, privilege has us starting our race to success at different points. We don't all begin at the same starting line. Remember? You shouldn't feel bad about your privilege. You want to use that privilege and lean into that privilege so that you can benefit others, provide access to others, provide opportunities to others that that don't have those same privileges.
So we want to empower you to feel like you can make a difference with the privileges that you're providing. So now I'd like to invite our guests to join me for a quick discuss. So if you will unmute your. Thank you so much for being here today. I'm so excited about our panelists and these four are amazing leaders and also friends.
Kendra Felder is the global head of centralized services for it at the multinational tech conglomerate. Cisco. He leads over 600 people in his department. Carolyn Morris is the Cee O of Orange Soul, a consulting firm that empowers individuals to create and maintain healthy relationships, boundaries and confidence.
John Samuel is the Chief Innovation Architect and L C I Tech, one of the largest employers of professionals who are blind in the us. L C I Tech is a leader in digital accessibility and provides consulting for digital inclusion for people with disabil. And Jason Gilligan is the Cee O of Earfluence, a media production company that amplifies brand exposure and builds a PR engine for its clients.
And Earfluence produces podcasts including the Diversity movements, diversity Beyond the Checkbox podcast. So what were their paths to success? So let's ask some questions and find. What did you realize for my panelists about the concept of privilege from participating in this walk? And whoever would like to go first, please start.
Jason: Yeah. So Jackie, um, you and I, you mentioned we've been on this, um, privilege journey for, for the past year, year and a half or so. Um, ever since, uh, you came up with the concept of the diversity beyond the checkbox podcast. and we've had a lot of diversity types of conversations around. and I wasn't quite aware of my privilege, um, you know, before that.
So this walk is part of the journey that I've been on for the past year, year and a half or so. Um, in realizing that, you know, I, I have been privileged. I haven't had to worry about the cops. I've been pulled over so many times for speeding, and I never. Had to, had to worry about that. Mm-hmm. , and it, it's true.
I mean, Carolyn, you're laughing, but like, it's, it is true. Like I probably, my younger days was I had a very lead foot and I never had to be concerned. I never even thought about it. Mm-hmm. also, I never had to have the conversation with my parents about, you need to be concerned about the blue lights. So this, I, I knew my score would be pretty high, and it was, it was 36.
Um, and it is just part of, of this journey that I've been on for the past year, year and a half, or. .
Jackie: Thanks Jason for sharing that.
The Word Choice Workshop: Inclusive Language Tips for Everyday Business
Roxanne: Our society has grown increasingly. If trends continue, culturally diverse groups will make up the societal majority by 2040. We're pretty close to that every time I've written that over the last three, four years, I think. Oh, we're, we're inching closer and closer.
It's pretty close now. That's right. By learning to speak to that diverse audience, You can not only broaden your reach, but also transfer what? What you mean to communicate your message to more and more people. So inclusive language is a way of being conscious of who your audience is and understanding how to make those people feel included in what you're saying.
Part of communicating more effectively with a diverse audience is beginning to understand your own biases. We all have them and how they're present in your linguistic. We cannot assume that others share our viewpoint, and I think inclusive language really helps us sort of lay the groundwork there in recruiting diverse talent.
Did you know, for instance, I'm sure Jackie did, that your job, how your job description is written, can encourage or discourage diversity in applicants. For example, according to a gender insights report. In order to apply for a job, women feel that they need to meet a hundred percent of the. While men usually apply around 60% of meaning the criteria.
So with small language changes, we can automatically tap into a much broader audience, um, and make sure that we are diversifying our workforces along the way. Generation Z is also an important part of this born. Someone, correct me if I'm wrong, Jackie, 1996 to 2009 is entering adulthood as the country's most racially and ethnically diverse generation and poised to become our best educated generation, yet making up a quarter of the US population and 40% of all consumers, gen Z is impacting business in a major way, and we wanna be ready for them for any business hoping to thrive now and in the future and survive not just.
Understanding the behaviors of Gen Z and how technologically adept that group of consumers is, is critical to communicating with them just a few decades ago. Also, most companies centered their marketing efforts around the prototypical consumer, Caucasian, heterosexual, middle class, white collar Christian, since those people represented the majority of the consumer market today, however, the consumer market is very.
It's increasingly more diverse, different beliefs, habits, preferences, and ideals, and smart marketers have to adapt. Smart communicators, professional communicators, and leaders to have more focus on diversity and inclusion. So that was a long way of saying in inclusive language in the workplace does these things.
It helps you lead and influence diverse teams. It helps improve your recruiting and your employee intention. Retention, excuse me. It helps breed innovation and creativity. Creating diverse teams that make smarter, faster decisions with less risk. It helps you tap into Gen Z in the workplace and the marketplace and expand your market reach.
Jackie: Absolutely, Roxanne. And you know, that's only some of the reasons. Inclusive language is so important. We also wanna talk about why inclusive language matters in our communities beyond the workplace. How are we showing up for our families and our communities? When I talk about environments, it's at home, right?
It's at a restaurant with a new friend. It's, you know, in a neighborhood gathering. But inclusive language can create stronger, more authentic relationships because you're creating relationships of trust, relationships of openness, relationships of learning, and relationships of respect. And that's so important.
It also teaches empathy, right? When you are willing to be vulnerable and learn and ask questions and not have all the answers. And with inclusive language, we. Always have all the answers, , uh, but it teaches empathy. It teaches empathy to our children and those that we can influence around us as well. As Roxanne said, gen Z is more diverse than any previous generation.
So with within our families and within our communities, we wanna make sure that we're open and we're people that our, our family can come to, that our friends can come to, that our neighbors can come to and have discussions and feel safe and feel. And you do that through inclusive language, and then it increases wellbeing and mental wellness.
This is something in our communities and in our workplace that we're talking about more, uh, because it's so important as part of the wellness of a person, right? It's very easy to talk about, you know, going for your checkups to the doctor, but it's been a little tougher to talk about mental wellness and taking care of ourselves on the inside and, and how we're feeling as.
but it's so important and so inclusive language in addition to what it provides in the workplace and how it can impact your bottom line. It also breeds better relationships among those that we're
Roxanne: close to. That's a great point. Jackie. I love your points about, um, increasing wellbeing and mental wellness.
I think it's so important to how we like move through the world and, and also just how we feel about ourselves while we're crushing it at work, .
Jackie: Absolutely. That's right. Roxanne. Absolut. All right. So you know, as Roxanne mentioned, our world is becoming more diverse. Whether you know, you're an organizational leader or a marketer, a writer, a sales professional, you're an hr, you're an administrative assistant, a hotel clerk, anything that you do, every role, every industry has to make the shift because of our changing demo.
And developing a growth mindset is one that understands the trends, right? Not the trends in what's popular right now, but how our society is shifting in how they think and how they behave. And so understanding how to develop a growth mindset is so important, and that is so related to inclusive language because that's something that you can do on your own very quickly and make that.
One of the examples that I love to use about in growth mindset, uh, with regard to diversity, equity, and inclusion, and the, the changes that are occurring in our, our society is the blockbuster to Netflix example. And I don't know about you, but if you are a, a Gen Xer, like myself, I spent a lot of Friday nights in Blockbuster video getting my, you know, two new releases and my popcorn.
And it was hard to imagine that that would not be the way we spent our Friday nights, but enter Netflix, right? A disruptor, and Netflix, for those of you who don't know this story, came to Blockbuster and they were laughed out of a conference room because Blockbuster didn't believe that the demographics were shifting in how we wanted to watch movie.
and I don't know about any of you, but I cannot recall where my blockbuster card is, but I certainly know how to access Netflix, right? And so as you think about business, no matter what business you're in, especially if you're an organizational leader, that growth mindset is so important in making sure that you have not only successful business, but sustainable business.
And this growth mindset is important to that. Keep that in mind as we go through some of these inclusive language best practices.
Ask a Black Guy / Ask a White Guy
Grant: So we're, we're on the NC State campus.
I was educated here. Donald mentioned earlier. Donald and I walked this campus a lot. Mm-hmm. and we both lo love what this campus does. It, it, this campus has educated a lot of people and it educated me, but I still remember when I was explained for the first. , that conversation that every single black dad has with his son on how to live when they're blue whites behind you.
It's the first I ever heard it with do when it came outta Donald's mouth. And it's like, you know, the first time you hear it's like, I can't really be. And then, and then you hear that story over and over and over. It's just saying, this is where Donald schooled me to be a better person. Cause he exposed me to things that I'd never seen in my life before.
Most of us white deaths, all of us white deaths have never had that convers. Never. No. And that we've got friends and we've got, and then every black dad is does that for, for safety and that's the way America is. That's where Donald School me to be a better person.
Jason: Yeah. Well, let's talk about other conversations with your kids.
Yeah, sure. So Don, your son, your daughters, what do you let them marry outside of your race?
Donald: I don't know if this is a plan or not, but I'm ready to get down. So one of the things about. Race relations is that we all are a little bit racist. We're all a little bit prejudiced. We're all a little bit biased, right?
It's really a function of do you allow any of those feelings that aren't quite right or those thoughts to dominate your daily behavior, right? Can you bifurcate between what you may think because of what you heard or what's unknown to you and how you behave, right? And then, and then learning to be better each and every day.
But my daughter, Mariah, is recently married and she married a white guy, and so it's a part of my experie. I have a multiracial family right in my kind of immediate family unit, but I'll take it back just a little bit, but, but quickly. I remember when Mariah first started dating. and she was telling me about a young guy that she was dating, I forget his name, it was a little while ago now, but she came into to my office.
She said, dad, I got something to tell you. She said, I wanna go on my first date and I wanna talk to you about the guy. And I said, well, you know, what's his name? What does he do? And she's like, oh, he's an honor student and he wants to go to Princeton or Harvard one day. And I'm like, super cool. And, uh, he plays soccer and this, that, and the other.
I'm like, okay, wait. Let's go. Like I'm starting to kind of put together this picture as a dad, even as, let's go to Harvard and not cuz black guys can't go to Harvard, but I'm like, let's go to Harvard. Cool. Maybe Princeton. Okay, cool. Also plays soccer. And this is like tw, this was a lot of years ago, so there wasn't as many black guys playing soccer as maybe today.
And so then she's like, I got something to tell you. About it. I don't want you to get mad. And I was like, okay, what is it? He's white. And so I remember looking at Mariah and telling her to sit down. I said, let me talk to you for a minute. And she was a little, little nervous. And I said, Mariah, do you know that I love you?
And she said, yeah. And do you know that I want your happiness in all the things you did? And she said, yeah. I said, as long as he treats you right, what color he is, just doesn't matter because I'm not a hypo. and I want what's best for you. Now what I will tell you is that making that choice is you're adopting a set of challenges when you date outside your race because everybody doesn't think like we've raised you guys to think.
And so you've gotta know that there are those challenges there. That's not a decision without consequence. And so we talked about it a little bit, I said, but if anybody gives you guys challenge, tell 'em to come see me and I'll take care of it.
Jason: Well, what about 30 something new years ago? What about with your parents?
What would they have?
Donald: Again, I have an example. I dated a lot of different folks, a lot of different types of, of races, but I lived and I chose to date a white girl when I lived in Kentucky. Like I'm a trendsetter,
And, um, I lost a lot of so-called friends that, uh, are black and white. , but she liked tennis. She liked to do good in school. I liked tennis. She liked to do good in school. I liked football. She liked to come watch me play football and say that I did a good thing. And we started to date and my dad didn't care so much.
My mom, a little more a problem with it. Uh, if I reflect and if you really think about their experiences in the sixties and then growing up in Bogalusa, Louisiana, it had nothing to. with the young lady. Her name was Echo. It had to do with the danger my mom thought I was putting myself into out, hanging out at the mall in an interracial relationship in Kentucky during that period of time, and that scared her.
Mm-hmm. , that was the problem, right? Is she didn't want me to go to the movies and do regular high school things and be in a situation because of who I choose to be with. Yeah.
Jason: have you had those conversations with your. No .
Grant: I mean, and it's, it's kind of a different, I mean, the question becomes not applicable.
My kids were raised, it's better to ask for, for forgiveness than permission. I, I raised two Mavericks, , uh, they're not gonna ask dad what he thinks about what they do, so they're, they're just gonna go do it. And, and, and they might, they'll ask forgiveness later. And, and it's, it's kind of similarly, my, my kids.
We, Laura and I took a trip across the country two or three years ago, and we were looking for podcasts and Maggie, our, our daughter, said, you need to listen to this. She gave us a podcast on how to raise a girl. The story is that woman, single mom, had her firstborn birth certificate, said it was a male, a boy, and when the child was three to four years old, told her.
I think I'm a girl and it tells the story of raising a child who was born different than everybody thinks they are. They are raising this child as a girl. Cause this child is a girl. And so this is the kind of thinking that our kid, my kids are educating me on this stuff and feel comfortable doing it.
So yeah, we, we would've been cool with it, but we never really talked about it before it happened. Right? No.
Jason: So, Let's talk about white privilege. You had the first question. It was white privilege there. Besides that, do you believe that white privilege exists?
Grant: Oh my gosh. Yeah. I am the child of white privilege.
I grew up around nothing but white people working for mostly white university with rich people. Went to college, never had any student debt. There was a while where I bought into when, you know, as I, I started the company. put in a few thousand dollars to start the company, and it be, it became profitable.
It was profitable from the beginning and early on. I just believed I was, I was that self-made man. I really did. I mean, I, I, I did and looked at my dad, who, who started from a, a really poor family. Single mom, was a school teacher who went to Carolina, graduated from Carolina again, my father went to Carolina in the early fifties.
Graduated debt. because we had property, the family, right. And then the property generated money, you know, as a farm. And so from that point forward, we've been able to do things that others have not been able to do. There is no such thing as, as, as self-made. We're all on the shoulders of others. Mm-hmm. . And we built our lives because of the help of others.
That's right. And doors were open to me that were closed to others. And I, I thought I opened those doors. I mean, listen, I, I graduated in mechanical engineering with a class of three women. What that means is my job would've been twice as hard. If we'd had an equal number of women, my job would've been twice as hard.
Half the doors that were opened to be automatically would've been closed. Just the, the com, whether it's white privilege, male privilege, oh, white men, man. Yeah. Yeah. I've, I've had it, I've had it very, very easy compared, very much easier than it would've been other.
The evidence-based approach to diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging, with Change Coach LaTonya Wilkins
LaTonya: So first of all, how do you create a culture of belonging? The way that we work with clients, usually we'll start with executive teams and then maybe the next level down and we will do some intensive coaching and learning sessions. We do one on equity, power, and privilege, and we, in that workshop, we allow clients to experience.
what these words mean. So we're not giving them these definitions and they have to figure out these words. We're we're, we actually take them through experiences so they can feel what this means. And we're not calling people out for their privilege. We're just, we're saying, okay, we all have privilege, experience it.
You tell us what yours is. Mm-hmm. , and you talk about that. I also take them through some team coaching. And in that team coaching, that's when we, in addition to learning, we're exploring at the core of everybody's leader. , how much are they creating a culture of belonging? What do their structures and systems feel like?
I also have them do like an analysis of their, their network and you know, who are the people who are high potentials? And I have them kind of go through, and these are just a couple of examples of activities, but one person, for example, and each team every single time says, oh, I thought I was inclusive.
But when you ask me who I call when there's a problem, it's all white guys. Hmm. , right? When you want that informal advice, who you call and that, so it's the, through a lot of these types of activities, through like a coach like way I, I question leaders at their core and how they have, have done leadership and through that, through multiple months and years even, that's how we start building cultures of belonging.
They, you know, through the coaching and I don't know how many people out there have had a coach are listening. , most of the coaching or the effectiveness of coaching happens outside the sessions. So they're doing these things or doing these things as we're going along, and it's really great for them.
They really like it because they have, they have a guide, and that's us as they go through this. A nonjudgmental guide. Mm-hmm. a guide that's letting them kind of, I mean, these are leaders. They know what to do. We're just guiding them, right? Like, we're not there to tell you what to do. We're to call you out.
We're there to tell you. We are there for you to learn. So for people that don't belong, one of the advice I would give you, To think about and make a list of the things that make you feel like you belong in a workplace. Is it the look and feel? Is it the people on the walls? Is it the leadership team being diverse?
Is it just day-to-day people, including you? Mackenzie recently did a study that showed that. Belonging was one of the number one things employees want. Right? And, but employers think it's not that they think it's other things like remote work, but it's . It's actually more than that. And so, mm-hmm. . So making a list of those things and really like embodying those.
Like thinking about, you know, if I have these things, what will my life look like? How I feel in my body, how I feel going to work every day. And I know that sounds squishy and touchy feel. But this is what the kind of work you have to do if you really wanna belong. And when I did that kind of work, I did that kind of work through coach training.
I didn't even know I was doing it, but I was, what I did is I, for example, I just started coming out in all my interviews, so I was closeted for a long time and I realized that. For me to belong. I, I had to bring my whole self to work. Mm-hmm. , and that's part of myself that I'm married. How can I not bring that to work?
That's right. So I just, that's, that's one of the examples. It's like, then you have to just start making decisions and bringing pieces and pieces, more pieces of yourself to work. And if you're feeling like it's not working, then that company's not for you. And that's okay. And that's, that's what I had to deal with a lot.
Jackie is grappling with, wow. There's only like, You know, very few companies that I could work for, and that's okay, but that then that makes your job search a lot easier. But for people that are intersectional and have multiple identities like me, that might be a reality. And it's like, fine. Then you just, you just focus on those and that, what's wrong with that?
Right. You know, I
Jackie: love that because that's something that we all have to really think about. Right. Are. As individuals slowing down to determine what things are important to us as we're thinking about where we're spending so much of our time and what what sometimes happens is we take whatever the next job is, right?
The next offer is rather than taking the time to evaluate what looks right for me, what feels right for. and then making sure that we're moving in those directions. I, I think that's great advice for all of us because we don't take this time to slow down and be intentional around that. So I love that advice.
LaTonya: we, we don't. And, um, just one more thing. I have a friend, you know, I have friends that are doing amazing things, right? And, uh, one of my friends just, just. Uh, A C H R O job for a company that's gonna be IPOed soon. So it's gonna be great for them. Right. And I, I think when I, before I thought about what really matters to me, I would've been like, oh my gosh, I gotta go find a job like that.
Like, right. I would've been like, oh yeah, that sounds amazing. But now it's like, the first thing I do is I go back to my list of things that, you know, that are important to me and that make me feel like I belong and I. Yeah, I don't know. I mean, that company, I mean, this friend doesn't look like me and it's probably gonna be a lot easier for her to function.
So you just have to decide what you want. Right. And yeah, and once you do that, it's just, it could be so powerful. I,
Jackie: I think that's great because, you know, in this economy of right, the great resignation is what it's being called. People are looking for jobs. They're looking for that next place where they feel that sense of belonging.
And as you said in that McKinsey survey, it's a more than just your salary. It's more than, you know, a flexible work schedule. They're looking for a place where they can. And before you can find that place that you feel that you belong, you need to determine what that means for you. So I, I love that.
That's such great advice.
Unconscious Bias in Early Childhood Education, with Kate Goodwin and Kate Jordan-Downs
Jackie: so impressive bias is when we make a judgment or a assertion that someone is something without getting to know that person. Kind of like making a judgment of a book before we open it up and see what the table of contents has for us.
But it's not something that we are conscious of. It is implicit bias. Subconscious training. Right. And it, it starts very, very early. Research shows zero to seven is where you get the foundation of your, your subconscious thought about things. Mm-hmm. . So it begins there. So it's. How your parents respond to, uh, racial adversity or if the, it's ignored, right?
So it begins very early and it's something we all have. It's not something that is just a, you know, you're prejudiced if you have it. We all have implicit bias. Our goal is to be able to extract and show what implicit bias looks like in an individual and an individual to go through a personal assessment of what might my biases be off of what I've been told, or what possibly could have been an experience.
Kate: The work around implicit bias and really helping people understand that it is indeed something we all have and comes from a, a lot of different places, is informed by the bias, the, the implicit bias and systematic bias that lives in institutions and in our culture. That's where we're getting those messages from, which is sometimes why it's hard to, to peel back a little bit and recognize.
Why, why am I having this reaction right now? Like, nobody directly said that to me. That there are messages and systems that are in place that reinforce certain narratives that sometimes our, our minds succumb to because it's, it's what we're, we're seeped in. So it's also interesting to play this idea out and the work around it out beyond the individual and start looking into the cultural and systematic institutional pieces that are really impacting a lot of that individual.
Jackie: Absolutely. And how does implicit bias of educators affect the children that they're
Kate: educating? Yeah, so. , it shows up in a couple of different ways. And, you know, for, for the purpose of this conversation as an example, I'm gonna, I'm gonna use race as our kind of anchor, but one of the things that has come to the forefront and is actually what Dr.
Gilliam, who's has been studying is how implicit bias impacts the exclusionary discipline for children. So access in early childhood education. To quality programs is, is wildly important and already inequitable in many ways. When you do get access to those programs, what can also happen is depending on who you are and how you show up and maybe how your teacher views your behaviors, it can take away that access pretty quickly.
So we have seen in a lot of the studies and in our own experience how. Children, specifically black children, and even more specifically, black boys are viewed as more likely to get in trouble. The same behavior that maybe they're doing at their counterpart is also doing is, is much more noticed and called out and disciplined in a really different way.
And so, , the impact beyond access is also shaping their identity as a student. So if your very earliest experiences in early childhood settings like ours is that you don't belong, you're too bad, you can't succeed like you're always getting in trouble, that sets like a trajectory for their educational experience and their lived experience beyond that.
And if you look at data, From early childhood through adulthood, you see a very similar trajectory of the disproportionate discipline that happens to, to black boys in our school system. So there's a lot of data actually that the US Department of Education's Civil Rights Data Collection Unit does in, in 2011 and 2012, they just started.
Looking at early childhood programs, specifically state and federal funded preschool and pre-K programs, and that was the first time we actually had a spotlight shown into our industry in space. And it was overwhelming because when you think about expulsion, at least for me, it's like the worst thing that could ever happen to you at school, right?
You think about, oh, that kid got expelled. And then, and the narrative that goes with. and then you're talking about that experience for three and four year olds and, and what impact that has. And so I just think there's an access and an identity impact to our young children when this implicit bias shows up and they are having a narrative at a very young age, kind of follow them through their educational experience
Jackie: and into adulthood.
And a big part of that also is, When you are in a, you know, a learning environment and you've actually gotten to the point where you're gonna be able to have access a lot of times because there is a cultural competence that is void, right? The teacher can't get beyond her own self to know what that child is truly experiencing.
Remember the Perry project, which, uh, eventually became, uh, the foundation work? The government funded childcare is that they had to have, be inclusive of the whole child. So that Perry Project had teachers going into the neighborhoods and understanding what that child is experiencing. Outside of the actual experience that they were having in the classrooms, they understand, you know, there were cultural cues, there were an understanding of how a child learns.
Not all child, children learn the same. And there's definitely cultural differences when it comes to how children of color might learn or any child. There's a a great difference. And so when we have those inabilities to. , right? Because a lot of early childhood education is about the trust that we build as educators.
Mm-hmm. , it's really about trust and relationship with our children because they're, you know, they're six weeks to 12 years of age that we are impacting them while they're there. And a lot of that is understanding and having patience and, you know, nurturing. And that has to come from a place of understanding.
And I think that when teachers have that implicit bias in a classroom, it doesn't allow them. To build empathy and patience around how someone else might do something completely different than what they're used to or their culture experience has given them too.
Seek, speak, listen: Boeing’s global culture shift, with Sara Bowen
Jackie: And you know, Sarah, the, the thing about that is people sometimes don't realize, The real disparity over the course of your life in the pay equity issue. For example, a white man, right? For every dollar they make, a black woman makes 63 cents on that dollar, and over the course of a career, , right?
Over the course of a life, that's about a million dollars difference. Yeah. And that's where the wealth gap comes in. And so it's so important, you know, when you're thinking about the difference in sense, right? It doesn't seem that big, but over the course of an. Entire career. That is a big difference. Yes.
And so that work is so important and those evaluations are so important in creating equity and creating, you know, reducing that, that wealth gap that exists.
Sara: Absolutely. Yeah. Really well
Jackie: said. Thank you. And Sarah, you've been a leader in D E I for quite some time now. Can you share some of the other organizations you've mentioned a few that you've led, d e I for, and then really I wanna get into how has D e I changed over
Sara: the past decade?
That's such a great question, Jackie. Uh, so I, I officially transitioned from a legal role to, uh, de and I role when I was at Starbucks a number of years ago, probably in the 20 17, 20 18, uh, range. And so I, I led the effort there and then I transitioned to Boeing in 2019. and I've been letting the efforts at Boeing ever since.
What has changed over the past decade? Gosh, I mean, you know, the thing about d e I is that we do the work that supports the organizations depending on the social context that exists at the time. Uh, and so while some of the issues are enduring, some of them are ever evolving. You look at the role of a corporation, I mean, in the eighties and nineties, when.
Growing up and starting my career, it was all about revenue generation and profit seeking. Today, corporations have signed onto a different charter where, where they are corporate citizens and that changes the angle we take. You look at young people today, right? I mean we, we are more of a melting pot today than we were 20 years ago or 10 years ago even.
People who have of multiple races, people of different gender identities and orientations. There's so much more in the mix today, and I think also quite a bit more awareness today than there was even 10 years ago. Um, that it changes the conversation, it changes the landscape. And, and then lastly, I'd say, The expectations are different.
Our people hold us accountable and they are choosing where to go based on the company's values and how they live those values, and they will make choices based on a company's commitment to diversity and inclusion. It's, it's, it's that simple. and I'm glad they do. Um,
Jackie: absolutely. Yeah. And Sarah, that's, that's so spot on.
And you know, that's one of the, the things that, in, in my work, I, I share with organizations who, you know, are kind of slow rolling into their d e I practice is, you know, you don't have the option because whether you're a, you know, candidate for a. Or a consumer. Those folks are really digging in on what kind of brands they want to support, what kind of companies they wanna work for.
And that values alignment is so important. So important. Yes, it is. So your. Background, Sarah, of course, is in employment law and you know that you have to go beyond the checkbox, right, to ensure that you're creating the culture you want for your organization. But again, some leaders don't wanna move.
Beyond that compliance, what's the difference between a compliance based program and a culture based program?
Sara: Hmm. That is such a good question. It's, it's interesting because. Compliance has almost become a dirty word, hasn't it? I mean, no one gets excited about compliance, but people get really excited to create hope and inspiration, and I think that's, you know, that is what we're here to do, is to create change by bringing people along and generating hope and inspiration.
But I also think that every solid and sustainable. DE and I program has to be grounded in laws and regulations, and I have tremendous respect for Title seven, you know, which says that employers can't discriminate on the basis of sex, race, et cetera. I actually have tremendous respect for the regulations that cover affirmative action.
Affirmative action has a really bad wrap, but when you look at what those regulations are trying to do, they're saying to employers, , it's not enough just to sit in your seat and not discriminate. Mm-hmm. , you actually have to get up. You've gotta look around, you've gotta do the analysis. Figure out where those gaps exist, and then create the programs that will address those gaps.
That's what affirmative action is. It's not check a box, it's not go out and find me three of these and four of those. It. Be active, be action oriented, look for the problems and then go address them. And I, I think that's a, a wonderful thing. I think that's how many diversity programs really ought to be grounded.
So we don't talk a lot about compliance, but we have deep respect for the work. And my team does that work. We do equal opportunity work. We do affirmative. and we build on top of that the programs that bring people together, that build the connection, that create the why behind, uh, the actions and upskill our workforce to be better teammates.
Jackie: Sarah, that's such a good point. And, and you're right in d e i the word compliance right is, is often talked about with a negative connotation, but really you need that as the foundation of any d e I practice that you're building. That first layer, right, is compliance. So, you know, I actually had this conversation with someone earlier this week because there was that negative, like, well, it's a compliance based, right?
And so that's why I asked that question because. It. It actually opened my eyes because you have to have that compliance piece that's part of your d e I practice. And of course there's many pieces, you know, one of which is the heartstrings part, right? Which you did mention. But the compliance piece is, is foundational to a good and strong d e I practice.
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