Welcome to Crazy and the King!!
Sept. 8, 2022

Women Execs, The "C" word and ROBOTS

Women Execs, The "C" word and ROBOTS

Kicking off fall, Julie and Torin jump into the deep end.


Kicking off fall, Julie and Torin jump into the deep end. Women ascend to the executive ranks at Fortune 100 companies faster than their male peers, new research from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School finds. Though women still make up just a fraction of these leadership positions—27% in 2021—they were promoted to these roles 3.5 years faster than men in 2001, with the gap narrowing to 1.5 years last year. Helpful or harmful? - Career choices. Women who delay motherhood or forgo it entirely see better career advancement and greater wealth. Single women without children had an average wealth of $65,000 in 2019, compared to $57,000 for single men without children and just $7,000 for single mothers. Canada's veteran journalist Lisa LaFlamme goes gray and gets the boot. Finally, robots are taking over the world.....and we somehow manage to tie ALL this together.

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Production and Music: DJ Cellz

Transcript

0:00:01.0 Torin: We've been about this work, diversity, equity, inclusion, belonging, shared through the voices of a White woman and a Black man. We bring lived experiences. We have pursued D&I progress for most of our professional lives. We use Crazy and The King to cover news, tips from colleagues and host incredible guests. Listeners count on Julie and I to transparently drive the conversation. We thank you for rocking with us. Check it. Julie, kick off the show.

 

[applause]

 

0:00:37.7 Julie: Welcome to Crazy and The King.

 

0:00:47.7 Torin: Okay.

 

0:00:47.6 Julie: I don't know if that's how we're gonna start.

 

0:00:47.7 Torin: So, you know what that sigh is for. That sigh is because once again, we are... First of all, I try to do this when we go into our recordings, I should be a bit more kind and present and say, "Good afternoon, good day, how you feel over... " Because listen, I'd love to start there, but I think about Jackson, Mississippi and their water crisis. I'm reminded of Flint's water crisis. I went out and did a Google search on just water crises or 2022 water crises, J, and amazing how many cities are facing water shortages, and not just here in the US, but across the globe. And I have a strange feeling about the ones that happen here in the US because they seem to always come, or seem to be as a result of neglect by our politicians and elected officials. It just really, really disappoints me. And then this morning, this morning, I wake up and I get email advisories because here in Baltimore City, we have E. Coli in the water. And by the way, you all had some Klans folks marching in Indianapolis. I mean, this is the weekend that I'm talking about.

 

0:02:06.2 Julie: Yay, Indiana. Yeah. I mean... And Jesus, I didn't even know about that. I don't watch the local news very often, so I just had to take a breath for a minute. But it didn't surprise me.

 

0:02:19.0 Torin: Indianapolis. Indianapolis. Indianapolis. Sounding just like Charlottesville. Sounding exactly like Charlottesville. And again, I know that there's the folks out there that, free speech and you gotta give people space to... I get it. But my version of free speech is, give them all the animus that you can give them, like why. So, anyway, how are you? How was your weekend, as you can see how mine was, in part?

 

0:02:52.9 Julie: So my weekend was full of music. We did basically I would say almost a live music Labor Day weekend. I went to see the Wu-Tang Clan, Nas, and Busta Rhymes.

 

0:03:08.7 Torin: Oh, look at you.

 

0:03:09.5 Julie: Fire. So good.

 

0:03:12.4 Torin: Now, see, you should have some of that concert paraphernalia, like a Wu shirt or something.

 

0:03:17.5 Julie: I just threw them both in the washer, got the New York State of Mind sweatshirt for the 2022 tour, I got my, "Wu-Tang is for the Children" shirt. Busta Rhymes is my entire childhood, I love Busta Rhymes, so it's awesome. I've never been able to see him live, so that was fantastic. Nas was fantastic. Next day we went to go see Iggy Azalea and Pitbull, who also... Just really phenomenal stage show, just really talented individuals who I love their music. And then Saturday, checked out the first of two tribute to Taylor Hawkins events. First one was in Wembley, so I watched live, didn't get to attend live. That was some really amazing stuff there. Never get a chance to pass up the Foo Fighters to see them. So yeah, I kind of just did a lot of music this weekend.

 

0:04:16.4 Torin: So, was that the plan? I mean, was some of that spontaneous? Were you invited by friends? How did that unfold? Because that's a really, really busy but beautiful weekend.

 

0:04:29.4 Julie: So Wu-Tang, we bought those tickets within probably 10 minutes of them going on sale, so that one's been on the radar for a while. Iggy Azalea and Pitbull, I probably wouldn't have gone out of my way to see them, but we had friends there and we were already literally right across the street from the venue from the night before, so I was like, "Yeah, let's go. Why not?" I got to take my niece, so she and I had a good time and we did some girly dancing and all that good stuff. Yeah, so it was fun.

 

0:05:01.5 Torin: Love that. Alright. So let's see if we can get into this week's show. We gotta revisit that water thing because we got a lot to talk about around voting. And when I say a lot, that's a bit maybe unfair because I know politics is your sandbox, and you are certainly much more connected to it and formed around it. I'm largely opinionated when I'm commenting. But see, my opinion doesn't really... Anyway, we're gonna talk about this water thing a little bit and the importance of voting. But before we do that, let's look at an article over on the Wall Street Journal. And the headline was "Women Ascend to the Executive Ranks at Fortune 100 Companies Faster than Their Male Peers". Faster than their male peers. This is a new research from the University of Pennsylvania Wharton School, over at Wharton School. And it says, "The women still make up just a fraction of these leadership positions, 27% in 2021. They were promoted to these roles three and a half years faster than men in 2001 with a gap narrowing 1.5 years last year."

 

0:06:28.3 Torin: I saw this as a good story. Now, here was the problem that I had with the story. I had an issue with the amount of time, 20-something years that we are comparing it to, and I had an issue with... How do I phrase this? I had an issue with how we don't see enough articles that celebrate this right here. And I guess that's a bit of a Catch-22 because it takes a little bit of time to find, to coalesce the data that's required to go into a story like this. But I just feel like we have far more good stories around women's presence in the workplace. But am I being naive?

 

0:07:21.8 Julie: Yeah. I think this article is... It's a little bit of a reflection of our society, I mean, of course it is, but even the way that it's written. So I had to re-read this like three times. So women were promoted into roles in 2001, three and a half years faster than men, and now that we are in 2021 or 2022, in 2021, that gap narrowed to 1.5 years. And so this story is really written almost from a... And I don't know who wrote it, if it was a man or a woman, but it's like, "Hey, here, there's this flashy headline that women are growing faster into executive roles than men or at faster paces," but the reality is, is that 20 years ago, it was three and a half years faster, now it's a year and a half faster and we still only make up 27%.

 

0:08:26.8 Julie: So the headline itself was not even really reflective, I think, of the actual findings, which is that women don't make up enough of leadership roles. We're growing into those roles at an ever-slowing pace. Now, the good news on that is, is that when we do get the opportunity to get into a role that has that leadership exposure, we're performing so well that we're doing it at a faster rate than men. It's very imbalanced in terms of what the actuality is versus the headline.

 

0:09:07.2 Torin: Yeah. And I pulled it because sprinkled within the article are a number of references, Diversity and Inclusion, or D&I efforts, ESG efforts. There was conversation around supplier diversity organizations, large organizations that are doing business with other vendors, the vendors are saying, "Show us your diversity metrics. Prove to us that you are actually being intentional about some things." I saw the article as being one that, of course, it fits squarely into the theme of Crazy and The King, the work that you and I enjoy doing, so many of our listeners appreciate, but I too found it a bit... I don't know. It just... It seemed like... Listen, I don't know the person who wrote the article, so I'm certainly not going to say their name based on what I'm about to say. It just seem a bit lazy, and it seemed to me like the folks over at UPenn could have done a better job of really getting deep into the data and formulating the story in a totally different way. That's what I felt.

 

0:10:20.4 Julie: Yeah, absolutely. We can talk more about how I think they tied D&I language into the article after we get into the meat of our other stories. So you pulled another really great story from The New York Times this week about a Canadian journalist named Lisa LaFlamme, tell us more about Lisa.

 

0:10:39.9 Torin: Yeah, so Lisa LaFlamme... Let me just give it to you in a very plain speak way, parrhesia, plain speak, plain talk. She has gray hair and she chose that she wasn't... She chose not to dye her hair, period. That's just it. There's no rocket science, there's no real thematic way to describe it. She has gray hair, chose not to dye her hair any other color but to wear it natural and she was terminated. Now, her employer, a news agency, says that she was not terminated because of her gray hair or ageism, but she absolutely feels like it was because of such. There's even... In every story I read, there's the mention of a superior, an executive inside of the agency, I'm sorry, the corporation that asked the question, "Who told her? Who approved of her?" something like that, wearing her hair gray. So this is a story around... I mean we're categorizing it as ageism, but it's an assault on this woman.

 

0:12:04.6 Julie: Yeah, it's... I would say it's more misogyny than it is ageism. As a woman of a certain age who, up into mid-30s, we're fighting to... Women are just fighting to not be sexualized and objectified and belittled because of our youth and our beauty. And then for women, it's like you turn a corner and all of the sudden you're just too old for anything. And it doesn't work that way with men, graying of the hair, a little salt and pepper around the temples. Those are signs of having lived a life that's worth hearing about, having experiences that are worth sharing, having the knowledge within your career to excel at that point. And for women, it is very much a twisted rope of, you're too pretty and you're too young to be successful, or now you're too old and you're gross. There isn't a lot of in-between and that's just reality. I think this is a really great example of how women, especially women with forward-facing roles are minimized as they age and minimized if they choose to go through an aging process that's more natural now.

 

0:13:32.5 Julie: And I don't think that there is a right answer. Either way, you go through your aging processes as you want to, but it is part of the reason, back to that Wall Street Journal story that we just talked about, women are leaving the workforce at rapid paces, we're not growing into the C-suite as quickly as possible. We talk a lot about parenting. We don't talk about what happens to women as they get a little brain and get that visual wisdom.

 

0:14:02.4 Torin: You call it visual wisdom, that's exactly what Lisa LaFlamme called it. She says in her parting letter at 58, "I thought I would have had more time to tell more of the stories that impact our daily lives as I have done for so many decades." We'll go back to that. Helpful or harmful? That's my question. When it comes to career choices, women who delay motherhood or forgo it entirely see better career advancement and greater wealth. Single women without children had an average wealth of $65,000 in 2019 compared to 57,000 for single men without children and just 7,000 for single mothers. This is over on Bloomberg. Now, think about the first story, women ascending faster than men, and then this story saying that if you chose as a career woman to delay or skip motherhood all together, if you said, "Listen, we're gonna abandon this whole kid thing, we're not doing it," your wealth seems to be even higher. How do you feel about that?

 

0:15:18.4 Julie: I have many, many thoughts about this article. And the one I'll say, I know we need to get to our break and we can talk more about it on the other side, the biggest thing that jumps out at me as a person who has been a single mom is 7,000 for single mothers, that tells me that there are a lot of single men out there that need to get on their child support and take better care of their kids, but I do want to, when we come back from our break, talk more about what we should be doing to help give women good balance and opportunity, and honestly, a lot about how we, again, shame women on both sides of that story. It's a fantastic article.

 

0:16:00.5 Torin: Yeah. And then the last one that we wanna bring up is talking about robots during the pandemic. And so this one I found over on Fortune, it says, "The Great Resignation forced the US companies to order a record number of robots." I am smiling because the writer used the word, "Forced". The great pandemic... I'm sorry. The Great Resignation forced US companies to order a record number of robots. Now, let me just say this to you. When you look at the image, you said you can pull up the article, could you see the image, at least the image in the beginning of the article?

 

0:16:51.3 Julie: Yeah. Yep, yep.

 

0:16:52.4 Torin: Those are not ATM machines, right? Those are like some really high-tech, well-thought-out, these are some serious robots. Okay. So I bring that up for a reason. ATM, these mechanical arms that can do some of the most incredible manufacturing that we know of putting vehicles together, all types of contraptions, all of that, and then all of the other robots in-between. So from an ATM to a self-checkout counter, to the little robot that we may have in our kitchen that sweeps the floor, just all of these various types of robots. I felt like the person writing the article absolutely gave employers an out for their lack of focus on hiring individuals, taking care of individuals. You mentioned the phrase... Did you use the phrase earlier, "forward-facing women"? Is that what you said, forward-facing women?

 

0:18:00.4 Torin: I felt like the person writing the article really gave Corporate America an out, because I believe decisions like this to go mechanical, to go robotic are made three, five, seven, maybe even 10 years in advance. These are the decisions, Jay, that are happening when people are looking at workforce plans, workforce realignment, career progression, succession planning. To me, these are the conversations that result in making major investments this way, shaving benefits, cutting hours, reductions of force. These are not decisions that were made at the beginning of, let me just be fair, let me be generous and say 2021.

 

0:19:00.0 Julie: Yeah. Well, we are still in the midst of a global chip shortage, so the robots that have been delivered were definitely ordered well before. We can start there. And here's the thing, I 100% agree with you. I think that you're absolutely right. A company will always take an easy out from a PR perspective. Automation, robots, all that stuff is gonna continue to become more dominant in our life. But here's the thing, is I don't think that that's necessarily a bad thing. And we can sort of, as we think about, again, motherhood, the decision to delay motherhood or population counts, all of those things, automation is gonna become more critical to us as Americans keeping up. The question is, is what do we do with, as a society and as a country and as employers, to help grow up people that those jobs are going to take from?

 

0:20:05.3 Julie: But it's a critical part of... It needs to be a critical part of our infrastructure. It's just... You didn't do it because people went to the pandemic and did... Or people went through the pandemic and then didn't show up for your shitty job again. I... Sorry, you ordered those robots way a long time ago, we all know that, and you should pay better, so...

 

0:20:24.4 Torin: So, here's the deal, as we take a brief break, I'm smiling because, perhaps we'll get to the point where I'll be in conversation with your surrogate. Maybe we'll get to the point where Julie's robot surrogate is sitting in for J, and we're doing our episode of Crazy and The King. We'll be right back. Alright, in a flash, Black Girls Code board member Heather Hiles breaks her silence, and reproductive rights at the corporate level are the newest ESG frontier according to Confluence Philanthropy. And when Marie Kochsiek started work on an open source app for tracking menstrual cycles four years ago, some people questioned why the world needed another such program, given that dozens were already on the market.

 

0:21:28.0 Torin: The difference I share with you is that Drip doesn't sell your personal data. There's a chance TikTok won't hit its $12 billion ad revenue target in 2022. Cali passed a measure, AB 257, that could transform the way the service sector is regulated. The Wings. The Wings is actually like a co-working space for women, may be closing for good. And Michael Saylor of MicroStrategy, is potentially facing a big problem, taxes and penalties to the tune of more than $100 million.

 

0:22:11.5 Torin: John Mackey, a founder of Whole Foods, retired last week, and investors continue to debate whether or not Amazon can handle the acquisition it made of the company. And José García, the Director at the Ford Foundation, feels that leaders and investors, let me repeat... I'll say it a different way. Investors and leaders must commit to re-imagining a form of capitalism from which everyone can benefit. And the Obamas will finally have the unveiling of their official portraits at the White House, and the ceremony is usually held by a president's successor, but was never held during the Trump presidency. Now President Biden has invited Barack and Michelle Obama back to their former residents for a September 7th unveiling.

 

[music]

 

0:23:09.2 Julie: So, the whole thing... Have you seen TikTok?

 

0:23:09.9 Torin: Why you smiling? Why you smiling?

 

0:23:13.0 Julie: I'm sorry, this intro is a mess, but I'm just laughing right now because, have you seen the TikTok that has all of the old presidential portraits and the Mount Rushmore guys and the MLK statue, they all bust out and they are singing a song about how happy they are that Trump isn't in office anymore, and it just makes me laugh and laugh and laugh. And now, Barack and Michelle's portraits can be hung appropriately, where they should have been hung four years ago, and be in part of the next TikTok.

 

0:23:44.2 Torin: Yeah, so answer, no, I have not seen the TikTok. And funny story, a true funny story, so I used to throw art parties at my home, I think I said this on the pod before. I used to throw our parties and Amy Sherald was one of the artists that did an art party at the house. And my neighbor... I didn't purchase any of her work, but one of my neighbors purchased a piece of hers, and some of my other friends purchased a piece of hers, and this is back in 2005... No, I'm sorry, 2003... 2002, 2003. And man, when I told my neighbor, I called my neighbor, I said, "You know, Amy just did Michelle Obama's portrait, and it went for... Her paintings now are going for millions." My friend was literally on the phone trying to find art dealers to see how much she could... 'Cause it's a huge piece, J, beautiful, beautiful piece. So, shoutout to Amy Sherald and Kehinde Wiley for doing the portraits four or five years ago, and for them now being hung where they were supposed to be hung. So, we ended right before we went to our break, and I said, "I might get your surrogate." And I agree with you, J.

 

0:25:08.2 Torin: I agree with you that having robots in the equation is a good thing. I often... And it took me a while to get to this point of relating an ATM machine to a robot, because I always saw the ATM machine just as an ATM machine. I only saw a self-checkout just as a computer that scanned the barcode. But it was as a result... No exaggeration. It was a result of our work together on the pod, as well as being in the D&I space, where I recognize, wait a minute, every time I go through the self-checkout, I'm suggesting to the store, as they are collecting that data, that we don't need a person working this particular shift, or as a consumer, this is what I'm typically buying, and so we don't need someone working at cash register. We don't need a person at the end bagging his items. We don't need someone to escort him to the vehicle to help put them in the trunk. All of those things. It made me, as a result of doing this work, really just kind of look around over the landscape and say, "No, when I go to the store now, I am more intentional about going through a checkout line with a human versus the expedient way of just simply doing it on my own."

 

0:26:41.9 Torin: Now, if the line is at the back of the store, I'm not gonna do it. But I do agree with you that there is some inherent value in having these robots in the equation. I just don't want employers to become disingenuous and I don't want us to be naive about where it is that we are going.

 

0:27:02.0 Julie: Yeah. Well, I think that companies are always gonna be disingenuous, always. That is...

 

0:27:08.6 Torin: You think so?

 

0:27:10.5 Julie: Yeah yeah. I mean, I think history of the world type stuff, the people in power are always gonna be disingenuous in ways to make more money and to gain more power. I think what we have to do, especially in these types of scenarios is, one, recognizing first that we are going to have a massive worker shortage from now until we start making more babies because we're at negative population growth as a country. That's a problem that we should be addressing at a systemic level. We also are bringing in less immigrants and less migrants to do jobs that need to be done that are more labor that Americans seem to not want to do. But we also have to understand, and I don't know that I would ever feel like I'd say this out loud ever in my whole life, but we have to understand that we have an entire subset of the US population that has been reliant on entry level manufacturing, entry level fast food, entry level whatever jobs and that those jobs used to be able to make a good living and used to be able to retire. My grandfather, my great grandfather, my dad are all retired auto workers who have pensions and who have insurance and all of those things.

 

0:28:40.1 Julie: So how do we take what really is a lifestyle, a generational lifestyle and get through some of that anger that's really being redirected at Black, Brown people, immigrants, women, people with disabilities and re-educate and re-skill a workforce that we are dramatically going to be dependent upon, especially also as an aging population? There's so many factors in play here.

 

0:29:10.5 Torin: Which makes it complicating because you said a couple of things where I believe you said them genuinely, but they, in some ways, go against positions that you've taken here in our pod.

 

0:29:24.1 Julie: Yeah.

 

0:29:24.7 Torin: So for instance, I just wrote down, you saw me scrambling to get to a yellow pad because I didn't wanna forget it, you used a phrase negative birth rate. Is that what you...

 

0:29:34.9 Julie: Negative population growth.

 

0:29:37.0 Torin: Negative population growth. Got it. So some might say, "Well, J, that's the reason why they banned abortions."

 

0:29:46.7 Julie: [chuckle] Yeah, that's absolutely not the case.

 

0:29:48.8 Torin: That's what they would say. Not they, not they.

 

0:29:50.7 Julie: There would be a lot of people that would say that.

 

0:29:51.5 Torin: Yeah not they, but there would be a lot of people that certainly have that position, that are saying "Listen, part of the reason why they are saying we're not having abortions is because we have a negative population growth and no abortion, position of the Supreme court or whatnot has nothing... It has nothing to do with black or brown babies or black or brown communities. It has everything to do with, just to be... I'mma be clean in this argument, like Jay-Z says, "I got clean money." I'mma be clean in this argument. It has nothing to do with a particular community. It has everything to do with our being wonderful and incredible as a country and we need all of the babies we can get. Some would say that. You also said that we have... There are challenges with bringing in enough immigrants that are willing to do these hard jobs that apparently, you were fair, you said, apparently, that Americans don't want to do.

 

0:31:00.3 Torin: I can't help but think about the times that I used to do hard labor when I was growing up as a teen. And I would just simply say, "Well, I think that I would pick strawberries or tomatoes or corn or oranges or work in fields if I was paid a, I don't even wanna say a decent living wage. If I was paid a good wage, I would do it." And I think a lot of Americans say to themselves, I think they say the same thing. Don't you agree?

 

0:31:37.2 Julie: I think they say the same thing, but we don't see that actually come out in action. As someone who's hired entry level workers, who's dealt with all of those things, nine times out of 10, any sort of privilege is gonna result in a much faster turnaround in those entry level positions because manual labor...

 

0:31:57.9 Torin: What do you mean privilege? What do you mean privilege?

 

0:32:02.2 Julie: White male money, et al.

 

[laughter]

 

0:32:06.9 Torin: That's my girl. That's my girl.

 

0:32:09.5 Julie: There's a sort of attitude that manual labor is beneath them and that's not the case. There's nothing wrong with manual labor. And I know that even out in California and some parts of Oregon and Washington, they have been paying higher wages to try to attract more people into jobs that mostly migrants do, which are the picking the berries, picking avocados, all those things, and they still haven't been able to get people into those jobs. And so maybe that's my bias, right? Maybe it is. But either way, we do have negative population growth and we are going to be a more aging population and we are going to have to get bodies in... Not bodies. Robots in and bodies in to do jobs that are right now sitting very open and I just don't see that changing. Good, bad or indifferent, right? It's part of globalization. It's part of the way that technology multiplies and what it can do and what it can accomplish. I think as D&I experts, we have to recognize who that's gonna displace, who it's gonna anger, and then what companies should be doing to rectify that and what the government should be doing to prepare us for a 22nd century economy. Is that right?

 

0:33:41.4 Torin: Okay. So have...

 

0:33:42.2 Julie: 21st century. No, 22nd century economy.

 

0:33:43.9 Torin: Yep, 22nd. So have fun with me for just a moment. Let's go back to your surrogate.

 

0:33:48.2 Julie: Okay.

 

0:33:49.6 Torin: If we... And I'm not in Corporate America, and I wasn't in Corporate America long enough to have 401Ks and all of the... I only spent three years in Corporate America, period, five, I'm sorry, five. But have fun with me for just a moment. So what's a better bet? Is a better bet for a person who goes to a 9:00-5:00, who has a W-2? Is the better bet for them to invest in their 401K and all of the other vehicles that they have in the workplace, option A, option B, purchase a robot, whether they have to do a layaway plan or something, and now the robot is allowed to go to work for them, period? So now when they go home at 5:00 PM, the robot can go clock in at... Take the second or third shift, and this person's making money twice a day for the next 30, 40, 50, 60 years. Or C, is it something in-between that, whether it be universal basic income? Because as I listen to you, the negative population growth, the aging population, people not wanting to do certain types of work, thinking about some of the other sides of the conversation, we are more in a creative economy, a knowledge-based economy, not as blue-collar, green-collar as it used to be.

 

0:35:24.3 Torin: You talked about the folks in your family, retired, all of the things that are in this conversation. What's a better bet for us? Is it the investing in the traditional ways that we've invested in going to work, or is it that we gotta get creative? And you may be listening and say, "Torin is as crazy as hell, talking about getting a surrogate robot." I guess what I'm asking you, J, do we need to aggressively start exploring an alternative so that we are able to take care of ourselves, and not to mention our parents, but ourselves and more that our children are able to take care of themselves and their children? Because the landscape looks a little grim right now.

 

0:36:17.2 Julie: Yeah. It's interesting, as soon as you said a surrogate robot, I started smiling because I thought of all the things I could do while my surrogate was at work. [chuckle] And so I think that... I think we are a long way from that in terms of like our lifetime, but we're not a long time from that in terms of maybe like our kids' lifetime. Right? And so I think it will be fascinating to watch how our lives change over the next 20 years of our career and what we're able to do because of things that we spend so much time doing now that aren't really productive, they're busy, get done and how it allows, I hope, for us to work longer and more productive and be contributors to DEI change, for all of those things. But I do think a lot of that will come. Like we see it in the first wave of entry level, manual labor is the first place, and then as robots get smarter, and then other tasks, other knowledge based professional jobs will go away. So we have to be in a mind of continuously re-skilling ourselves, making sure that we're prepared for uncertainties when we can to stay relevant in what's gonna be a very different world in 10 years than it is right now.

 

0:37:49.0 Torin: Yeah, I forget what it's called. Moore's law? I believe it's Moore's law where things happen faster, if you will.

 

0:37:55.3 Julie: So what would you do? Would you get a robot or would you do your 401? Or your IRA or your SEP, whatever you got...

 

0:38:00.4 Torin: Yeah, I'd get a robot.

 

0:38:04.3 Julie: You'll get a robot?

 

0:38:05.3 Torin: Yeah, I would. I'd absolutely get a robot which, to that point, I'll say it out loud, I'm putting it in the atmosphere, I have been working on and off for the last, I would say two years to bring some technology to the marketplace and I'm closer now than I was two years ago. And in part because I've gotten smarter and better over the last two years, wisdom gained through conversations that you and I have, the research and the show prep that you encourage me to do, that's required in what it is we do, working with clients. So knowing what I know now, I would absolutely invest in a robot that could go and speak or consult or coach or develop upscale trained support, collaborate with. I'd absolutely do a robot, absolutely would do a robot. We came off of a long weekend earlier this week. We came off of a long weekend. And I will tell you, even on Monday, I had five calls on that Labor Day, every call the person started with an apology. "I didn't recognize that it was a holiday". You heard what I said?

 

0:39:37.4 Julie: Oh God.

 

0:39:38.4 Torin: All five, none recognized that it was a holiday. Let me tell you why. Because every call that I had was from outside of the country. And three of those calls were requests for me to be engaged with their organization. Five calls on Monday, not one in the US, all of them overseas. So I would absolutely explore. We gotta do it differently. It's not that I don't trust the system. I don't trust that the system is going to protect me. I trust the system. The system is gonna be the system. The system is gonna do the system thing. I get that. What I don't trust is that the system is going to look back kindly and say, "We know that he cared about humanity, he cared about making space and opportunity for all people. He worked tirelessly so that nothing was taken away from anyone else. And so because he did that for so many years of his life, we're going to take care of him. He may not have invested the most or the best, he may not have made the most money, he may not have created the most jobs, but we're going to take care of him because of the work that he... " I don't trust the system to do that for us.

 

0:41:07.4 Julie: Yeah, and I don't think any of us should trust the system to do that. Even if we're just a cog who is a producer, the system should take care of the cog that does the production. That's not the way an unfettered neoliberalism or illiberal capitalism works, it's just not. We can see that every single day. Which goes back to, like if we're kind of rounding out this episode, why we're seeing women put off parenting, right? We know that we're gonna... Our company is not gonna take care of us if we have kids. We know that the system isn't built to help us succeed and produce healthy well-balanced children. We know that healthcare, education, school lunches, all of those things, the system is dynamically built to decrease our opportunity for success if we choose to become a parent. As women, it is the reality.

 

0:42:17.3 Julie: And so choosing not to do those things is sort of a mechanism of exactly what you're talking about, is how do I take care of myself, because I know that even if I make this contribution to society which is raising a productive member of the community, is not going to benefit me at the end? I will be worse off financially, however you feel about your urchins, I love you guys, I'm definitely glad I had you, that is the economic reality. And if we can't have a system, employer, government, community that is going to protect, raise up and build up women who do choose to have children, then the benefit is the emotional benefit, the emotional benefit of having a child, of having that connection to the world, to a legacy. It's certainly not advantageous in other ways.

 

0:43:19.4 Torin: Yeah, which is why I always tell... As you're talking, I just... That familiar phrase, "pull yourself up by your bootstrap, pull yourself up by your bootstrap, pull yourself up by your bootstrap", it's just popping in my head. And whenever I hear that phrase, whenever I think of that phrase, the first book that comes to mind for me, there are a couple, but the first one that comes to mind for me is 'The Color of Law' by Richard Rothstein. And I always tell my clients, I tell others when I recommend that they read it, read it, and I believe that it will give you a different relationship with that phrase of pull yourself up by your bootstrap. Because you mentioned so much, we started the episode talking about the water crises, not just here in the US, but actually in cities all around the globe. And the one that's happening here in the US is a bit more peculiar, but nonetheless, we started with these crises and you'll have folks that are saying, "Well, you guys just wanna be taken care of. You don't want to do your part. You don't want to pull your wagon. You don't want to bring, as the African proverb says, "Bring... Every man must bring a stick to the fire." There are some that would suggest that in Torin and Julie's conversation, neither of them want to really bring their stick to the fire.

 

0:44:37.6 Torin: And that couldn't be further from the truth. We both want to bring our stick and another stick, and we wanna see that other people bring sticks. But we also wanna make sure that we're in a community, in a corporate corridor that is going to do everything that it can to help us keep... To keep that fire lit.

 

0:44:56.7 Julie: Absolutely. Great conversation. Let's hop into a quick ad break for and then back for Her Voice.

 

0:45:05.4 Torin: Our Her Voice segment is where we amplify women making moves. We do it every single week. We appreciate our sponsors for supporting the work that Julie and I are trying to do to amplify the women that are making some things happen. This week we have Reform Alliance, it's a criminal justice reform organization whose founders include Jay-Z and Meek Mill. They've appointed Kim Spitaleri as their Chief Marketing Officer.

 

0:45:38.3 Julie: And then we have Puppy Love. Dolly Parton is launching a dog apparel line called Doggy Parton in partnership with SportPets Designs. The collection will include clothes, squeaky toys and even a blonde wig resembling the country legend herself and will be available on its website and through Amazon. A portion of the proceeds will go to Willoughby Farms, a rescue organization for displaced animals.

 

0:46:05.4 Torin: Now, you know J, I have not one pet, but I am going to the website. As a matter of fact... As a matter of fact, I saw one dog in this week's recording, and I know you have a couple of them, I may have to go out to Puppy Love and see if we can get something. Can you imagine the dog hopping on the couch? What's the dog's name in the back right now?

 

0:46:30.4 Julie: Oh, that's still Blue. She's definitely the Dolly Parton of the group.

 

0:46:33.2 Torin: There you go.

 

[laughter]

 

0:46:37.6 Torin: I'm going to Puppy Love this week. Former beauty and style editor at Essence Magazine, Blake Newby, opened up about her journey into the VC space after spending many years working within the editorial and digital realm. After one year as beauty and style editor at Essence, Newby has set her sights on a brand new journey, which is helping small Black beauty brands excel to new heights.

 

0:47:06.1 Julie: And finally, we have Mary Ellen Coe who will replace Robert Kyncl as YouTube's Chief Business Officer on October 3rd.

 

0:47:14.7 Torin: October 3rd. Quick mentions of this week, this year's Talent Acquisition Evolution Conference, the great Recruit Nation, is going to be live at the Great Wolf Lodge in Mason, Ohio. The date is December 16th. Get out on the Googles, the internets and find the event for Talent Acquisition Evolution Conference. I will be there.

 

0:47:41.0 Julie: Alright, and this week on Disability Twitter, we've been talking a lot about politics, it's also starting to think about getting ready for your vote, and so we are asking you guys to check out the #CripTheVote, C-R-I-P-T-H-E-V-O-T-E. #CripTheVote is huge during this time of the year. And Andrew Pulrang, P-U-L-R-A-N-G on Twitter wrote a great article for Forbes called "Why Disabled Americans Can't Take Their Right To Vote For Granted." Go check it out, #CripTheVote. He's actually, I believe, the founder of that hashtag. Really, really brilliant.

 

0:48:20.1 Torin: And Ady Barkan on Twitter, A-D-Y B-A-R-K-A-N, Ady Barkan tweets, "No one should have to move to another country to get the healthcare they need. But for Liz, that was the only way she could get the care she needed to live. Are you struggling to pay for the healthcare that you need?" She's actually asking people to tell her. So I'm going to retweet that and I'll probably throw in the #DisabilityTwitter as well as #CripTheVote. Listen, Julie and I really appreciate each and every one of you. We are asking, asking, asking. I know we're gonna be marching through Q4 and going into our fifth year of doing Crazy and The King. So if you're not following us, follow us across some of the social media platforms. Subscribe to our newsletter. You can do that by going to crazyandtheking.com. Again, crazyandtheking.com. And of course, you can share the pod.

 

0:49:20.7 Torin: It's so super easy. Wake up, grab the phone, first thing that you do on Thursday morning, grab the phone, pull up Crazy and The King, hit that little share button and put it on your social feeds. We close reminding each and every one of you to share the pod with your digital tribe and to find your voice. Be a better human. Let's create better culture, better teams and better workplaces. For now, J and I are ghost.

 

0:49:45.6 Julie: See ya.