Bridgerton's Ruby Barker, EEOC and DOJ give guidance on AI and disability. Texas anti-gun discrimination.
This week, Bridgerton's Ruby Barker gets help for her mental illness and comes out the other side. The EEOC and DOJ give guidance on AI, talent acquisition technology and impact on jobseekers with a disability. Texas legislates anti-gun discrimination while California loses board diversity in the judiciary. Can we spend a little time legislating what matters vs what makes politicians richer?
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0:00:01.0 Announcer: 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 the 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 in. Julie, kick off the show.
0:00:38.7 Julie: Welcome to Crazy and the King.
0:00:41.1 Torin: Now listen, all of you out there, she sounds normal like she normally would; however, I must tell you, behind the scenes, I kinda came into the... See, we got audio and video, you still have not seen our video. We promise we'll get some of it up, but I came into the video on purpose and I didn't look at the camera, I didn't say a word, I tried to be quiet on my side, a little like white noise. So she'd know that I was here on time, but I didn't say anything to Julie because what you all have to know is I got a text message last week from one pod partner by the name of Julie Sowash, and Julie said, well, let me just kind of paraphrase it, I'm having a good-ass fucking time, that's just basically what she said. She might not have even used that many words, maybe not even that many syllables, but Julie had a good time, so I'm gonna say, what's up party girl?
0:01:52.4 Julie: I did, I rolled strong all week. You would have been proud of me.
0:01:55.7 Torin: Wait a minute, you say you rolled strong. What does that mean? What does that mean? What does that mean?
0:02:00.2 Julie: No, there is no night before, I think, 1 AM and it went till about four.
0:02:05.1 Torin: Oh my gosh. Yeah.
0:02:08.1 Julie: Yeah. I know.
0:02:08.2 Torin: Oh yeah, you rolled very strong... But I mean...
0:02:12.2 Julie: There's no way to... It's my first one, right? I'm back, I'm back, I'm back. Come on.
0:02:18.2 Torin: Yeah. And not the first time on a plane, but this was your first conference. Was this your first conference in two years?
0:02:26.3 Julie: Yeah, yeah.
0:02:28.1 Torin: Wow. Yeah, and it was a lot of people. This is actually the second time that Unleash has done America, but this one was bigger than the one that they did in 2019. I believe the build-up was so much of people just saying, I wanna be at an event, that they just absolutely registered and said, "I'm doing it." I got five invitations to come out, complimentary ticket to... We're gonna buy your ticket for you or we have an extra ticket. I got... It was like four or five people said, "Will you be in Vegas? And if you will, we got you on the floor." So how was it?
0:03:11.8 Julie: Yeah, no, I mean, Unleash puts on a great show, great content, great kind of mix between tech and humanity and thoughtfulness. It's just a really, really fantastic show. Great turnout, I think there was about 1500 people there. Our girl, Miss Elena Valentine, was the MC for the event. I was thrilled to see her on Unleash stage every single day.
0:03:38.5 Torin: Are you serious? I didn't know that.
0:03:40.3 Julie: Yeah. Yeah.
0:03:41.6 Torin: I gotta text her.
0:03:42.5 Julie: And she killed it. She killed it. She did an awesome job. Yeah, so Marc and his team over at Unleash put on a fantastic show.
0:03:50.5 Torin: I am sending her a text message right now in the middle of the show, this is not TV, so I am literally sending her a message to say, congratulations. Glad that you had a really good time, glad that you made it back safely. No COVID, right? Like you are COVID-free.
0:04:07.2 Julie: I am COVID-free. COVID-free.
0:04:08.3 Torin: Beautiful thing, beautiful thing, beautiful thing. So for those of you who caught last week's episode, it was a great interview with Deanna Singh. Again, if you missed it, you can catch that episode and all of our previous episodes at crazyandtheking.com. Again, crazyandtheking.com. And if you're not already following us on the various social channels, do so, you can do that, and Julie also created a newsletter so you can sign up for our newsletter, and I believe that they can do that as well at crazyandtheking.com. Correct?
0:04:45.7 Julie: Yup. And actually, we also have a link just to all of our interviews, so I love our interviews, I think we have some of the best guests. And you can go through, check out crazyandtheking.com/interviews and catch every one of our interviews. And they're all I would say very binge-worthy.
0:05:05.7 Torin: Yeah, so this is not a new conversation for us, but I just wanna touch on something, given the number of events that we've had in the public sphere over the last two to three weeks. This is an article... This is a subject that we touched on a couple of months ago, and I know Matt Stubbs was the... He was the originator of the thought a couple of months ago, and then he copied me or tagged me on a tweet last week, and the tweet is a thread from GoleMGabi, her real name is Gabi. And basically, J, she starts the thread with, it's already been said, but the emergency plan for disabled kids is to let us die, not even in active shooter scenarios, but also fires, and she goes on to give a poignant example of something that happened in 2019, even though this tweet is new, it was from May 27th of this year.
0:06:14.5 Torin: I'm assuming she's sharing that because of the recent events that we've had, and I guess the question becomes, for many of us, what do we do in terms of evacuating people with disabilities in an active shooter, for instance, scenario? And full transparency, I didn't wanna have this conversation with just you and I, I actually sent out a digital signal asking people to introduce me to someone who may have or who creates evacuation plans for corporate clients for companies. So certainly if there's someone listening and you can have someone, we are willing to have this conversation at a later date, because I think it's extremely important. But what do they do J?
0:07:04.6 Julie: Yeah, I think the lack of response is a pretty telling response, every building, every company, every university in this case, every emergency responder should have a plan in place to evacuate people who are unable to evacuate themselves, whether those are young children, elderly folks, people who have disabilities mobility impairments that they cannot get down the stairs because as I think, at least, I hope we all know. During an emergency, you cannot use the elevator, you should not use the elevator because you could become trapped in the elevators. You go to the stairs, that's supposed to be a safer place in the building and wait to be evacuated in most cases, so the first responders firemen, policemen, whoever that is, is supposed to come and help you move down the stairs. And as Gole M Gabi pointed out very poignantly in an incredible thread that we should definitely share, talks about how not only did that not happen for about a two-hour period, but multiple times cops and first responders walked by us and said, "Hey, there's a group of cripples stuck on the third floor," and then would walk away. They were hung up on...
0:08:30.0 Torin: Repeat that, repeat that, repeat that, repeat that, repeat that.
0:08:31.4 Julie: There's a group of cripples stuck on the third floor landing, and then he walks away down the stairs, mind you, not up the stairs, down the stairs. And called 911, I did multiple things to be helped, and clearly in this case, there was no one interested in supporting them, whether it's incompetence on preparedness or just pure ableism as Gabi says, I don't think we'll ever know. But it's not acceptable, and the fact that you're not getting a response tells me probably a lot about what we need to know that there is an actual lack of corporate planning that happens in this space.
0:09:13.1 Torin: Yeah, in M Gabi's thread, she highlights the challenge that we have with the entire process, and you know, one of the things that I would say to employees, when I had my sales team at MCI back in the '90s, when I had to administratively leverage some sort of responsibility or accountability. That's a better word. I would say to them, "You're not being talked to because of this instance, you're being talked to because of a series of instances, you're not being fired because you were late today, you're being let go because you were late a number of times before today." There is a sequence of events of things that take place and the sum total of them determine demand that we have whatever is happening here to happen, and inside of her thread, she even talked about calling the 911 operators.
0:10:17.4 Torin: So I started it by saying I would have loved to have someone on that talks about evacuation plans, which is from the very beginning, we've been thoughtful and considered this community of this audience of employees, of people, of students. But even throughout her thread, she highlights the breakdown at every single phase and she even said that the 911 operator hung up not once, but twice, and in one thread, she says, how do you expect... The 911 operator said, how do you expect one policeman... Oh I lost it. But basically, how do you expect one policeman to help X number of people? And my response is, one person at a time.
0:11:06.1 Julie: Yeah, one person at a time.
0:11:09.1 Torin: Why is this hard? Cat is up in the tree, you climb up in the tree and you get the cat. You go into a burning building, you go through the window or whatever it is, and you bring out one person at a time.
0:11:24.3 Julie: Yeah, yeah, and it's just, again, prioritizing the bodies that are able to get down and minimizing, if not completely, ignoring the bodies that are not able to get down, when a building is made for bodies that are not universally designed... I'll say it that way.
0:11:50.4 Torin: Yeah. And you know, last thing that I'll say is, I've said this to you more times than I can count, but what I've said to you is that the greatest learning for me in you and I do in this podcast is how the disability community sits in society, whether it be how they're treated, how they're legislated, how they are assimilated to some degree, how they're thought about just... I can go a range of ways, the biggest learning for me...
0:12:28.6 Torin: And I would have never thought about this, J, like I would have never thought about it. Whether I'm in a dorm, I'm in a high rise, I'm in a building, fire alarm goes off or some other signal goes off, now, granted, if someone's next to me in a wheelchair, naturally, my inclination is get behind the wheelchair and to push them, but I've never thought about it from a strategy standpoint, from a grand audience standpoint, like have we cared for them that are among us. This has been the biggest learning for me, and I don't think that we can talk about it enough.
0:13:08.2 Julie: And that's why I would do the work together right, so that we can learn from each other and from the people that we have the privilege to interact with after doing the show for four years. So one of the best sessions at Unleash was the closing session, and it was about burnout.
0:13:29.1 Torin: Okay.
0:13:29.8 Julie: And it was an amazing author name, Celeste Headlee. I'm definitely gonna see if we can ping her and get her on the agenda here at Crazy and the King, but she talked about how to have better communications and talked about how to have meetings. Do more with less.
0:13:51.4 Torin: How to have meetings. Do more with less. I swear, if I knew you were going to go there, I have a little black bag under the stairs in my house that has a number of articles from the '90s that I used to use to motivate my team. And a few of the articles in that bag are from when I first started my recruiting company in '98, and one of them comes to mind it was 'The Seven Deadly Sins of Ineffective Meetings,' and I wonder, I wonder how much of what was in that 1998, '99, 2000 article is still something that Celeste the author, was she an author or speaker?
0:14:38.7 Julie: Both. Both.
0:14:38.8 Torin: She's both. And it is Celeste, correct?
0:14:41.8 Julie: Yes.
0:14:43.9 Torin: I wonder how much of what was in that article pre-2000 is still being talked about today. Give me a couple of highlights.
0:14:51.8 Julie: Yeah, I would say a lot of them, she even pointed that out, like this is not like rocket science y'all, right? So the first one was cut your meetings in half, as number of them. Cut your meetings in half. The best form of communication is picking up the phone and having a conversation, and that will save you a ton of meetings.
0:15:15.0 Torin: But how does that sit? But how does that sit, J? You know, I love it because I'm a phone person and not so much so a text message person, I'm okay with picking up the phone, and when we think about millennials, Z, and I'm not even sure who's after Z, have they even... I don't even know if that's been articulated as yet...
0:15:37.1 Julie: I don't think so. Yeah.
0:15:39.0 Torin: But they don't necessarily like picking up the phone... Let's be honest, we got boomers that don't like picking up the phone and having an actual conversation, so did the audience shift a little bit when she said that, like pick up the phone?
0:15:52.0 Julie: I will say I did. Let me put it this way, so I'm right there between Gen X and Gen Y. I'm sort of like a middle kid, and I hate talking on the phone, I fucking hate it. But after listening to her talk, I realized how much time I waste in emails when I could pick up the phone and have a two-second conversation. Everyone would feel better about the conversation than my emails, and I would... It's like I would get all this weight off of my brain.
0:16:27.5 Torin: Yeah.
0:16:28.4 Julie: And so I'm gonna try...
0:16:29.9 Torin: Yes.
0:16:30.6 Julie: To take two pieces of her advice, actually three.
0:16:34.3 Torin: Okay.
0:16:35.1 Julie: One is always have an agenda.
0:16:37.6 Torin: Okay.
0:16:38.4 Julie: Number two is to cut number of meetings in half.
0:16:42.1 Torin: Okay.
0:16:42.6 Julie: And number three is to pick up the phone instead of sending an email.
0:16:48.2 Torin: So I like that, and I like that you're willing to try that, and what I hear in that is what I hear from her guidance and what I hear in your admission, the bottom line is, and this is certainly what I experienced, I tend to be far more clear vocally than I am in my written. And in my written Julie, I try to abbreviate. I sort of write like I'm poetic, like I'm an artist, if you will, and so it's like I will drop a line, assuming that you will get the reference of all that I've sort of smashed into those 40 words that you will know, okay, in between two of those words, he meant this right here, and so I just I've learned a long, long, long time ago, and I think that this has everything to do with why I was successful recruiting, because I loved picking up the phone, I loved having conversation, I loved telling the story of who that entity is, so 90 days, I'm on my 90 days. My 90 days, if you recall, are trying to identify influencers and people with a bit of authority, if you will, in the disability community. And so maybe you can go with 90 days and at the end of the summer, you can kind of let us know.
0:18:12.2 Torin: Not me, not that I'm trying to put your schedule together for you, but see if it works for you, and if you do shave some time off, get some time back in your day and are not kinda going back and forth and all of those emails, I love it. And what I will say is, we're gonna put an article up, we didn't hit it today, but what brought this conversation up was an article, "How to make your virtual team meetings more engaging." And the reason I did it Julie is because I've talked to a number of executives in my coaching sessions and even client visits, and they are still struggling with how do we create community in this virtual environment in this agile, this distributed, this remote environment, how do we actually create community and camaraderie?
0:19:00.2 Torin: I will tell you, just like you at Unleash last week, I was at a client site, and just the energy that people exhibited when they came in the door and when they hit the conference room, and they were just so happy to be amongst their colleagues and employees, people missed that, they miss it. And so we're still trying to figure out how now, almost three years into this, do we get what we originally may have had in the beginning, 'cause Zoom was fun in March of 2020. It ain't all that fun today.
0:19:41.0 Julie: Yeah, it's not. Trust me, I've been doing it for 10 years, so it is... I'm ready to be off camera for a while, let me at least say that.
0:19:48.7 Torin: I can do that.
0:19:49.1 Julie: I love the energy. I'm ready to be off-camera. Do you watch 'Bridgerton?' Tell the the truth.
0:19:56.5 Torin: Nope.
0:19:58.6 Julie: Does your wife watch 'Bridgerton?'
0:20:00.6 Torin: Nope. Hey, listen, let me tell you something.
0:20:03.3 Julie: I don't know. I may need to check it with her on that.
0:20:04.7 Torin: Let me tell you, I watched... I tried. I think I caught three episodes, but you know, Julie, I ain't gonna front on you, there's just something about the wigs, the tight dresses, that... It's just something about all of that, that does absolutely nothing for me, so I just can't follow it like... Yeah, I just can't follow it, I just... I'm not interested, I just can't follow it, I'm sorry.
0:20:38.9 Julie: It's okay. You don't have to apologize for your poor TV choices, but 'Bridgerton' star Ruby Barker, come on Julie, checked into the hospital a couple of weeks ago for a mental health-related illness, and when she went into the hospital, she put up a video and said, "Guys, I've been struggling. I really, really don't see the light right now, and I'm gonna get checked in, I'm gonna figure out what's going on with me," and in fact, credited her boss, I'm using air quotes there because Shonda Rhimes is the executive producer of 'Bridgerton,' but Shonda along with a couple of other castmates really credited by Ruby for saying, "Hey, this isn't what stable looks like, this isn't what healthy looks like, you need to go ahead and get yourself some help," and she did that and went on this public journey with it. And Ruby was discharged just earlier this week, I think literally Tuesday, she posted back out and said, "Hey, you know, I'm at a point," and I'm quoting, "I'm at a point where I have a diagnosis, and I will talk to you about that at another time, but I have a diagnosis and I'm relinquishing myself and forgiving myself and drawing a line in the sand," and I was just...
0:22:09.2 Julie: She's a very young woman of color and incredibly impressed at the poignancy and the grace in which she has chosen to take care of herself and let go of the stigma that goes along with mental illness in this country, and well beyond.
0:22:27.6 Torin: Yeah, the article headlines were like all over the place, Page Six said, Bridgerton star Ruby Barker happened to be alive after hospitalization; People Magazine, Bridgerton's Ruby Barker discharged from hospital after mental health issue; Entertainment Weekly had an article; BuzzFeed had one, their headline said, Bridgerton star Ruby Barker thanked Netflix and Shonda Rhimes for saving her after struggling with her mental health, saving her, she thanked them for saving her.
0:23:03.4 Julie: Yes. And...
0:23:03.5 Torin: That is a really, really big deal. And let me tell you, for me, and I'm glad that you put this up for us to discuss today, because normally, when we're having this conversation, I shouldn't say normally, that's too broad of a statement, but oftentimes, we are having this conversation after a person has done something up to and including death to themselves. We talked about it with the Instagram posts from the young lady who was like the television anchor or something of the sort in New York, a couple of months ago, like... I nearly cried when I read the post, and I'm sitting looking at that, I'm looking at this post, Julie, and I'm like, first of all, I didn't know who she was. I can't remember her name right now, because I didn't know who she was, but as I'm reading her...
0:24:00.5 Torin: As I'm reading the comments from other people, it sent me to her Instagram page, I look back at the seven or eight posts before the suicide message, and I said, the lady is sitting with like... I can't remember who it was, it was like Denzel Washington or somebody like that. Like you have all of this happening and you were struggling that deeply inside, so I'm glad that she did what she did was brave enough, vulnerable and left to be public about it, and that you saw it fit in to add to the show for this week.
0:24:45.3 Julie: Yeah, and if you've heard me speak, you've heard me say the exact same thing, is that an employer took that moment, a people leader took that moment to say to me, this is not what life should look like for you, and it wasn't until then that I realized how much pain I was living in and didn't see what was possible. And that's why I do the work that I do, that's why I know how important a people leader is to not just changing someone's life, but saving someone's life and more times than we will ever ever ever know, as people leaders. So thank you Ruby for sharing your story. Thank you Shonda for saying something. And let's use this as an opportunity to put that best practice into our life.
0:25:28.6 Torin: Yeah, and you got one more quick mention before we hit our first break.
0:25:32.4 Julie: Yes, so the EEOC and the Department of Justice both out in the last 10 days recognizing the potential discrimination in tech use for hiring people with disabilities, including natural language processing, machine learning and artificial intelligence. I can confirm and I haven't even told you this yet, that EEOC Commissioner Sonderling has agreed to join us to talk about what the EEOC is doing around tech and people with disabilities and bias for all under-represented communities, and really doing some fantastic work within the EEOC around this exact conversation.
0:26:21.6 Torin: So I don't wanna call him at first, but what I will say is that Keith Sonderling has been doing to me an intentional job of being present in the HR, HR tech space. He was at DECon '22 in April, out in California. He was there at Unleash in Vegas just last week. And according to you, hopefully, he would be on Crazy and The King, so I think that he is doing an intentional job of trying to amplify the work that they are doing. I've read a number of articles where he's been quoted, he seems like he is aggressively doing the work that he and the administrator... I'm sorry, the agency should be doing, so I'm sure the verdict is out, some people may feel one way or another about the EEOC, but what you cannot say is that he is not aggressively working and I appreciate that.
0:27:20.8 Julie: Absolutely, so let's check out an ad from our most current sponsor, and we'll get to this week's main story.
0:27:29.2 Torin: Awesome.
0:27:35.4 Torin: So we'll continue talking. The letter from the firm, Foley & Lardner on May 13th was in response to a new law in Texas that bans state agencies from working with a firm that discriminates against companies or individuals in the gun industry. Now, I need that to sink in for a moment. Texas has a new law that bans state agencies from working with any company, organization, firm that takes a position on working with companies in the gun industry, broadly defined. The firm in this example is JP Morgan Chase. And we will include a link to the article. The article is coming from the New York Times, it's titled "The Texas law that has banks saying they don't discriminate against guns." Now, since the beginning of 2020, according to data from Dealogic, the bank has led the financing for deals that raised north of 700 million for companies in the gun industry. That's in general.
0:28:56.5 Torin: So clearly to me, JP Morgan Chase is willing to work with companies in the gun industry. Other firms have also had to draft "continuing to do business" type statements, and I put continuing to do business inside of quotes. A spokeswoman for JP Morgan said, we have been consistent in our position that we do not finance manufacturers of military-style weapons for civilian use.
0:29:29.4 Torin: Now, real quick, before I push forward, just to sum it up once again, Texas first in the country to say, listen, if you don't wanna rock with the gun industry, that's cool, we're just not going to allow you to do business with state agencies. Plain and simple, legislation, that means most of the people in their government agreed to this. So the rub for me is that, I'm wondering if the stakes are really all that high for big banks. Like I know that they make money off of bonds and some of the other instruments that are in place financially, but if a bank states that it is in compliance with the law and it is found to be otherwise, it can actually face criminal prosecution. So Texas has drafted the law to say not only will we not allow you to do business with state agencies, but if we find that you are discriminating purposefully not doing business with companies in the gun industry, you may face criminal prosecution. I'm gonna stop right there J. Do you feel like they have overstepped, just how does that land to your eardrum when you hear that?
0:31:01.9 Julie: I don't know. This is like to me... To me, I think... And I'm just, I'm having a genuine reaction here is that this is like one of... This is like Florida saying they're gonna take away the land rights or whatever the tax exemption for Disney, they pass this law, they're gonna let it ride until the midterms are over and then they're gonna get rid of it. It's purely a political play, it's purely for headlines as we go into the election cycle, and for the most part, I think it's bullshit. I think that it's really interesting to me, a couple of different things, one is that states like Texas who are all about open business, capitalism, Laissez-faire capitalism continue to legislate over individual and corporate rights.
0:32:07.9 Julie: They're saying, as a company, you don't have the right to do this, as a private citizen, you don't have the right to do this, and not just making it civil, but also making it criminal, that doesn't speak to me as a state who is really all that interested in individual freedoms, they're interested in power retention. I think, second the line from JP Morgan that we've been consistent in our position, we do not finance manufacturers of military-style weapons for civilian use is the biggest jargon-filled amount of bullshit I've ever heard.
0:32:46.7 Julie: You can say an AR-15 is a hunting rifle, if you want, you can say it doesn't matter, this military-style weapons for civilian use, I think needs a little background check, back checking. I'm gonna say that. And the last thing I'll say is, why does this matter? Right? We can't even have clear laws on the books for people with disabilities to be properly evacuated, we can't have laws on the books that will protect women who have been raped, who are victims of incest, to be able to make the right decisions about their bodies, we can't... And you said this right before we started the show, I think a great point, California can't dictate diversity on their boards, so we can waste all this time, all this political energy and all of this money, quite frankly, protecting a gun lobby and a gun industry that is already grossly, overly powerful and overly protected and overly influential in this country. There, rant over.
0:33:54.7 Torin: Yeah, no, I absolutely get it. I talked about JP Morgan Chase, and again, the article for The New York Times, they're really focused on banks, and while I know that other companies probably are wrestling with whether or not they need to make a statement, companies are wrestling with whether or not they'll continue to do business with entities that are in the gun industry. Citi Group actually, they have a statement as well, they wrote a letter, I believe they did their letter back in October of 2021, and Citi Group says that they've also restricted certain types of sales of firearms and ammunition with its credit and debit card systems, and this happened after Parkland. A spokesman for CitiBank said that the bank has not altered its policies related to the gun industry since they went into effect in March of 2018. That's something I didn't know. I didn't know that an organization, a company like Citi Group or others for merchant processing could shut down a certain type of transaction, I didn't know that they could really do that. And I would say that I appreciated that, like they took a stand. It's what they decided that they wanted to do, they didn't...
0:35:11.3 Torin: I don't see an issue with that. And if you like it, fine. If you are a person who's a gun enthusiast and you're mad because you can't use your Citibank card, I guess this is what it's saying, you can't use a Citibank card to purchase, let's say a military style... Using that language, military style weapon. Then what do you do? You either get mad and use another card or you cut up your card, but it's all about a decision and I don't see anything wrong with it.
0:35:43.2 Julie: Yeah, and let me give you an example of how this works. So my kids, we have banks at Capital One, and they have kids accounts, right, so that they have their own debit cards, all those things. When Kennedy turned 21, we hadn't changed her account, she is just an adult now, and we thought it converted to an adult account. Well, the type of card that she had would not allow her to make purchases in a bar. And so I started getting these AmEx charges where I pay, why is my card being used at a bar in Hungary? Oh, it's because there's a limitation on the type of account that she has to be able to make purchases that are vice purchases. And so I imagine it functions in a lot the same way, and I do appreciate that, I think we learned this week with... Or last week with Uvalde that the gun manufacturer who sold or who created the weapons that were used in Texas, actually had Facebook Ads, financing plans, etcetera, that targeted younger teenage buyers. And so they actually were directly advertising to young men, and this is a way potentially that banks could ensure that some of these accounts that they use couldn't be used for purchasing military-style weapons.
0:37:14.1 Torin: Yeah, I can appreciate that. I know that there's one thing that I wanna just kinda throw in here, because the reason why I'm having this... What we're having this conversation is really... And you hinted towards it, but to be very, very clear, if we have all of these powerful... I'mma cascade this down, powerful individuals, largely White men across the country making laws, why won't they make the same... Put forth the same effort around matters pertaining to supplier diversity or board representation, or evacuation plans, or including people with disabilities in our hiring schemes, or just a whole host of other human-centric decisions that can be made, but it goes back to what you said around power and when I think about them sitting in power, not wanting to relinquish it, not wanting to necessarily share it, allow others to have access to it. I think about... The bottom line is...
0:38:45.6 Torin: I just feel like there's going to be more pressure on organizations to speak up around our social issues, it's just... I just think it's coming, and I don't feel like that's a snowball that we can avoid, and when we think about Uvalde, we have to do something, but what we cannot do is keep blaming it on mental illness.
0:39:12.1 Julie: Yeah, and thank you for saying that because what we hear a lot of, what we've heard a lot of over the past 10 days since both Buffalo and Uvalde is that red flag laws, mental health checks, that those are what... That's what's needed, that's what will stop this crisis in our country, and actually took a photo this morning, there were more children in the United States that were killed by guns, than there were service members serving overseas, police officers killed in action, individuals killed by police officers in an incident. It is now, I believe, the number one or number two cause of death for children under the age of 18 is gun violence. And it is not because of mental health. We know beyond a shadow of a doubt over and over again that these shooters do not have or experience mental illness at the time of the action. And so don't let it be a distraction that they will legislate to protect the gun lobby, they will legislate to protect and encourage business with gun manufacturers, but they will not take the simple action of reducing the access to weapons in this country, and mental health is a distraction.
0:40:52.3 Julie: Mental health is a lie, and it is not a fair assertion or implication on my community that we can't be responsible gun owners or that we are responsible for these mass shootings. It is just not the case.
0:41:09.3 Torin: Thank you for saying that, a conversation that I promise we will continue to have. I'll close it by saying, the Texas law again is the first of its kind in the country, and similar ones are running through State Houses in at least 10 states, including Oklahoma, West Virginia, and others, according to the Giffords Law Center, to prevent gun violence. So the bottom line is, you as an employee, you as a citizen, you as a person, you are going to have to speak up both inside and outside of your corporate corridor, you cannot go around and say that voting doesn't matter. You cannot go around feeling like being apolitical in the workplace is going to be satisfactory outside of the workplace. I think that the blur, the line is being blurred in so many different ways that you just have to be willing to amplify your voice in your organization.
0:42:08.5 Torin: A quick break and we'll do Her Voice. Alright, our Her Voice segment is where we amplify women making moves, and this week we have CDW CEO, Christine A Leahy and AMD CEO, Lisa Su, who are among the most undervalued CEOs on the Fortune 500. Now, this doesn't mean that they were not well compensated, but in proportion to the value that they delivered to shareholders and the company, they were not as valued as some of their peers, for example, Lisa Su, AMD's CEO earned shareholders a 48% annualized return during her tenure as Chief Executive.
0:43:03.1 Julie: And we have Sarah Nelson. Nelson is the international president of the AFA, which stands for Association of Flight Attendants, which was founded in 1945 by a group of United Airlines, then they called them stewardesses, now they call them flight attendants, and she represents 50,000 flight attendants in the US, or about half of the flight attendants in the entire airline industry. And she has been instrumental in securing a stimulus from our government that kept airline workers employed and earning during the pandemic. She might deserve a thank you, two, three, four or maybe 50,000 plus.
0:43:43.4 Torin: Or maybe 50,000 yes in deed. CEO Sonia Syngal for deciding against inclusion. More specifically around the inventory. It turns out that Old Navy attempted to offer a broader selection of sizes to be more inclusive as a retailer, but the decision left many stores with an imbalance in inventory, and I'm shouting out Ms. Sonia Syngal because I appreciate her making the business decision. We've always said that diversity and inclusion is emotional. It's social, but it also has to have an impact on the business.
0:44:25.1 Julie: Right. And finally, to wrap up our Unleash Celebration, a few amazing women in HR tech, Abby Cheeseman and Elena Valentine of Skill Scout. Hello ladies. Madeline Laurano of Aptitude Research. And Stephanie VanPutten, CEO of Blendoor, and Blendoor is a diversity analytics and hiring software company. These companies are rated and ranked based on their Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion performance, and just in case you're wondering why the name, Blend is about diversity and doors are about opportunity and transparency.
0:45:00.8 Torin: Another great show, J, I appreciate you. Thank you, thank you, thank you. We will be back again next week as always, but I close reminding each and every one of you to share the pod with your digital tribe and define your voice, be a better human. Let's create better culture, teams, and workplaces. For now, J and I are, let's say sign out, we ghost.
0:45:23.0 Julie: See ya.