Welcome to Crazy and the King!!
May 19, 2022

Netflix: Is Honesty Really the Best Policy?

Netflix: Is Honesty Really the Best Policy?

This week, Netflix updates their culture guidelines and says maybe we aren't a good fit for you.

This week, Netflix updates their culture guidelines and says maybe we aren't a good fit for you. Is honesty the best policy in talent attraction, even when it is uncomfy? Jeep plant in Michigan is making electric vehicles while pumping more pollutants into one of the most polluted areas of the country. Torin and Julie start the CATK conversation on environmental racism. Finally, friend of the pod and master of all things recruiting, Tim Sackett, gives us his take on diversity referral bonuses. We discuss. A good take or a bad take? You decide!

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Production and Music: DJ Cellz


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 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 of the show.


0:00:39.8 Julie: Welcome, welcome, welcome to Crazy and The King.

0:00:43.0 Torin: Another episode. Did you catch the moon the other night? Was it blood orange where you were?

0:00:51.6 Julie: You know what? I...

0:00:51.8 Torin: Did you miss that?

0:00:52.4 Julie: I didn't see it, I didn't see it.

0:00:55.0 Torin: Did you know it was gonna happen?

0:00:56.3 Julie: I did. I love... I don't know if they're called harvest moons normally, but I love the red moon. I think they're so beautiful, and I don't know if you know this, totally random, in the Bible, 'cause I grew up in the church, the Revelations, the last book in the Bible talks about how the raptures, where all of the Christians are being taken away, will happen when the moon runs red with blood. So that conversation, or that part, that passage when I was a kid always used to really scare me because I was like, "Oh shoot, what if I didn't... I sinned today," or something. And it just always reminds me about the way that I grew up in sort of that indoctrination, whether you have a faith or not, just the way that I grew up is so very different than most other people.

0:01:44.9 Torin: But it's complicated, man, that Book of Revelations is extremely, extremely complicated, and I too grew up in church, I think I shared this with you before, I played the drums in church when I was growing up, and so...

0:01:55.6 Julie: Yes, church band.

0:01:58.8 Torin: I think about the times where I would get in front of the Bible when I was 18 trying to take in Revelations, it was always interesting, inviting, but not so clear, and I really didn't understand then like I'm trying to better understand now, the allegories, it wasn't necessarily that way. I even think about here in Maryland, every seven years, I think it is, we have cicadas.

0:02:33.3 Julie: Yeah.

0:02:34.2 Torin: And so when the cicadas come, I often ask myself, "Well, is this what they were talking about in the Bible, or could this not be what they were talking about because the Earth went through what it went through?" Here's something funny, so you grew up in church, I grew up in church, I believe in dinosaurs. Do you believe in dinosaurs?

0:02:54.2 Julie: Oh, yeah. Yeah, evolution and the whole thing.

0:02:57.2 Torin: My mom does not believe in dinosaurs.

0:03:00.6 Julie: Yeah. So I was actually in college when I had this amazing professor who... Because like you, I was taught it was basically a sin to believe that the world wasn't created in seven days, and it's like, yes, could God create the world in seven days? Sure, but why do we simplify Him so much that this amazing set of actions that were put into place by whatever being you believe in could evolve in such an amazing and complex way that we have to say, "Well, if it's not in seven days, then it's not good enough." And it's like, dude, I want my all-powerful being to be able to do these very complicated and complex things, and it's so much more marveling to me to think about it in that way, but yeah, I get a lot of shit from my family about it.

0:03:46.9 Torin: I love that though. So you're making me smile because I did come in to today's show with a bit of a heavy heart, and so you are enlightening such up because that's one of the things that I say to my friends that have different belief systems, they have different faiths that they practice, and I'm like, "Okay, I get it. I'm not... I don't feel like I have the authority, the agency, to criticize what you believe, as long as it sort of makes sense." Okay, you may not go with this, but you go with that. As long as you're not out robbing old women and taking their hand bags and... You know what I'm saying?

0:04:28.9 Julie: Yeah.

0:04:29.6 Torin: I'm just like, "Okay, fine. Then believe that. You don't wanna sit in the church pew? Fine. You don't wanna celebrate certain holidays? Fine. But how is it that you can try to confine the most high into your definition, and everybody else's definition is wrong?" I've always had an opposition to that.

0:04:48.8 Julie: Yeah. And why the hell would you wanna love a God, a being, or whatever, that damns like 99% of us to eternal suffering, who's that?

0:05:00.3 Torin: Makes no sense.

0:05:00.4 Julie: How's that a guy that you wanna get behind? Like, or... Yeah, anyway. [laughter]

0:05:04.5 Torin: Yeah. It makes no sense, but talk about internal suffering, we got some folks inside of Netflix who've been given a choice, like, "You don't necessarily have to suffer, right?"

0:05:13.2 Julie: Yeah, no, I think this is a great story. So Netflix tells employees they can quit if they don't want to work on content they disagree with, according to new company culture guidelines, so...

0:05:27.0 Torin: Okay, stop right there, stop right there, stop right there, stop right there, stop right there.

0:05:27.3 Julie: Yes. Okay. Okay.

0:05:31.1 Torin: So wait a minute, you... Listen, we're going to develop a documentary, or a show, or a pilot, or something creative that the general public may or may not consume, and Netflix new position is, "If you don't like that, it's okay and you can quit." I honestly think that that's fair.

0:06:02.4 Julie: Oh, I think it's fair, and I think it's brilliant. And they put it on their external website, it's like, "Hey, we just want you to know, here are our culture guidelines, if this doesn't work for you, if you're not comfortable with this, then this may not be the right place for you." That is a completely fair conversation and we have to be careful about expecting or how we manage what speech looks like. And if I would go back to the Chappelle conversation we had earlier this year, I don't agree with some of the things that Chappelle said but my caveat is, is the way that he ended was clearly in a place of love for the person that passed away. And comedians have such a power in reshaping the way we think about society, if we shut those conversations down because they don't do it in the PC way that we as professionals do in a different way, or human beings do in a different way, then we never get to have the conversations we're having now. It's so important for him to be able to push on the edges because it allows us to have conversations and that's how we move society. So again, I think it's brilliant.

0:07:32.8 Torin: But coming from a different direction, you would agree that one can go too far, right?

0:07:37.5 Julie: Yes, yeah, absolutely.

0:07:39.5 Torin: You would also agree that there should be some boundary, there should be some place where you say, "You know what, I'm not gonna cross over that line." And so I think where we get a bit conflicted and I sometimes am this person that's conflicted is very similar to what we were just talking about as it relates to religion. Am I imposing my limitation? Am I imposing my definition of a boundary? Am I imposing my intimacy with one has gone too far on others or a number of others? And so I try very, very hard to not do that, I'm not perfect in any way, because I do it probably weekly with some of the tweets that I send out in terms of my critique of certain things that were said, conversations that may have been had, articles that I may have read, but I gotta tell you, I really did. Honestly J, when I read this one, I literally... This is no exaggeration. When I read this story after you posted it, I was reading, waiting for like a punch line, and here's the punch line that I was waiting for, I was waiting for Netflix to say, "You can quit." In the sense of quit being defined as short-term sabbatical. Use flex time. Like, I literally was waiting to read that.

0:09:15.6 Torin: In my mind, I said, "I know that they're not telling people totally quit," we're just simply saying, "You don't like the project, we'll reassign you temporarily or you can take some time off. You can come back... " Nope, they didn't say any of that. They simply said, "You can quit."

0:09:33.9 Julie: Yeah, and we have to get comfortable having uncomfortable conversations, like I think this is something that we as advocates, allies, members of underrepresented communities, if I just quit, I have no influence on the conversation, I have no influence on how things get directed, how things get communicated, and if we just walk away and throw our hands up, which I think a lot of us have done with friends, family, people in our lives that just kind of blow our minds with their thought processes, then we lose that chance to have the conversation. And I think we have to start thinking about things like that, as opposed to the knee-jerk sometime of like, "This is just not tolerable." Yeah, it sucks that you feel so strongly about something when you're working on a project, but how can you help define? How can you help move? And I go back to the Netflix documentary, the Crip Camp. That is the most, in my opinion, well-thought out, inclusive human depiction, fully human depiction of people with disabilities because people with disabilities were key to making the show and it wasn't told by our caregivers and all those kind of things. And so that's the opportunity that's given up, if we walk away from those tough conversations, if we walk away from those tough artistic expression pieces.

0:11:14.5 Torin: No, two things and then we'll switch gears. Number one, every time we raise the documentary of Crip Camp, whether it be through our podcast, whether I am on-site with clients in coaching sessions, I always remember the first time I viewed it and how I felt. It was hard for me. It really was hard for me because I wasn't so used to seeing, as you just so eloquently described it, I wasn't used to seeing the community in that way. I wasn't used to seeing them having fun and barbecuing and swimming and not necessarily being able to get out of a wheelchair on their own and someone having to help them into the pool, and just all of those various aspects and layers and dimensions of life, like being able to see them live their life the way that we live our life. I loved the nuance, the up, the down, the emotion. It was really hard for me to watch it the first time because it was so new for me. So that's the first thing that I wanna say.

0:12:25.6 Torin: And then on this Netflix piece and then we can switch gears. Again, I love the fact that they did it, they haven't updated their policy on culture guidelines since 2017. This is not something that they rushed into. Yes, they had a couple of props, a couple of issues that kinda jolted them into having this internal conversation, but they were still thoughtful about it. They've been talking about this for the past 18 months. And again, Julie and I will make sure that we post in the show notes the link to the culture guidelines.

0:13:00.8 Julie: Yeah. Absolutely, absolutely. What's next?

0:13:03.3 Torin: So we'll go with this emission vehicles and it perpetuating systemic environmental racism in the city of Detroit, so the headline is how low emission vehicles are perpetuating systemic environmental racism in Detroit and systemic environmental racism is not a phrase that we tend to hear, that we even think about often, if ever, honestly, is it a phrase that's familiar for you?

0:13:35.6 Julie: Really, I feel like it's something I've heard in the last few months, like in 2022, but never before. And I think this nicely goes back to the conversation you and I had a couple of weeks ago about where DEI should land, right? Where we should live.

0:13:53.9 Torin: In what way? In what way?

0:13:56.0 Julie: Let me set the story up, so last year, a Jeep plant opened and has already had four air quality violations from the Michigan's Department of Environment, and the place where this factory is located has the 99th percentile rates, so the highest possible rates for asthma in the 11 areas, neighborhoods, census tracks around it, which means that this is virtually the highest place in the country where the greatest number of residents suffer from pollution inflamed illnesses. And so when we're talking about where should DEI live, DEI should live at the Michigan Department of Environment, at the Michigan business and commerce growth and the thing that attracts businesses into states, it should sit in Jeep's, how are we gonna locate, where are we gonna locate these facilities and start thinking about, "Hey, this isn't a predominantly Black area, it's in a predominantly ill area, because if we really want to be inclusive, we can't put a Jeep plant that's just gonna poison the people that are going to live around us."

0:15:28.7 Julie: That's not equity, that's perpetuating the same behaviors that companies have done for decades, it's how we got lead pipe poisoning in Michigan, it's how we got tons and tons of waste and pollution dumped into our oceans and rivers, because DEI is not sitting at the table, because they are not diverse voices sitting at the table having those conversations when the highest decisions are being made.

0:15:58.7 Torin: Yeah, so let me just give a personal story, I wanna add another angle to what Julie just talked about, if you look at me, you can't tell that I was in an accident in 1990, but I was in a worker's compensation accident when I worked for Union Pacific Railroad, it was an offshoot of Union Pacific Railroad. And in that particular accident, I had a lid blow up in my face, cracked a bone, just above my nose and then to my forehead, knocked out a couple of teeth in the front, and when it hit me, I landed on my back on a very small walkway that had I missed that walkway, Julie, I would have fallen another 60-80 feet down to the ground, I was unconscious. When I stood up, the supervisor of the plant said, "Whatever you do, don't let him look in the mirror," talking about me, 'cause I was unconscious, it was a stainless still lid that blew up in my face. I was working at a waste reclamation plant, and I vividly remember the waste reclamation plant was located in a poor Hispanic area, Latin area of San Antonio, Texas. And again, you're talking about a person who at the time was 21, I think 21, something like that.

0:17:33.5 Torin: I had no D&I language, I didn't know anything about equity, like none of those things were... All of that was like talking a foreign language to me, but fast-forward to now reading The Color of Law by Richard Rothstein, and thinking about that book and how the government has supported, undergirded institutions and systems of racism, one of which happens to be how they identify in some cases, many cases where highways may be placed or like you said, where waste reclamation goes, there's so many different ways that this environmental racism, this institutional systemic racism shows up, and so I really think about this article right here, and I'm saying to myself, "Wow, on the surface, we're just happy because we got a plant coming, people are gonna be working, new jobs, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, apparently, we're developing more environment-friendly vehicles." On the surface we think it's a great thing, but you have to be willing to get beyond and below the surface if we are going to ever really attack the true equity inequality that Julie and I talk about on Crazy and The King and so many others are chasing as well.

0:19:00.0 Julie: Yeah, and just to wrap this up, I think the other really great point that this article made was that we are not gonna have true environmental justice, and we're not gonna have a mass impact on climate change, which is impacting all of us without an investment in public transportation in this country, having been in Europe for about half a year now, I see what kind of creation and transformation public transportation and access to public transportation gives to a society and gives to a community, and that in and of itself will help make massive reductions in emissions in the number of plants that we need who are causing this pollution in Michigan, all of those kind of things, it's a larger conversation, to your point, it's that systemic conversation about where the money we as taxpayers have... Our dollar is going and what that actually promotes.

0:20:04.2 Torin: Absolutely. All of this starts inside of our circumstance and our condition. Quote. "He was going to get in his car and continue to drive down Jefferson Avenue and continue doing the same thing." This is said by Buffalo Police Commissioner, Joseph Gramaglia, that's what he told CNN. And I would say again, I'm not exactly sure what end again means, just head over to my Instagram page and you can probably find an end again post and I'm sure you'll find the meaning. Ruth Whitfield, 86. Pearl Young, 77. Katherine Kat Massey, 72. Hayward Patterson, 67. Celestine Chaney, 65. Geraldine Tally, 62. Aaron Salter, 55. Andre McNeil, 53. Marcus Morrison, 52. Roberta Drury, 32. J, I wanna read something to you real quick before you jump in, you didn't know that I would do this, and it's something you may have seen, but I'm gonna read it just in case people that are listening have not seen it. The first name on the list that I read was Ruth Whitfield 86. I wanna read to you a LinkedIn post from her granddaughter, who at this particular point has 30,000 plus likes, nearly 4000 comments and more than 1200 shares, and I'm gonna read it in its entirety.

0:22:15.2 Torin: "My 86-year-old grandmother, Ruth Whitfield, was murdered on Saturday by a hate-filled, perverted White supremacist grown man. If it had been any other cause I could process it differently. I could rationalize it somehow. But this is too close to home for me. How do you dedicate your life to fighting bigotry, trying to educate White people on their role in ending this blight on humanity, all for it to take your own grandmother? I feel like such a fucking failure, I feel like everything I've ever done in my career was completely pointless. I know that it should make me want to double down and be proof of why it's such important work, but I promise you I feel the opposite. I feel like a fraud. Like I've been spoon-feeding White people these conversations about race, so as not to upset them. Feeding into the White fragility over and over again, asking them about their racist relatives and having them tell me that it's not a reflection of them, but it is. You have chosen the side of hate every second that you remain silent, telling us that White children can't handle conversations about race, but my grandmother's great-grandchildren must look at her dead body. And I will have to tell my children her story because she won't be there to meet them.

0:23:52.8 Torin: The last time I saw her, we were sitting in her living room and she was telling stories about her childhood in the rural south. Stories about the racism she has endured since birth, and I cannot believe it is the reason her life is over. She had at least 20 more years left to live. She didn't use a walker or a hearing aid, even have significant sight issues. I always struggled to even see her as elderly. If you care at all about honoring my grandmother and the other victims, I ask the following." It's five things that she asked J, and before I read them, I just... I needed to just take a moment because that is so emotional coming from a person who does the work that we do. Like I've looked up Simone Crawley, she's a person that operates in our space. Her business is called Crawley Cultural Consulting. I nearly cried when I read her LinkedIn post the first time. She says, "If you care at all about honoring my grandmother and the other victims, I ask the following. Number one, stop fucking talking about the perpetrator, he is nameless and faceless, and he is nothing and will die nothing so long as you all let him.

0:25:27.3 Torin: Number two. Instead, talk about White supremacy as the absolute fabric of our nation and what you plan to do about it. Number three, support local organizations in Buffalo gathering food for residents. This fucker targeted a Black community that was turned into a black community by White supremacy, but it is also a food desert, they can't simply go to another grocery store in the meantime. Number four, pray for my family, specifically my grandfather, who lost his wife of nearly 70 years. She was murdered coming from her daily visit to him. And number five, pray for my soul. This is the type of moment where you find yourself at a more crossroad, you can choose to turn pain into purpose and vibrate higher in love, or you can turn a corner and meet these people in depths of hell and go tit for tat. I am paralyzed at that crossroad right now, and the only thing holding me up is a phrase my grandmother wrote to me in a letter. We fall down, but we get up." She ends J by saying, "I pray that I can get up again one day. But that day is not today. I love you forever, grandma. I am so sorry that I couldn't protect you."

0:26:49.7 Julie: And there's nothing I could say that could be more impactful than that, so that'll do it for this week, small talk. Quick commercial break, and we're back for it in a flash.

0:27:07.3 Torin: So In a flash, just because sharing the top reads from The Atlantic, there were five of them. One was Saturday Night Live Couldn't Be Bothered. The second top read on The Atlantic this past week was, Why Tucker Carlson Should Want the Buffalo Manifesto Made Public. Third, What's Behind America's Shocking Baby Formula Shortage. Four, White Power, White Violence. Five, COVID Won't End Up Like The Flu, It Will Be Like Smoking. You may have read or I may have read more but time got away from me. If you find any interesting article, do as Tracey Cole or our man Matt Stubbs does, they share and they tag us. For the new listeners, we use the hashtag CATK and we also use the hashtag CrazyandTheKing. Whether it's back-filling roles vacated by burnt out employees or re-negotiating compensation in a time of wage inflation, healthcare is an issue for all of us, both in and outside of healthcare which raises the question, have fertility and family-oriented or family-forming benefits been considered as a must have benefit for attracting and retaining top talent? Marcel cue the music.


0:28:43.6 Julie: Those are... The Atlantic is doing some incredible work right now. For a publication that generally leans far right of how I feel, they are doing some incredible work, well worth the reads. All of those articles could have been entire shows for us. Thanks for sharing those.

0:29:03.5 Torin: Absolutely, absolutely. Alright. So, You know, there's this guy out there in Middle America somewhere outside of Detroit by the name of Tim Sackett, I call him 'Fries and Sushi.' If you don't know why I call him 'Fries and Sushi' then you have to see one of us on the conference and event circuit and we will gladly tell you why I nicknamed him 'Fries and Sushi.' Earlier this week, Tim Sackett, and he drops a newsletter every single week, I'm sorry, every single day but early in the week, he dropped an article and the article was titled, "Would You Pay a Referral Bonus Specifically For a Black Employee?" And I said, "We're going to talk about this." So the question J on his website, which is I believe timsackett.com, again, the website timsackett.com, "Would You Pay a Referral Bonus Specifically For a Black Employee?"

0:30:22.4 Julie: And Tim is like one of those guys in our world that I respect top to bottom. He's got history, he's got... He is a smart dude, he gets things done, he runs an incredibly successful company, he is thoughtful and kind and sometimes very silly. But this take is just like, "What?" What possessed him to... I think he makes some very good points, right? And maybe in his own Tim way, he's causing us to have a conversation that we wouldn't have before. But overall, kind of in my opinion, the take is just sort of nonsensical, right? And...

0:31:13.8 Torin: Okay, okay. But how does he start? He starts it by saying, "I know a ton of HR pros charged by their organizations to go out and diversify their workforce."

0:31:25.3 Julie: Yep.

0:31:25.7 Torin: He goes on to talk about HR pros being in the trenches and sitting in conference rooms and executive rooms behind closed doors. Diversification of thought isn't the issue that he's talking about, he's literally talking about putting butts in the seat, as they say, folks on your assembly line, individuals in leadership, people in your board. He's talking about actually going out and recruiting individuals and the premise that he strains, he weaves through the article is that referrals are better than almost any other activity.

0:32:08.4 Julie: Right.

0:32:09.7 Torin: Do we agree on that?

0:32:10.6 Julie: Oh, absolutely.

0:32:11.4 Torin: Like... Okay, got it.

0:32:12.9 Julie: Absolutely.

0:32:14.5 Torin: Okay, go ahead.

0:32:14.6 Julie: Yeah. He really has some assumptions and so I think for the most part we're probably in agreement with these assumptions, referred employees make the best hires. Employee referral programs are fantastic tools that get used by a lot of HR pros. A diverse workforce is... Will perform better in most circumstances than a homogeneous workforce will and side note, it just makes me laugh and cringe at the same time how often White guys feel like they still have to make sure that everyone understands that they're not talking about diversity of thought, I appreciate that Tim. This is my favorite one from the article is, "Diversity departments, if you're lucky enough or big enough to have one in your organization, traditionally tend to do a weak job at recruiting diverse candidates. They are more concerned with getting the Cinco de Mayo taco bar scheduled."

0:33:14.4 Torin: I feel like that was low-key shade. That I said...

0:33:17.5 Julie: Oh, that was a lot of shade.

0:33:20.4 Torin: That was a lot of shade, not low-key? That was blatant?

0:33:22.4 Julie: That was blatant.

0:33:22.7 Torin: That was big boy shade?

0:33:23.9 Julie: Oh yeah.

0:33:24.1 Torin: That was big boy shade?

0:33:24.9 Julie: Mm-hmm.

0:33:27.1 Torin: So Tim... So Basically, what Tim is saying is Chief Diversity Officers, Diversity Leads, people that have some degree of authority, some degree of responsibility, people that are sitting in these positions that are marshalling what activity in plan is enacted in the organization, he's saying that more often than not, they lean toward programmatic versus substantive. That's basically what he just said.

0:33:56.4 Julie: Yeah, yeah. It's... And what again, you and I have talked about is moving beyond heritage months and celebrations, and I'm not saying that those aren't important because they do further conversations and help normalize, but it doesn't change the systems and the policies and the process that you have in an organization. Those are the baby things that we do when we're new into that as a company.

0:34:21.6 Torin: So, okay, wait a minute. So are you agreeing with them or not? Or like are you agreeing with him with the shade that he's throwing or are you feeling like he threw too much shade? I don't know where you're standing on this.

0:34:33.6 Julie: No, so I agree that we need to move past the Cinco de Mayo taco bar, and I would say it's more of a challenge that we make sure that shade goes away, that we are focusing on systemic change, not just celebration months.

0:34:49.8 Torin: But what he said in there just to stay with what he said, 'cause you and I are having a bit of expansion on that, what he said was two things, do a terrible job of recruiting, better job at creating a Cinco de Mayo event. So one, do the diversity leads in these organizations, do they really know how to recruit, build high-performing teams? I take it away from this conversation and go to the reason why I wrote Rip the Resume. The reason I wrote Rip the Resume was because I felt like most career centers at historically Black colleges and universities did not know what it took to truly create connection and collaboration with recruiting teams. They knew how to maybe invite some companies to do a career fair, but could they really create those substantive connections so that they could advocate for their audience of undergraduate and may have perhaps alumni students, and on the other side, could they have conversation with those undergraduate and alumni students that really will help position them like, "Look, this is what it takes for you to get inside of the organization." What I see with Tim and in the statement is, they don't know how to freaking recruit and they're better at building events. Do you agree with that when you come and look out at the field of CBOs?

0:36:16.8 Julie: In my experience, yes, that is true. They are...

0:36:21.8 Torin: Damn.

0:36:24.8 Julie: They're focusing on the least impactful things which are Cinco de Mayo celebrations, Pride events, not saying that they're not important, but if we wanna change things, we have to elevate what our expectations of diversity professionals are, we need to see... Diversity needs to be at the table for every single thing, and if we're not creating or not empowered to create, which I think is more likely the issue, strong, impactful, measurable diversity, talent pipelines, then we can't change those things.

0:37:05.7 Torin: So to Julie's point, when she used the word empowered, I often make reference to a guide that was put out March 1st of 2019 by Russell Reynolds, you all if you've listened to the show, you know how I feel about Korn Ferry, Russell Reynolds, Christian Timbers, and a whole bunch of other executive search firms, but in this instance, there's a guide titled, "A Leader's Guide: Finding and Keeping Your Next Chief Diversity Officer." I encourage you to Google it, find it, read it, this talks about the empowerment that J was talking about. So inside of Tim's article, he asked a question, or he takes a position, and his position is, "I've yet to find a company willing to go as far as to "Pay more" for a Black engineer referral versus a White engineer referral. Can you imagine how that would play out in your organization?" He's asking the question, he says, "But behind the scenes in the HR departments across the world, this is the exact thing that is happening in a number of ways." And he kinda goes into some of the ways that it's happening. So he says, "Would you go as far as to pay more for a Black engineer referral versus a White engineer referral?" Now, I'm gonna go first, I'm gonna be fully transparent. I would not pay more for a Black referral over a White referral, but what I would do is be intentional about where I'm looking for my talent, where I am sourcing that referral. That's what I would do, what would you do?

0:39:02.0 Julie: Yeah, and here's why I think this is a bad take, and maybe I'm just missing the brilliant nuance of Mr. Sackett, but if you're in recruiting, if you have a background in affirmative action compliance, you know damn well that a company cannot, cannot give a referral bonus that's higher for a Black employee or a Black job seeker versus a White job seeker, it is absolutely not feasible. So that that in itself is like this misleading part of the article, like that's something that companies could and should do, they can't. That is the fastest way to an EEO lawsuit, it's the fastest way to a negative finding on an affirmative action plan, it's just not possible. What I think that he's saying, and what I think that you're saying is that companies spend a lot of money, just like they do on talent acquisition technology, just like they do on a next bright, shiny object that's gonna fix all of their problems, on diversity programs that are not outcomes-driven.

0:40:20.7 Julie: That are not good returns on investment to check that box. That's where I think he's going, or that's where I hope he's going, but you can't... That's where we need to spend our time. There are some really great companies, I'm just gonna say I lead one, that are driving outcomes-driven hiring programs that show better attention, better ROI to do those things, but you can't... Just like any other program in your company, any other business strategy, you can't set it and forget it. So if you're spending $50,000 to attend a diversity recruiting job fair, I think that we can probably agree, that's not your best ROI for how to get diverse talent in the door. There are ways, but it takes focus, strategy and execution that we're not seeing with the spend right now.

0:41:23.2 Torin: Yeah, so he makes another point that I disagree with in the article, and I read it a bunch of times. He says, "How many diversity recruitment events do you go to versus non-specific diversity recruitment events?" And he goes on to answer that question and he says, "In organizations that are really pushing diversification of the workforce, I find this figure is usually 2-1." Now, he's simply reporting what he's finding or seeing. I'm not arguing that in his anecdotal observation, that it's 2-1. In the places where he's having conversation or observation, he says, "I see people going to diversity-specific events twice as much as they're going to general recruiting events." And the reason why I think that that is absolute hogwash is because most organizations have a paltry amount of money allocated and set aside for D&I initiatives in general. And when I say in general, I mean fucking in general, they have a paltry amount of money set aside for just D&I, period. And to get down to TA and look at their line item and say, "Okay, well, I'm gonna go to this event, this event, this event, this event, this event, and I'm gonna do that at twice the rate that I've been going to other events."

0:43:14.3 Torin: Nah, Tim, I think you got too many people in Michigan telling you what it is that they're doing and you haven't hit enough people perhaps on the coast, you haven't hit enough people down south, I just don't believe that organizations that are serious... And I'm inside of a number of organizations, and again, even saying that is anecdotal, but I've watched enough, read enough, listened to enough, I don't see companies going 2-1 to D&I related events, spending twice as much. They may be spending a little bit more, that part, I'm not gonna argue. And that's a whole another podcast as to why you might be spending more money for some of these events, I.e., your large organizations are not supporting them. We don't have in some of these smaller events, these up and coming events, events put on by under-represented founders and event organizers and hosts, they're not being supported like some of these other larger events. Again, a whole another thing. I just feel like he absolutely missed it in that particular area. But I will tell you, while I understand his thinking that the referral is the better resource, I guess I end with this question, J, well, what happens when you are inside of so many of these startup and mature organizations, and the employee base is largely homogenous, and for whatever reason, they don't have diversity in their referral mix?

0:45:07.6 Torin: I'm not saying they don't like people with disabilities, I'm not saying that they don't have any Black friends, I'm not saying that these are people who have... I got a Black friend, you know that famous... I got at least one Black friend. I'm not saying anything negative, except for, if the referral was the key to the D&I equation, then I would think no matter what the number is, no matter what the number is, that the referrals will be made and that we'd have a different narrative around D&I. Does that make sense? I'm just wondering... I just had to ask that question, okay, I trust you, Tim. I'm with it. I'm willing to give you all the marbles on the referral piece, but the question goes back to the individuals in these organizations. I want my company to be best, I want my company to last for 50, 100 years, I know that my company is lacking in representation, I don't need somebody to say, "I'm gonna pay you to refer great friends to come and work inside of the organization."

0:46:26.3 Torin: So I just don't know if the solution is really in the networks of these homogenous individuals, I honestly think... And I can't pull the story fast enough because of where we are in the pod, but there's a story that I read some several years ago that said, most White people don't have any Black friends, and we can go further, may not have friends that are from the disability community and so many other marginalized groups. So I just don't know if the referral is the solution as is being propped up in the story.

0:47:04.5 Julie: So I think that sounds like a conversation that you, Tim and I, should have on mic at RecFest this July. What do you say, Mr. Sackett, will you join us?

0:47:15.7 Torin: Mm.

0:47:18.9 Julie: Great story, great conversation. Let's wrap up this segment. We'll be right back for Her Voice.

0:47:28.0 Torin: Her Voice is where we amplify women making moves. First up, Foursquare has appointed Liz Brittain as Chief Financial Officer and former Aspira Women's Health Chief Operating Officer, Kaile Zagger, I think that's the way you pronounce her name. Kaile Zagger has joined Evolve BioSystems as the CEO. You might wanna go out, check out Evolve BioSystems and see what they are up to.

0:48:00.5 Julie: And shoutout to Izabela 'Izzy' Blach, Chief Happiness Officer at Good Apple, a digital media agency in New York who polls her 100 co-workers weekly so that she always knows their collective mood. When asked why the C-suite needs this role, Izzy says, "It's to balance employee satisfaction with business needs while staying compliant in an ever-changing field." If you know Izzy, show her some love.

0:48:25.6 Torin: Nadia Carlsten, former Head of Product at Amazon's Center for Quantum Computing, she joins SandboxAQ as VP of Product.

0:48:35.6 Julie: And who said age ain't nothing but a number? Maye became the oldest model to pose for Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue this year. The 74-year-old who has been modeling for 50 years, wore a Maygel Coronel one-piece. That would be Maye Musk, mother of Elon Musk.

0:49:00.0 Torin: You had to say it, you had to say it, fix your face. Hey, listener... The listeners, you can't see Julie's face but she struggled to say Elon Musk. Quote of the week, "I believe that we reveal values in where we look and how we tell. In this unsettling time, we have to be open to allowing our values to be challenged and wise enough to transform them when appropriate," said by Imani Perry who writes the Unsettled Territory. If you are not familiar with the Unsettled Territory, add that to your subscription and reading list. Our quick mention this week, The Information is actually hosting an event on Thursday, June 16th. You have to request an invitation because it is invite only. But it's the next Women in Tech Leadership Forum. Customers of the future, topics will include Customers in The Metaverse, virtual and in augmented reality, personalization and artificial intelligence, winning the talent war and kids in tech. The event is free, but again, by invitation only. It's for single women in established tech companies, I don't know how they define established, but you can find that out along with all of the other information about the event and the summit and/or requests to speak at such if you go over to theinformation.com/events, again, theinformation.com/events.

0:50:46.2 Julie: Name drop this week for me, UNLEASH Vegas is next week, and I want you to find me, hug me, message me, buy me a gin and tonic, whatever it takes, I can't wait to see all of your faces in person next week in Vegas.

0:51:02.3 Torin: You are absolutely going to have a good time. I need to hook you up with the guys from Qualifi, they are from Indiana...

0:51:11.0 Julie: We know them.

0:51:12.2 Torin: I think you know them, they were actually on Chad and Cheese. They're gonna be out there, Darrian and his team is gonna be out there. Tawfiq and the rest of them, great guys over there. My name drop this week is Blackpool forward, Jake Daniels on becoming the UK's first male professional footballer to come out publicly as gay since Justin Fashanu did the same. Julie and 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, better teams, better work places and better communities. Let's address racism. For now, J and I are ghost.


0:51:56.0 Julie: See ya.