Welcome to Crazy and the King!!
Sept. 29, 2022

The CATK Interview: Untapped Co-CEO Tariq Meyers

The CATK Interview: Untapped Co-CEO Tariq Meyers

Join Torin in welcoming Tariq Meyers to Crazy and the King.

Prior to founding Untapped, Tariq spent most of his career exploring ways to close the opportunity gap for untapped talent. The first Head of Diversity & Inclusion for both Lyft and Coinbase, Tariq continues to be motivated by his mission to enable companies to realize their full inclusion potential through technology solutions. Named The Root 100: Most Influential African Americans and a Forbes 30 Under 30 recipient, to his core, Tariq believes that people should not be defined by their life circumstances, but empowered to defy them. His work as Co-CEO of Untapped seeks to make this a reality.

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0:00:00.0 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.




0:00:37.6 Julie: Welcome to Crazy and The King.


0:00:40.6 Torin: Whoop, whoop. Listen to me when I tell you, this light is the highlight of the day for me. And I needed you. I absolutely needed you, because my level of frustration... And this is not even professional, my personal... It is not even about the personal life, it's just... You know how you have one of those chaotic mornings and nothing seems to go right, like you can't find the matching shoe, the belt that you wanna wear, doesn't necessarily wanna go back to the hole that you needed it to go to, the suit jacket, whatever it is, it was one of those types of chaotic mornings. You pick up a couple of eggs, because you wanna make them for the young king, but you drop them on the kitchen floor and they're the last two eggs that you have. The bacon that you wanted to make is not in refrigerator, because you... Chaotic! So I needed this recording like... I just needed it. So, I'm glad that we are here. How you feel?


0:01:41.9 Julie: Yes, you know what, it's so funny, I did a quick talk this morning to kick off the Global Diversity Summit for West Pharmaceutical, shoutout to you guys for doing the work.


0:01:51.5 Torin: Yes indeed.


0:01:51.9 Julie: And I said that to them, I said, "I depend on my people in this world."


0:01:56.4 Torin: Yes.


0:01:56.5 Julie: And it's not just because sometimes the work is hard, but just the life is hard and I need my people and...


0:02:03.2 Torin: You need that tank refilled.


0:02:04.7 Julie: Yeah, absolutely, absolutely.


0:02:07.1 Torin: But you know what, but I don't know if we... And I try to be really careful when I say this, J. So let me be specific. I know I don't say that enough. I don't say that I need my tank refilled enough. I don't let enough people know that sometimes the tank is in disarray or the energy level is low or that I got an email. I got an email a couple of weeks ago. I won't go and talk the detail, but I got an email a couple of weeks ago, I literally... My right hand to God, as sure as I'm black and breathing, I sent an email to an employee, which was an article from Forbes or Fortune, around building relationships at work. Friendships, just creating friendships with your colleagues. And the person that I sent the email to sent back a response to me and said, "I was offended by this article." I was like...


0:03:18.1 Torin: Now, I didn't internalize this one the way that I did the September 2019 incident, but it was one of those reminders that we always have to watch our I's and... Dot our I's and cross our T's to make sure I revisit the conversation. I go back and replay the exchange. I look at the notes, because I wanna make sure that I didn't say anything or position myself, the company, my team, in a way that jeopardizes the relationship that I'm trying to build, the progress we're trying to make. So, I just say that to simply say, I don't say enough when I do need to have that camaraderie, that kinship, that community like you just said. So...


0:04:11.3 Julie: Yeah.


0:04:12.6 Torin: Thank you for amplifying that with West Pharmaceuticals and with me.


0:04:17.3 Julie: Yeah. And the other thing is, we talked about this, what, two weeks ago, is just taking off our armor. Let's...


0:04:23.4 Torin: Taking off our armor.


0:04:24.8 Julie: Work on not internalizing. Let's work on not going too offended and understanding that people... Especially people in our world are generally coming with positive intent, with good will, and we're never gonna be perfect and we should always be learning, but we all deserve a little bit of grace and we don't give it to ourselves, and too often we don't give it to each other. So, thank you for being my sounding board a lot of times. And we are gonna get our tanks refilled for sure today with our guest who is coming on who I'm so excited about.


0:05:00.1 Torin: That's right.


0:05:00.8 Julie: We've got some interesting stories to start the top of the show though.


0:05:04.5 Torin: Yeah, LinkedIn ran social experiment on 20 million users, and they did this over the course of five years. And apparently, we didn't know that we were a part of the experiment. So, go figure. Like, 20 million users over a five-year period where they were trying to improve how the platform worked for members. So I guess, when you hear that part, you're saying to yourself, "Well, we really do want the platform to work well for those of us who are using it," but did they cross the line, J? I mean, should they have told us that they were running an A/B experiment, that they were doing A/B testing, where do you fall on this story?


0:05:47.2 Julie: Yeah, I mean, one, I think that we should as humans, just assume that we are always part of an algorithm that is doing social engineering experiments or is monitoring how we're engaging with their platform. That's part of it. Now, I think that the thing is, what actually gets done with that data? Because LinkedIn doesn't exist to make my life better. It doesn't exist to make me a higher wage earner. It doesn't exist to help me grow up a title. It exists to make money. It exists to drive subscriptions, to drive advertising revenue, to drive the size of the database. That's why it exists. So I am glad they're using the data, or I'm glad that they're being transparent about their use of the data, let me say it that way, and I hope that they do recognize and make alterations based on the fact that it is social engineering, and it is making a difference and an impact in its life, but at the end of the day, they're there to make money. They're not there to help me have better access to my next job opportunity, blah, blah, blah. They're there to make money.


0:07:05.3 Torin: And the Wall Street Journal says that, bottomline is, we're in the middle of a great reset, great resignation, great, whatever the phrase is these days. And so, the headline says, "How Companies Can Turn Former Employees into Faithful Alumni." Now, here's the deal J. I've always thought it a good idea to have solid relationships with people that are in the organization prior to joining the organization, and even after they leave the organization, provided that an individual was not toxic, not disruptive, they were not a person who was malicious inside of the environment. I always thought, "Hey listen, if a person says this company is no longer for me, why do I change my opinion of them? Why do I all of a sudden now frown and wanna shit on them?" I just think that that's a disingenuous relationship. If you are moving on for the betterment of yourself, your professional career, your ability to take care and care for a family, why should I hate on that? And so, the Wall Street Journal says, "If we treat people right, they might actually be good resources, referral sources, perhaps even return employees in this economy." What say you?


0:08:39.5 Julie: Yeah. I mean, I couldn't agree more. I think too often as TA and HR and leaders, people leaders, period, we're not focused on the people that we have, we're focused on the people that might come, right? When we're thinking about hiring and building that. And if we spent more time with the people who are in our employ, who are on our teams now, and the way that we treat them, one, we're gonna reduce those people walking out the door, but where possible, we're gonna have a better relationship with the people who leave, because we're not the right fit together anymore. And I think that's critically important. And I'm not trying to sound all high and mighty like, "Yeah, this is how it's always gonna be." We try. When someone leaves Disability Solutions, we say, "You know what, you're a part of our extended family now. We're gonna be your best cheerleaders. We're gonna be your biggest supporters as you go on to the next part of your journey, because I'm not the only journey that you have." Does it happen every time? No. And we chock it up and we try to do better the next time. But that should be our mindset as people leaders is like, how do we grow our brand? We grow it when people leave and they don't hate us.


0:09:50.1 Torin: And they don't hate us.


0:09:51.4 Julie: That's what we should be working for.


0:09:53.1 Torin: That's right, that's right. You found an interesting story, and this is one, I'm gonna let you set it up, if you will. It's a quick mention because we will get to our guest, but I didn't want to not give it the due and the presence that it deserved. It's about Iranian women fighting for their lives.


0:10:16.0 Julie: Yeah, so we have a global audience here at Crazy and The King, and even with our US-centric audience, we need to always be thinking about the battles that others are having outside of the US. We spend a lot of time this year talking about Roe, about Dobbs, about the things that American women are going through, and I just wanna make sure that we are also talking about, today, the things that Iranian women are going through. So, the death of a 22-year-old woman earlier this year, who was in custody of Iran's morality police, was accused of not properly wearing her hijab, so covering her hair, and so she was detained and taken to a re-education center, and in that re-education center, for not having her hair appropriately covered, she died.


0:11:11.9 Julie: The details are sketchy. We don't know exactly what happened. And that has sparked several weeks of protests in major Iranian cities with thousands of protesters coming out to make sure that they're demanding justice for the young woman who died, Mahsa Amini. Women have burned their scarves. They've cut their hairs. Protesters have been injured and arrested, and 17 have actually died, many of them women, very young women, in fact, due to the violent crackdown by Iranian security forces. And we're in day, probably 14 or 15 at this point, and it's one of those moments that we need to keep our eye on, because it is reflective of how women in the rest of the world often live, especially in certain parts of it. We need to understand that there are fights that we need to support and recognize are happening outside of our own backyard, so to speak.


0:12:20.9 Torin: Yeah. So I see here that you have Hadi Ghaemi? How do you pronounce that? Hadi Ghaemi? Ghaemi?


0:12:29.4 Julie: I think it's Hadi Ghaemi.


0:12:31.2 Torin: Yeah, it's spelled G-H-A-E-M-I. Hadi is H-A-D-I. Again, Ghaemi, G-H-A-E-M-I, the Executive Director of the New York-based Center for Human Rights in Iran. For more detail and just to stay abreast of what's happening there, perhaps you have folks from the country that are inside of your organization, they may have relatives, you may have friends from the community, the country, just do... As Julie suggested, we try to be as responsible as we possibly can. We every once in a while recognize that we need to kinda prick our global conscious more in the terms of the programming, which is in part why I so appreciated Julie inserting this story, because it had not made my radar. Like, I scroll through probably 20 different newsfeeds, newsletters and resources to find articles and things for us to talk about on Crazy and The King, and admittedly, not on one of them did I see this particular story. So I appreciate what it is that you put forth. Real quick, I just wanna mention that Lars Schmidt from Amplify Talent, he sat down with two folks from Credit Karma. He talked to Colleen McCreary and Ashley Anderson to discuss alternatives to layoffs.


0:14:15.9 Torin: So, in addition to the great story over from The Wall Street Journal, perhaps listening to their comments in the interview that Lars did with both of them, again, you can find it at Amplify Talent, I believe it's amplifytalent.com, there may be some additional ideas for you. And finally, last week, Julie Sweet, the CEO of Accenture, she made zero apologies for the company's focus on ESG. She was actually asked at an event if she was a woke CEO and her response was killer. Here's what she said. "I'm a CEO who understands what brings value. You cannot look at Accenture and our success since 2013 without understanding that when we made a commitment to double down on diversity and have a 50/50 gender split by 2025 and our commitment to DEI, that is completely intertwined with our success as a company. Sustainability matters to our employees from a recruiting standpoint. It matters to our clients. It's part of our regulatory landscape and it matters to consumers. That's not changing because of what politicians want to call it." Listen to me, when I tell you Julie Sweet hit it, she hit it. After the break, we talked with someone else who is just as unapologetic, born in Boston to a single mom and co-CEO of an organization with three pressing issues to push them into 2023. We'll be right back.


0:15:51.2 Torin: So in a flash, more than 80% of workers say they go back into the office for social connections with co-workers and many indicate they would commute more often to see work friends according to data from the Microsoft Work Trend Index. And speaking of socializing or playing games per se, the world's largest game of red light, green light recently took place at the University of California at Irvine with 1400-plus students taking part. Now, can you believe that some retailers are already marketing aggressively Black Friday? Similarly, Amazon will host a second Prime Day like event in October. That actually should have read Prime Day like event in mid-October. Apparently, Google has had a few heated internal meetings as of late. Check on your colleagues and your friends when you have a moment and all googly over in them parts. And South Korean authorities said Interpol is seeking the arrest of Terraform Labs Co-Founder, Do Kwon, on charges related to a $60 billion collapse of two cryptocurrencies.


0:17:04.6 Torin: Russian President Putin granted citizenship to Edward Snowden, and Brittney Griner is still in the hole. Sirius XM has suspended Brett Favre's radio show amid a growing scandal over welfare spending in Mississippi that has ensnared the former NFL quarterback. And if it matters, RiRi, we call her Rihanna, RiRi will be heading the half-time show. Shoutout to Chris Fields. Chris Fields used to love him some Rihanna. Let's keep talking.


0:17:40.1 Julie: Oh, you just made my heart just soft. I'm so glad you said that about Chris. Still miss his voice in our world everyday.


0:17:48.2 Torin: Rest in peace.


0:17:49.2 Julie: Today though, we have an amazing voice. We're gonna be talking Walk the Walk today with our guest, Tariq Meyers, who is the co-CEO of Untapped, and we invited him to join us, A, because he's fucking awesome, two, because we've been talking about doing it for like, two years.


0:18:10.6 Torin: That's right.


0:18:11.1 Julie: And three, we wanna have an opportunity to hear from a person that has navigated through a personal phase of growth. Welcome to Crazy and The King.


0:18:21.1 Tariq Meyers: Oh my gosh. Well, thank you for... I mean, damn. I mean, what a... First of all, what an intro. I love the energy already. When you can go from Edward Snowden to Rihanna in literally 30 seconds, you're in the right place. So thank you for having me in the room. It has been too long, and yet I couldn't come soon enough. So I'm really excited to be with you all and I have a lot of love for you both. So, let's do it.


0:18:45.8 Torin: Thank you. Thank you, thank you, thank you. Good brother, I know that we are long overdue in terms of having your voice here on Untapped and... I'm sorry. On Crazy and the King. We did Untapped, both of us, but we wanted to have you here on Crazy and the King, long overdue. But I wanna start some place before we get to, you know the reason why we brought you on today. I wanna go back to January or so of this year. And there was an announcement that came out, it went through a bit of a scandal, struggle, some negative press around the former CEO. We won't get into that, because I really personally didn't see what all of the kerfuffle was about, but that also is me being transparent and saying, "I could learn." And so I took a posture of listening.


0:19:36.3 Tariq Meyers: Sure.


0:19:37.4 Torin: And I vibe with your now co-CEO, and kinda made some explanation to me, and I sort of understood where we were going. But back in January, you were elevated to the co-CEO role.


0:19:49.1 Tariq Meyers: Yeah.


0:19:49.9 Torin: And I just know the Tariq Meyers with the great plaid shirt on Twitter who was one of the most eligible bachelors in San Fran in 2018.


0:20:00.6 Tariq Meyers: Wild, wild. What?


0:20:01.6 Torin: Yeah. I know that guy, I know that guy. Young, cutting his teeth on D&I. I shouldn't even say cutting his teeth, but just young and creating his persona in the space. And then within that four year period, being elevated to co-CEO, what an amazing amount of growth! And I just want people to hear from you, how has all of this landed with you?


0:20:31.1 Tariq Meyers: Yeah. No, I... First of all, you always show me some love, and you always know that I stand on your shoulders, so I appreciate that deeply. It's been a journey, it's been a journey. And I think the beautiful part right now that we find ourselves in, Torin and Julie, is that if you asked me back in 2014, when I first broke into tech, or when I was the first head of D&I, and you said, "Name, some of the other Black co-CEOs, or other men and women or non-binary people of color who kind of occupy this seat," I really couldn't name too many outside of the, maybe even the Fortune five. And so while it's been an incredible journey, I also know that years later, I'm no longer the exception, but I'm slowly becoming the norm, where we're starting to see the opportunity landscape shape in such a way that more people who look like me, more young kids from Boston who grew up with a single mom, who had dreams of owning something are actually able to do so now. And so that experience is not lost on me. Personally though, my journey is that the definition of success is like it's expanded. Whereas there was a time when, because I maybe didn't go to that top 14 school or may not have had the same pedigree or networks as someone else, I won't even be given a seat at the table.


0:22:08.6 Tariq Meyers: And in this way, not only have I earned this seat at the table, but I took this seat at the table. And so the TLDR, the long story short is it's been a journey. It's been one that's been deep, it's been one that's been tough, but I'm standing. As I chatted with you the other day, I'm standing in my power in this role, in this truth, knowing that it's not just my professional experience that gives me the confidence, the capability and the credibility to do this work, but it's my lived experience as a brother who's moved through this world simply being him that gives me a perspective that I don't think anyone else can bring to the table. And so that confidence is something that I'm really leaning into, and it's a journey that I'm really enjoying. And I'm also just trying to hold open that door long enough so that the next Tariq, or my little sister who's 16 and has dreams of doing something similar, has a table ready for her. And one that's not scarce, but one that's abundant. All I'm trying to do is create an abundant table for the next person to come so that they can be able to eat too.


0:23:16.4 Julie: And how do you manage that? What I imagine is a lot of pressure you put on yourself...


0:23:21.6 Tariq Meyers: Yeah.


0:23:24.6 Julie: To be... Excuse me, to be the next shoulders that get stood on. How do you manifest that in, not just your overarching goals, but your day-to-day life to make sure that you are setting that table?


0:23:36.9 Tariq Meyers: Yeah, I'm really ground... I'm just feeling so grounded these days. And I love the question. Julie, you and I talked a lot about mental health. And I'll be honest, walking into this role, I knew that I had to really make sure that my mind was in a good place. Because I was coming against a lot. I was coming up against a bit of Impostor Syndrome. In the initial phase of this role as one of the few Black men, and frankly the only Black man who's a senior leader at the organization right now, what burden and opportunity and blessing that placed on my shoulders. Engaging with investors and board members, who frankly don't really engage other Black men, either frankly, personally or professionally, and how do I make sure that I'm approaching those conversations in a way where I can be heard and push past some of the micro-aggressions that I may hear or experience in order to stand in service of the business and of this broader mission? AKA, "My personal feelings are what they are. Your microaggressions really ain't tripping me out pretty much at all. I have a broader purpose, and my purpose is to advance this mission that is equity," and that's why we do what we do.


0:24:53.4 Tariq Meyers: I started reading more, and I found this escape in reading, where I started reading a lot about love. I've been reading a lot of Bell Hooks, and how... My favorite line from Bell Hooks is that oftentimes men choose power over love. And that's... And it's not just romantic love, I've been leaning into Baldwin, if I love you, then I have to make you aware of the things that you cannot see. I've been reading The Course in Miracles, this idea that you have to be full, your cup has to be full. And what's in my cup stays in my cup, but what overfloweth is yours. And so I have just been reading a lot, and it's been keeping me really grounded. Because I'm a Jesuit-educated young man, I went to one of the best Jesuit all-boys high school, my mom worked two jobs to be able to send me there in Boston. And there's this concept in... Listen, the Jesuits are very complicated, my brother, complicated history. But one of the things that I appreciate about the Jesuits is this idea of two things. One, it's cura personalis, it's this idea, Latin for care of the whole person.


0:26:02.3 Tariq Meyers: And so I grew from the time, and Torin can tell you this, where my work identity was my identity. I had such a connection to it that if something went bad at work or wrong at work, I was deeply hurt, I was deeply upset, I was affected. And so I started to realize in the spirit of cura personalis, that I am more than what I can do. I'm more than what I've been. I'm more than where I'm going. I'm more than what I'm getting paid to do. So I've been learning to take care of my whole person. Just like most gained some weight in the pandemic, and so I've been working to be more healthy, drink my green juice, express gratitude, things that I'm grateful for. And then there's this other concept in Jesuit spirituality called Agapic love, and that I can just love you simply by being a child of the creator.


0:26:52.9 Tariq Meyers: And so I say all those things to say that I'm learning to love myself in a special way, keeping my mental health top of mind. I'm learning to love my body, my spirituality, my sexuality, my professional identity, my flaws, all of that in a deeper way, and it's actually enabled me to love on others in this unconditional way as well. So I wish more founders and some could talk more about the mental health struggle, the barriers that they come up against, the challenges and then the self-identity that they experience, the moment when their vocation and their occupation align. I wish more people can talk about that, but truly by being present with it, I think it was Kehlani that said in one of her videos that she has floating in the universe that we go through things and we get through things.


0:27:45.5 Tariq Meyers: I wish more people would talk about not only what they're going through, but also how they got through them. And so that's how I'm dealing with the struggle of the opportunity, the journey, the mecca of being this co-CEO, not knowing what next year is gonna look like, but being present in this moment to be the best leader that I can today. Torin, brother, I think you're on mute, brother.


0:28:10.5 Julie: I can't hear you.


0:28:13.2 Torin: So when you think about where you are right now, what are some of the priorities for Untapped for the remainder? Let's just... Let's keep it short term. For the remainder of 2022, as you peek and peer into next year, what are some of the you all's shared priorities?


0:28:32.5 Tariq Meyers: Yeah, I'm gonna ease up the question a little bit and I'm gonna go to next year, because this year was a year of stability. Adam and I, my partner, we inherited the company and what we had to do was really shape the company in our image. And that was an organization that was focused on people outcomes. Culture was no longer, as you know, Torin and Julie, that thing that hung on the wall, but in the distributed world, culture was about what outcomes do we want for our people. We had to spend this year defining how we do the work, so we published this doc internally, we expect to publish it externally. So you're the first to actually hear about this in the external world. But it's called Our Plane to Win doc, and it's basically these nine tenets, these nine cultural tenets of like, this is how we do the work. If our values is what we look for in individuals and our outcomes is what we expect from our individual's experiences, our culture doc is how we do the work.


0:29:31.5 Tariq Meyers: So this year internally was a lot about stability. It also meant that in the product... Torin, you mentioned, and I don't mind talking about it, you talked about the Forbes gate that we talk about internally that happened at the end of last year, earlier this year, where people rightfully so challenge how could, at that time, an organization led by a White CEO, a White cisgendered male CEO that came from privilege define themselves as an authority on D&I? And right, wrong or whatever, where you landed in the conversation, it sparked the right type of dialogue that helped us see ourselves differently. We had a moment where we had to publicly recognize, and it was a great opportunity to do so, that we know we're not the first to do this work, that we're... We know we're entering the arena of advancing diversity, equity and inclusion long after many have just exited, long after many had just started.


0:30:29.5 Tariq Meyers: So it was a good opportunity for us to just stabilize the product, stabilize the business and re-imagine how we live out this mission, which is to make the world more equitable and we envision doing so by broadening access to transformative careers. So that was this year, reckoning, it was identity crisis, it was stability, it was growth, and from that, from that concrete, as Tupac said, grew the best roses, most diverse team I've ever worked for and ever experienced, a team that has an incredible connection to the mission and vision, a product that's reaching parity with some of the best products out on the market. And so now we're forward-looking to next year. Next year... If this was a year of stability, next year is about the year of differentiation. First, it starts with the product. How do we create a product experience that draws candidates into our arena? How do we... If our mission targets under-represented folks first and foremost, and folks who've been left out of opportunity, what can we give to our community that they can't get anywhere else? How do we give them that insider access? No one else is doing that. That's the first.


0:31:39.6 Tariq Meyers: The second is around the experience. If people are saying that the future of work is being defined right now, and if people are saying that 77% of candidates are looking to work for organizations who values align with theirs, et cetera, then how do we create a product experience where people actually wanna be in the product? Do people wanna be in a product that mirrors their Instagram or their TikTok, or their Snapchat? Maybe. But we realized that as we're defining the future of work, so too do the tools that we use to usher that experience forward. Some of these HR tools are just a bit archaic. They haven't evolved because they haven't been people first, so we're re-imagining our product experience despite being a SaaS organization that drives its revenue from customers on creating the experience that's candidate-centric. And then the third is about living towards our mission. If we say that we have a mission that's grounded in equity, equity of people's experiences, then what could be that one big bet where we would be willing to bet the company's life on it, that could potentially broaden the opportunity landscape? So again, year of stability was 2022. It was about product parity. It was about product differentiation. It was a lot of exploring big ideas. Next year is about taking that vision and saying, "Okay, now, what are we gonna do about it?" And so we're literally knee-deep in that work now, and it's been really exciting.


0:33:07.9 Julie: So I just wanna take a second and reiterate one thing that you said that is critically important, and critically important for start-ups, I think especially, but once you get an established team, is that you started, you recognized in this cool thing that you've built, in this product that's coming together, that's doing its thing, that you had to start with your foundation.


0:33:30.0 Tariq Meyers: That's right.


0:33:30.8 Julie: You had to start with the why do we exist.


0:33:34.1 Tariq Meyers: That's right.


0:33:34.9 Julie: And why does someone wanna work here, and then build out the how we do it. And then the product gets built from that love, from that shared mission, from that shared value, from that shared passion.


0:33:44.9 Tariq Meyers: That's right.


0:33:45.9 Julie: And it influences every decision you make, every hiring decision, every vendor decision, every experience. Because you now have aligned a team in a very young organization to what and why we exist. And I think that is so critical for people to hear.


0:34:05.4 Tariq Meyers: That's right. And I appreciate that reflection. And I think that the hardest challenge that I think a lot of my founder peers have is just keeping that mission top of mind, because let me tell you, there are a lot of folks in this world who try to push you away from your mission. For financial reasons, for product reasons, you name it. So I appreciate that reflection, and you're awesome.


0:34:29.2 Julie: So let's talk the Walk the Walk list.


0:34:32.6 Tariq Meyers: Sure.


0:34:33.6 Julie: First of all, Torin and I are honored. What an incredible group of leaders that you all put together. An incredibly well-deserved hand clap to all of the people on the list, but also to your team for pulling it together. So tell us a little bit what's changed year over year that surprised you guys in building this list?


0:34:57.4 Tariq Meyers: So I think this is the first time that we've done it in a way that has felt democratized, and so it really connects to the story that I shared a bit ago with Forbes. When I was actualizing as a D&I leader, I saw the same folks kinda getting the same awards, doing the same thing. But then when I would be at these conferences or I'd attend these events, or I'd speak on these panels, I'd see that young junior IC that had just graduated from college, let's say, who built this amazing experience internally and whose experience was completely hand-waved over or unacknowledged. Or this... Or a CEO who may not look like me, and may not have the same lexicon to engage or the same acumen to fit in, but actually is leading not only with their heads, but with their hearts and making the decisions that are right for their team. Decisions that are not just grounded in equality, but equity. Things that are offered to everyone, but that are meant to uplift the folks who have been most left out. And so this year... We've done different lists like this in the past, but this year we said we are not the end-all be-all authority on who has opened doors and who has walked the walk. Why approach this from that place of privilege?


0:36:29.7 Tariq Meyers: It is not lost on us that we had just raised a $40 million Series C. And that as a start-up, we were in a position that many folks who've been trying to do this work for a very long time have not even been able to come close to. And so, we stepped away from our privilege, we stepped away just a bit. And while we were honored to convene this list, we really wanted people to surface those unsung heroes, those giants who have been moving this work forward, the names who don't always get mentioned, and then still honor our elders who have done this work for a while. And that's why you've seen the list kinda come to fruition in the way that it was. We did an open voting system. We allowed people to nominate folks. We set up some criteria internally. Did this nomination include specific examples? Does this organization align to our values and how we see the world? And so through a number of different things, we were able to kinda... We received a ton of nominations, and we could have replicated this list three times over, if I'm being honest. But the 100 that we chose, we felt like were the folks in this moment in time, as the future of work is being defined right now, who reflect our vision for the world. One where no matter who you are or where you come from or who you love or who you pray to, there's a fundamental belief that an individual has access, or should have access to opportunity.


0:37:50.0 Tariq Meyers: And on the diversity side of the house, it was these individuals who are willing to do what needs to be done to find who needs to be found. And for some that meant they were gonna search for the best forever, and for others that meant they were gonna go to find the best in places where others wouldn't go. And that's why this list represents such a cross-section of this industry. Some names you know, like the two giants sitting in front of me, and some names you may have never heard of before. But we believe fundamentally that if we create community with these folks and we solve this problem together, finally solve it together, that we will finally move this landscape forward. But we've been doing this work as individuals for too long, and it's time to bring all of this brain trust together to actualize the change we're looking for.


0:38:37.3 Torin: Names like Anna Oakes, editor at Quartz, and founder and CEO of Oakes Consulting.


0:38:43.9 Tariq Meyers: That's right.


0:38:45.4 Torin: Names like Andrew Gramley, Director of Early in Career Talent at Twilio. Twilio just made an incredible announcement a couple of weeks ago around their anti-racist layoffs. Names like Brittany Ramsey, Director of University Relations and Partnerships at L'Oreal. When I think about this list and there's so many more incredible people, like you said, Tariq, that we're not familiar with. We don't know who they are. They've been grinding, they've been planting and nurturing seeds over and over, month after month, year after year after year. When you think about detaching yourself from that privilege, raising $40 million at the time, almost a $100 million overall, when you said that you all detached yourself from the privilege, I say to myself, even more of a reason why we have you here talking about the list. Why is it important? Because there are some people out there that will say, "You know what, it's just another list.


0:39:44.4 Tariq Meyers: That's right.


0:39:47.0 Torin: It's almost like Zoom parties. Back when COVID started, we were doing like Zoom happy hours. Folks would get all them done up with their makeup, go grab their beverage. They'd come with a great spirit and be ready to rock and roll. Now you send out an invite for a Zoom happy hour or Zoom party, folks might show up in their pajamas. It's just like... It's a totally different feel now. So why should people be excited about this list?


0:40:16.1 Tariq Meyers: Yeah, I love the question. It goes back to what I shared before. Like this is just the beginning. And I want you to see this list as an introduction to our hall of fame. And we believe that where these people sit, what they do in terms of their craft, and the vision that they have for the world, if we just brought this brain trust together to help shape Untapped, we can finally prove to tech that social entrepreneurship, this idea that you can make money and still change the world is possible. That you don't have to forego this idea that the business community can have an impact on its surroundings. And so we want this to be bidirectional. We wanna pour into these folks, into their work. We want to share our resources in the same way that these folks are helping us grow our business to achieve the mission.


0:41:21.3 Tariq Meyers: This is not one of those lists where we're just looking for inbound leads. This is not one of those lists where we're just looking for brand equity. This is not one of those lists where we just want a little bit of attention on LinkedIn. This is the squad. This is the brain trust. And then guess what? Next year, some of these names may show up again, and you're gonna see some new names. And now, we've created this force multiplier effect, where we can stop talking about sitting down on a podcast together with 50 leaders talking about what we've been doing for the last 10 years to move this forward, and we can actually start building. And Untapped is just one of many organizations that has the resource. We are resource rich. I talked about abundance at the beginning of this conversation.


0:42:07.7 Tariq Meyers: We are no longer fighting for scraps. We are resource rich. So come use our resources. And then the more that you pour into us, the more our business grows. And guess what? Our table just got larger. We are in a pace of abundance, so let's do it. We're not sitting on... Why exist? No, we won't say how much runway we have, but we're okay. And why sit with our hands folded at the table if we're not going to use those resources to advance what we wanna do? So we got it, let's spend it, and let's spend it together.


0:42:43.5 Julie: You'll never get a no from Torin and I on that. But I love the energy. We are coming from a place of abundance. We are coming from a place of incredible talent that already exists in our world that can change it. That is changing it.


0:43:01.2 Tariq Meyers: Amen.


0:43:02.8 Julie: So let's wrap up with where can we find the list? And everyone needs to go and connect with all of these individuals on LinkedIn and start to build that network with them, and maybe just a hint or an idea about how to better position ourselves to be a part of that Walk the Walk in 2023, as maybe young DEIB professionals.


0:43:24.0 Tariq Meyers: Yeah. So you can find a list at www.untapped.io/top-leaders. If you just google simply Untapped.io Top Leaders, it'll show up. We're over LinkedIn. I would just say this. When I was growing my D&I career, and I was early in my career, folks told me it was too late. Folks told me that the ship has sailed. Folks told me that folks weren't going to lean into this D&I idea. And that was a time when D&I roles were more of the exception than the norm. Now look where we are now. D&I jobs grew 70% in the last two years, so don't believe the hype. And so the pandemic devastated communities. It devastated our world. But there was, I don't wanna call it the great reshuffle, I don't wanna call it the great resignation. I wanna call it the great reset.


0:44:18.7 Tariq Meyers: And so if you are a D&I leader right now, and you're looking at the landscape and you're trying to figure out what can I do right to impact equity in the workplace? What could I do to move this industry forward? First, reach out to Untapped. And second, recognize that there is no idea too small, because the future of work is being defined right now. Exercise your creativity. Lean into your lived experience, speak up, push, be resilient, and I promise you, four years later, you may be the CEO of your own organization as well.


0:44:51.2 Torin: And where can folks find you Tariq?


0:44:54.0 Tariq Meyers: I'm really easy to find. I'm Tariq Meyers on LinkedIn. I'm one of the very few, and I have a really beautiful headshot, so you can't miss me. So Tariq Meyers, I'm on LinkedIn. I'm at Untapped. You can also follow me on Instagram if you want a little peek into my personal life. That's @TriqRiq, T-R-I-Q.R-I-Q on Instagram. But I'd love to connect with anyone and everyone who wants to chat and would happy to host anyone on our podcast guests, as a podcast guest on the Untapped podcast, which you can find wherever you find your local podcast.


0:45:22.9 Torin: Tariq Meyers, co-CEO of Untapped, an incredible king, soldier, warrior.


0:45:32.2 Tariq Meyers: Thank you, brother.


0:45:33.8 Torin: Doing the work without any apology, with very few pauses. We appreciate having you on Crazy and The King.


0:45:43.5 Tariq Meyers: Thank you Torin. Thank you Julie. Love you guys a lot. Appreciate it.


0:45:47.2 Torin: All love. We'll be right back. Her Voice segment is where we amplify women making moves. In Her Voice, "I really fundamentally believe that at some point it would stop" says Griffiths. "That was the biggest disappointment that there are these systemic barriers and issues that exist, and it actually doesn't matter how well you're doing, they're going to continue to be present." That would be Joanna Griffiths, founder and CEO of the Canadian intimates brand, Knix Wear.


0:46:19.9 Julie: Then we have Dara Treseder who leaves Peloton to join Autodesk as CMO. Treseder will be responsible for Autodesk marketing strategy globally and oversee the company's worldwide marketing, brand and communications, global demand generation and education business teams.


0:46:43.1 Torin: Delta Sustainability Chief, Pamela Fletcher. She joined the company last autumn and she has been tasked with helping the airline hit net zero emissions by 2050. Her focus is on exploring new paths for sustainable jet fuel and sourcing more fuel efficient engines.


0:47:03.4 Julie: Love Delta. And finally, we have Dr. Sidhbh Gallagher's, unusual embrace of social media platforms like TikTok that has made her one of the most visible surgeons in her field. But that's not why we included her this week. We included her because, in her office is a poster that reads, "Science is real. Black Lives Matter. No human is illegal. Love is love. Women's rights are human rights. Kindness is everything." And that's that.


0:47:34.2 Torin: That about does it. No quick mentions, but for Disability Twitter, where we are working extremely hard to keep a community on your radar that is often all too absent, this particular person, lovinglewisx on Twitter, again, lovinglewisx, L-E-W-I-S X on Twitter is asking for help. She's blind. Here's her tweet. She says, "Please retweet. I'm trying this uni thing out again soon. I'm blind. Does anyone have any tips to make life easier in terms of accessible resources for studying, research, writing essays. Just making academic life easier? Thank you."


0:48:20.9 Julie: And then we have a Lucy E. Wakefield, they/them are their pronouns, and she tweets @luwakefield and says, "I miss a lot of stuff being available via Zoom. It made living and working with a disability super accessible. But hey, COVID-19 is over, right, and we probably don't matter anymore." Think about that when you're building culture.


0:48:45.1 Torin: And lets rally around this job seeker. Her name is Katie Anderson on Twitter. She's @Kat, that's K-A-T-A-N-A-N-N-E Anderson, KatAnneAnderson. She says, "Dear Twitter, I am disabled writer and I'm looking for a writing job that I can do remotely. My resume has holes in it, lived through my pen post and #WeAreHopkinsToo, that's T-O-O, to see what I've been through. Please share this, even if you can't help directly.". I promise you Katie Anderson, since you are a Hopkinite, I am going to tweet such and I'm going to reach out to a few of my friends at Johns Hopkins University, see if we can make a bit of magic happen. And you, you my dear, you have some exciting news.


0:49:37.7 Julie: We do. Yeah, and I get to announce it. So we are doing something completely different for National Disability Employment Awareness Month this year, which it starts October 1, known as NDEAM, lovingly. Three out of the four weeks of October, we will have a CATK Disability take over. We are gonna have some amazing hosts and guests who are gonna come and blow Torin and I out of the water, you guys are never gonna want us to host again, and celebrate people with disabilities and what we bring to not just their employers, but to the entire world, and I am so pumped.


0:50:17.0 Torin: So am I. And the both of us close reminding each and every one of you to share the pod with your digital tribe and find your voice, be a better human, let's create better culture, better teams and better workplaces. For now, just before The CATK takeover, for now, J and I are ghost.


0:50:34.6 Julie: See ya.