Blog

Transforming the Workplace with Transparent Conversations

Everyone wants to know how to get diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) right, but many don’t know where to start. Although it’s tempting for organizations to jump right into action by scheduling a company-wide unconscious bias training, we first need to take a step back to become truly aware of the issues in each unique workplace. That awareness is only possible when open and honest conversations can take place.

Earlier this month, I facilitated a conversation with Johnny C. Taylor, Jr., President and CEO of SHRM, the largest HR professional association in the world. In this interview, hosted by the Los Angeles Chapter of the National Association of African Americans in Human Resources (NAAAHR), Johnny and I talk about the foundational elements necessary for transparent communication in the workplace. Establishing trust and psychological safety is paramount, but these two elements can only develop when we intentionally build relationships with one another. When it comes to management-employee communication, organizations need to create an environment where people can share their real dreams and goals without fear of reprisal and for Black professionals in the workplace, this can be especially difficult.

In the last twelve months, issues of diversity and inclusion have moved from Main Street to Wall Street and Johnny candidly shared some of his own experiences to encourage anyone who is passionate about DEI to seize this opportunity to get trained and build a career as a DEI expert. In response to company leaders who want to appoint Black and/or female heads of DEI mainly because of their race and/or gender, he said, “It is literally today, one of the most important, strategically important parts of every organization right now.  Everyone is trying to figure out what to do with this IE and D thing.  What I would say to you is if you are that HR professional . . .  whoever you are right now, if you are truly interested in doing this and building a career . . . go get yourself skilled in this. Don’t just go in – you need experts like you Stacey who actually know what they’re talking about – this notion that you are therefore a diversity expert because you are Black or you are a woman or you are both is ridiculous. It’s absurd! And so we have got to educate, encourage people in our community, that if you’re gonna be serious about it, get serious about it.”

Johnny also provided guidance for HR executives looking to make the case for diversity to their corporate leadership. If you had the opportunity to hear him live, you may have found the most effective arguments surprised you. And lastly, we discussed the purpose and efficacy of Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) and answered a few questions from our viewers about accountability and formal training for DEI specialists.

If you missed the conversation and have questions about unconscious bias education, let me know. And if you would like support as a Black professional in the HR world or want to know how to get started in DEI, reach out to Dr. Carroll Brown, VP Membership at NAAAHR-LA.

Talking Bias with Tayo Rockson

Last week I had an opportunity to chat with writer, speaker, and acclaimed podcaster Tayo Rockson. Tayo is co-founder of UYD Management, a consulting firm that empowers organizations with sustainable diversity and inclusion strategies. He’s the author of Use Your Difference to Make a Difference, and, in 2020, launched the #LetsTalkBias antiracism campaign. In this Facebook Live event, Tayo and I discuss his book, as well as how to get beyond the discomfort that stems from discussions about bias.

The son of a diplomat, Tayo likes to say he has been Black on four continents. That experience allowed him to see how the rules for people to see you differ from place to place. Use Your Difference to Make a Difference was borne out of that unique perspective. Also from his book, Tayo helps us understand the four origins of bias: a story, a fear, an avoidance, and our own security.

Later, we discuss how to get beyond discomfort in conversations about bias (spoiler alert: it’s increasing self-awareness!), as well as the impact each of us has as individuals every day. When it comes to changing things, we all have a responsibility to take the next step, even if we’re unsure of the outcome. As Tayo eloquently puts it, “Just because you’re not sure what to do, doesn’t mean that you get to do nothing.” Each step is a move forward, and only by moving forward in diminishing our own biases are we able to see people for who they truly are.

Don’t miss any part of this discussion with Tayo!

Simply Good: Closing the Gender Pay Gap

Equal Pay Day caught us by surprise this year! Established to raise awareness of the gender pay gap, this symbolic day has historically been celebrated in April to show how far into the year a woman must work to match a man’s pay from the previous year. At first glance, an earlier observance in March may infer that substantial progress has been made to close that gap. Before we deem our mission accomplished, however, we should dig a little deeper.

As with everything else, 2020 changed the metrics. Could it be that larger numbers of women with lower-paying jobs lost them due to the pandemic? The unprecedented circumstances of last year could make it seem as though we are further along than we truly are. Let us not be so focused on what “seems” to be good that we keep blinders on to the struggle that remains.

That being said, we shouldn’t discount the real progress that is being made. Read on to learn about the strides that are pushing the needle further towards equitable pay, a fundamental right that is purely and simply good. 

PS – Looking for some one-on-one time with me? My new book, UNBIAS: Addressing Unconscious Bias at Work, is now available! Click here to order.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
 
 
 

 

UNBIAS Book Launch Event: Stacey Discusses DEI and Authentic Relationship Building with Kim Blue Terrell

I recently spent some time with human resources (HR) executive Kim Blue Terrell, the Global Head of People Experience Partners for Zoom. Our discussion was hosted by Dr. Bernice Ledbetter and my alma mater, Pepperdine’s Graziadio Business School. What a great way to celebrate the launch of my new book, UNBIAS:Addressing Unconscious Bias at Work!

Where does the responsibility land for diversity and inclusion in the workplace? The most common misconception is that HR should shoulder this weight alone. However, because DEI is really about individuals, it shouldn’t be compartmentalized as a department or initiative but should intersect every part of an organization. In this interview, Kim and I discuss the importance of initiating open and honest conversations in the workplace via authentic relationships. We also talk about the role of leadership, and how each organization has to go back to basics to decipher its own path forward. Every company is unique—it’s vital for leadership to define goals and values to determine what its DEI journey should look like.

Finally, Kim and I end our discussion by opening up the floor to questions from our viewers. We provide tips on how to overcome the fear of being labeled, approach bridge-building conversations, and deal with employees who are resistant to DEI (spoiler alert: you can either change people or change people).

Want to know more (or understand that last riddle)? Check out the interview.

Want to dive deeper into what we discussed from my book? Dress up your nightstand by ordering a copy of your very own.

The Future of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion – The 21st Century Change Agent Podcast

I recently discussed the current state of DEI with consultant Baiba Žiga and Dr. Shelton Goode, CEO and president of Icarus Consulting.

Shelton and I spend some time discussing the motivation behind our new book projects, as well as why we have to keep fighting the fights we’ve been fighting for decades. We also talk about the misrepresentation of DEI as a one-time training, initiative, or project with an end date, and why strong leadership is so important in creating a diverse and inclusive workplace culture. Leaders should be responsible for perpetuating this environment – a responsibility that shouldn’t be outsourced to a separate DEI division or Chief Diversity Officer. Without leader buy-in and the intentional alignment of DEI with company values, no action taken will be authentic or effective. In fact, when companies are quick to implement “initiatives” without knowing why they’re doing it, they often do more harm than good.

Finally, we consider what DEI looks like down the road. Although we don’t know what the next five to ten years hold, I do know that we just need to keep moving forward. There’s been a lot of focus on DEI over the past year and, as life moves closer to a post-pandemic normal, we absolutely cannot revert back to when people weren’t really talking about it all. Even though where we are now is tumultuous, tough and uncomfortable, it’s still a place of change — we just need to keep pushing. Shelton puts it this way: “DEI is a journey — something you need to work at intentionally, every day.”

Want to know more? Listen to the full interview.

My new book has hit the shelves! Order your very own copy today.

LinkedIn Live: Tackle Inclusion in Your Career

Who’s at your table? Whether it be in the conference room or the staff lounge, workplace culture is defined by the people who sit around its tables. In this LinkedIn Live event, my good friend Lisa Gates and I discuss ways to help create inclusion in the workplace. Lisa is the founder of Story Happens Here, where she coaches and empowers women to control their narrative and amplify their influence in the workplace.

We all have a responsibility to identify and interrupt bias in the workplace. What do you do when a coworker makes a comment that gets under your skin? Lisa begins our conversation about responding to microaggressions by sharing an excerpt from my new book, UNBIAS: Addressing Unconscious Bias at Work. We talk through the PAUSE tool – a strategy that helps people navigate these situations in healthy and constructive ways. PAUSE allows us to confront without being confrontational.

“Stacey’s book sounds just like her. If you’re in a company where leadership has not embraced [diversity, equity, and inclusion], these are tactics you can use right now in your workplace, where you’re dealing with the daily paper cuts of bias.” Lisa Gates

Lisa also asks me about the Framework, a strategy that we developed to help organizations effectively address bias in their workplace. Last year, organizations scrambled to jump into action in response to George Floyd’s murder. The Framework, discussed in detail in my book, defines the integral steps that make that action more authentic and effective. Finally, we explore what the advocacy stage of the framework looks like, and what’s necessary to keep an inclusive workplace going.

Don’t miss all the goods! Watch our chat in its entirety.

Want the full story? Pre-order UNBIAS: Addressing Unconscious Bias at Work (it releases at the end of this month!)

Coffee (and DEI) with Kim Kaupe

I recently had a chance to sit down with entrepreneur Kim Kaupe to chat about diversity and inclusion on her podcast, “Coffee with Kim.” We discussed how much I love LinkedIn Learning, as well as the courses I’ve developed for this amazing learning platform (P.S. my Unconscious Bias course is still free through the end of this month!). I also shared some advice for those who are looking to change careers, and the perspective necessary to make sure it’s truly where they want to be.

After sharing some advice for those who are looking to change careers, we spent some time getting back to basics and discerning the difference between bias and discrimination. These two terms are erroneously interchangeable to some, but the distinction is important, especially in the workplace. Unconscious biases can trigger discrimination if left unchecked, which is why we developed the Unbias Blueprint. This Diversity Equity and Inclusion Workplace Assessment is a free tool to help companies establish a baseline that will support a long-term journey towards a more inclusive workplace.

Speaking of the workplace, it’s time to have all those “taboo” conversations at work that we’ve been told not to. It’s time to break out of our comfort zones for the sake of building authentic relationships. We can (and will!) make mistakes in these conversations, but we can always circle back to give the response we wanted to give, but couldn’t formulate at the time. It is possible to affect change as an individual, and we briefly talked about what that looks like.

Finally, I got to chat about my upcoming book, UNBIAS: Addressing Unconscious Bias at Work, which releases on March 30th. This action manual will help companies to increase awareness, align DEI initiatives with their company’s goals and values, develop a sustainable, long-term action plan, and create a workplace that truly advocates for all of its people (you can pre-order the book here!).

Grab a cup of coffee and listen to our conversation.

Simply Good: Celebrating Women

Every March 8, International Women’s Day is celebrated to honor the social and political achievements of women around the world. Originally dubbed “National Woman’s Day” in New York City in 1909, the holiday was established worldwide in 1911, when millions of people across Europe organized parades and demonstrations, demanding the right to vote for women.

Today, women are still fighting for the right to be seen and heard, but, for some, the fight looks a little different. The articles we’ve selected this month highlights women who have fought their way to success in male-dominated industries. Through sheer grit and perseverance, these women are flipping norms every day, and that is always worth celebrating.

PS – Less than two weeks until my book UNBIAS comes out! If you haven’t preordered your copy, click here. This book is for you if you’re committed to creating healthy, equitable, and inclusive workplaces and are eager to get tools to actively remove barriers and ensure equity at work. Click here to order.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
 
 
 

 

LinkedIn News Live: Unconscious Bias and Tough Conversations

How can we know what we don’t know about?

On this episode of LinkedIn News Live, Caroline Fairchild and I discuss unconscious bias, tough conversations, and why diversity and inclusion initiatives in the workplace are often ineffective. I explain what it looks like to be unconsciously inclusive and why now is the time to have those uncomfortable conversations at work that we’ve always been told to avoid.

I also share tips and tools from my upcoming book, UNBIAS: Addressing Unconscious Bias at Work, to help organizations move beyond buzzwords and catchphrases to affect real change in their workplace.

Watch the full interview.

Don’t be late to the dance. Pre-order my new book here.

Want to know more about unconscious bias? My LinkedIn course is still free through the end of this month.

Webinar: Unconscious Bias at Work – Creating a Culture Where Everyone Belongs

You’ve heard the saying that we don’t discuss sex, religion, or politics in polite company. Rather than being socialized and conditioned our entire lives to avoid these topics, we should have been taught how to have these conversations instead.

Last month I had the opportunity to present a webinar for the Alumni Learning Consortium. This webinar provides tools for addressing the common challenges of uncomfortable conversations, as well as how to identify and interrupt bias at work.

Finally, I share the importance of building trust in the workplace. Have you ever felt uncomfortable sharing your opinion, asking questions, making mistakes, or criticizing the status quo at work? Providing for the psychological safety of your team is key to building a foundation for a place where people actually want to work—a place where people feel like they belong. I provide tips and tools on how to authentically cultivate that trust through openness and vulnerability.

Did that last part scare you? Don’t be afraid! Here’s what a few of our viewers had to say after completing the webinar:

“I had a lot of hesitation joining this course, but Stacey was fantastic. As she herself says, she has a “no-nonsense” approach. She was very reasonable and inclusive, which I appreciated. I learned a lot and was very engaged by her program. There were many helpful tips towards building a more diverse workplace and engage in open dialogue about difficult topics.” – Evan

“I really enjoyed Stacy’s presentation. It is clear she is an expert on this topic, she was succinct, direct and her insights were actionable. It’s great creating awareness but it’s also important to give tangible activities people can undertake.” – Shannon

Watch the webinar on YouTube.

Have more questions about diversity concepts? Be sure to check out our Simple Diversity newsletter.

Want to dive more deeply into how to create authentic, long-lasting changes in your workplace? My book, Unbias: Addressing Unconscious Bias at Work, will be released on March 30. You can pre-order it here.

Stay Connected!

Join Rework's community to receive our Simply Good resource (a monthly dose of only good news) as well as opportunities to deepen your diversity, inclusion, and belonging skills and awareness. We can't wait to share with you!

You have Successfully Subscribed!