Welcome to Stop Blaming Avocados, hosted by Chava Vietze. Throughout episodes, Chava speaks with guests from many walks of life hoping to elevate their voices and their stories. Stop Blaming Avocados was created to break from "tradition", have thoughtful conversation about human-first work and inspire a more human-first approach to life, community, and organization.
Becoming Unlimited: Rebuilding Systems That Weren't Built for Us
Season 1 Episode Finale:
Why are most leadership books written by white men? Eugina Jordan read nearly 50 leadership books during COVID and of those books, only 3 of them were written by a woman or person of color. As an immigrant woman herself and leader in the Telecomm industry, Eugina decided she needed to do something about it. So, she wrote and published a leadership book (linked below.)
Well, for one, a need for greater representation. On the other hand, and very important to consider: Leadership books written by men don't take into account the experience of women, people of color, immigrants, or other underrepresented groups. If we want to continue to increase diversity in the workplace, then we need more solutions and more representation created and promoted by underrepresented people.
In this episode we discuss:
- Eugina's journey as a leader and author
- The important need of sponsorship in the careers of women, BIPOC, and immigrants
- Tactical ways that you can seek out mentorship and sponsorship
- A call to action for leaders and how they can be a part of increasing diversity and helping the next generation of leaders
Diversity is the present and the future of our world. Organizations that understand that and invest in a diverse workforce will be more successful in the long run. This episode is for anyone that wants to be a part of creating a better workplace for the now and for the future.
Resources mentioned in this episode:
UNLIMITED: The 17 Proven Laws to Success in a Workplace that was not Designed for You written by Eugina Jordan Multipliers written by Liz WisemanWomen Who Run With Wolves written by Clarissa Pinkola Estes
Follow us at @stopblamingavocados on Instagram.
Diversity and Success: Your Difference is Your Power
Humans want to fit in. We want to be included. Perhaps it is human nature, the need to be a part of the group. And when it comes to success, assimilating yourself has often been a part of survival. However, navigating the world looks different for marginalized groups. Homogenous groups are continuously trying to show why they are different, to stand out from the group... while marginalized groups are trying to find ways that they can fit in.
Though, we are also told to bring our authentic selves to work, to "just be you". But for those who are from marginalized groups, whether you are a person of color, a woman, LGBTQIA+, an immigrant, a disabled person, or any combination, bringing your "authentic self" to work hasn't always been met with open arms.
'Yes, we want you to bring your authentic self to work! Oh, but not like that. That's too much.'
How many folks have experienced this?
In this episode, Darren Isom and Chava Vietze break down these narratives and discuss the power and beauty of diversity. It is our future and we need to embrace our difference, be proud of it, and understand that our difference is pivotal to our success.
There are several key takeaways here, but if we have to highlight just one:
Find environments that value your unique difference and see how your difference not only adds value but is pivotal to your community's and organization's success.
About the guest: Darren Isom is a Partner at The Bridgespan Group in San Francisco where he advises mission driven organizations and philanthropic foundations in support of equity and justice and supports the firm's work with arts and cultural organizations. He co-leads the firm's commitment to advance racial equity and is the host of the podcast Dreaming in Color, creating new narratives in leadership, which offers leaders of color space to share how they have leveraged their unique assets and abilities to embrace excellence, drive impact, and more fully define what success looks like.
Books, movies, and podcasts referenced in this episode:
Being Black Zen and the Art of Living with Fearlessness and Grace written by Angel Kyodo WilliamsCovering written by Kenji YoshinoHidden Figures, 2016 Film starring Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer, Janelle Monáe, and Kevin CostnerThe Known World written by Edward P. JonesDreaming in Color Podcast hosted by Darren Isom Follow us at @stopblamingavocados on Instagram.
The Pivot: Defining Your Values and Finding Your Fire
Have you ever experienced something in life so incredibly substantial and life-changing that it led you to reevaluate your why?
Many have, many will, and many currently are. We lived through a world pandemic. We're fighting for equal human rights. We're going through market shifts. These events, plus so many others, are influential in history but more specifically, impact us personally.
Domenique Rice is an activist, a laid back California transplant savvy, Brooklyn Girl, wine and liquor sales guru, DEIB advocate, incredible mother of five, and she is an unapologetic truth teller.
In our episode, we discuss Domenique's story - from losing her son in 2017 to pandemic parenting in 2020 to a layoff in 2022. We navigate what Domenique calls her "reawakening" and discuss what it means to reclaim your voice, define your values, and reignite your fire.
Join us for the conversation and reflect on your own path and learn about ways to find your voice, discover your values, and become inspired to live them proudly every day.
During our episode, we reference the following communities and non-profits:
The Hue Society - A community-based organization committed to creating access and resources for Black, Brown, and Indigenous communities while providing enriching cultural wine experiences for consumers and brands alike.PUSH for Empowered Pregnancy - A non-profit organization on a mission to end preventable stillbirth. Through partnerships with health providers and aggressive awareness campaigns, PUSH empowers expectant families with the equitable, evidenced-based medical care and education they need to advocate for a healthy pregnancy, providing parents and babies with the best possible chance to make it home safely together.Follow us at @stopblamingavocados on Instagram.
Responsible Artificial Intelligence: Democratizing AI Education and Building for Equity
Lori Mazor is the CEO and Founder of Synthetivity, an innovative company at the leading edge of executive education, specializing in training professionals on the transformative applications and implications of Generative AI (artificial intelligence) in various industry sectors.
Synthetivity is a part of her fourth complete career transformation and is paving her path in Artificial Intelligence as an advocate for inclusive and responsible AI and as an educator, guiding organizations towards a future of creativity, collaboration, and growth with Generative AI.
Artificial intelligence (AI) is and can be an extraordinary technology, allowing us to be more productivity, spend more time enjoying our lives, and push us forward in medicine/healthcare, education, transportation and more. But, we need to do it responsibly and inclusively. In our episode, we'll discuss why we need to pay close attention to the advancement of artificial intelligence, the importance of educating everyone on how AI works, implications at work and in regulations, and what it means for equity and equality.
Resources referenced in this episode:
White Women (Everything You Already Know About Your Own Racism and How to Do Better), written by Regina Jackson and Sara Rao. Lori Mazor's company, Synthetivity (including classes and bootcamps)Follow us at @stopblamingavocados on Instagram.
What's Success?: Understanding Our Conditioning and Creating Ritual
Katharine Smith, MA, CPCC, ACC is an Organizational Psychologist and Executive Coach. She has a unique approach to helping her clients prioritize their higher purpose, avoid burnout, redesign their relationship with work, and phase out fear-based cultures.
Katharine and Chava dive into the conversation that really blossomed from a catch up where they were discussing "well what the heck is success?" In this episode, you'll learn about:
how our unique conditioning throughout our lives requires well, unique solutions. how to start "editing" your career and making decisions of what to carry with you and what to let go why rituals help us become happier people and better leaders and how to make small behavioral changeswhy those who have a great relationship with work (and boundaries!) also make great coworkersand... how all of this knits together!Resources referenced in this episode:
Mountain Valley Coaching (Katharine's Company)Lori Santos - The Power of a Made-up Ritual (Podcast Episode) Tiny Habits by BJ Fogg (Book)
Follow us at @stopblamingavocados on Instagram.
Founder Journey: Leaning into Vulnerability and Building Community
Sara Chandran is the Founder of Fresh and Fearless, a consultancy that helps organizations build brave initiatives to create a workplace that is inclusive for all.
Sara is an empathetic, people-first leader and change-maker. Throughout our episode, Sara gets real about the founder journey - the joys and the difficulties. She'll share how her personal experiences, including loss, grief, and redundancy, have helped inform the type of organization that she is building - one that supports its people (its employees) both personally and professionally, and one that champions vulnerability and celebrates diversity.
We discuss the importance of finding and building community, loneliness and mental health, creating companies that fully supports your values, and how to be fresh and fearless in everything that you do.
"At the end of the day, we're hiring humans, we're hiring people. We're not hiring machines, we're not asking machines to do this work.
So that means emotions, that means mental health issues. That does mean different aspects that people will be bringing to work. And you have to flex to be able to enable someone to do their best work." - Sara Chandran
Learn more about Sara's growing company by visiting: https://www.freshandfearless.uk/
Follow us at @stopblamingavocados on Instagram.