The Fix is a podcast that shares stories of women and men who are taking action and innovating to advance equality in the workplace and beyond.
All Talk and No Action: Why DEI efforts are falling short - Ann Francke
One thing is clear to me.
The progress of DEI efforts in organizations has stalled.
New research findings released by the Charted Management Institute or CMI, in the United Kingdom last month reveals a growing sentiment towards DEI efforts. People are growing weary of DEI.
In the Managers Pulse Point Survey, CMI found that despite ongoing efforts and activity towards gender equality, workplace gender equity remains elusive. The research has also revealed that employees, particularly men are either passive and or actively resisting DEI efforts.
These findings highlight for me the current state of DEI, which is fatigue. While there has been huge amount of inequality, awareness raising with things like the 'me too' movement and the 'anti-racism' movement, when this is not met with tangible action it can lead to feelings of exhaustion, isolation, frustration and sometimes skepticism about DEI efforts. People from typically underrepresented groups experience this as all DEI talk and no action, which leads to disengagement.
But the reverse is true for people in dominant positions in workplaces, typically white men. They perceive all the DEI talk as action and believe activity is underway to address the issues, even though very little changes actually take place. So consequently, they feel left out, disengaged and disillusioned with DEI efforts, believing too much focus is being given to these topics.
Joining us on today’s episode is Ann Francke, Chief Executive of CMI, to discuss these findings and share why we need to fight DEI fatigue if we want to meaningfully advance diversity, equity and inclusion at work.
Chartered Management Institute (CMI)
If You Can See It You Can Be It - Dr. Tarika Barrett and Denise Lintz
Time and time again, studies have shown that math and science are perceived to be male arenas and that scientists are perceived to be predominantly men.
To advance more women into STEM fields, not only do women need to know about the career options available to them but they need to believe its possible for them to have a fulfilling career in these fields.
A 2019 study published in Frontier Education found that gender-science stereotypes of math and science influence young women's and men's aspirations to enrol in a STEM major at university. For example, by showing adverts for STEM careers that feature men and women, and promoting a less masculine image of science in university recruitment efforts has the potential to increase the likelihood of STEM career aspirations for young women and young men.
It stands to reason that the more exposure young people have to STEM the more likely they are to view STEM as a potential career path, whether they are male, female or any other gender.
On this podcast we are excited to have with us the CEO of Girls Who Code, Dr. Tarika Barrett and UScellular’s Vice President of Enterprise Portfolio Management and Technology Shared Services, Denise Lintz.
They will share how they are tackling increasing children’s access to STEM education and why awareness of STEM career paths is critical to advancing diversity in STEM.
Girls Who Code
Why the future of gender is non-binary : Christy Pruitt-Haynes
As an employer, it is important to understand gender and non-binary inclusion and what it means for your company – for the way you manage your people and for the way your people interact with each other. There are lots of brilliant resources out there to help with this including the 'Genderbread Person' which is described as a teaching tool for breaking the big concept of gender down into bite-sized, digestible pieces.
Language really matters when it comes to supporting non-binary employees. The use of gender binary language is common in everyday life and conversation. Individuals regularly utilize gendered language like ladies and gentlemen, or mankind when referring to others, but greetings friends, folks, y’all, you, all, and everyone ensure we are including all employees when saying hello or opening a meeting.
While many use these terms without the intention to exclude others, gendered language does not acknowledge or validate the existence of those who identify outside of the gender binary. Saying an individual’s correct name and pronouns is an important way to demonstrate respect and courtesy towards non-binary employees in the workplace.
To help us understand how to navigate and prepare for a non-binary future, we are joined by Christy Pruitt-Haynes, a consultant from the NeuroLeadership Institute, a global neuroscience consultancy.
Empathy: How to build and use it at work – Rob Volpe
We all know that demonstrating empathy is critical to developing relationships, but it is also critical for business.
A study by the consulting firm Catalyst examining 889 employees found that when leaders were empathetic, 61% of employees are able to innovate compared to only 13% of employees with less empathetic leaders.
They also found that 76% of people who experienced empathy from their leaders reported they were engaged compared with only 32% who experienced less empathy.
When people felt their leaders were more empathetic, 86% reported they are able to navigate the demands of their work and life, successfully juggling their personal, family and work obligations. This is compared with 60% of those who perceived less empathy.
Clearly there is a link between empathy and better workplace cultures. The challenge is how do we make empathy a regular business practice?
In the book Tell Me More About That, brand strategist and thought leader Rob Volpe draws on his years of research conducting thousands of in-home interviews with everyday people to illustrate the 5 Steps to Empathy. These are the actions you and I can take to build a strong and reflexive empathy muscle.
Rob is joining us on today’s episode to share these insights, explaining what empathy is and what it is not and the different kinds of empathy we may experience.
Purchase his book
How to be anti-racist in business – Trudi Lebron
Leaders have a difficult job when it comes to leading on DEI, are you equipped for challenging conversations to arise, do you have enough knowledge yourself and do you have the answers? A leader’s job is to build and maintain cultures that value difference because this is what it means to lead.
Valuing difference is a practice. Anti-racisim, anti-ableisms, classims, sexisim and homophobia are all practices. Educational programs, workplace training, books, podcasts and courses are all resources that we can use to build our muscle when it comes to valuing difference. There is no end to this work, because this is how workplaces need to work. When we don’t treat DEI as a practice, we don’t engage in the action necessary to truly create workplace cultures that value difference.
In the book How to be an Antiracist, Dr Ibram X. Kendi says that ““racist” and “antiracist” are like peelable name tags that are placed and replaced based on what someone is doing or not doing, supporting or expressing in each moment. These are not permanent tattoos. No one becomes a racist or antiracist. We can only strive to be one or the other.”
What can we do within our organizations to strive towards antiracism? To help us with that question Trudi Lebron, author of The Antiracist Business Book: An Equity Centered Approach to Work, Wealth, and Leadership, will be joining us on the show today to discuss how organizations can make anti-racism a fundamental way of working.
The Antiracist Business Book
Why AI treats men and women differently and what to do about it - Alexandra Ebert
Is AI inherently sexist? Or are we building AI with the biases we are still struggling to root out of our human interactions? And is a lack of diversity in the innovation process translating into the technology? AI is built and maintained by data, and if the data collected only represents the view of one type of individual or overly weights the importance of this information then the decisions AI makes will reinforce this inequality.
In a 2019 article for Sandford Social Innovation Review, entitled 'When Good Algorithms Go Sexist: Why and How to Advance AI Gender Equity', the co-author Genevieve Smith shared how she and her husband applied for the same credit card. Despite having a slightly better credit score and the same income, expenses and debt as her husband, the credit card company set her credit limit at almost half the amount. Customer service employees were unable to explain why the algorithm deemed the wife significantly less creditworthy.
What is most likely to have happened in this case is that AI was to blame as Genevieve shares in her article many institutions make decisions based on artificial intelligence (AI) systems using machine learning (ML), whereby a series of algorithms takes and learns from massive amounts of data to find patterns and make predictions. Yet gender bias in these systems is pervasive and has profound impacts on women’s short and long-term psychological, economic and health security.
On today’s episode we welcome Alexandra Ebert who will share what AI is and how it will impact our jobs but also why you don’t need to be scared of it. Most importantly, Alexandra tells us why we need to manage AI carefully to ensure equitable outcomes and so as not to exacerbate or perpetuate existing gender inequities.
LinkedIn - Alexandra Ebert
Avid listener and learner.
So Needed So long overdue
After reading Michelle’s book “the fix” and then learning about the podcast, I have been Re-Energized !!!! What incredible work she has done and is doing, every person and I mean EVERY person needs to hear this embrace this and take action so many gems I learn something new every time I listen 👏🏾😊💕🙏🏾
Really quite insightful and clear - but lack of attention to sound quality
I just listened to my first episode, number 60 with Katty Kay, and the content - the topic, the points made, the way Ms. Kay and Ms. King express themselves - is excellent/brilliant.
But I must be listening without the same sound filters they do, because the sound quality is atrocius: the interview is filled with the distracting squawks and chirps that plague Skype (and other digital) conversations.
My hearing is nothing special, so I have to assume whoever produced this episode is listening to a filtered (or muffled) version. But it was very irritating. Like trying to hear what someone is saying on the phone while they're washing dishes and some kids are playing noisily in the background.