By The Race Equ(al)ity Project
We interview a myriad of people in business: from the VP of Sales at Gitlab on being a white male in a puffy vest, to Lily Zheng, acclaimed DEI thought leader and Author of The Ethical Sellout . From these different perspectives, we can more clearly see what's at the heart of equity work (courage), and how it impacts personal growth.
Equality MattersApr 14, 2021
Your most valuable asset...Being yourself, a minority in the workplace
This episode was so special to me because I got to speak to Blaire G Harvey and Karen Foster, two incredible women that inspire me and are a continuous reminder that being yourself is your most valuable asset!
Blaire and Karen are the founders of The Visionary Squad, a design studio that specialises in creating networking experiences that cultivate meaningful relationships, powerful connections and transformative conversations. In this episode, we talk about their show called "2020 Ain't Cancelled" which brought together a global community of boss women from different industries to learn from each other every week. I personally found these sessions so fulfilling and a gift, especially during quarantine and lockdown.
I hope that you enjoy this episode and get some inspiration from these amazing women as I do.
You can sign up for their 2021 show for free every Monday at 5 pm PST on Eventbrite.
We have just launched phase 2 of the Race Equality Index so get in touch if you would like to join the likes of Uber and New Relic in our second cohort.
Selling Out: Activist to Academic to Corporate Consultant with Lily Zheng
In this episode, we hear from my friend and industry colleague Lily Zheng.
Lily is an adviser, thought leader, and equity consultant, She’s been featured in Forbes, CNBC, Entrepreneur & Fairy Godboss. Lily the author of The Ethical Sellout
She shares her journey, experiences, and feelings about writing her two books, about her career as an Activist turned Academic to independent consultant and entrepreneur.
Lily is honestly one of the most well rounded DEI practitioners I have met. If you are looking to hire a DEI consultant for your company or thinking about making a jump into a full-time equity & inclusion position or simply are curious about how people like Lily make sustainable change in corporate America, this episode is for you.
To find out more about Lily check out her website Lilyzheng.co
You can buy her book The Ethical Sellout here: https://bkconnection.com/books/title/The-Ethical-Sellout
Diversifying corporate supply chains to break down systemic inequity
It was bitter-sweet recording this episode because it's my last conversation for season one of the Equ(al)ity Matters Podcast.
I had the pleasure of speaking with Jason Roberts, Founder and CEO of Kaleida, the UK's first online, interactive and fully inclusive B2B marketplace for Tenders (RFPs).
Jason brings a dynamic perspective that addresses multiple levels that racism operates on. He illustrates how society's perception of black people will often dictate the opportunities and interactions they face and also shows how corporations have the power to break down generations of systemic inequity simply by choosing diverse suppliers, who in turn benefit their own communities.
We started this podcast to share stories of some incredible people who are doing amazing things in the fight for Racial Equity and how their own life experiences and careers have influenced that fight. We feel honored to have had these conversations with all of our guests because not only have they been a source of great learning but they have also validated the work that we are doing here at the Race Equ(al)ity Project.
I hope that you have been inspired by our guests as I have and I cant wait to bring you more in our next season.
Normalizing failure: creating space for minorities to make mistakes, fail and still succeed.
DEIB isn’t a side project, initiative or program. Inequity affects us all whether we choose to ignore it. We ultimately have a lot more growth potential to tackle Inequality if we are mindful of our own individual ability to change and make change.
In this episode, we speak to KC Jorgensen, the CEO of Textio about the part they are playing in this movement. Textio is a tool that gives talent teams, instant access to the most extensive and up to date performance data in the industry, in real-time as they write.
Language is so important in the practice of inclusion and staying on top of the latest terms being used can be a challenge especially if you’re not keenly aware of how things evolve to become more inclusive.
KC also talks about her experiences as a black woman in corporate America her way of 'Rebelling against the system' - Normalizing failure for minorities, creating a space where minorities can fail, make mistakes and still succeed because that is the advantage that’s afforded to our white counterparts.
I hope you enjoy this episode.
We have just launched phase 2 of the Race Equality Index so get in touch if you would like to join the likes of Uber and New Relic in our second cohort.
Who's the boss? Being brown and female in leadership
In this episode, I had the pleasure of speaking with Zaina Orbai, Chief People Officer at The Real Real.
The RealReal is the leader in authenticated luxury consignment sales and we talk about how they are disrupting the luxury retail industry, a space that is the epitome of exclusion by making luxury retail items more accessible.
Zaina is someone that I have known and admired for a very long time. She is a fellow brown female leader and someone I can always trust in a sea of white male leaders. We talk about how her role as a HR leader takes on different forms in different situations and the importance of being flexible and listening so that you can meet the needs of that individual at that moment. Zaina is someone that does equity work as part of the business and not just as a percentage of her time, and it makes a huge difference when people at any company actually care about the holistic view of the company from a 'human as an asset' perspective as opposed to revenue first.
We hope you enjoy this episode.
Check out The Real Real to find out more, they are hiring too in case you're in the market.
Find out more about our work with the Race Equ(al)ity Project on our website.
What they don't teach you at school...Social Justice!
This episode features a super entertaining talk with Donnie Belcher and Lauren Burke, Founders of Camp Equity.
We talk about the sacrifices it takes to start doing the work that you are passionate about, the dynamic role cis white women can play in anti-racism work and the much-needed work that one camp is doing to embed Social Justice into children's lives as young as age 9.
Camp Equity is a virtual online program that educates 3rd through 12th graders about social justice issues at all levels. The program covers everything from disability rights, immigration rights to mass incarceration and environmental justice. You can find out more about camp equity on campequity.com
To find out more about the Race Equ(al)ity Project, check out our website.
What justice looks like in 2021 and the aftermath of the Derek Chauvin trial
This last week's observation of the Derek Chauvin Trial in the Murder of George Floyd has thrown me for a loop. All the mental and emotional turmoil I was experiencing just after Goerge Floyd's murder has resurfaced and frankly I just don't have time for all that.
I'm so thankful that I've been able to rely on my community for support, validation and sanity through all this and my conversation with Kim Crowder this week was much needed. As a fellow DEI practitioner, it was great to air out my feelings and thoughts with someone who was also grappling with the implications that this trial is having on our country and society. We also talked about other high profile cases like this and the impact or in some cases non-impact that they may have on us.
All in all this conversation was healing and I hope it can be the same for you too.
Kim is the Founder and CEO of Kim Crowder Consulting which is an anti-racism, education, strategy and thought leadership firm. You can find out more about her work at kimcrowderconsulting.com or on twitter @iamkimcrowder.
For more information about our work with the Race Equality Project, check out our website!
To all the Karens of the world...How you can help to dismantle inequity through allyship.
I had the pleasure to sit down with Sydney Coleman to talk about whiteness, allyship, and her responsibility to other white people as a driver to dismantle white supremacist structures.
Sydney is a part of Product Inclusion as Google, find out more about their work here.
Being mixed is my super power
Gesche Haas is the founder and CEO of Dreamers and Doers, a private collective created to amplify the entrepreneurial pursuits of extraordinary women through thought leadership, opportunities, authentic connection, and access.
Gesche talks about accidentally starting Dreamers and Doers while embarking on her own entrepreneurial journey after an eventful career in finance. What is unique about Gesche is her bi-racial background, and her experience of living in many different cultures, and the different levels appreciation or lack there of for her identity.
So many of us can relate to living in this in-between space, or being able to "present" as one race/gender/orientation/ability, and what that means for how we navigate different spaces for better or worse, and what that brings up for us emotionally.
Find out more about Dreamers & Doers
Learn more about Gesche
Stand in your shoes, girl.
In this episode, I speak with Jessica Childress who was the very last new friend I made in person before everything got shut down in 2020. She is the managing attorney of the Childress Firm, a labor employment attorney, and author of the Juris P. Prudence book series.
We recorded this podcast on the afternoon of the inauguration at the end of a week of fear and angst, and I personally needed some hope. Jessica lives in DC and was right up in it. So hearing from her how the energy had changed after the inauguration gave me so much hope and motivation.
Jessica is a badass! She is that woman that shows up for young girls now. She sees them, connects with them in an age-appropriate language, and inspires them all while running her law practice. She’s that person who they can look up to and aspire to be when they grow up.
In this conversation, we talk about her journey of leaving her corporate job to build something of her own and we both agree it sent an easy transition.
You can find out more about Jessica and the Childress Firm here
Learn more about Juris P. Prudence here (girl's got her own theme song and everything!)
When starting or doing Diversity work for your Organisation, Education is Key
In this episode, I speak to William Huston who is the founder and Director of Institutional Services for Bay Street Capital.
William and I met over Linkedin in 2020. Since then, we’ve been sharing learnings and collaborating on ideas to increase awareness around financial literacy within corporations, HR, and access to information for employees to make informed decisions around the financial benefits offered to them.
William's journey to Bay Street Capital is not traditional, which to me, is his clear competitive advantage both as a leader and investment advisor.
William is a literal geyser of information, and is significantly disrupting the institutional investment industry.
Find out more below:
Bay Street Capital Holdings company website
Learn more about William on his Linkedin page
Breaking into tech: The struggles of landing that technical role as a minority
Josh has spent his career building Technical Learning and Development Programs for the likes of Uber and Google and as such, has gained a unique insight into what it really means to “break into tech”.
We go deep into the nuances of equity within the tech industry and how the tech scene continues to seem impenetrable if you’re on the outside. We get vulnerable and talk about how we’ve had to code-switch in our own careers and how we deal with our own identity struggles in the roles we play at work.
As difficult as the topics are, we had a lot of fun and we hope you enjoy the episode!
Find out more about Joshua’s work here.
Check out Brotopia by Emily Chang.
Contact the team here to learn more about the Race Equ(al)ity Index
She's an Andre 3000 in a world full of HR mumble rap.
In this episode, I speak with Jabu Dayton, Principle & Founder of Jabu HR. She advises and consults with companies to help their teams be heard, developed & well taken care of.
Her career story alone is inspiring. Formerly HR Lead at Airbnb, Task Rabbit, Ship & Abstract, her experience is rich in regards to retaining team culture during rapid scaling as well as building inclusion into company culture as early practice.
We talk about the choices she’s made when standing up for people who have been discriminated against and how she was ultimately fired for doing what we expect HR to do, advocating and standing up for employees.
She also shares about her transition from retail into tech, her identity and cultural belonging as a bi-racial woman and more importantly how her underlying privilege influences her daily choices.
Jabu is literally my idle for how people, businesses & HR should actually operate.
Find out more about Jabu:
Doing the work to unlearn biases and behaviours as a male DEI leader
In this episode, I had the pleasure of speaking with Hanif Fazal, Co-Founder of the Center for Equity and Inclusion.
Hanif is someone I consider a friend, role model, mentor, and teacher. 90% of the facilitation content I use was influenced by and taught to me by Hanif and his co-founder, Frewine Kiros. Hanif has an amazing life story, and it’s clear that the work he does is a true calling. The way that he and his co-founder of the Center for Equity and Inclusion, Frewine, pour their entire being into their facilitations and partnerships with different organizations is such a gift to witness. They don’t let anyone off the hook, and certainly don’t make the work easy for their partners, but holy smokes do they go deep and straight to the heart of Equity and Inclusion in a way that is deeply compassionate, honest, and moving.
So, it goes without saying that our conversation gets super deep, to the point where this self-proclaimed physically unable to cry lady just LOST it.
You can find out more about Hanif and the Center for Equity and Inclusion at ceipdx.org
Or, visit the raceequalityproject.com/marketplace. You can find the center in our organization's collection.
Welcome to the Equ(al)ity Matters Podcast!
Welcome to the Equ(al)ity Matters Podcast where we interview everyday professionals who are doing their part to make the workplace more equitable.
2020 has shone a bright light of racial equity. The murder of George Floyd finally ended silence on the topic causing leaders and policymakers to come out and say that they care about black lives. But what does this really mean? And are they doing the work that is needed to achieve true equity?
In this podcast, we talk about the really impactful actions that are bearing results from seemingly small choices made by individual leaders to grand structural changes made by organisations.
We hope you enjoy this podcast.
Find out more about the Race Equ(al)ity Project here!
Puffy vests and white male leadership in tech
Ryan shares some memorable moments in his career where it has been not only vital but also challenging to champion race equity. We also talk about how important it is to hold space for conversations about race equity.
Ryan's daily effort, willingness to admit and move through mistakes, and overall thoughtfulness around his role in Equity and Inclusion as a tall white, company-branded-puffy-vest wearing, SaaS tech leader in Silicon Valley, is what I believe makes him a true accomplice.