Webinar: Gender Equity – Building Inclusive Organizations that Last

August 19, 2022

Transcript for Gender Equity – Building Inclusive Organizations that Last

Giovanni Gallo: Hello, everybody. Welcome to our fireside chat, our webinar today. I’m so glad that you’re joining us. We’re gonna wait just a minute or two to let some other people load into the room, and then we’ll get started. So, Alida, I’m so excited that you’re here today. Tell us where you’re joining us from.

Alida Miranda-Wolff: I am joining from Chicago, technically Evanston, Illinois, which is a little bit outside of Chicago, but I will say it’s an interesting day. It’s been shockingly overcast, and then, all of a sudden, it’s been glaring light. So I put blackout curtains behind me because it’s near a city over here.

Giovanni: It tends to do that. Evanston has a special place in my heart. I love it up there. It’s beautiful, but, yeah, that lake can whip the weather around a little bit, huh?

Alida: That’s right.

Giovanni: All right, all right. Well, let’s jump in. Thank you, everyone, for joining us today. Today we’re gonna be talking about Gender Equity – Building Inclusive Organizations That Last. We’re gonna have a nice chat here, an informal chat with Alida about a lot of things relevant to why gender equity is important and how you can implement this as part of your program and what you’re doing across your employee base to drive better equity. I am your host, Giovanni Gallo, co-CEO of ComplianceLine. At ComplianceLine, we are on a mission to make the world a better workplace. We do that through hotline reporting, e-learning, including diversity training, and a bunch of other software and services to help leaders who care take better care of their employees. And I am super excited and thankful to introduce Alida. Alida, welcome to the show today, and why don’t you introduce yourself?

Alida: Thank you so much for having me. I’m really excited to be here with all of you. I’m Alida Miranda-Wolff, and I’m the CEO of Ethos, which is a full-service diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging transformation firm. So what we like to say is we’re creating the conditions for everyone to thrive at work and really thinking about that full life cycle. So it’s in our mission to ultimately advocate for folks from underrepresented and underserved communities so that they can achieve opportunity professionally. And what I always say is, in terms of coming to this work and doing what I do, I have to name my identities because they so shape my perspective. 

So I identify as a White Hispanic cisgender woman with an invisible disability. I’m a first-generation immigrant, and I’m also a survivor of violence. And what I can tell you pretty definitively is that I never expected to do diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging work, and I also can see how that story came to be because I never belonged anywhere. I come from a family that’s half Cuban refugees, half daughters and sons of the American Revolution. And I grew up in an environment where I didn’t speak English until I was 5 years old. Spanish is my first language. I grew up mostly in the Miami area, and I am White, and the people I loved most weren’t. And we’re on the receiving end of racist slurs, of discrimination. And I grew up as a child really wanting to be in this place of being able to protect. Then in college, I thought that was going to translate into law, and I worked in detention centers and at deportation advocacy organizations to really keep families together in the U.S.

And in doing that work, my third year of college, I got hit by a car while I was crossing the street. I had to relearn how to walk and developed a number of mobility disabilities. And this community that I had at the University of Chicago, which was the first I’d ever really experienced, no longer was welcoming of me, and I realized how fragile belonging was. And I carried that with me into my career. 

And in terms of getting to diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging work, it really all started when I got into tech and when I got into venture capital. So I had been a management consultant and had left to join a VC firm. And in that firm, I was the first woman ever hired. I was the only Hispanic person working in VC in the City of Chicago until one other person, who Gio and I both know, joined a year later. But I was the only one, and I was one of 27 Latino women working in VC nationally. And I was also the youngest VC director nationally by 10 years. And it was really hard to do my job. I didn’t have a peer community. I didn’t command the respect that my position or the quality of my work really deserved, and I thought from my standpoint, “I’ve got a family to support. I can’t quit this job especially when people are telling me I’m so lucky to have it.”

And so I said, “We have to transform this organization from the inside out.” And over the course of three years, I was leading four departments, and I added on this DEIB work. And the outcomes were positive. We increased diversity by 25% in our investor base. We went from 3% female-founded in our portfolio to 20% female-founded, similar for people of color, and at the end of my tenure, the top three performing portfolio companies were led by women and people of color. 

And that’s what really set me on this journey to founding Ethos because I realized that by putting in repeatable, automatic, and structural steps, we could change even the most traditionally entrenched in these exclusive culture organizations and industries because if we can get to behavior change, we’re gonna see really big and broad impacts on people from different groups. And so I’m running Ethos today. We’re a team of about 14 folks. We’ve grown from just me to that really in the last year, but we’ve been around for about three years. And I’ll be sharing some of the research and work that we have done not only on belonging, but on gender equity in particular, which is my area of subject matter expertise.

Giovanni: Awesome. Thank you so much. It’s a wonderful introduction, Alida. Hopefully, within that, people can get to know you a little bit more, understand why you’re an authority on this, and something that matters to me a lot, understand why you care about this because so much of this work that we’re gonna be talking about, and it is work, it’s not just knowing about something or having an opinion, it’s work, so much of this work is effective when it comes from caring, when it comes from understanding what it’s like being empathetic to people who are in a different situation from you, and I think that why you care and how you came on this journey is very relevant. 

Obviously, you’re an expert on the subject matter, and, you know, I just wanted to mention to our audience part of why I wanted to bring Alida on and feature someone from Ethos is because of that word “transformation.” There’s a lot of things that have happened and attempts that have been made in diversity work, or diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging work, or JEDI work, or DEIB, that have not made the transformation that we all hope for and that we want, they’ve been valiant efforts, a lot of them have been backed by authentic attempts and a desire to change. But what Alida and her team really do is really focus on what’s gonna transform a business.

You come to this from a stance of a personal perspective, a professional perspective of what it’s like to kind of suffer and not belong and things like that and then also that, you know, professional application perspective of transforming an organization that you’re an employee of and then now transforming a bunch of organizations through what you said, repeatable and automated processes that people can really scale. So I’m really excited. I think a lot of our audience tend to be doers, right? We have a brain in our head, a heart in our chest, and hands that wanna get to work, and we really wanna make an impact. And we’re good at running programs, and people in compliance and ethics are good at, you know, figuring out how do we change the shape of this and change the direction of it. 

I’m excited to talk through some of this with you today, Alida, because, really, I think that that’s what a lot of people are hungry for. What should I do about this? Okay. You know, we’ve kind of gone through this adoption curve of like, “I heard about it. I kinda know about it. I’m bought in. I’d like to do something.” Maybe I’ve stumbled through some things, and, you know, that once a year training that we did three years ago didn’t really solve the whole problem, and, you know, hopefully, we can get into how we achieve these goals. And that’s what we’re going to be working towards.

Alida: Absolutely. And something that I would just love to add based on what you’ve shared here and your focus on transformation is I really like to work with compliance and ethics professionals because the core question that needs to be asked is, “What will it take for our employees to feel safe?” And it’s a question that actually doesn’t get asked a lot when we’re talking about diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging or JEDI work. And the reason that I wanna bring this up and kind of frame our conversation around it is we have a hierarchy of needs. And a lot of times the reason that that training doesn’t really materialize into change is because you started too late in terms of the needs ladder. 

We needed to establish a baseline of trust and safety before we could even engage in that training because maybe people weren’t being honest or open, maybe they couldn’t process everything that they were hearing or learning because there wasn’t that ability to do so. And so I just wanna highlight that if we start with the question of how do we know that our employees feel safe, what will make them feel safe, and we talk to them about safety, and think about identity as part of that conversation, we do the essential work for diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging. And ultimately, we start thinking about these more mechanical processes that make equity possible.

Giovanni: Yeah. That’s such a good point, and I’m so glad you brought it up, Alida, that it’s all tied together. And, you know, I think, you know, part of the reason we connected, Alida, is we share at least one of those identities. My family, I come from a family of Cuban refugees, and I saw a lot of that kind of split between different cultures and seeing people suffer under that. And it’s part…you know, it’s one of the many places from which my caring and understanding of this conversation comes about, you know, diversity more broadly. But today we’re gonna, you know, try to focus in on the issue of gender equity. And that’s something that is important obviously, and that depending on the profile of your organization on any number of these identities, including the age and the generations in your workplace, a lot of people are in different kind of states of the world and different phases of progress on this.

So as we get into this and we start kind of getting down to it, I want to encourage everyone who is attending, look at the bottom of your screen, on your Zoom screen. There’s a little chat bubble that says chat and Q&A. Please jump in on that. We want this to be valuable to you. We’re gonna have a great discussion. We’re gonna talk about a lot of really important stuff, but we want to hear from you, and we’ll be monitoring that chat throughout. And we’ll be picking up some of those questions. 

If you want us to dig deeper in on something or clarify something that we went over, please bring up those questions because we want this to be valuable to you. We would love if, at the end of this, you could pick something up and say, “I’m gonna start working on this, and I’m gonna start this conversation, and I’m gonna go get to work doing this important work to change my organization.” So please jump into that, and we’ll be monitoring that to make this as valuable as we can for you.

So let’s jump in, Alida, and let’s talk about this. What is the situation? You know, what is kind of the state of the world in relation to gender equity? Obviously, it varies on a personal, divisional, company, culture basis, but let’s kind of set the stage here a little bit.

Alida: So the first place I wanna start is something that I think has been underreported and has not been talked about enough, which is that COVID-19 was particularly negatively impactful on those who identify as women. But when we’re talking about gender equity, we’re not just talking about women. We’re also talking about non-binary people. We’re talking about folks who identify as one of the many genders that exist in our workplaces today. 

So while I’m gonna spend some time sharing the data that has been collected on women, I want us to also be mindful of the fact that gender equity is going to apply to that whole gender spectrum. But to start with women, one of the things that I think is really important to understand about our current climate today is that in some ways this idea of the wage gap or the pay gap has been put on pause because we’re losing so many women in the workplace.

Well, for one, in January, we lost 285,000 women to COVID, and what I mean by that is in terms of the responsibilities, not even the mortality rates that we’re talking about, we have lost women who are primarily caregivers. Now, that might be to children, it might be to family members, it might be to chosen family members. The point being that their work schedules were not flexible enough to accommodate for all of their external responsibilities. And what I mean by that is if you look at some of the research that’s come out, in particular for McKinsey, what you’ll see is that we have really expanded the work day and expanded other responsibilities. 

So the average American worker during COVID worked an extra 48 minutes per day during the work week, so added 5 hours of unpaid labor per week. Now, if we look at that in the context of folks who identify as women, they added not only 5 additional working hours per week, they added 10 to 15 additional domestic hours, whether it was tending to schooling, housing, family responsibilities, or health. So we’re looking at women who are working anywhere from 10 to 20 additional hours per week with their responsibilities and finding that staying in their jobs is simply unsustainable. 

And what we’re seeing is that that’s actually not going away even as the economy opens up and we’re starting to see higher vaccination rates. We’re expecting to lose about 2 million women over the next 2 years from corporate America because of the challenges that they’ve experienced trying to balance all of their responsibilities and needs during this period of time.

If we go back to this question of safety, it’s also really important to note that some of our policies especially in the U.S. are really lacking in keeping women feeling safe in organizations as well as folks from other genders. So less than 50% of organizations in the U.S. have a sexual harassment or anti-harassment policy, and that is showing up absolutely in what continues to be the MeToo movement, which I think, again, has been underreported and undercovered as it has evolved and grown over time. And what we’re also seeing is that most small and medium businesses have no formal parental leave policy. So if you’re a caregiver and you are in need of taking time off in order to give birth, or in order to adopt, or in order to provide your caregiving responsibilities to a new member of your family, there’s no recourse or support for you.

And so so much of our conversation is tied to the wage gap, which it should be. We’re at 81 cents on the dollar if we look at all women as opposed to looking at it by race where we’re gonna see that Latinx women are most likely to be underpaid followed by Black women, and then White women, and then, of course, East Asian and South Asian women. 

What we’re seeing is that there are a host of issues that are impacting this idea of what gender equity is in the workplace, and just to take it a step back, something I want to be really clear about because definitions in DEIB matter, equality is about access. It’s about equal access to the same baseline opportunity. Equity is about that access plus the tailoring to individual need. So we may say, “Well, you know, we don’t have a parental policy for anyone in our organization.” And that in its own way could be equality. Nobody is being given a privilege that others are not partaking in. But from an equity standpoint, how does that respond to the individual need that we tend to see women in more of these caregiving positions?

The last thing that I wanna say on this is I would be remiss if I didn’t talk about the increase in transgender violence in the last two years and how that is translating into the workplace. We are seeing that show up in a lot of different ways. And for compliance and ethics professionals, one of the things that I’m asking is do you have a domestic violence policy? Do you have recourse or leave available to folks who have been on the receiving end of domestic violence, of sexual assaults, of hate crimes? Because we’re seeing an increase in all. And domestic violence in particular has gone up exponentially since COVID because of lockdown making it very difficult to get out of hard situations. 

So I’m not trying to be doom and gloom here. What I’m trying to say is we’re not talking about a lot of these issues at work right now, and there is a whole, essentially ecology of what gender equity actually means at work today that often gets summed up in terms of the pay, which is, of course, important, but tied to so much underneath.

Giovanni: Yeah. That’s such a great way to start us off. There’s so much there. You know, we could do a whole series about a bunch of the things that you brought up, and I so appreciate you bringing it up, right? And I think that this is part of what I think either makes it difficult for people to engage or makes it hard for people to make progress because, you know, it’s kind of like whack-a-mole or it’s kind of like you go out to weed your garden, and you realize, “Oh, wow, this is really everywhere.” Because there’s so many different things. And what I’d like to encourage our audience is as you…you know, maybe you thought it was… You know, let’s be extreme for comparison. Maybe you thought this was just a pay gap thing and we got to kinda get the pay right, and we just go over this, and we’re like, “Wow, it’s all of this. It’s domestic violence, and it’s uncompensated time, and it’s what’s going on at home, and it’s not just equality, but equity.” 

As you look at that, I want to encourage our audience, these are all things you can take action on. So I’d like it if, you know, we as compliance and ethics professionals and as leaders who care, we can say, “Okay. Well, there are a bunch of things to do. That doesn’t mean that I’m further away from the goal than I was. I’m actually just where I’ve been the whole time. Now, these are some different things that I can take action on. I can put that policy into place. That’s pretty actionable. I can probably do that in a month or a few months, or whatever, you know.”

So as we kind of lay this out and say, “Hey, there are a lot of different facets to this,” I’d encourage you to see the hope in that of like, “Okay. Well, that’s something specific. It’s not just this big amorphous thing that I have to try to make sure that everyone’s fine and I don’t even know what the problems are. We can start laying out those problems and putting those into an action plan of trying to make progress on it.” 

And I so appreciate you bringing up so many of the things that you’ve brought up, Alida, because it is more than just about pay and it is more than just about pay and women, you know. So you know, you brought up the pay for women cross-cut against their racial identity and, you know… Did I pick that up, right? You said that Asian women get paid more than White women and then Black women and Latino women are kind of sequentially lower on that scale. So, you know, that’s something that people can look at, and if you’ve just been looking at, you know, people who identify as male versus female and what’s the pay gap, you can cut that another way. And then that becomes something actionable. “Oh, wow, this is a blip. We can start to try to kind of bend the curve on that and then look at all these different things.”

Alida: Absolutely. And I think it’s helpful to keep in mind that you can use frameworks to start to root these challenges out. So what happens when we talk to our clients at Ethos, and we work with about 60 different organizations, they’re all different sizes, they’re all different industries, they’re all different stages, but they express something very similar to what Gio is articulating here today, which is just overwhelm at this sea of potential problems. And really what it is is about developing a framework to look for what’s happening with your employees in your organization because then you can start to address what matters most to them, and every organization will be different.

Some of the policies that I’m saying folks don’t have, you may have or they may be applied really well, folks may be really happy with how things are within the organization. The point is to be able to have an assessment mechanism that you’re checking with regularly. 

So at Ethos, when we’re looking at the internal DEIB health of an organization, we use our own model which we call R2P2, recruiting, retention, promotion, and protection. Recruiting is everything that has to do with when you design the role, all the way through to interviewing, and ultimately extending that offer and onboarding. Retention is all the practices, policies, procedures that keep employees committed to an organization and that have them respond that they are having a positive employee experience. Promotion is not only about who gets promoted, but about the velocity of movement. 

So if you are looking at gender equity, it’s not just how many women, non-binary, trans, agender folks have been promoted within your organization, but how long did it take, and what were the investments in them, did they have access to the same mentorship resources or additional mentorship resources, sponsorship resources, etc. And then when we’re looking at protection, which is often what is associated with compliance, what we’re looking at is what makes employees feel safe and what essentially dictates safety within the organization.

If you start to break it down into those four buckets, you can put a magnifying glass to what’s going on. And so here are the one or two interventions that are going to be most necessary. There are tools and there are resources to help you do it, but if I tell you my perspective as a practitioner, the challenge for people is not that there are too many problems to solve, it’s actually that they don’t know where to focus their attention. 

So if you can put a framework in place and say, “You know what? We really need to think about promotion in this organization, and let’s take a look at who gets promoted, when they get promoted, and what resources we use to help them get promoted,” well, you’ve really boiled the ocean now. And you can actually focus and pay attention in different ways. And that’s what we do as practitioners too. So that’s something to just keep in mind if you are feeling that sense of overwhelm.

Giovanni: Thanks so much for that, Alida. I think there’s hope in there, right? There’s this ocean out there. You can scoop up a bucket, and you can boil that, and then you can move forward. And I think that framework is really helpful. I wanna kind of dig in on that, but I’d like to maybe examine that framework in context with this question. We got a question in. Thank you so much for throwing questions in the chat. So here’s the question. “From what point should I start implementation of gender equity in a company? Which points are most important? How can these actions be proved if required for the external audit?” So there are a few layers there, and I know you started talking about kind of where to start. But let’s start there, like, what points are the most important or where should somebody start? I imagine the answer is partially it depends, but let’s dig into it a little bit.

Alida: In terms of evaluating gender equity in the organization, one, it’s never too soon. You can start with 6 employees, you can start with 50,000 employees. It’s easier the smaller you are because you are able to get your arms around the data. But if we’re just thinking about what are the important points to evaluate where gender equity stands, the easiest place when you’re starting out is to look at inflection points. So when we have hired a role, when we have hit a specific 10-year mark, so specifically we wanna look at 2 years of tenure and above. 

When we have hit a promotion cycle and when we have hit a particular incident, whether we’re looking at something positive within the organization that has shaped change or something like an influx of discrimination reports, one of the things that we’re seeing right now that is a great place to look at from an inflection point is we’re seeing increased mental health-related reporting to HR and people departments. And looking at that by sociodemographic data can be a great place to look at gender equity because we are seeing, for example, women are reporting higher rates of burnout than men are right now, and they’re reporting that in their organizations.

So the first place to look is what are the inflection points in an employee’s life within an organization from the beginning, middle to the end. In terms of measurement and metrics, there are so many options for you in terms of looking at what gender equity would look like. So the first place I would say is OKRs, objectives, key responsibilities, and key activities are really helpful as a frame for determining what metrics are even available to you. 

So we look at currency, how much are people paid, how much is their total compensation versus their base compensation, so really trying to materially understand investment in an individual and organization. We’re looking at things like stock options or private sharing or actual equity in an organization, but it could also be currency related to responsibility. So on a sales team, who is given the opportunity to manage the largest books of business? So currency is a place to look, and you can look at percentage, that can be percentage of your population. 

So what is just straight-line representation across the organization, and in what departments are they, in what roles are they? So how much of a percentage of leaders are identifying as a gender other than man? How many folks within a department? How are we seeing the spread?

Something that you always wanna look for is operation versus support roles. So operation in this particular case means revenue earning, and support means organization supporting. We tend to see marginalized genders in those support roles and not in this revenue-generating role. So we wanna look at the percentage breakdown. We can also look at just raw numbers, and if we’re looking at raw numbers, we could look at velocity of movement. That’s one of my favorite metrics to pay attention to. So in the hiring process and in the promotion process, it’s really helpful. How many weeks did it take these genders to move through a hiring cycle versus these other genders? How many years did it take for this person to get to a leadership level in this gender versus this person of the opposite gender? And then last is honestly a yes, no answer, and that can be the easiest if you’re doing something like a policy audit when it comes to gender equity where you can put together your list of do we have an anti-harassment policy? Do we have a parental leave policy? Do we have a personal leave policy? Answer yes or no can be another way of evaluating and attaching a metric to what is happening.

Giovanni: That’s great. Thanks so much for that, and, hopefully, that was helpful. Mariana, thank you for bringing that up. Like I said, keep dropping stuff in the chat in the Q&A because we wanna get to this for you, but that’s a lot of actionable stuff. And, you know, I think that this journey is gonna be a thousand steps, and we can start with a single step. And you can pick something out of that, right? You talked about currency, you talked about percentage representation, raw numbers, and then just kind of these yes, no questions, do we have a policy on this? You can pick one of those and evaluate it and say, “Okay. Well, if we’re great on this, let’s find somewhere we’re a little bit weaker.” Right? “Where is there a lot of head room for us to grow past where we are?” And you can get to work on that. And, you know, you don’t have to do it all at once. 

I really love how you brought up, Alida, kind of cross-cutting your data, not just looking at one dimension, but look at promotions by race, promotions by race and gender, promotions across different departments. And I know it’s something that we really pride ourselves on here at ComplianceLine. We really celebrate those cross-departmental promotions because that has power for our business from just, you know, kind of a performance perspective of, you know, people are cross-functionally trained, the company is more resilient, and, you know, we’re kind of sharing those learnings across the company, but it’s also a win for individuals to say, “Hey, you know what? I came in in this support role, and now I’m somewhere else,” or, “I came in on an entry level, and I got promoted to a manager somewhere else.” And that can be part of…you know, you can measure it, and then you can see how that’s going. And then you can start building an action plan to say, “Hey, how do we get some more of that?” 

So I appreciate you bringing it up. I think some of the dynamism of that can make this thing of like, “Well, how do I solve this big problem?” Well, you know, cut the data down a little bit and make the problem a little bit smaller, and you can jump into it.

So we have another question, and then we’ll kinda get back to some of the stuff that we were planning on talking about, Alida. But Laurie asks, “How would an organization go about ensuring that all policies incorporate DEI?” And thank you for that question, Laurie.

Alida: Absolutely. So one of the first places that you can start with thinking about it is defining your terms and then defining your identities. So to include DEI into your policies, you have to know what you mean by DEI. So I’ll just give you kind of a quick set of how we think about this. Diversity is about variety, and so this is where social identity comes into play. And there are 12 social identities that we consider closely at Ethos, everything from race, ethnicity, nationality, gender identity. We look at sexual orientation. We look at tribal and indigenous status, body type and size, ability, education, socioeconomic status, caregiving status. So we look at all of these different pieces, and that’s part of what we mean by diversity, what is the representation of variety within these groups within our organization.

Inclusion is really about whether employees feel that they’re welcomed, valued, and fully leveraged for all who they are within an organization. And equity is, like I said earlier, all about individual need. And a way to think about equity is about balancing power and fairness. Equity recognizes that power is unequally distributed, and it seeks to really engage in power-sharing practice. So if we know what those definitions are, we can start to look at our policies and say how are we accounting for variety in this policy, how are we accounting for the process of balancing power in this policy, how are we accounting for how an employee feels welcomed and included in this policy. And then for specific social identities, we can drill down even further. So we can look at how those identities would specifically be impacted.

Here’s a great example of a policy that I think we could spend more time considering, which is floating holidays. Floating holidays are a great policy opportunity to name that identity is going to impact people in different ways, and if you establish floating holidays, you’re saying your religious identity is considered within our organization, and so we have these three days that you can take to observe based on your religion. But these floating holidays don’t just apply to religious holidays, they can be cultural, and they can be identity-based. So we know that the Senate has passed Juneteenth as a national holiday. It’s going through the House of Representatives, but last year what I encouraged many of my organizations who had never heard of Juneteenth before but knew employees were celebrating and wanted to celebrate those days was to say, “Do you even have a floating holidays policy in place that would allow for those people to take that time if they need it and it would be subject to a different approval process?” So they wouldn’t have to take traditional PTO. This would be guaranteed to them. But when we’re looking at these policies, just always asking ourselves, another kind of framework that I use all the time, is this explicitly anti-racist? Is it anti-ableist? Is it anti-sexist? And this can seem complicated, but once you start getting used to it and you do a few policies, I promise you, it’s not that hard. You just basically need the decision tree in the beginning.

So let’s talk about anti-ableist policies. How do you make sure you integrate DEI into your policy? Apart from the content, it’s how they’re written. A term like walk me through, or stand up for, or blind spot, all those are actually gonna be ableist. And we wanna eliminate disability as metaphor in our language, and some of our policies will include that kind of language. Simply by eliminating and replacing that language, we are incorporating DEI into our policies.

Giovanni: Yeah. That’s great, and that’s, you know, again, something actionable that you can look at. And I think that encouragement to define what your terms are can, you know, help, you know, boil this down and get us to something that’s actionable. I think there’s an element here, I think, especially, you know, in… Part of the question earlier was how do we report these actions? How do we kind of gather the data and report them? And I think that’s something that can really unlock a lot of action within our compliance and ethics organizations because we’re having conversations, you know, with the board, we’re having conversations about our, you know, our budget, we’re trying to prove what happens, and, you know, as they say, what gets measured, gets done. 

And I think that there’s a chance here for compliance and ethics pros to be the champion of the metrics around this, whether your company is going into an ESG framework and you really wanna kind of show up for the S on this, or whether, you know, someone just needs you to kind of, you know, get out of the, “Hey, we did a bunch of stuff, and we were busy, and it’s probably better than it was.” You know, someone on that committee is gonna wanna see the proof of what happened. 

Do you have any guidance on how to kind of build momentum as we’re getting into this gender equity question for either an external audit or just for building momentum with, you know, the people we report to to say, “Hey, you know what? We should continue to focus on this and focus more on it”?

Alida: Absolutely. And I will address that in just one moment, but I realize that I have two tips for folks that you can act on right now that would be really easy to do. And I just wanna put that in there. If we’re thinking about your equity in your policy audit, check two things for me, and that will be really helpful. The first is in your health insurance policy, a lot of organizations don’t know this, but their health insurance providers carry a transgender exclusion policy. So while you might be able to receive hormone therapy if you are a biological woman, if you are in the process of gender affirmation surgery and need to go through hormone therapy, insurance won’t cover it. 

Many professionals within these organizations that we work with don’t understand that that is, like, a hidden clause in their health insurance policy. So checking on transgender exclusion classes and asking your provider to eliminate them is gonna be really beneficial. And then the other thing is just check your parental leave policy and make sure that it is as expansive as possible for foster, adoption, non-biological appearance. And make sure that it’s gender-neutral language so that it is inclusive of all the genders. Those are two really quick things that you can do that don’t take very much time and that have a really big impact on people’s lives.

Giovanni: Thanks for that.

Alida: But to your point about momentum and buy-in for an external audience and an internal audience, you know, Gio, I think what you were getting at is what’s measured gets managed. And what we wanna look at is what is a consistent reporting process that we can engage in. So there are a lot of different ways you can do this. 

One thing that I say is you should be doing a DEIB survey once a year to track progress over time. So to be able to show change momentum transformation in your organization, it holds people accountable, but also there’s something about seeing the metric that makes people want to beat their score or improve upon their score that does generate buy-in. It’s also something that I found board members are more likely to respond to. They wanna see that trend line change from 2018 to 2021 in terms of, let’s say, your representation of women-identified employees, they wanna be able to tell that story, and they wanna be able to also tie it to growth and success within the organization because we’re talking about stakeholder value in this particular situation, right?

In terms of getting internal buy-in, it’s a little bit different. Employees will take these surveys if they think that you’re gonna do something about them. So what I have really structured with our client organizations is this process by which we do the survey and we report out the five things we’re gonna do over the course of the year based on what we learned.

Giovanni: Wow.

Alida: And so what we do, it’s really simple. We say, “What are we gonna do in the next three months? What are we gonna do in the next six months? And what are we gonna do in the next 12 months?” It’s not about how big the initiatives are, it’s about the fact that you are keeping these promises that you’re making and that people understand how the data is being used. The data matters to the external audience in my experience more than to the internal audience. The internal audience kind of knows already. 

I had a client who was saying to me, “I don’t wanna share the results of our representation audit with the organization because they’re gonna see that we’re losing a ton of women right now.” Okay. Well, they can see their colleagues leaving. Do you think that they don’t know?

Giovanni: Yeah. They can just turn their heads, and they already know. They know before you know.

Alida: So it’s not about keeping that information from them. It’s about sharing the information and saying, “Not only do we know that you know, but now we know. And we’re gonna do these three things about it over this period of time.” And it’s about that communication of what you’re gonna do with that data.

Giovanni: Yeah. I love that. I think that, you know, that ties into a lot of things that we talk about and promote here at ComplianceLine that, you know, it’s not just having a policy, it’s not just having some data. You need buy-in from the whole employee base. People have to know, you know, we run an anonymous hotline. People have to know that when they call there’s something gonna happen, and whether it’s your communication, how you do training, the way that you present your policies, all these things that we do, we need to be conscious of that full frontline audience. 

And I think that, you know, we need to realize that a lot of times they may be more clever than we give them credit for that they’re in it, they see that we just had three people, the last three people who quit were all people of color, there might be a trend here and stuff like that. And I think that when we can get over that fear, like you said, of, “Well, it’s gonna be kind of embarrassing to tell them where we are.” 

Well, you know what? Reality is our friend. So if this is where we are, how about we can all be honest about where we stand and look at what we’re doing to move forward? And I think just that little bit of, “Hey, here’s one thing 3 months, one thing for 6 months, one thing for 12 that we’re gonna do about this,” can do a lot for people to say, “Okay. Well, you know, I can check back on that later.” Right? You know, they’re at least taking action, and it can build a lot of goodwill and a lot of buy-in for people to say, “Okay. Well, I’m gonna participate on the next survey,” or, “I’m gonna share some of my ideas, and you can get kind of a flywheel going,” that it becomes part of your culture, not just to want to be diverse and not just want to have equity, but to take action on it and drive that transformation.

So I wanna get back into some of these things, and please keep bringing the questions up. Thank you, everyone, for bringing those in. You know, you had brought up earlier that women in the workplace are more likely to be caregivers and are more likely to kind of bear some of these burdens of things that are happening outside the workplace. And I think that our workplaces are increasingly becoming not just more inclusive, hopefully, they should be, but also more expansive because we realize that this is not a fight between what happens in your “real life” and what happens at work. 

There’s an integration of all of these things. If you’re served well at work, if you’re supported, and if you belong, and if you can bring your gifts if they’re there, then you’re not bringing a bunch of stress home to your community and your family and things like that. And, you know, that family life affects how you show up at work. So talk to me about how we can balance this consideration for, “Hey, you know what? We’d like to be…you know, not just have equality, but have equity,” and give consideration for these things that are happening outside the job, and kind of balance that with, you know, treating everybody fairly and having a consistent way that we approach this.

Alida: So it’s interesting that you bring this up. It’s definitely a conversation that has been coming up more and more in workplaces. And I do think that this, again, is about intersectional identities. So the ways in which we carry multiple identities is gonna impact the way that we respond. I’m gonna share with you kind of my guideline for managers in particular when they are dealing with employees who are facing what I would call trauma, right? What we have experienced collectively through our economic crisis, our public health crisis, and our social identity crisis, the intersection, of course, of not only Black Lives Matter, but the fight for AAPI lives, and for MeToo, and for disability justice all at the same time. It’s too much, too fast, too soon, which is how I define trauma, and we’re seeing real increased reports of mental health issues arising within our employee bases. So what I wanna kind of emphasize here is the importance of boundaries and understanding what the roles of people within organizations are versus what, let’s say, a practitioner, a counselor, or a therapist might engage in with employees.

Giovanni: Thank you.

Alida: So I think that that is the line that people are really struggling with right now. So when I’m addressing these situations, the first thing is to understand what I’m being asked to do, and so I will ask, “Am I here to problem-solve with you? Am I here to be a listening partner? Am I here to be an escalator of these issues?” And understand what the expectation is before we get further into the conversation because I also don’t want the employee to put themselves at risk and share information that could be compromising or that maybe they wouldn’t want me to hold. 

I mean, I think that that is part of being ethical in this work, but generally speaking, what I say is I am mostly here to be a problem solver and to be a gateway to resources for you. So if you’re coming to me and you’re experiencing a lot of negative emotion or mental health issues related to something happening in your life, then I am going to show up in that conversation with care and empathy, and I’m gonna name the things that we as an organization can do to support you, whether it is reminding you of our personal leave policy or letting you know that we can create a flexible working schedule for you. I may name the reasonable accommodations that I know that we can make to support you, and I will likely point you to an external resource or party.

So we at Ethos do this all the time where I’ll say, you know, “And you have a great employee assistance program where you have access to advisors and counselors who can support you.” One of our organizations during the height of COVID made the investment of a group BetterHelp subscription, so on-demand therapy for employees. So they would direct folks and say, “You don’t have to pay for your own therapy. You can go through this subscription, and anything that you need to work through or talk about, you can use.” A lot of employee assistance programs offer healing circles, and group counseling, and group support, but they also offer other resources that might get at what someone is struggling with. So if we go back to this gender equity issue, this is a great opportunity to point out if you have an HSA in place, if you have financial advising services as part of your EAP. And so to say, I am a conduit of information, of resources, and of support, if things are being escalated that, of course, are in this realm of HR or compliance, we’re talking about investigation, we’re talking about policy change and review, that’s a whole other story. What I’m talking about is navigating the fact that for the last almost two years… That’s what it feels like to me. Maybe it’s more like a year and a half.

Giovanni: It feels like a decade maybe. I mean, you know, who knows?

Alida: Well, people have been living at work, and the boundaries are really unclear. People are tired, they’re sad, and they’ve been going through a whole host of issues depending on who they are. And it’s about saying, “I am here to support you, and these are the specific things I can do for you.” And also to be clear on what you can’t do for them. It’s not your job to be a therapist to employees, and it’s not good for them either. 

There’s a great line that came from actually one of the folks that I teach in one of our management programs. She said that the best advice that she ever got from her manager was just never commiserate. You can listen, you can support, you can provide resources, but we don’t in these roles that we hold violate that boundary and go into this relationship of, “Yeah, everything does suck, and it is horrible, and here are the issues and struggles that I’m having, and I want you to take on what I’m experiencing and feeling at this time.”

I also think it’s important that we understand that people are going to have emotions at work, and some of our conversation around emotional intelligence is not healthy. It can be a means of corporate control when we say, “You have to self-manage your emotions, and so you’re not being professional if you cry at work, or if you have a bad day, or if you don’t have a smile on your face.” That isn’t tenable, it’s not sustainable, and it’s not a reasonable expectation from our employees. People are going to cry sometimes, and that’s part of being in a human system. 

And so while I think emotional intelligence is hugely beneficial and we teach it, and we love it, and we have all the frameworks here at Ethos, I will say that that’s something that’s been concerning to me recently where I’m in organizations where it’s being used as a means of saying, “Don’t be human,” or, “Be less human when things are hard.”

Giovanni: Yeah. I appreciate you bringing that up. It’s kind of a twist, you know, I think of emotional intelligence as, you know, understand and be in tune with the way that emotions affect our decisions and our interactions. It should not be, you know, guard rails around, “Well, make sure that you only have these emotions.” And, you know, that can be kind of, you know, probably suffocating and demoralizing for someone to be told, “Well, don’t be as human as you are. Be a little bit more robotic.” So I appreciate you bringing that up. You had mentioned to me earlier that there’s some things we can do to promote gender equity by thinking maybe on some things that are outside of just, you know, our policies and these commitments like office environments, and flexible schedules, and maximum hours. 

How can some of these concepts help us, you know, maybe add something to our toolbox or turn, you know, the momentum or increase our momentum as we start looking at trying to get equity on a gender basis?

Alida: So I’m gonna start with office environments first because I think it’s relevant as folks are returning to offices, and there are some simple things we can think about, like the temperature in your office. So in the 1960s, there were all of these studies done on the optimal temperature for a workplace, and all of the interview subjects were men, and it turns out that men prefer 5 to 7 degrees cooler than women. So if you think about women in your office always talking about how they’re cold or they have a blanket or they have an extra sweater, instead of sort of laughing it off and being like, “You know how women are,” which I’ve heard about this in particular, “You know, they’re always cold, they always have their Snuggie. I’m gonna give them a blanket.” Ask, “Can you change that temperature on your thermostat because the way that we set our temperature is really informed by gender identity?” 

So that’s something very simple to think about, but this is about going back to your workplaces and saying, “Okay, if we’re gonna ask people to return to work when they have been at home and they’ve been in their comfortable environments in a lot of cases, do we have mother’s rooms? Do we have places for folks who could be at home right now and would be able to pump in a way that made them feel safe and comfortable and not have to crowd into their car or into a bathroom stall, which is still very common?” Right? 

So when we think about office environments, we also wanna think about what are we seeing in the physical environment. Are all of your conference rooms named after men? Do your conference rooms have names or identities or events associated with them that are inclusive of non-binary, agender, transgender people? When we are thinking about what’s displayed on our screens or the language on our walls or even the images around us, are they inclusive of the different genders coming into our office? Because it’s all messages that people are receiving about whether they belong in that space and in that organization.

So when we think about the office environment, we wanna think about how would I feel if I’m coming from this identity being in this space. What’s my comfort level? What’s my safety level? What’s my inclusion level? It is why it’s important to have all-gender restrooms and to explicitly label them because it’s an affirmation or a rejection of an identity that is central to who somebody is. We can think about this too in terms of what we’ve been asking people to do. I think that we need to pay attention to how high the rates of burnout are right now or self-reported burnout are and ask, “Are people working too much for a reason?” 

When you talk about maximum hours, Gio, this is something that I’ve been working on in my research now for over a year, which is what are the maximum hours a person can work before they stop being productive? And the answer is 55. But, ultimately, if you look at sort of all of the research, it’s about 50. And people tend to report being happier in their workplaces when they’re around 40.

Obviously, we’ve seen a lot of experiments with four-day workweeks with longer workdays but fewer of them or with shorter workdays over a longer set of the week. But what I mean by maximum hours is being in your organizations and saying just like there are minimum hours, you’re not considered a full-time employee or you have this expectation that you work this much, we have this expectation that you won’t work above this amount. This is really important for people who are navigating caregiving responsibilities, health challenges, and all of these life events that are coming at them all at once. And we’ve seen in other places that something like maximum hours really improves productivity and efficiency. There’s been a lot of studies done in Sweden in particular that show employees are getting the same amount of work done in 24 hours that they were in 40 hours because having a maximum that they are allowed to work means that they cut out a lot of the distraction, a lot of the Facebook, a lot of the kind of getting lost and distracted on their phones because that’s the target they’re there to meet. And it creates more of the space for balance within people’s lives. So we want to think about gender equity in terms of that holistic ecology that I was sharing earlier today.

Giovanni: I love that.

Alida: It’s not only about one or two things. It’s about experience, and if that feels hard to get in touch with, I will tell you what we do at Ethos, we interview people. When we do our assessments and roadmaps, there are four components to what we do. We launch a diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging survey that includes self-identification data so that we can cross-reference how people have answered a question I feel like I belong here with the identities they hold. We conduct research interviews where we ask the same 12 questions to anybody who wants to come talk to us. We call them office hours because we just have a Calendly link up where people spend 30 minutes with us, and we’ll talk to anywhere from 10% to 30% of the employees in an organization. People are eager to talk to us because they know we’re there to put some change in place. We do an artifact audit, which is basically a policy practice and documentation audit of everything you have in place that might support or work against DEIB. And then, finally, we are always doing what we call ethnography research, which is we observe people in their spaces. So we go to your physical space and we look at a lot of the things that I’m talking about, what’s the temperature, what are the words on the walls, do people say hello and thank you, do people open doors for each other, how hard or easy it is to get a plate from the cabinet. And if you’re in a virtual environment, what we do instead is we shadow your meetings, and we look at do we have distributable agendas that were sent out in advance for different processing and learning styles, do we have people taking turns, what do interruptions look like in those spaces. But all of that information is information we’re getting with the exception of the artifact audit directly from employees, and they are going to be the experts on their experience. So it’s about just making sure you’re reaching enough of a swath of them that you can find trends and patterns.

Giovanni: That’s awesome. There’s actionable stuff there. You’re raising our awareness and our consciousness here, Alida, about the different things that, again, these are not…you know, this is not a list of you have to do all of these things or you’re a bad person. These are things you can pick up and say, “Hey, you know what? We could do some surveys.” I mean, I love that, right? Like, I think a lot of times we’re inclined to say, “Well, if we don’t have, you know, a sample of 40% of our population with structured data for us to run bar graphs off of we’re not gonna learn anything, you know what? You can learn a lot by sitting down with a few people.” And, you know, you should probably do a few and not just build your whole program off of one conversation. But, you know, you can have, whatever you said 10 or 12 conversations and, you know, get some findings from that or at least get some hints for what you can look into. 

And I’m so glad you brought up some of these things about raising our consciousness about, you know, what’s on the walls, what’s the temperature. And, again, these are some of these softer things that it’s not a policy about what percentage raise someone should get, but this is part of where the frontier is, where we can move this forward. And it’s this consideration not just, “Hey, you know, we have to get out of this compliance 1.0 mentality of, ‘Hey, can I get sued for this thing?'” Well, you know what? The way to get a workforce in a workplace where everyone belongs and that’s inclusive and that we can move forward on this gender issue is to consider some of these things on those fringes that, “You know what? Maybe someone’s not gonna bring a lawsuit, you know, in the next three months about, you know, the picture on the wall, but you can change that and make lives better for people.” And you’ve helped us in a lot of ways to get a handle on some of that stuff. So thanks so much.

I have a couple questions here. Thanks, everyone, for jumping into the chat here. So one question here, this is a little bit off of, you know, it’s in the diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging topic, but it says a lot of attention is paid to multiple generations in the workforce, we’re talking about millennials and Gen Z, and rightfully focused on these kind of up-and-coming generations’ concern about race, gender, and disability, you know, those haven’t stopped being an issue. 

But this question is despite the recent increase of DE&I efforts, ageism and microaggressions around age are happening against older workers and particularly older women. What are your thoughts on that? And how does that interface with some of these things we can do?

Alida: I’m so glad that you’ve brought up the intersection of age and gender identity because it’s something that’s absolutely true. And I wanna give you two examples that are personal because I think it might help contextualize the way that I think about this. When I was working in my VC firm, I had a colleague, I was 24 years old, and he said, “Good thing you’re married because you’ll only be viable for one more year.” And that was my first sense of how my age would be considered differently at work because of my gender identity. Because it was something that would have never been said to my male-identified colleagues. And I was very young. 

But the other example that I want to give is about an organization I work with that has a very dark joke around how the minute you turn 45 in the organization as a woman you become invisible, that you are considered to not be up on market trends, that you don’t know how to use technology, that you’re over the hump and don’t have information to share. These are pervasive myths, and we see them in different industries. I mean, we see it probably most openly in Hollywood and specifically what access to roles and opportunities women have after a certain age. 

But ageism in the workplace absolutely exists. And in DEIB, one of the places that it manifests the most is in actually these conversations between different generations about DEIB where there are assumptions from younger generations that because you are Gen X or because you’re a boomer, you have no idea what you’re talking about, you’re bigoted, you’re not woke. I see that play out in my rooms, in my classrooms all the time, and one of the things that I have to remind people is we’re building a shared language and we have different experiences. And so you may in your Gen Z life have access to a whole lot more up-to-date language and you will not have had the same level of exposure to people in those identities and in those groups, and we need to bring the two together.

In terms of combating ageism, it comes down to really an issue of education. This is where we have to start because I do see that age is one of the invisible identities. We tend to focus so much on gender identity and racial identity that we aren’t pointing out that there are so many different kinds of microaggressions that show up. 

Pathologizing of communication styles, which is widely studied by Derald Wing Sue, is one of the age-based microaggressions that we’re likely to see within organization. And so it’s about naming it when it’s happened and providing a corrective action. But in order for this to really happen, what I advocate for as a starting point is to talk about generational cohort in the workplace. There’s a really simple exercise that I did when I was getting my DEI certification in Georgetown where we had different generational groups clustered together and they had to define themselves and how they viewed themselves in terms of their generation and how they thought they were perceived by the rest of the generations in the room. That discussion alone helped us understand each other in ways that I think helped also identify where microaggressions might come from.

So our boomer counterparts, I was in the millennial group, our boomer counterparts said one of the things we experienced is that we’re considered outmoded, out of date, and naive about important issues. And how does that impact us? It makes us less productive, it makes us feel less than human, it makes us feel unsupported, and it was the humanization of a group of people that, honestly, I saw as authority figures because of their experience and tenure at work that made me look at operating my own biases around those generations. 

On the flip side, they had to look at the millennial group where we have been called snowflakes and, you know, buyers of avocado toast. And we’re talking about our very real financial struggles, our interest in commitment and social justice, what it means to come up in an economy like 2008. And so there has to be cross-generational dialogue in order to really be able to live out DEI principles when it comes to age.

Giovanni: Thanks for bringing that up. I think that education, that dialogue, having some language about how to treat it and make some progress in your culture where people say, “Okay, well, everyone’s unnoticed that this is a thing. We all know that it’s going on. Maybe it’s a little bit easier to speak up about it and maybe address it directly, or ask for some support for it, or something like that.” So we’re a little bit over here. I’d like to bring up one more question if you have a couple minutes, Alida. If not, we can cover it some other time. And for all our attendees, this is recorded. If you need to go, you’ll get the recording, and you can catch up on this. 

But I’d like to wrap up with one question and then give you a chance, Alida, to tell all of our attendees where they can find you, how they can connect with you, and how they can get more of this really genius, actionable, transformative input that you have on to this topic. So can we do one more question or should we wrap up, you think?

Alida: I’m happy to answer another question.

Giovanni: All right, great. So this may be tripping us up a little bit. So I saved the zinger for last, but this question comes about the importance and consistency of DE&I messaging, and particularly around organizations that may make a performance public announcement about gender equity, BLM, or pride, but then they don’t address AAPI hate, or islamophobia, or anti-semitism when it happens. And I think there’s a chance that employees…you know, this person is saying there’s a chance that employees see the inconsistency, and it works against all the other good DE&I efforts happening internally. So what do you think about that dynamic of, you know, there are a lot of these different identities to address. We’ve been focused intentionally today on the gender equity piece, but I’d like to kind of wrap us up and say how do you kind of consider these various things that you could speak on. So how do you think we balance that, Alida?

Alida: So the first thing I’ll say is I could lead a whole webinar on this question. We have an inclusive communications practice here at Ethos that was developed and exists because of this challenge that you’re defining. When George Floyd was murdered, I remembered this so clearly. Within 6 days, I talked to 41 companies who are all figuring out like, “What do we say? How do we manage this?” And one of the first things that had come up was a company had put out a BLM statement, and there was a coalition of East Asian employees who said, “Where were you when we were being yelled at in the street for bringing the China virus to this country? Why would you support Black lives and not Asian lives?” And it created this sort of cannibalization that was not healthy within the organization.

So a few things. For all of these identities, I believe in communicating internally. You don’t need a public statement. You need to address the employees within your organization. It could be a Slack message or a Teams message, it could be an email that gets sent out. It is acknowledgment. Employees mostly just want to be heard. It’s when they are made to feel invisible that we start to have these tensions. It’s a lot less about your public statement than what you’re saying to your employees. 

With that said, I really believe in the importance of establishing what I call an equity action plan which clearly defines your vision for diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging, your guiding principles, and your focus areas and naming why those are your focus areas. So one of our organizations is that racial justice, disability justice, and environmental justice are our focus areas. We care about all of these other identities too. We as an organization came to decide on these focused areas by collaborating with our employees. These are the commitments that we’re making. It’s not performative, it is intentional, and it allows people to track progress with you because the reality is there are too many identities and there’s too much going on in the world for you to have an answer for everything. Instead, focus on the things that most matter to you.

So as an organization, so my last point on this is why did Ben & Jerry’s get such good press? Because they have been working on supporting employees who were previously incarcerated for 40 years. That’s why their statements came off as genuine, that’s why they were praised, why it was so positive. But they didn’t come out for every single social issue that ever emerged. Take a stand on the issues that you are tying to what you do and show up for your employees internally when there are things that impact them.

Giovanni: Thank you.

Alida: And another case that Lexi, who’s in our chat, is gonna put in my personal newsletter link. The reason I encourage you to check that out is because I read two books a week and have for the last six years, and if you’re interested in any of these identities or issues, I will be putting them in that newsletter every single week. So reports, readings, data, and my book which is upcoming, Cultures of Belonging, coming out in February of 2022 will be available for pre-order soon, and I’ll be sharing that as well. So please do look at our social handles and look at our newsletter. 

And if you are interested in exploring gender equity a little bit more, there are two books that I highly recommend to you. The first is called Too Much by Rachel Vorona Cote, and the second is called On Violence and On Violence Against Women by Jacqueline Rose. Both of them are gonna give you really expansive social views, but they do talk about women at work. And I think that could be really valuable for all of you here today.

Giovanni: Just keep bringing the actionable stuff, Alida. I love it. I love what a voracious reader you are. No, it’s…you know, makes it a little less surprising how thoughtful, and how applicable, and how comprehensive and empathetic your views are on the subject. It’s been a real blessing for you to share some of your time with us and some of your insight and genius with us today, Alida. Thank you so much for contributing to our audience here. 

We firmly believe that when leaders who care get educated, put a plan in place, and authentically care about their employees, we can all make the world a better workplace. And you’ve been part of that today, Alida. I really appreciate it so much. Everyone, please know that there’s stuff in the chat to follow up with Alida and Ethos Talent. Is there anything else that you wanna point people to or anything else you wanna leave us with today, Alida?

Alida: I just want to thank everybody so much for your time, and I also want to say I was really excited to do this work with ComplianceLine. I recommend ComplianceLine to our companies for anonymous reporting, which I think is so, so, so important for employees feeling safe in organizations. So my biggest tip to you is make sure that you’re at higher utilization. So many of the employees I work with don’t know that they have an anonymous resource, and it’s one of the first things we do at Ethos when we’re sharing out what resources they have available. It makes you feel safe when you can go somewhere where you are not afraid of retaliation, and that information that they get may be the difference between them staying or leaving in your organization. So I really highly want to emphasize getting not only the hotline in place, but having your employees understand how to use it and reminding them that it’s there for them.

Giovanni: Thanks so much for that, Alida. You’ve blessed us today. You’ve given us so much good stuff. Please check out Alida and her team at Ethos Talent. And do what you can to put something in place. I encourage you as you wrap up from this, as you go about your day, figure out how you can take that next step, whether it’s gathering data, having some conversations, reviewing some policies, putting a plan in place, do something because there’s a lot of work to be done. 

And I’m just…I’m so thankful to be part of this profession of all these leaders who care about really transforming the workplace and moving from diversity all the way through to that belonging. Thanks for joining us today. I’ve been your host, Giovanni Gallo. This is Alida Miranda-Wolff. Thanks for joining us, and we’ll see you next time.