Webinar: Masterclass – Diversity Issues in Compliance 2020

Transcript for ComplianceLine’s Masterclass: Diversity Issues in Compliance 2020

Giovanni Gallo: Hello, everybody, and welcome to our masterclass with Matt Kelly, “Diversity Issues in Corporate Compliance.” We’re so glad that you could join us today. I’m Giovanni Gallo, co-CEO of ComplianceLine, and just wanted to go over a few housekeeping issues before I hand it over to Matt and our really excellent panel. We’re gonna cover some great and obviously very important things today. A few of those housekeeping issues. First of all, please be engaged as much as you’d like by putting questions into the chatbox next to your window. You can post those questions there and we’ll generally get to those at the end, but we’ll be monitoring them as they come up and may have a happy diversion with those. So, please send us your questions so that we can address things that are gonna be helpful to you as we go through this. Two other things as follow up to this webinar, we will be distributing the recorded video to all attendees and then we’ll also be distributing certificates of participation for those of you that need those. But without further ado, welcome to our Masterclass with Matt Kelly. And so glad that you are spending some time with us today, learning about and growing around this very important issue. Matt, take it away.

Matt Kelly: Sure. Thank you very much, Giovanni. Hello, everybody. Thank you for joining us here today. So, we have two speakers who are going to talk to us about diversity and inclusion issues and how they overlap with corporate culture, corporate compliance, programs, and executive leadership on these issues, which clearly are very topical. First, with me, we have Christyl Murray. Christyl is the vice president of Diversity Strategy and Talent Development at JPMorgan. And she also teaches about business ethics and strategy and has been a big thinker about diversity in the corporate world for quite some time. So, Christyl, hello. Thank you for joining us.

Christyl Murray: Thank you. My pleasure.

Matt: And then with us also is Kevin Withane, who is the Ethics and Compliance Director for T1 Fluid Systems, which is a British company with operations in the United States and elsewhere around the world. Kevin, thank you for joining us from your lovely garden, might I add.

Kevin Withane: Thank you for having me. I’m really excited about this.

Matt: So, everybody listening, as Giovanni said, we are happy to have you submit questions as they come to you and the inspiration strikes. Just send the questions along. The rough plan is that Christyl, Kevin and I will talk for probably about 45 minutes, and then we will get to the Q&A with the remainder of 15 minutes or so of the hour. But that said, if a really good question comes up, we are happy to have that taken along the way and we’ll just drop it in and talk about it on the fly. So, if you do have a good question, by all means, speak up as soon as it’s in your head and we’re happy to try and work that in as soon as we can. And other than that, I think that we can just dive right in.

So, I’m going to start by posing an opening question both to Christyl first and then Kevin, I think, is, what have you seen for interest in diversity and inclusion issues this year specifically? Because corporate America has long said that diversity is something that it thinks about, but obviously here in the United States, elsewhere and around the world, we seem to be paying a whole lot more attention to it. There’s a whole lot of social justice protests happening in the United States specifically. We hear much more discussion of it in social media, but that is us here on the outside. But for people who really are thinking about this all the time, what are you hearing, what are you seeing when you’re talking with colleagues at work with other people elsewhere you might talk to in the corporate world? What are your big impressions about how the interest level is turned up this specific year? So, Christyl, I’ll start with you and then Kevin. Christyl, are you there?

Christyl: Yeah, I’m here. Just it’s skipping a little bit. So, when I think about what I’m seeing and experiencing, it is quite different. So, I do feel like when I look from my perspective, we’ve always had our eyes on equality and diversity and ensuring that people can come to work and deliver. What is very interesting now is to see all eyes on the diversity space and having an opportunity to move from kind of the historic perspective of saying, yes, there’s a business case around it and we want to look at this type of work from both either a values-based approach or a rules-based approach. And now all of that I think is being kind of put to the side and really looking from a heart-based approach.

People are seeing diversity in a way that we’ve not experienced before. Some people have lived with these types of issues all their lives, but for others having, I guess, a unique opportunity to see such a devastating event take place before your eyes, I think has really moved people’s hearts along this diversity maturity stage. And I think that that’s really important because as practitioners, we need to take individuals and corporations where they are and kind of meet at the same stage. I do feel like we are in a unique position to leverage this moment to make real change. And so I think it does, in fact, start with discussions. But now there’s a lot of real work and energy centered on building specific plans as to how we’re gonna continue and track and make a change going forward. And I think it feels much more real and relevant to me.

Matt: All right. And Kevin, what do you see from your perspective?

Kevin: Yeah. I can echo some of those thoughts as well. I think… So, in previous years in a diversity and inclusion space, everybody seemed to be in corporate really focused on gender. It seemed to be the easy low-hanging fruit that you can tick the box. And racial diversity and equity and inclusion was, yeah, we’re gonna tackle that or we’re gonna have a statement in our policies, but they didn’t actually really proactively work towards dealing with that because, let’s just focus on gender.

Everybody talks about that. That’s what gets measured as a public company. That’s what we’re talking about, like, how many women are on the board? How many women do you have in your organization? It wasn’t, how many people of black or ethnic minority do you have? That wasn’t really a question that was being asked or really effectively measured in any meaningful way.

I think since what happened with the George Floyd and then the re-ignition of the Black Lives Matter movement, that’s really come to the forefront such that I think companies are now almost really entirely shifting towards, “Let’s focus on this. We’ve got to do something.” but then asking themselves, “Actually, we focused so much on gender. We didn’t really think about this. We don’t know what to do. How do we do this? What’s the right thing to do? Where do we start?” Because gender seems to be a much more… There was just much more training about information, about particularly after the #metoo movement really gathered pace. There was a lot of training on harassment and how to deal with different situations. And that really wasn’t out there for dealing with race and racial equality within the workspace, apart from, “Well, here’s some unconscious bias training,” which was rolled out as part of the sort of gender side and now they are sort of tweaking those. But the question is, is that even fit for purpose? And so that’s what I’m seeing. I think there’s a lot of companies say that this is important, but don’t know where to get started.

Matt: That leads right into the follow-up question I had. So, Kevin, I’ll stick with you for a bit and then go back to Christyl. But when executives do say, “We want to tackle this,” I guess my question is, do they… Really, do they have any idea what they want to do in a practical way? I guess, you know, everybody wants to address this, but do they have any idea? “Here’s how we focus in a disciplined way. Here’s how we think about it in a disciplined way.” I’m talking specifically about race, at least in the United States. That’s awkward. It’s very difficult for a lot of people. It seems like we have been talking about it for decades and decades and we struggle with it. So, I’m not quite sure. Do we know how to think about this in an effective manner? So, what do you hear about that or what are they trying to do to get started?

Kevin: I think initially, what a lot of companies seemed to do was, okay, there’s a lot of nonprofits we can contribute to and it’s like we’re gonna contribute to these funds. That’s the usual… That’s the easy way of trying to deal with something. No, let’s just throw some money at it. It’s worked in the past. The thing is, throwing money doesn’t show what you’re actually doing. Then we’re getting called out by this, “Well, you’re throwing money at this, but are you walking the talk? Are you actually doing anything in your organizations?”

That’s when a lot of companies they put out statements. They saw a backlash on social media where they thought they were doing the right thing, and all of a sudden, everybody was like, “Well, hold on. It’s a nice statement, white guy, but how many black and minority people do you have sitting next to you? How many actually worked with you on this statement?” Right? And they start looking and it’s like, “Actually, no one. Well, not that many.”

And I think it’s a much deeper issue. It’s hard to just go, “Let’s get started.” I think companies need to engage with people who have maybe already made a start on this area within their organizations. I think companies and leaders feel embarrassed a little bit. “We don’t want to be judged as our company has these issues.” And it’s like, “Well, actually, you’ve got to start from somewhere. You’ve got to have that baseline starting position to have that conversation.” And they need to discuss amongst themselves. What is this company prepared to do? Because ultimately, no D and I program is ever gonna be truly successful unless the tone comes from the top. And so that tone, the people at the top, they have to set what they are willing to do and not do. And I think from that is where the program can be built and where it will resonate with the people who work in that organization. And I think it’s about having that initial conversation. And I think CEOs should be very reaching out to each other and just saying, “What are you doing, mate?” They need to be having those conversations and maybe speak it up. But I don’t know. There’s so many diversity and inclusion officers out there. Let’s talk to them. Let’s see what they’re doing and understand what we can do.

Matt: And Christyl, give me your thoughts along those lines of what Kevin was saying. How much do corporate executives… Do corporations… How much do they really have a sense of, “Here’s where we wanna get started. Here’s what we wanna try and address.” or do they just know, “We wanna address it, but we’re stuck on what we’re supposed to do.”? What are they saying? What do you see?

Christyl: I’m seeing a lot of variability. From my perspective here at JPMorgan Chase, I think we were very lucky and benefited to have had top-down support for diversity initiatives very, very early on. I started actually in 2016. And as I was starting, JPMorgan Chase was launching a program called Advancing Black Leaders, and they had already launched programs for Advancing… Or they call it the Hispanic Executive Forum or the Asian Executive Forum. We had really strong programs, as Kevin mentioned, with women on the move. We also had a military program. Our diversity program in terms of accessibility had been, you know, making a lot of progress. So, I think we’ve had a lot of success targeting various groups and really looking at it like a business problem, you know, saying, “What are our objectives here? How do we wanna move the needle? What are some of the dynamics that we are actually gonna track and measure?” Things like retention, promotion, and mobility. And being able to internally set a baseline and then move to track our progress there.

Now, one of the things that I also do love about JPMorgan Chase is we say, you know, we don’t necessarily compare ourselves to the industry, we compare ourselves to ourselves. And again, I do think we are more forward. I just finished a program at Yale, really targeting… It was an executive program targeting fostering inclusion and diversity. And one of the things that one of the professor’s Heidi Brooks said is that different companies will be at different stages.

So, I think in terms of providing advice for organizations, trying to better understand where to start, you need to start with, number one, understanding and making sure that your diversity initiatives are in fact inclusive. You can’t have a lot of work in silos, which is what we’ve seen before these different organizations targeting different groups would be very siloed and not having interaction and engagement. I think for progress, we need to structure those organizations just the way we work and live with people interacting with one another.

So, for instance, if we have events, it might be sponsored by one particular group, say, accessibility, but you invite everyone to come and everyone to be part of the conversation. I think that’s how it’s moved forward. But again, different organizations are at different stages, but it’s very important for you to take an internal look and set that baseline and say, “Where do we want to push forward? And what metrics can we really quantify so we can track them and say we’re moving in the right direction?” And be comfortable, you know, taking smaller steps, but acknowledging that different organizations and different people will start in different places.

Matt: Let me pick up on what you were just talking about there, and then Kevin, I’d like your thoughts on this too. But you had mentioned objectives and metrics. So, what are good objectives and metrics that… I don’t know if you wanna talk about what JPMorgan tracks or other metrics generally, but you had said, I think, hiring and promotion or… What do you see as objectives that a company could try and start with and what works?

Christyl: So, I think just generally building awareness and having a company perspective as to what diversity and inclusion means for your company and why it’s important. So, that’s awareness, and that’s building the business case or building your value space proposition as to why it’s important and how it fits in with the work that we’re doing. That’s number one. I think tracking things like retention. Are we keeping people on promotion? Are we moving them along the lines? At what rates are different groups moving and trying to get more consistency there? I think looking at the pipeline, who we’re bringing in. Even before you bring people in, you have to look at the slate. Who are we interviewing? Right? I think it’s also very important to, you know, quantify some of the things that are more subjective. And various employee engagement surveys will ask, “Are you happy at work? Do you have a speak-up culture? Do you feel comfortable?” Those types of statistics are also generally tracked in your employee engagement surveys now. We’re taking a look at the differentiation between how different groups are answering and wanting to make sure that we’re seeing positives along the board. Those are, you know, some of the top lines that I think are very important. And it goes, again, from the hardline statistics to the numbers to some of the subtle essences around, you know, is our culture inclusive and do people feel welcomed?

Matt: Okay. Kevin, talk to me about some of the objectives and metrics you would want to track, either what you were doing specifically at T1 or other companies that you’ve seen are very forward, but what do you think?

Kevin: Yeah. So, TI Fluid Systems, we have a… We’re very early in this stage at the moment. We’re putting it together. But the things that I’ve seen other companies doing and, you know, as a sort of pro bono thing because this is an important topic where I’m helping some companies. We’ve tried to get together and develop their own diversity plans. And some of the things that we’ve talked about are, one, as Christyl said, we’re opening up the pool, like, where are your talents? And with engineering companies I hear or manufacturing companies is, “There aren’t enough female engineers. There aren’t enough these engineers.” It’s like, “Well, where were you recruiting from?” Particularly at the graduate level. “Where’s your pipeline?” “Well, we go to these schools because we believe these programs are the best.” “Well, what about the other schools?” Just because a person didn’t go to the school, they’ve performed exceptionally well, but their school should they not be considered? And it may not be the traditional schools you go and target. So, maybe you need to open up. We talked about opening up the schools and then measuring, like, how many applications are you getting? What are you doing? How are you promoting your business to the school to target those engineers?

One of the conversations with companies who we were talking before the call about not going back into the office. And one way companies that recruit but are doing so not necessarily with a view that the employee will need to be in an office-based situation. That’s a great opportunity as well to say to companies here is, think about your pipeline then because before you were constricted, really, to a geographic area. You’re likely will. I mean, I’m based in Detroit. You want someone to work in my Urban Hills office. They’re probably gonna be 20 miles, 30 miles away and that’s gonna be your sales conference. That’s gonna be the demographic then that lives in that area is really who you’re targeting. I said, “But now, if they’re not gonna be in the office, your demographic and your target audience is anywhere.” As long as they can get into the office when needed occasionally, and that’s sort of the main focus. And that’s how… You need to start measuring that. Are you getting applications? If not, why not? What is it that’s stopping people still? You’ve opened up your pipeline. Why are you not? And it’s things like, going back to your engagement, are we having low engagement particularly from certain groups, which, you know, on Glassdoor and things like that are reported out, you know, a black employees saying, “You know what? There’s no training here.” So, yeah, great. You’ve opened up and you’re asking and encouraging applications, but people, it doesn’t mean they’re gonna apply if they feel like, “We’re not gonna develop once we get in.”

So, it’s things like measuring how many people in your organization have different demographics. And I know there are different rules because of laws in terms of what you can and can’t do. But I think you can look at where you can get useful data, trying to measure those numbers. How many black people are actually putting their hands up to be in a leadership course if there’s the opportunity? How many are attending your online university training, which they may self-study, compared to other groups and other demographics. How many women are doing it? How many in this age group are doing it? How many in this age group are doing it? That sort of thing. I think they are all useful to help understanding. And I think, as Christyl was saying, understanding is the key at this very beginning stages. Understanding. So, the numbers are, in a sense, it’s just setting your baselines to which then you can work out a way of why we need to target these places.

Matt: It strikes me listening to both of you that a big part of your ability to think this through and to get this done well is you need a lot of data about what you’re doing, and a lot of it is related to the HR function. And I know, Christyl, you’ve been working in HR from time to time at points in your career. And Kevin, you’re in ethics and compliance, but it sounds to me like to do this well, I don’t know if HR leads it or HR is going to be buddy-buddy with whoever is leading it. But you can’t do this without strong analytics around HR capabilities or HR issues, put it that way, HR demographics. Does that make sense? Christyl, what do you think? And then I’ll ask Kevin too.

Christyl: Yeah. I think that when we say “Who owns ethics and compliance?” or “Who owns culture?” or “Who owns diversity?” It can’t be only an HR concern. I think it definitely has to be driven from top-down as it would be a business objective. And then you are absolutely right that you have to track the metrics there. But those types of demographic metrics are, in fact, housed within HR. So, for different areas here in the U.S., it’s easier. I’m not gonna say it’s easy at all. It’s easier to track certain demographic information around our employee base, but we’re a global company, and so it’s more difficult as we go internationally, but I think that that is, in fact, imperative. You have to have those data analytics and you have to ensure that you are tracking the appropriate figures.

So, for instance, like, as an illustrative example in my program, so we’ll bring different groups through the VP Academy. And if I want to say, “This is a program targeting diverse individuals, wanting to promote their advancement throughout the firm.” And if I’m tracking metrics, I need to ensure that if I’m looking at this particular group of vice presidents that I’m matching vice presidents who’ve participated in the program versus those who have not so I, as a program owner, can say, “My program is making a difference.” Right? So, it gets into that granular detail of not only what you’re tracking, but then what you’re comparing it to. Right? You can compare it to the industry, you can compare it to different groups. You can compare it to different demographic groups within your firm, but it’s really that analytical push that helps you from the very beginning set. What are we really tracking? And what are our objectives? And how can we make sure that we’re getting the right type of information?

Matt: And Kevin, before I let you give your thoughts there too, somebody did drop in a question that seems tailor-made for you. What is the compliance department’s role in driving diversity throughout the organization? And a lot of what compliance does is study data analytics to assess the effectiveness of policies. So, how do you see how compliance can help with these issues? And how much are they, really, kind of data-driven? HR-driven? What do you think?

Kevin: On data, I have a love-hate relationship with it. It’s essential when it’s needed and intelligence. But in things like which, you know, particularly the Black Lives Matter movement and trying to build racial things, I think numbers can… I hate people getting skewed and so focused on the number. “Our number is going up. We’re seeing improvement.” That actually underlying those numbers are some real issues which don’t really come out, and so that’s sort of why I have that love-hate relationship. But I think the compliance function itself is evolving. Before… And it certainly came in 2000 or the WorldCom, Enron scandals, and then Sarbanes Oxley. Very much a tick the box exercise. Tick, tick, tick. Follow the policies. Then we sort of got the financial crisis and that really reinforced some of that, but then it was… Well, hold on. Let’s talk about tone from the top-down and some other elements. I think we’re now evolved 10 years or even longer than that onto where ethics and compliance function are much more heavier on the ethics side and the integrity side, and that is about the softer stuff. It’s not just, “Do this. Don’t do that. If you do this, you’re gonna go to prison. If you don’t, somebody…” That sort of thing. I think it’s much more on culture.

And ethics and compliance is one thing, but I think the ethics side is about helping people understand why this is important, why a company’s culture and the way we do business, trying to do things with integrity. We don’t go and bribe government officials. Why is that? Part of them, turning people is a criminal offence. Yeah, they get it, but nobody’s gonna find me here. That’s the wrong thing to do for these reasons. It can have a long-term effect. And that’s what we want people to understand. And that’s a much slower process because that’s built-in culture. And I think sort of the function itself is evolving and that’s why things like diversity, equity and inclusion, they really feed into the culture because you’re trying to build, let’s just do the right thing, and so it becomes natural.

It’s like breathing, we don’t think about it, we just do it. It’s the same with ethics and compliance. It’s about doing the right thing without even thinking about it. It becomes second nature. Inclusion, it’s the right thing to do, it’s second nature. And that’s what we’re trying to build, and it’s a slow process because you’re changing to… So, some certain organizations we’re changing an entire culture. And that’s slow and so that’s why we have to work in… That buzzword of using, working with climates, but, you know, taking certain groups and functions and work on that, and then it slowly gets spread out within an organization. And that’s not to say you shouldn’t do it because it’s hard work, it’s you just have to get started. And there were measurables from that.

Matt: It does strike me that a compliance-driven mentality… “Do not do this or you will go to jail.” A compliance-driven mentality around diversity is a lot more, “Are we violating any fair labor anti-discrimination laws?” “No, we’re not. Awesome. Now we’re out and we can do whatever we want. We’ve done the minimum, we’re done.” which seems like a very cheap way to approach this very complex issue to me compared to, Kevin, what you were just saying a more ethics-driven idea around anti-bribery is, you know, cheating is a lousy way to do business. And if you take that sort of attitude and apply it to diversity. Diversity is good to pursue just because it reflects America, we could get on all sorts of other ways that it actually does benefit business performance. But it’s not the same as, “Are we violating anti-discrimination laws? Nope. Awesome. We’re good. We’ll worry about it next year,” which is a terrible way to approach it. But you need some leadership around this. It’s not just let’s monitor our diversity to make sure we’re not violating the law. Let’s lead on we want this, this and this objective to achieve, so it’s gonna look like these policies and these metrics we have to attract or achieve. And that’s how we move forward.

Now, how does a company figure that out? I’m not quite sure. That’s why I have two panelists here to help me answer that. Christyl, I have another question from an audience member who picked up on something you had said about KPIs. I’m tasked with defining some KPIs for my global company. And as Christyl said, we can do that clearly in the United States, but how can you try to tackle other countries and really come up with good global KPIs? I don’t know if you have any thoughts about what KPIs would work or how challenging or different it is to pursue diversity in other parts of the world, but what do you say to this person? Christyl, are you there? Did I lose my audio for you?

Christyl: I’m still here. I think in terms of the KPIs, again, it’s much easier here in the U.S. I do believe in Kevin’s position that everything can’t necessarily be quantified, right? And you don’t want it to just be a check the box exercise, but I do think it is important to be able to really leverage kind of a three-prong approach strategy. Number one, if you look at all of the research, it talks about companies that are more diverse, performing better. And I think that’s a first start imperative. I think, secondly, you want to be able to, again, demonstrate from top-down why this is a facilitator of our businesses doing well. And then, for a third focus, I really think that having the ability to say that this type of inclusive culture helps us attract the right type of people, it helps us make people more productive and giving back to the organization so there’s positivity around there in terms of on that third dynamic of culture. I think those are the three things I would look at at a broader perspective. And I think those are things that you can track and monitor both here in the U.S. and if you are, you know, engaging in global business.

Matt: And Kevin, give me your thoughts because I remember a few weeks ago we had talked about this upcoming webinar. And I think you had said actually that T1, the United States isn’t even your largest workforce. I thought it was in other parts of the world. But how do you define diversity? If you are a large Chinese manufacturer, China’s much more racially homogenous where race might not be the first thing they think of with diversity there. How do you try and perceive diversity in other parts of the world? And then, you know, what sort of KPIs would you look for?

Kevin: …Huge swathes of our organization, culturally, they’re homogenous societies. Japan, Korea, China, some of… And China is, like, one of our biggest employers as well as Mexico as well. And we cater very well for… We hire Chinese people. It’s not just… And even the local management teams predominantly are from that country. And I think that’s one way of building that culture. So, that’s a positive thing and that’s actually a great selling point for us with our customers is, we’re loc… It’s almost like the HSBC sort of we’re your local bank, we’re your local management team. In this country, we understand the country, we understand the people here, why they buy cars and why our products are good for you. That said, diversity isn’t one thing. It’s not just race or it’s not just gender, it’s not just disability. So, in those countries…

Christyl: Class, access.

Kevin: Yeah. And I say to them, “Well…” And in fact, I’ve been at meetings and called it out, looked around the room and said, “We’ve got one woman in here, but this is the management meeting. Why isn’t there a leader here?” at which they get very defensive, “Look at our leadership program we’ve got these women on.” I say, “That’s great. That’s great that you’re doing that and that is a positive step forward, but I don’t see a woman in this room, and this is where the decisions get made.” So, there’s different things you can do. In Japan as well, I actually had a conversation with someone who said to me, “Oh, great question, Kevin. Why are there no women here? Actually, the answer is they don’t want to have the responsibility of being a manager.” “Are you telling me that? You’re a guy. Did they tell you that? Did you as a man asked them like, “Do you want responsibility of being a manager?”

I mean, I think people make too many assumptions and they say, “Oh, well, culturally, you know, this wasn’t really something that happened here.” But then you look at other companies and you say, “Well, but why have they got a leadership team which is actually a good match between the number of men and women in that organization? Why is it?” Disability as well. In certain countries in Asia, you know, it’s very much something that was frowned upon and organizations don’t do it, but you could be losing out a great talent because you do not tap into it and explore it. And I think… So, putting race aside, there’s many other things that companies can be looking at. Okay. You’re in a homogenous society. Great. What other ways can we be more inclusive and trying to build our brainpower? That’s essentially what it is. It’s tapping into the power of people.

Christyl: Yeah. And one thing I’m picking up too is the…and you said it earlier, kind of the low-hanging fruit if we think about women in gender because everyone has a woman in their life, a mom or some woman, a sister, daughter, wife, what not. And so I think it’s kind of human nature to look to me to see some type of connection for you to get your arms around it being part of your issue, right? And so if you’re not, let’s say, a black woman, and we’re talking about black women issues, then it might sometimes be harder to get your arms around in. And that’s why I think, again, really starting with this awareness, starting from inclusion so people can hear other people’s stories. So, it demonstrates that we really are connected as human beings, and so we should look for these opportunities that bring us together, not the ones that at face value seem to separate us.

Matt: Somebody here listening dropped in a great comment, I thought, that basically says, assessing diversity is relatively easy and straightforward. You can count up, you know, how many black employees, how many women, how many Latino, but assessing inclusion and equity, which I think Kevin gets to your point. Okay. But how many of the black employees are actually in the decision-making councils where the decisions get made? And they were asking, how do you measure equity or inclusion like that, which isn’t the same as diversity? I think they drew an important distinction there. Well, before I go on, do any of you have any thoughts about that? How would you try and get a better handle on equity and inclusion? Christyl, what do you think? All right, Kevin, go ahead first, and then Christyl. I’m sorry.

Kevin: One thing I’d look at is… So, you can have a look at the overall numbers. So, this company has 25% of its management team are women, for instance. That’s great. Now, look at the compensation structure. How many of… What percentage is it that is in the key valued employees, the ones that get stock options, the ones that get part of the long-term incentives? Oh, hold on. That 25% is now 8%. That’s a useful metric to understand, well, hold on, we go out publicly and say, “We have to tell people this? So, this is what we aim for. This is the number. This is the magic number.” I think it’s like 30%, they say, is the magic number. Okay, great. We’ve got 30% gender balance here. But if your compensation is significantly lower, only 8% of the women in your organization are in your long-term incentive plan, then I think there is an issue there. You’re not really actually including them. You’re not necessarily… There’s not necessarily the equity that they can make it into that compensation bracket and that’s the bracket that’s, I guess, the people who are most valued by the company in terms of what they’re gonna bring and the decision-makers and that’s what you need to be focused on, “Okay. Well, we’ve got our 30%. Let’s get those… Let’s make sure that that’s reflected in the way we compensate as well.”

Christyl: I would agree. I think it’s also important to build that next generation of leaders, that pipeline. I think you’re absolutely true that when we look at where organizations are placing their value on employees, that’s placed with position and compensation, I think that’s a very important first start, but also ensuring that we have strategically a pipeline to fill those slots. If it’s either we’re gonna have to hire externally or we’re gonna have to have talent development prepare leaders to come into those roles. I think that that is imperative as well. And then also expectation. I think, representation, and it’s very cliché, it’s like you will hear you have to see it to be it. You need to demonstrate with your senior leader ranks that diversity and inclusion is important to you and that needs to be representative on your board or in the boardrooms where you’re operating so different individuals can look at that firm and say, “Hey, I see myself there and I see that I have an opportunity to move up.” And that’s real inclusion.

And then, also, expectation. So, I’ll give you an interesting example from, like, my management consulting days. I’m in consulting. We pretty much do all of our work at client side, you put together a team, these smart people, you’re going out to solve people’s best problems. And I remember one of my first roles as a senior manager. So, I was leading a team, I go in, we’re going to meet, you know, our clients the first day and I have my team with me and I’m the only black woman there. And I wasn’t received or expected to be the leader of the team. When they were looking to shake the hand of the leader, the hand wasn’t put forth for me. So, I wasn’t expected to be the leader. And I think when we build environments where women or minorities are there, maybe you’re there and you’re expected, like, it’s not unique that you are leading. That builds to a sense of that subtle, right? That intangible cultural dynamic that says, “Yes, you’re included and you’re part of the party.”

Matt: Let me ask this question from the audience, because we have several of them here that are just about how would you get started in very simple, straightforward level? But somebody is asking, “To start a diversity and inclusion program, could I just start by talking to minority staff to see where are the issues that they see and basically develop a list of, I don’t know, issues, your pain points or engagement points that they want to address, and then I go from there and trying to attack gaps in my system?” Christyl, I’ll keep going with you and then back to Kevin there, but what would you think about… How would you start with a program like that?

Christyl: How would I start with a program? Just try to better understand where to focus. I think you always start with listening. So, I would like to maybe put together focus groups or town halls where we’re inviting different individuals from the firm to come in and share, which will give us better insights into where there could be potential gaps. And then we can come back as a program team and try to better understand where we should target. I think that’s a great way to get a pulse check on your employee base. And then you can build that into the programming in addition to just, you know, some of the basics in terms of, like, representation.

Matt: Sure. And Kevin, what do you think…

Christyl: Kevin, what do you think?

Matt: …about how to get started?

Kevin: I agree with some of that. I think just kind of saying, I think as a first step, you just can’t get a group of… You just can’t get a minority of people, put them in a room and have a conversation. For me, I’d be like, “Geez, man, you need me to give you the answers? Do some thinking for yourself.” So, it has to be driven from the top. Now, if it was a CEO who came to me and said, which generally doesn’t happen, you know, someone in HR… It’s actually not even usually the Chief HR officer or the Chief. It’s somebody else that come and say, “Start these groups,” and it’s like, “Well, this doesn’t resonate with me because, you know, trust… Is there a trust issue? Why…” It’s not like things like, “Do you not know your organization?” So, if a CEO comes, I’d have more respect if it was that way, but I think within that C suite and board level, they need to talk about it. It needs to be on the agenda. And it needs someone on the executive team to put it on the agenda, and regularly put it and keep putting it on the agenda. And from that, then start, as well, as you’re getting feedback of which way the company wants to go, there’s also then start doing their focus groups, as Christyl was saying, I think they’re critical to have town halls or however your organization communicates and speaks, but it needs to be a listening exercise which is really, really difficult because the companies think… You’ve got senior leaders who have their own views and find it difficult. It’s a difficult topic. And so sometimes they hear, but they don’t listen. And as leaders, that’s a key thing that they need to focus on, is listen to what these people are saying. Don’t just say, “Well, my numbers don’t show me this.”

Matt: Kevin, I love that you had brought up a valid point that, you know, “Okay. Do we just get all the minority staffers into a room? Does that feel a bit disingenuous?” which I think it can. And somebody had asked a different question along those lines where I’d love to get your thoughts and then Christyl’s. Somebody’s just asking. How do you get staff comfortable with talking about issues of diversity when all of the executives don’t represent anybody of color? Which I am sure is a fact of life for many companies out there that you might have an all-white management team who’s trying to talk with more diverse staff. There’s a certain… I’m sure that the white managers are sincere and wanting to try to address this, but there’s an image problem there maybe that people are reluctant to get the conversation going. I mean, what do you think about that? Kevin, are you out there? Kevin, did you…

Kevin: Oh, yeah. I thought it was Christyl. It’s not easy, right? But then again, as the brown guy, it’s not easy for me to talk about it, but you’ve got to do it. It’s that simple. And I didn’t talk about it because I wanted to fit in and progress. Now you’re telling me, “Yeah, this is important to me.” Well, start talking about it and be open. Nobody expects anybody to have the answers. You can’t expect also every black person, every woman or every disabled person to have the answers for their entire…

Christyl: Right.

Kevin: They’re clustered. Right? We don’t. It’s like, I’m a lawyer. I don’t know every single law there is. I don’t have the answers. But what it is is about trying to have that genuine human dialogue and get back to that basics and just say like, “I’m gonna make mistakes along the way. And I don’t mean to offend you.” Be very open. Now, there’s so many as well like these different, like, PC gone mad. And I don’t… Personally, even myself, I make mistakes in terminology. My wife is like, “No. You can’t say that anymore.” I was like, “When did that change?” There’s so many changes because that’s fine. We’re all gonna make mistakes. This is a real journey we’re on. It’s great that people wanna take this board. There is a movement now. It’s much more than for fun. It’s actually, if you stop having those conversations because, “Well, it’s a little bit difficult. I feel really awkward just to talk to someone about it,” then it doesn’t matter. I think just go. If you see someone talking about it, join in the conversation. You don’t have to put on my corporate front and be inhuman about it. I think people like me want to see my colleagues talking about it. And in fact, I’m happy for them to come up to me and say that, “Look, I don’t know. What should we do? Let’s have a conversation about it. Let’s have a drink and don’t talk about it and that’s okay.” But I think if you put a group of people in a room and go, “What do you think guys? What are your issues?” I think it comes across as a little bit different. I think you need to have those one-on-ones first, and then slowly build and get some ideas from people about what you can do.

Matt: And Christyl, what do you think about along those lines how to get co-workers, colleagues comfortable talking about an awkward issue that is outside of our comfort zones, especially if you are a largely white management culture trying to talk up the importance of diversity? That’s going to feel awkward. But what do you think about how to try and, I don’t know, make progress on that front?

Christyl: Yeah, no. I appreciate everything Kevin said and his candor because these are difficult conversations, but we have to have them. And I think if you start from the mindset and the objective of saying, “We together we actually do wanna make progress, but we understand in so doing, we’re gonna make mistakes, right?” You have to create that psychological safety for people to speak. And I think if you try to create an understanding that we all make mistakes, then you will have people feel easy because it’s true, you don’t wanna say the wrong thing, you don’t wanna offend someone, you don’t wanna make someone cry, you don’t wanna come across as racist, you don’t wanna take the weight of the world for your entire race. All these things people think about and it’s real, but we, you know, start with this unconscious biases, like, there are biases which are for real and people intentionally wanna be bad, but many things happen, like, just unconsciously. And if you can use yourself as an example, it goes, I think, very far in terms of making progress.

And I’ll give you guys a funny example. So, I’m from California. My dad lives in Oregon. My dad taught me how to drive. Coincidentally, I live in New Jersey now. New Jersey and Oregon are the only two states where there’s a specific role for people to pump your gas, right? It’s full service, everyone pumps the gas. And so I live in New Jersey now, I know how to drive, I know how to pump, I know how to get serviced. So, I’m driving down to a gas station that we don’t typically go to, but I’m in the car, I have my two girls with me. I see a woman and she’s pumping gas and I say to my girls, “I wonder what she’s doing. Maybe she’s going somewhere. She’s probably in a hurry. Why is she pumping her own gas?” And then I’m teasing them, I’m like, “Well, if I was in a hurry, I can pump my own gas as well.” Just going on chatter, chatter, chatter. Then the woman comes to me and says, “What kind of gas would you like?” And I say, “Girls, this is a learning moment.” Here I am, I’m supposed to be the diversity lady and I never expected for this woman to play this role, not because she can’t, I’m going on and on. I can pump my own gas. But it’s because I had never experienced somebody in that role. It wasn’t negative. It’s just our mind with quick think. This can happen all the time and we have to be forgiving and just acknowledge, okay, this can happen to anyone, but the point is, to take a step back and say, “Oh, I got that wrong. And what can we do going forward?”

And it is really hard because these issues are very sticky and, you know, hard to talk about, but if you wanna make progress, you have to keep it 100, you have to create the spaces. I do think it needs to start from top-down, but you also need to have your managers equipped to lead these conversations. We even have, like, meetings in a box where you can start a conversation, here are some of the things, the talking points that you have so you can feel more comfortable and informed leading a discussion. But it’s important to enter into it and acknowledge, “I might make a mistake, we probably will.” But that’s how you make progress if you don’t take any risks or if you don’t make any mistakes.

Matt: It’s funny. We have a couple of people here asking about the connections, really, between diversity issues and speak up culture, feeling comfortable to speak up, employees who fear they might be blackballed for saying either the wrong thing or the in-politic or inopportune thing. But one thing that I had been thinking about a lot was that the compliance officers so often for years have talked about the importance of a speak-up culture, usually about anti-corruption, but it has to be about a much larger sort of comfort zone than that. You’re going to have to feel comfortable. Your corporate culture should allow people to speak up even if they don’t necessarily speak up very well and they kind of sort of get it wrong or they flub it the first time, but that’s okay. It seems like it’s a very difficult thing to develop. I don’t know if either of you have thoughts on that. Christyl, what do you think first, and then I’ll go back to Kevin? Christyl, what do you think about the challenges of cultivating a speak-up culture like that and how relevant it is to diversity and inclusion?

Christyl: No. It’s absolutely relevant. I mean, all the things you talked about in terms of corruption, sexual harassment, you have to speak up. And I think I remember, Matt, you even sharing, like, a funny statistics. When companies go and they put in these new programs and they’re asking people to speak up, and then they’re looking at their ethics and compliance hotline, and they’re getting more people submitting. It’s not because there are more problems, it’s because people are feeling more comfortable. And that’s something that you should welcome because you would hope that you have the opportunity to fix it on your own before regulators or whomever comes in from the outside and you want to encourage that. So, it is difficult, but I think, again, about creating transparency, building that business case as to why it’s important and then having some flexibility on allowing people that psychological safety really is imperative.

Matt: Kevin, what do you think about this?

Kevin: Yeah. I’ll share a story. So, last year… Well, it’s not actually a story. So, my journey, I guess, in coming to similar conclusions as Christyl is that last year I started a speak-up culture and speak-up initiative at TI and it involved going around the world and giving presentations to the HR personnel because, really, they were going to be a key component of helping build this and I needed allies and, like, TI has very few… We’re a very lean organization at best of times. And I needed these people to go out and just talk to their managers, promote it, and help build a speak-up culture. And Christyl mentioned this exact point earlier was psychological safety. So, actually, what I said those, you need people… To get people to speak up, they need to feel safe. They’re not gonna do it if they don’t feel safe. But actually, the starting point before that is trust. And it was… And I said, “That’s something that if you don’t have it already, then you have to build it and it’s gonna take time.” Because just telling people, “Here’s a hotline. Feel free. Feel safe. And I trust you, guys.” Trust is something that you feel. You have to feel and it has to be early and it’s two-way. You have to put trust in your employees and they have to trust you. They have to trust what you say. They have to trust your behaviors. And if they’ve seen a certain way of behaving over a significant period of time, then they’re not gonna necessarily trust you when you say, “I trust you, feel free to speak up.” But what we’ve seen since we sort of started this is, actually, you know, I’m a compliance guy. I wanna know about the bribery and things. But actually, it’s HR. It’s HR issues that people are speaking up. And at the moment, you know, we make it so they can do it anonymous. And there should be a portion that may be anonymous, but, you know, you want to see the anonymity going down because that means they start to trust and they’re willing to just say, “Yeah, this happened and I’m uncomfortable. I have that psychological safety.”

So, I think in terms… The same thing is with diversity, equity, inclusion, which is sometimes some of the issues that will come up through a HR complaint is, well, you’ve got this diversity policy, but, you know, the Mexican employees in this plant are not given the opportunities. We get the worst shifts. We have to do… We don’t get the opportunities for overtime. We think it’s a race issue, but it’s… So, they bring it up and it goes through the HR and even though it’s part of your code of business conduct or other equivalent policy. And then it takes… So, going back to speak up, it’s a key component to any diversity inclusion program. And actually, when I was studying for the certificate, I was so surprised, I was like, “Oh, they’re talking my language as a compliance person of speak-up and psychological safety.” And I hadn’t expect it, so I got very excited about doing a diversity course. Oh, this is really linked together and it genuinely does. And so as I said before it’s, like, compliance is truly a tick the box. It’s the ethics and integrity part which actually broadens it. And that’s where speak-up comes in. That’s why it goes into culture and it goes deeper into an organization and just, have you complied with the policy? Have you complied with the law? And diversity and inclusion, as you said Matt, isn’t just, yeah, it meets the… We’re not breaking any laws here in terms of any legislation.

Matt: So, we only have a few minutes left here. I’d just like to pose one question to both of you. What would success for a large company thinking about diversity and inclusion? What would success look like? Because I don’t know that there is a final end goal. You have a final triumph over diversity and inclusion and now we never have to worry about it again. I don’t think. That’s likely. So, what would success be? And I’ll start with Christyl and then go to Kevin for the last word. Christyl, what do you think?

Christyl: Okay. Fair enough. So, success. I think, again, each company has to start with their own baseline. And you can’t compare yourself to other companies necessarily, but I do think success will be driven by looking at some of those hard statistics that we don’t necessarily want to look at, but being able to track representation, promotions, access, and some of those subtle cultural dynamics where people actually will fill out the survey saying, “It’s a great place to work. I feel like I can come here and bring my best self.” So, again, it goes back to, you know, what I thought in terms of, like, the hardline business objectives, but then also those values-based components as well. And it is subjective.

Matt: And Kevin, what do you think?

Kevin: Success. Yes. Similar to what Christyl was saying there. I think success, for me, and this is really hard, it’s gonna vary for every single organization. It’s where the company has tapped into its own culture which it set, the leadership team set a set of values and culture that they want to exude as a company, they want it to be, and they live by that. And if they live by those, I think that is success because generally most… I don’t think you will ever find value in any organization that will say, “We don’t want any diversity here. We’re only gonna have white men on this board.” I don’t think you’ll ever find that. So, if they can live by the actual words that they put down in paper and make those brief and make those…make people come in, not even think about it. It’s just the way of the world in this company, this is how we organize, and, you know, we live and breathe it, I think that’s a success.

Matt: All right. So, I think we have burned through most of the questions we had submitted from the audience. Thank you all to the listeners who did. And Giovanni, I’m not sure if there’s any farewell remarks or if we just wanna wrap up, but this has been great. So, Kevin and Christyl, both of you, thank you very much for all of your thoughts. We really appreciate the time.

Christyl: Yes. Thank you. My passion and pleasure.

Kevin: Thank you. I really enjoyed this.

Giovanni: Yeah. Thank you both. You’ve shared so much great stuff with us today whether people have already made a lot of progress with this and they’re looking to kind of refine the point or, you know, it seems like some people in the audience are just getting started and, you know, you’ve given us some great advice to start with the conversation, start with listening. Obviously, our work here is never done on diversity and inclusion and there are always ways that we can continuously improve. But Kevin and Christyl and Matt facilitating today, you’ve given us a gift today to help us think about this in some new ways and hopefully take some practical steps that we can bring back to our team and really lead the way forward on diversity and inclusion. So, thank you so much for sharing with us.

Matt: All right.

Giovanni: And to all of our attendees, thank you for giving us some of your day. It’s an honor to share some of this time and try to serve you in this way. Please do everything that you can to lead well and to move the ball forward for diversity and inclusion. We’ll wrap up now. And just as a reminder, we’ll be sending a recording of this webinar as well as a certificate to you. Feel free to get back in touch with us if we can be helpful to you in any way. Thanks, everybody.

Matt: Thank you.

Giovanni: Bye.

Kevin: Thank you.

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