Hey, Dude. Gender equality isn’t a spectator sport. Suit up. with Brad Johnson

Most companies understand the value of a diverse, equitable and inclusive work environment and its effect on their ability to recruit & retain talent in the current highly competitive environment. It’s an issue that impacts everyone. So, why do so many gender inclusion initiatives focus on changing women, leaving men out of the equation entirely? By creating a category of “women’s issues,” men–often the most powerful stakeholders in organizations–aren’t involved or even aware of the larger impact and aren’t invited to collaborate to create more inclusive workplaces. Guest W. Brad Johnson talks about why and how men have a crucial role to play in promoting equality at work. Don’t miss this frank conversation on male allyship, mentoring, sponsorship along with tips for holding other men accountable.

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Disclaimer: This transcript was created using YouTube’s translator tool and that may mean that some of the words, grammar, and typos come from a misinterpretation of the video.

The Transcript - Interview with Brad Johnson

Amanda Hammett: Jeff and I were honored to host Gretchen Carlson on Win(e)d Down Wednesday. just prior to the Senate's passage of the Ending Forced Arbitration of Sexual Harassment Act. It's the first major bill of the MeToo era. And it ushers in some of the most significant workplace reforms in decades. Now as you know, President Biden recently signed this bill into law. So here's the episode for insights on the legislation direct from Gretchen Carlson.

Jeffery Tobias Halter:
Hi, this is Jeff Halter. And thanks for joining us during women's history month, we're focused on how we can break the bias in our workplaces. To forge a more diverse, equitable and inclusive world. Welcome to Win(e)d Down Wednesday. And as you know, we tend to enjoy a beverage while we're winding down. And so, today I'm enjoying a very nice Cabernet from California. And so Amanda, what's your, uh, what's your beverage of choice today.

Amanda Hammett: I am already onto a Pinot Noir from New Zealand called Fifth Bridge. Nice, nice. Yes. So let's talk a little bit about our guests today. Um, our guest today is Gretchen Carlson. She is here for part two of our conversation, which is going to be fantastic. Um, Gretchen is a journalist and author and an advocate for women's rights and workplace equality. Who's 2016 landmark harassment case against Fox news CEO, Roger Ailes helped to ignite the MeToo movement. She was named one of Time Magazine's 100 most influential people in the world. Gretchen is the host of the new daily news podcast called Get the news with Gretchen Carlson and a special contributor to people TV. She's the author of the New York Times bestseller "Be Fierce", and "Getting Real". And she recently co-founded the nonprofit lift our voices to end the silencing of harassment victims through forced arbitration and non-disclosure agreements for toxic workplace issues. She's a graduate of Stanford University and a mom to two teenagers.

Jeffery Tobias Halter: Gretchen welcome back to Win(e)d Down Wednesday. And we're going to continue our conversation today, but first we have to ask. What's your beverage of choice today?

Gretchen Carlson: Yeah. Wow. Both of you doing the red wine? Um, I, I am stewing the coffee in the afternoon, uh, but I always say I really am doing the cream with my coffee. Um, probably the only reason I drink coffee, to be honest with you. Um, and I know it's probably not good for my waistline, but it tastes darn good. So that's what I'm enjoying.



Thank you.

Amanda Hammett: Wonderful. Well, if you did not catch the first episode where we had Gretchen on, she told us a little bit more about her legislation, but this episode, we're actually going to focus on the non-profit that she started lift our voices. So Gretchen, tell us a little bit more about "Lift Our Voices".

Gretchen Carlson: Yeah. You know, it really came about from all the people who lifted me up after my lawsuit back in 2016, I felt so alone and, um, thought that I was experiencing harassment in the workplace. As you know, the only person around me that was, that was feeling that way. And all these women started reaching out to me and I started realizing that it was an epidemic. And, um, so at the same time that it was really horrible to realize how prevalent it was. It was also sort of my safety net. All these women who buoyed my spirits, um, during my dark times, by sharing their own personal experiences with me. And that really, you know, that made me realize I had a friend actually say to me during that time, you know, Gretchen something good is going to come out of this. And I didn't really think that then, but. She she was right. You know, it, it really, um, morphed into me writing the book, be fierce as a tribute to all of these women and a playbook for other people, if they're experiencing harassment in the workplace. Um, and then that led me to speaking all over the world about this issue and then that led to, um, me realizing that, that these clauses and employment contracts are what is keeping the issue silent. And we've learned through this process that the only way to solve this is to talk about it. And so that led me to lift our voices and the creation of it about two years ago. Because I really wanted an umbrella non-profit organization to, to serve with all the advocacy work that I was already doing. And so the mission is really simple. silver bullet to two silver bullet solutions, which is to get rid of forced arbitration clauses for these kinds of issues, as well as non-disclosure agreements that keep all this stuff under wraps.

Jeffery Tobias Halter: Gretchen. In our first episode, you talked about NDAs and forced arbitration and recently many major, I shouldn't say many several Companies organizations have actually implemented and done away with them, including Microsoft. Talk to me about the corporate landscape that you are seeing are more companies expected to follow soon. Or what's our current snapshot on the fortune 500 today.

Gretchen Carlson: Yeah. Thanks for bringing that up. Um, I would say that in the fortune 1000 that maybe about 200 of those companies have gotten rid of arbitration. Um, usually specifically for harassment and assault issues. Um, but as I like to say, when I pitched them for my nonprofit to become a partner with me, you know, it's time to get on the right side of history. So I'm going to pass this legislation. So instead of having to force you to do it, just come over and get on the good side now and do what's right for your employees. And, so, you know, we've been successful with that Microsoft actually did this only two weeks after I first introduced my legislation back in 2017. And then there was a little bit of a tidal wave in the tech world. So if we all remember the Google walkout, we all remember that that happened, but we don't necessarily remember what they were protesting. They were protesting forced arbitration clauses in employment contracts and payouts to predator. So Google then got rid of forced arbitration clauses, and then you had Uber and Lyft and Airbnb and eBay. And so there was a bit of a domino effect in the tech world. Um, then I think, uh, a lot of companies decided not to be self introspective and they just thought that maybe this movement would sort of move away and it was a passing fad. But it's here to stay. And so, there, you know, there are other companies that have joined the fight, like Raytheon, for example, has not had forced arbitration for the last 15 years. So some have been leading the charge for quite some time. Um, but I do think that, um, more and more are going to be getting on the right side. Wells Fargo was the first financial institution, um, to do the right thing on a large scale. you know, and usually it just takes like one in an industry to really set that, that chain reaction. Um, people are always asking me well, who already went first. Right. so I think more and more companies are going to be joining in

Jeffery Tobias Halter: From transparency standpoint are they putting this on their website? Cause you know, it's one of those things you don't want to talk about. Like paying expectancy It's just an assumption. Are you seeing that as well?

Gretchen Carlson: It's a great question because I think that we are so much now in an employee market. I mean after COVID people have their choice of where they want to really want to work more than ever before, at least in the, in this present time. Uh, and, and so I think that that's another reason that I give to companies about why they should do the right thing and advocacy.
Um, one of the things we want to do in our voices is actually create a rating system. For companies that are already doing the right thing and make that very public on our website and across the press, because employees deserve to know if they're going to work for a company that thinks it's okay to silence their people and push away their problems and cover up their dirty laundry. and, and now is the perfect time to be doing that because it is an employee market. Employees have the ability to say, you know, I don't really want to work there cause you you don't treat your employees well, and currently no other institution is rating companies using these metrics. So that's why our work is so important

Amanda Hammett: Absolutely well millennials and gen Z will be all over that. They are very much for employees, but they're also very much for social justice issues. And this definitely is one of those things. Yeah. Switching gears just a little bit. The theme for this year's international women's day is #breakthebias. Now, Gretchen you have been a trailblazer to change the system and to transform the American workplace, making it safer. And of course, more equitable for everyone. This is no small thing to do, but I got to ask what's on your agenda for the rest of 2022.

Gretchen Carlson: Um, changing the world. Um, one little step at a time, you know, it's interesting because I think that, uh, I never aspired to put on my resume. You know, one of the poster children for harassment and workplace, that's not something that you necessarily. Aspire to, but, but one constant in my life has been that when there's a goal in front of me, I go for it and there's so much work to be done in this area. I always explain that that fixing harassment in the workplace is a tangled web. It's not just one thing. It is. Um, it's arbitration and NDAs and taking the secrecy away. It's also leadership, you know, getting to corporate leaders about how to be a more ethical leader and, um, and, and agree that they're going to celebrate people who have the courage to come forward and set that dynamic in the workplace. It makes a huge difference from the top down. Um, it's about educating our young people, especially our young boys. About how to respect women. So I spend a lot of time, um, speaking to boys schools and to reaching out to young boys because they formed their opinions early on. Um, so it's, it's, I could go on and on about all the different areas that I need to focus on to try and make a change. But I think with my nonprofit, I've tried to. Really target, um, in a very focused way. These two issues first with arbitration and NDAs, because I believe that, um, I do believe that's a silver bullet to not only getting rid of harassment and assault in the workplace, but to promoting equity because if companies believe in silencing their people. They probably also don't believe in paying them fairly promoting the right people and putting them in the boardroom. It's just, it's a, it's like a way of doing business. And, um, and I think moving into the future that, um, that employees are really going to be looking for those qualities in the companies that they want to work for.

Amanda Hammett: A hundred percent they are.

Jeffery Tobias Halter: Well, it seems we never have enough time. So, uh, we want to thank Gretchen for coming on. I want to close with just a comment. Um, please go out and buy this book called "Be Fierce". If you're a parent, um, the first two chapters, Gretchen outlines the statistics on what goes on on college campuses. And if you're a father or a mother. The numbers are just jaw-dropping and this is something we have to move into we have to be advocates. I loved your comment about, you know, raising, raising your son, you know, with this work. So, Gretchen, thank you so much for joining us today for our for our listeners Uh, happy women's history month. you'll find Gretchen's books "Be Fierce", and "Getting Real" at your favorite bookseller, you can find out more information on her at gretchencarlson.com and liftourvoices.org. So Gretchen, thank you again for coming out. We appreciate your time.

Gretchen Carlson: Great talking to you both. Thanks for having me.

Disclaimer: This transcript was created using YouTube’s translator tool and that may mean that some of the words, grammar, and typos come from a misinterpretation of the video.