What Deloitte Transparency Study Says About DEI Today – Jeffery Tobias Halter

Welcome to Win(e)d Down Wednesdays with gender strategist Jeffery Tobias Halter and generational strategist Amanda Hammett -- a podcast that focuses on diversity, inclusion, intersectionality and equity through the lenses of a Boomer and a Millennial. They delve into DEI topics, examining business implications, talent strategy, and what today’s senior leaders need to know in order to recruit, retain and develop the next generation. In this episode, the hosts continue their conversation about the recent Deloitte Transparency Study. They delve into the findings that highlight the need for accountability to ensure the success of corporate DEI initiatives and how to effectively engage men as allies and advocates.

Link for Deloitte Transparency Study - https://www2.deloitte.com/content/dam/Deloitte/us/Documents/about-deloitte/dei-transparency-report.pdf

Share the LOVE and TWEET about this episode.

Don't miss an episode. Subscribe to Win(e)d Down Wednesday.

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 - Deloitte Transparency Study

Amanda Hammett: I'm Amanda Hammett and welcome to Wine Down Wednesday, a contemporary mid-week discussion on current workplace and marketplace issues with a focus on diversity, inclusion, intersectionality, and equality, and it's always best enjoyed with your favorite wine down beverage of choice. Now as you join us today, we want to remind you that Jeffery and I only reflect a very small spectrum of the diversity realm. In future episodes, we will have a series of guests joining us in which we'll talk about everything, including the unique challenges faced by women of color in the workplace, ageism to issues affecting the LGBTQ workers and a number of other dimensions of diversity.
Jeffery Tobias Halter: We also want to hear about what you want to hear about in the future. So please drop us a line and let us know what some of your challenges are. Also, we're going to talk about some potentially emotional issues. Our goal each show is to discuss these in a calm and respectful way. You don't need anyone screaming at you about the challenges of work today. We get it. You have enough stress in your life. Hence the theme: Wine(d) down Wednesday. And so this Wine Down Wednesday, I'm choosing to enjoy a nice Cabernet Sauvignon from the Napa Valley. Amanda, you already showed yours. What's your beverage of choice?

Amanda Hammett: I am having a Blue Moon, my favorite beer. So our show today is going to focus specifically on advancing women in the workplace and the need for greater male advocacy. So we also want to continue to examine transparency as a key factor in advancing women. So Jeffery, your focus is on engaging men in women's leadership advancement. Talk about why you chose to focus in this area.

Jeffery Tobias Halter: Yeah, Amanda, thank you. You know, it's interesting. If you think about corporate America, men still comprise 80% of the leadership in most companies. And so I have a belief that if we are 80% of the population, we could be 80% of the problem and not advancing women, but we could also be 80% of the solution. And so what I spend my days doing is working with men who want to become better, organizations who want to become better. And they realize that active male advocacy is the key to driving long-term change, you know, women and other underrepresented groups have been talking about advancing diversity for 40 years and, and really engaging men and specifically guys like me -- older, white men -- are one of the key solutions.

Amanda Hammett: So how do you start to find men who want to be advocates?

Jeffery Tobias Halter: Yeah, this is really fascinating, um, you know who they are. They're the men in your organization who want to help. And they may not be overt about it. They're the good guys. They're the people who are already mentoring or sponsoring or having a woman's back, just having you on a project team or inviting you in. I call them “ready now” men. And my belief is that 30 to 40% of men in the workplace want to help. But they need to be invited in. It's not a place most men are ready to go to. And then it becomes a brand adoption model. If we get 30 to 40%, then you might get another 50% who want to help and they'll come along. They understand the business reason. If they understand why this is important to them. And then I want to be very clear because we've left out about 10% of the people. And what I'm going to tell you is that 10% of people will never get this topic. They won't understand why we're talking about it. And it seems in corporate America that we focus on this lowest common denominator. My belief is if you have an organization that embraces inclusion and equity, people who don't share that view are going to work their way out of your company. So let's not train idiots. I've been doing this work for a long time. I'm not an idiot whisperer. Go and find “ready now” men who want to help, and let's invite them in.

Amanda Hammett: That's fantastic, I love your boldness there. What are the barriers and the solutions for men in wanting to engage in this work?
Jeffery Tobias Halter: Yeah. What I've found in doing this work is there’s organizational barriers. Right? And, and, you know, that's hiring and slating and succession planning. I'm going to put those aside for right now and talk about what I have found to be the four barriers around engaging men to become advocates. The first one is simply a lack of empathy. Many men don't believe that men and women are having a different experience in the workplace. They get it a little. But they really haven't internalized it. You know, empathy is kind of challenging for men. I don't want to gender that, but you know, women tend to be more empathetic than men. Um, and so a lot of men will just say, yeah, I understand it, but it's not that big a deal, right? Yeah. The second one then is apathy. What's the big deal? We've been talking about this for 40 years. There's no change on the horizon. And, and quite frankly, if this was important, my boss would talk about it. My company would talk about it. We'd have a staff meeting once a month. All we ever talk about is sales and profit and turnover, but do we really talk about it? And, and oh by the way, if leaders aren't talking about it, we talked in another episode about how, if frontline managers are not talking about it, why should I care? So apathy is the second barrier. Lack of accountability. You know, the Deloitte report demonstrates this and this chart shows what Deloitte looks like top to bottom and we see actually a pretty good picture at a board level on a senior leadership level. But as you get down in the organization, you know what the numbers are 70, 30, oh, by the way, that's pretty good. Compared to most companies, Deloitte’s, you know, going to show that. The other thing they're showing us customer facing roles, and this is where we get into. It's so important to have a diverse sales force, a diverse customer force, to meet the needs of the customer you’re servicing. Hmm. And so accountability, lack of accountability is a big one. Then the last one, quite frankly, is just fear. Men are scared to death that we will say or do the wrong thing. And, and, you know, part of that is #MeToo. Part of that is I'm not ready to have a conversation around race. I'm certainly not ready to give feedback to women of color. And so as a white man, I can have a really long career by kind of giving this diversity thing a wink and a nod and choosing not to do anything about it. I'll just go along. But at the core of it, I'm afraid. So lack of empathy, apathy, lack of accountability and fear. All right.

Amanda Hammett: Yep.

Jeffery Tobias Halter: And so those are the barriers.

Amanda Hammett: I could not agree with you more on that. You know, what I find in the diversity and inclusion world is that we spend a lot of time talking academically and not really talking about what we are, how does that look in everybody's day-to-day life? And so what I would love to hear from you is what would be an easy, easy first step for companies to get started in identifying those ready now, advocates that you talked about earlier.

Jeffery Tobias Halter: Yeah, it's funny. And this is not the answer that your listeners are going to want. It's not easy. It's not easy. Right? What I’ll share with you though is an, is an acronym that I've found works, and it's called listen, learn, lead, and have the will. And each of these aligns to one of the barriers that I identified. The most important thing we want all of our listeners to do is one thing. And that's, listen, go have a conversation with a woman or a person of color or somebody unlike you, and then ask the simple question. Are you having a different experience than I am? And I'm going to tell you. We'll call her Terri. Terri is not going to say anything. Terri doesn't want to represent all women at the company. Ask a second time. Is there something I don't understand? Terri will start to talk, don't interrupt her and don't say, Hey, you know, we've got a program for that. Or have you thought about this? Listen and then ask a third time. And in that last 10 minutes, you're going to hear root cause issues that Terri has experienced that you had no idea occurred, and you're going to start to develop empathy. So if there is one easy step, it's to go out and talk to people, but it's got to go a little further then. So to overcome apathy people have to learn, you know, one of the reasons for this show we're going to share with listeners so much data and so much research, and it seems really dry. I mean to tell you, if you want to engage men, they love that stuff. They love facts and data, and that's going to help you to overcome the apathy. You know, in future shows, we're going to talk about women as consumers and drivers of 85% of the B2C economy. What's your local business case? What's keeping you up at night? To overcome accountability or lack of accountability, you’ve got to lead and I'll share a story I've heard dozens of times. It's a senior leadership team who wants to support diversity inclusion and a job comes open and there are no ready now women or people of color or other represented groups on the slate. And the senior leader goes, why don't we have any? And another senior leader just felt well, we don't have any. You know, we just don't have any ready. They're just not there. They're not in the pipeline. And sadly, most senior leaders will say, yeah, I get it. When in fact leaders need to say, that's not acceptable. The next time this job comes open, I want to see a slate of candidates. Jim, I want to know what you're doing to train people unlike you. Amanda, this is what senior leaders do. They ask tough questions and people go and do stuff.

Amanda Hammett: Yep.

Jeffery Tobias Halter: And so it's just one more question. What are you doing to get some ready? And then to overcome fear in doing this work, I've found the real key is you have to have the will. And this comes with advocacy of anything, you know, whether it's diet or exercise, what's your due north at the end of the day. And what I have found is that most men never make a connection. That if I'm not advocating for women or other underrepresented groups today, I'm hurting the people in my life. I'm hurting my mother, I'm hurting my wife or significant other, I'm hurting my daughter. I'm hurting my friends and colleagues. And the simple fact is most men never make the connection between our daily actions and holding others back. And this really flies in the face of everything you might think. You know, and I use myself in this, you know, I had a long successful business career, but it never dawned on me that if I wasn't advocating for gender equity, my daughter, who I ensured went to a great school, got a great education, is going to come out and make 85 cents to my son. And is going to deal with the same issues and biases that you know, other women have to. And so the way you overcome fear simply to have the will and you asked for a simple solution, you know, that's the 601,have the will. But first go out, have a conversation and just listen.

Amanda Hammett: Absolutely. You know, those conversations are key. I think when you can start developing that empathy, that can drive so many other things. I've heard so many stories in the past year of leaders who had never had real conversations about race with people, with employees that have been working with them for 10 years. Yeah. And all of a sudden they saw things in a different light. I had another leader that I've worked with for a long time, and he's a huge advocate for women in the workplace. And when I got down to his story on why, what drove him, it was really interesting. He told me about, uh, his mother. She had been a single mom raising two boys. And when he got to corporate America, he had heard all the stories that she had worked with and dealt with over those years. Not getting promoted or not getting a raise, not, you know, making anywhere near what her colleagues were making. And you better believe when he got into any kind of leadership role, that was not the case with the women that were on his team. He was a strong advocate, so wonderful. You know, Jeffery, this has been really awesome and amazing. And I love the different points and the ready now. And I think that men and women can walk away from this episode with some really phenomenal things. So thank you. All right, you guys, that is our show for today. Thank you for joining us. And we would love to hear from you. You can leave a message for me. Amanda Hammett on Linkedin, or you can find me on my website, AmandaHammett.com and you can shoot us your suggestions for topics or even guests.

Jeffery Tobias Halter: And I'm Jeffery Tobias Halter (www.ywomen.biz). Again, thanks for joining us. Go take a deep breath, relax a little, it's Wednesday. You're going to make it through. And we're here to help you. So on behalf of Amanda and I, thank you very much for joining us.

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.