The Fix with Michelle King
Political Masculinity: Why Women’s Rights Are Under Attack - Susanne Kaiser

Political Masculinity: Why Women’s Rights Are Under Attack - Susanne Kaiser

June 29, 2022

Though the reality of women’s rights varies hugely across the world, by country, by geography, by ethnicity, by socio economic circumstance - in recent decades, more and more women have won rights and spaces like never before: like the right to choose for themselves and to autonomy over their bodies, to have a career, not to have children, to have abortions, to love other women.

On today's episode we are joined by Susanne Kaiser - author of “Political Masculinity”. She warns that some men feel their masculinity is threatened by these shifts and grieve the loss of male privilege. They share a sense of being entitled to women’s bodies and sex, attention, affection, and recognition. According to Susanne they want to force women back to a subordinate position in the social hierarchy, and make the needs and privileges of men dominant once again by turning masculinity into a political program. Susanne’s work highlights the mysoginistic and sexist views she says are shared by many right-wing extremists, religious fundamentalists and male supremacists coming together in a global backlash against Western democracy.

Feminism is the belief that men and masculinity are just as valuable as women and femininity, and that every individual deserves the freedom to be themselves and to be valued for that.

The fight for control over women’s bodies is a fight against feminism.


Political Masculinity


All Talk and No Action: Why DEI efforts are falling short - Ann Francke

All Talk and No Action: Why DEI efforts are falling short - Ann Francke

June 15, 2022

One thing is clear to me.

The progress of DEI efforts in organizations has stalled.

New research findings released by the Charted Management Institute or CMI, in the United Kingdom last month reveals a growing sentiment towards DEI efforts. People are growing weary of DEI.

In the Managers Pulse Point Survey, CMI found that despite ongoing efforts and activity towards gender equality, workplace gender equity remains elusive. The research has also revealed that employees, particularly men are either passive and or actively resisting DEI efforts.

These findings highlight for me the current state of DEI, which is fatigue. While there has been huge amount of inequality, awareness raising with things like the 'me too' movement and the 'anti-racism' movement, when this is not met with tangible action it can lead to feelings of exhaustion, isolation, frustration and sometimes skepticism about DEI efforts.  People from typically underrepresented groups experience this as all DEI talk and no action, which leads to disengagement.

But the reverse is true for people in dominant positions in workplaces, typically white men. They perceive all the DEI talk as action and believe activity is underway to address the issues, even though very little changes actually take place. So consequently, they feel left out, disengaged and disillusioned with DEI efforts, believing too much focus is being given to these topics.

Joining us on today’s episode is Ann Francke, Chief Executive of CMI, to discuss these findings and share why we need to fight DEI fatigue if we want to meaningfully advance diversity, equity and inclusion at work.


Ann Francke

Chartered Management Institute (CMI)


If You Can See It You Can Be It - Dr. Tarika Barrett and Denise Lintz

If You Can See It You Can Be It - Dr. Tarika Barrett and Denise Lintz

May 18, 2022

Time and time again, studies have shown that math and science are perceived to be male arenas and that scientists are perceived to be predominantly men.

To advance more women into STEM fields, not only do women need to know about the career options available to them but they need to believe its possible for them to have a fulfilling career in these fields.

A 2019 study published in Frontier Education found that gender-science stereotypes of math and science influence young women's and men's aspirations to enrol in a STEM major at university. For example, by showing adverts for STEM careers that feature men and women, and promoting a less masculine image of science in university recruitment efforts has the potential to increase the likelihood of STEM career aspirations for young women and young men.

It stands to reason that the more exposure young people have to STEM the more likely they are to view STEM as a potential career path, whether they are male, female or any other gender.

On this podcast we are excited to have with us the CEO of Girls Who Code, Dr. Tarika Barrett and UScellular’s Vice President of Enterprise Portfolio Management and Technology Shared Services, Denise Lintz.

They will share how they are tackling increasing children’s access to STEM education and why awareness of STEM career paths is critical to advancing diversity in STEM.


Girls Who Code


Dr.Tarika Barrett


Why the future of gender is non-binary : Christy Pruitt-Haynes

Why the future of gender is non-binary : Christy Pruitt-Haynes

May 6, 2022

As an employer, it is important to understand gender and non-binary inclusion and what it means for your company – for the way you manage your people and for the way your people interact with each other. There are lots of brilliant resources out there to help with this including the 'Genderbread Person' which is described as a teaching tool for breaking the big concept of gender down into bite-sized, digestible pieces.

Language really matters when it comes to supporting non-binary employees. The use of gender binary language is common in everyday life and conversation. Individuals regularly utilize gendered language like ladies and gentlemen, or mankind when referring to others, but greetings friends, folks, y’all, you, all, and everyone ensure we are including all employees when saying hello or opening a meeting.

While many use these terms without the intention to exclude others, gendered language does not acknowledge or validate the existence of those who identify outside of the gender binary.  Saying an individual’s correct name and pronouns is an important way to demonstrate respect and courtesy towards non-binary employees in the workplace.

To help us understand how to navigate and prepare for a non-binary future, we are joined by Christy Pruitt-Haynes, a consultant from the NeuroLeadership Institute, a global neuroscience consultancy. 


NeuroLeadership Institute

Christy Pruitt-Haynes

Empathy: How to build and use it at work – Rob Volpe

Empathy: How to build and use it at work – Rob Volpe

April 13, 2022

We all know that demonstrating empathy is critical to developing relationships, but it is also critical for business.

A study by the consulting firm Catalyst examining 889 employees found that when leaders were empathetic, 61% of employees are able to innovate compared to only 13% of employees with less empathetic leaders.

They also found that 76% of people who experienced empathy from their leaders reported they were engaged compared with only 32% who experienced less empathy.

When people felt their leaders were more empathetic, 86% reported they are able to navigate the demands of their work and life, successfully juggling their personal, family and work obligations. This is compared with 60% of those who perceived less empathy.

Clearly there is a link between empathy and better workplace cultures. The challenge is how do we make empathy a regular business practice?

In the book Tell Me More About That, brand strategist and thought leader Rob Volpe draws on his years of research conducting thousands of in-home interviews with everyday people to illustrate the 5 Steps to Empathy. These are the actions you and I can take to build a strong and reflexive empathy muscle. 

Rob is joining us on today’s episode to share these insights, explaining what empathy is and what it is not and the different kinds of empathy we may experience.


Linked In

Purchase his book

About Rob


How to be anti-racist in business – Trudi Lebron

How to be anti-racist in business – Trudi Lebron

April 6, 2022

Leaders have a difficult job when it comes to leading on DEI, are you equipped for challenging conversations to arise, do you have enough knowledge yourself and do you have the answers?  A leader’s job is to build and maintain cultures that value difference because this is what it means to lead.

Valuing difference is a practice. Anti-racisim, anti-ableisms, classims, sexisim and homophobia are all practices. Educational programs, workplace training, books, podcasts and courses are all resources that we can use to build our muscle when it comes to valuing difference. There is no end to this work, because this is how workplaces need to work. When we don’t treat DEI as a practice, we don’t engage in the action necessary to truly create workplace cultures that value difference.

In the book How to be an Antiracist, Dr Ibram X. Kendi says that ““racist” and “antiracist” are like peelable name tags that are placed and replaced based on what someone is doing or not doing, supporting or expressing in each moment. These are not permanent tattoos. No one becomes a racist or antiracist. We can only strive to be one or the other.” 

What can we do within our organizations to strive towards antiracism? To help us with that question Trudi Lebron, author of The Antiracist Business Book: An Equity Centered Approach to Work, Wealth, and Leadership, will be joining us on the show today to discuss how organizations can make anti-racism a fundamental way of working.

The Antiracist Business Book



Why AI treats men and women differently and what to do about it -  Alexandra Ebert

Why AI treats men and women differently and what to do about it - Alexandra Ebert

March 31, 2022

Is AI inherently sexist? Or are we building AI with the biases we are still struggling to root out of our human interactions? And is a lack of diversity in the innovation process translating into the technology? AI is built and maintained by data, and if the data collected only represents the view of one type of individual or overly weights the importance of this information then the decisions AI makes will reinforce this inequality.  

In a 2019 article for Sandford Social Innovation Review, entitled 'When Good Algorithms Go Sexist: Why and How to Advance AI Gender Equity', the co-author Genevieve Smith shared how she and her husband applied for the same credit card. Despite having a slightly better credit score and the same income, expenses and debt as her husband, the credit card company set her credit limit at almost half the amount. Customer service employees were unable to explain why the algorithm deemed the wife significantly less creditworthy. 

What is most likely to have happened in this case is that AI was to blame as Genevieve shares in her article many institutions make decisions based on artificial intelligence (AI) systems using machine learning (ML), whereby a series of algorithms takes and learns from massive amounts of data to find patterns and make predictions.  Yet gender bias in these systems is pervasive and has profound impacts on women’s short and long-term psychological, economic and health security. 

On today’s episode we welcome Alexandra Ebert who will share what AI is and how it will impact our jobs but also why you don’t need to be scared of it. Most importantly, Alexandra tells us why we need to manage AI carefully to ensure equitable outcomes and so as not to exacerbate or perpetuate existing gender inequities.


Alexandra's Story

LinkedIn - Alexandra Ebert

The Pro’s and Con’s of Diversity Targets:  Michelle King and Kelly Thomson

The Pro’s and Con’s of Diversity Targets: Michelle King and Kelly Thomson

March 25, 2022

Diversity is simply good for business. Companies with greater gender diversity in their leadership outperform their less diverse competitors, having higher returns on capital and credited with better employee engagement and retention. These companies have loyal customers, are more relevant to a broader customer base, are more innovative and are better at problem-solving. The same goes for companies that are more ethnically and racially diverse. 

Almost no companies are reflective of the diverse makeup of their country despite a spend of $7 billion a year on DEI efforts.  Part of the problem is that the fixation on diversity numbers dominates the dialogue around diversity and inclusion. While the numbers are incredibly important they provide a needed snapshot of how an organization’s employee base is made up and can measure things like attraction, retention and promotion.

A focus on diversity numbers alone can create dangerous tunnel vision. By only targeting diversity numbers, businesses can end up failing to deal with the underlying causes of how an organization’s diversity makeup came to be and what the culture of the organization is like.

In order to ensure you have the whole picture, we are going to discuss the pro’s and con’s of having diversity targets.  Specifically Kelly is going to share the argument for having diversity targets and Michelle will share why she doesn’t believe that they work and then we will look at how you can try and use them in the right way if you have to have them within your organization.


If Companies Want To Keep Black Employees They Need To Support Their Side Hustle - Rosanna Durruthy

If Companies Want To Keep Black Employees They Need To Support Their Side Hustle - Rosanna Durruthy

March 10, 2022

The Great Resignation, has seen employees  leaving their jobs at unprecedented rates. According to the US Labor Bureau in November 2021 alone, 4.5 million employees quit

Reports by the online media publication The Plug states that workers across the U.S. are finding more reasons to leave their jobs than having reasons to stay, citing burnout, being overworked amid shortages in some industries and pay that hasn’t kept track with inflation. But for Black workers, unaddressed racial issues in the workplace are among the long list of causes, directly fueling the Great Resignation. 

Black employees simply don’t feel like they belong and consequently they are turning to entrepreneurship. The number of African American business owners in operation surged to almost 1.5 million in August 2021, up 38% from February 2020.

LinkedIn surveyed over 1,000 Black entrepreneurs to uncover why professionals are starting their own businesses, the factors prompting professionals to leave the corporate workforce and the challenges Black professionals often face when launching a business.

Some of the highlights of their research findings include:

  • Over 1 in 3 (37%) Black Entrepreneurs with full time jobs have not told their company that they have their own business.
  • 35% of Black Entrepreneurs with full time jobs feel that they’ve been overlooked for career advancement opportunities because they have an additional business.
  • 55% of Black Entrepreneurs left the workforce to pursue entrepreneurship to have more flexibility & control over their schedule.
  • 37% of Black entrepreneurs feel like they have to have someone White on their leadership team/ executive board in order to get funding.
  • 43% of Black entrepreneurs believe having access to funding/capital is key to growing your business, yet only 1 in 4 Black business owners have received funding.

On today’s episode we discuss these findings and more with Rosanna Durruthy, Chief Diversity Officer for LinkedIn. Rosanna shares with us why Black employees are leaving their workplaces to start their own businesses.

How To Check Your Privilege  - with Myisha T. Hill

How To Check Your Privilege - with Myisha T. Hill

March 2, 2022

Being unaware of people’s experiences of inequality like racism or sexism, often inadvertently and unwillingly leads to behaviors that are racist and sexist. We are simply blind to inequality. Being able to learn about inequality without ever having to experience it, is really the ultimate privilege. But just like inequality, when we deny our privilege we are blinded by it. Privilege makes it easy to deny other people’s experiences of inequality and keeps us from seeing the workplace in the way others see it. Denial is what keeps inequality alive in workplaces today. When leaders and employees see how being a part of the dominant group gives them access to power and privilege, they will also become aware of the unique position they are in to dismantle the very inequality they benefit from.

In 2018, anti-racism guide and mental health activist Myisha T. Hill launched the Check Your Privilege movement on Instagram. This is a global movement that supports individuals on their journey to becoming actively anti-racist. In just over three short years, it amassed 750,000 followers and became a sought-after hub for interracial activism during 2020’s ongoing wave of civil unrest.

In her upcoming book, Heal Your Way Forward: The Co-Conspirator's Guide to an Antiracist Future, Myisha shares her perspective and asks this critical question of antiracism work: what do we want the world to look like in 7 generations?

On today’s episode, Myisha shares how we can all take action to check our privilege and tackle systemic racism and prejudices.


Instagram: @myishathill

Website: checkyourprivilege




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