The Fix with Michelle King
10 DEI Lessons for 2022 with Michelle King and Kelly Thomson

10 DEI Lessons for 2022 with Michelle King and Kelly Thomson

January 12, 2022

Over the last four years we have spoken with so many incredible people from all walks of life about how to make a more diverse, equitable and inclusive world.  

During that time I have found there are some consistent lessons that people shared around what it really takes to build a workplace that works for everyone.  

So to help kick off this year in the right way, we will be discussing my top 10 lessons learnt in DEI. This is based off the podcast episodes as well as our four decades of experience and my nearly two decades of researching workplaces. I have not shared these insights anywhere else so this is a first and hopefully you will find it helpful, practical and an inspiring way to begin your year.

So let’s get started with our top ten DEI lessons for 2022.  

What you need to know about the future of leadership: Jennifer Jordan

What you need to know about the future of leadership: Jennifer Jordan

December 9, 2021

As the entire world works to contain the spread of the coronavirus, the role of effective leadership has been brought into razor sharp focus. What people need now are leaders with empathy, compassion and an ability to show support, skills that women leaders tend to exhibit more than men. While it may take a global pandemic to finally acknowledge the unique talents and capabilities women leaders offer, companies shouldn't wait until there is a crisis to afford women an opportunity to lead. It's a trend we've seen before. The 2008 financial crisis was a result of irresponsible risk taking that ultimately came down to leadership and organizational priorities. Research examining risk-taking behavior finds that men are more prone to taking higher risks. Increased collective risk-taking behavior contributed to the crisis, which was an outcome of male-dominated workplaces that valued individual achievement and competition rather than collective well-being. Subsequent research found that women tend to adopt a more relational approach to leadership, which is more effective in a crisis compared to the more traditional command-and-control style of leadership typically adopted by men. Overall, women leaders adopt a relational style when leading through a crisis, which is highly effective as they focus on building trust, alleviating fears and managing the crisis at hand. 

Joining us on todays podcast is Professor Jennifer Jordan,  a social psychologist and Professor of Leadership and Organizational Behaviour at IMD. Jennifer explains the evolution of good leadership and what each of us can do to prepare for the new world of work. 

Communication Agility: How to talk to anyone - Felicity Wingrove

Communication Agility: How to talk to anyone - Felicity Wingrove

December 1, 2021

If the pandemic has taught us anything it is that to collaborate either virtually or in person we need to learn how we can bridge our individual and cultural differences and work as one team regardless of our location. We need to create culturally inclusive environments.

Culture includes the characteristics and knowledge of a particular group of people, encompassing language, religion, cuisine, social habits, music and arts. Culture also includes the shared patterns of behaviors, norms, interactions, and understanding that are learned through socialization. One way that culture plays out for all of us is through language.

How we communicate, the words, tone and body language we use all represent our culture and can make it hard for people, who differ from our culture to understand what we are trying to say.

We have always lived in an ethnically diverse society, we are all operating in an increasingly culturally diverse environment where we need to be able to interact, communicate, build relationships, and work effectively with people from diverse cultural and ethnic backgrounds.

Technology has made workplaces diverse and global. To succeed you need to be able to understand and appreciate diversity in its many forms, and to effectively engage and communicate with people from different cultures. But how may of us know how to adapt the way we communicate to ensure we are understood?

Joining us on todays podcast is Felicity Wingrove. Felicity is a leading expert on the applied psychology of language. Felicity will share specific strategies you can use to communicate with anyone, anywhere.

How to stop hating your job -  Dr Kathryn Owler

How to stop hating your job - Dr Kathryn Owler

November 25, 2021

Have you heard of the 'Great Resignation' or the 'Big Quit'? It is an informal name for the widespread trend of a significant number of workers leaving their jobs during the COVID-19 pandemic.

While most news articles are covering the 'Great Resignation' in relation to the United States, the problem is happening on a global level and it is thought to be the result of many different factors, notably employees dissatisfaction with current working conditions and post Covid reassessment of the lack of career and home life integration.  

This month in the United States, according to Guardian 2.9% of the workforce quit their jobs. Nearly 1.2 million jobs were open in the UK in the most recent quarter, with 15 of 18 sectors reporting record numbers.

People cite all kinds of reasons for quitting. They want a better work-life balance, they want more challenges, better conditions, more meaning. For employees who are left behind and those who want to make the move but are worried they are trading one job they hate for another it is critical to understand how we can love the jobs we are in.

Joining us on today’s episode is Dr Kathryn Owler, a happiness at workplace coach, who will share her research findings and advice for how to enjoy your job and have a meaningful career.

How to move from being a bystander to an upstander  – Rohit Bhargava and Jennifer Brown

How to move from being a bystander to an upstander – Rohit Bhargava and Jennifer Brown

November 18, 2021

Recently a male colleague asked me what he could do to support women at work, and I told him to start by being an ally. Simply speaking up when someone makes a derogatory comment about women, even if it seems innocent enough, is how men can practice this. When one of his colleagues made a comment to him about the size of their female coworker’s breasts, he spoke up. He said, “Don’t do that. Don’t speak about her like that. It’s not cool.” While this might seem like a small action, it is really an incredibly powerful way to create equality at work. By speaking up, my male colleague instantly reset the standards for how men speak, think, and interact with each other and the women in that office.

 The challenge with allyship is it generally involves spending your privilege. It is uncomfortable. It requires speaking up. Taking action. Calling out inequality, even if you benefit from it.

The intervention of bystanders often acts as the crucial brake on acts of bullying and discrimination. We can help bystanders become upstanders or allies by making them aware of the problem of inaction.

 Joining us on today’s episode is Rohit Bhargava and Jennifer Brown, authors of the book 'Beyond Diversity', who will share the difference between bystanders and upstanders, and how you can take action to tackle inequality when it plays out at work.

The Status of Fatherhood – Gary Barker

The Status of Fatherhood – Gary Barker

November 9, 2021

Men’s ability to financially support their family is equated with their identity and self-worth. Living up to this requires that men have a job, conform to the 1950’s ideal worker image, and advance at work. This is the expectation we all hold for men, and it limits men’s freedom to explore their identities outside of work.

We need to let go of the idea that women’s careers are somehow expendable, but men’s careers are not. This is not just good for women, it’s good for men. For example, a 2016 study found that men are better able to accommodate their dual identities when their wives work because they get to define success outside of just the breadwinner role. Sharing the burden to provide for the family frees men up to rethink their identity. The greatest challenge men face in straying from the breadwinner role is the risk of losing their self-worth and social status. When men don’t work, they forgo their place in society. Men can no longer build their confidence through their work, so they need to find this somewhere else. Research investigating how men deal with job loss finds that not only do men carry a heavy financial and emotional strain when they are let go, but they also struggle with the sense that they are no longer real men. We look down on men who are not breadwinners because they are not fulfilling what society deems men’s role should be. Research also finds this can be painful for men, especially if they are stay-at-home dads and their wives take on the breadwinner role. Men may try to rebalance this perceived loss of masculinity by being less supportive when it comes to childcare and domestic chores.

To unpack this issue we are joined by the Report’s author Gary Barker, who will start us off by sharing how the role of fathers has changed over time.

The Wellbeing Case for DEI - Dr Marlette Jackson

The Wellbeing Case for DEI - Dr Marlette Jackson

November 4, 2021

Over the last two years health and wellbeing has become front and center in organisational life, thanks to the pandemic. We have all heard of the business case for DEI but what about the wellness case for DEI?  It is becoming increasingly apparent that without compassionate, inclusive, people-centred workplaces, health and wellbeing suffers and, in turn, so does productivity. If we want more innovative, collaborative and productive workplaces, we need to put wellbeing front and center, not just for some employees but for everyone.  

Employee wellbeing on the one hand and diversity, equity and inclusion efforts on the other have a symbiotic relationship. Taking a diverse and inclusive approach to wellbeing within a business will enhance employees feelings of inclusion and belonging, which in turn improves their mental and emotional wellbeing, which further enhances their sense of belonging. And so the cycle goes on.

To understand how we can put wellbeing at the center of our DEI efforts we are joined on the show today by Dr. Marlette Jackson the Global Director of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion at Vigin Pulse. Dr Jackson discusses how diversity and inclusion are intertwined with employee health and wellbeing,  because when employees feel like they can be their true selves, they use fewer sick days, stay longer at their company and are happier and more engaged in their work She will also share how Virgin Pulse is putting wellbeing at the center of its own DEI efforts 

How To Deal With Burnout - Ashley Morgan

How To Deal With Burnout - Ashley Morgan

October 27, 2021

Both men and women are feeling even more burned out in 2021 than they were in 2020. The annual  'Women in the Workplace' report from McKinsey & Co. and LeanIn.Org found that the gap between women and men who say they are burned out has nearly doubled in the last year. Women in particular have taken on more responsibilities at home from supervising remote learning for their children to basic household chores. Women have also been forced out of their jobs at a disproportionate rate. As the U.S. Census Data reports there are nearly 1.5 million fewer mothers with children 18 or younger in the workforce in March 2021 compared to February 2020. 

The oppressive systems we live and work under have created a burnout epidemic, and this is all the worse for Black women and femmes who have a long legacy of exhaustion at the hands of white supremacist heteropatriarchy. Imagine the impact when, on top of the daily strife of enduring systems of misogynoir, you are also forced to weather an unprecedented and entirely mishandled health pandemic that is statistically more likely to murder you 

Black women persist, despite a system set up to ensure they don’t. Black women don’t need to learn to lean in, they are already doing this simply by showing up every day and overcoming one barrier after another. Black women must persist against the odds just to do their job, be treated fairly, get paid equally, and access leadership opportunities. We need to create a work environment where Black women don’t have to lean in, perform to a higher standard or deal with excessive burnout because the organization already works for them. 

On this episode I am joined by career coach, Ashley Morgan, to discuss why Black women’s experience of burnout is different and importantly how all of us can navigate burnout and manage our wellbeing in difficult times.   

The Power of Pressure: How To Make Challenging Times Work For You - Dane Jensen

The Power of Pressure: How To Make Challenging Times Work For You - Dane Jensen

October 21, 2021

When we talk about pressure we usually conjure up negative images  – being pressured into something, feeling the weight of pressure. Even the dictionary definition of “pressure” focuses on coercion and intimidation. And who could forget Queen and David Bowie singing about pressure being the force that burns a building down, splits a family in two, puts people on streets.

But is this the whole story? In this episode we are joined by Dane Jensen, CEO of Third Factor and an expert on pressure. He unpacks what pressure is, how it differs from stress and how we can harness pressure to our benefit - individually and in our organisations. Dane has worked with thousands of high performers including top business leaders and executives, world-class athletes, Navy SEALs, politicians, and even busy parents. If you want to understand how pressure is experienced differently for everyone and what you can do to excel during difficult moments or challenges in your life then this extended episode is just for you.  

Beer and Sexism: The Untold Story - Katie Muggli

Beer and Sexism: The Untold Story - Katie Muggli

October 13, 2021

When men align with other men who hold positions of power, they are better able to access the privilege associated with that power. This includes things like having direct access to high-profile people, job opportunities, high-profile assignments, and rewards at work. Homosocial behaviors provide men with ways to develop relationships with other men in positions of power, to their benefit. There are many ways these behaviors show up in workplaces, but they tend to result in employees tolerating and even accepting bullying, sexual harassment, discrimination, and exclusionary behaviors. Organizational banter is a great example of this and generally includes verbally attacking colleagues under the guise of “joking” to maintain dominance over others. It also involves making sexist jokes or derogatory comments based on people’s identities that diminish a person’s self-esteem and perceived value. When leaders remain silent, they sanction these behaviors, which also validates the people who engage in them. This can create an entire workplace culture that is hostile toward women.  

 A good example of this is the craft brewing industry. In May of this year, NPR reported that Brienne Allan, a brewery worker, went to Instagram to complain about sexual harassment in her workplace and thousands of other women – and a few men – chimed in with their stories including offhanded, rude comments, sexual violence and sexual harassment, as well as racism from owners and superiors. The Craft Brewing industry is being forced to reckon with the sexism, racism and sexual assault allegations.  

On today’s episode we are joined by Founder and Executive Director of Infinite Ingredient, Katie Muggli, who has been in the hospitality industry for over 20 years, with five years specific to the craft beer industry. Kate founded Infinite Ingredient to actively support the mental and physical well-being of individuals working in the craft beverage industry through outreach, education, and access to resources.  She shares her story and reflects on the 'me too' movement and its ripples through the craft beer industry.  

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