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How to be a better ally
Episode 1011th August 2022 • How to Take the Lead • Lee Griffith and Carrie-Ann Wade
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In this episode of How To Take The Lead we focus on allyship as a leader. Neither of us profess to be experts in this area, in fact we are on our own learning journeys, but we feel this is an important aspect of being a leader.

In this episode we share our thoughts, experiences and learning, including:

·      07:52 – why does allyship matter?

·      11:53 – what can leaders do?

·      18:01 – making change happen

·      21:53 – challenging your own biases

·      29:00 – data warning

·      38:00 – fear factor

·      43:50 – institutional racism, Cricket Scotland and are we really learning?

·      53:46 – how to... be a better ally

In this episode we recommend the books:

Diversify by June Sarpong

Rebel Ideas by Matthew Syed

If you enjoyed this episode why not subscribe to the podcast. We would love it if you left us a rating or review and feel free to share the link to this episode with anyone else you think would find it interesting, using #HowToTakeTheLead

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You can find out more about Lee Griffith via www.sundayskies.com and about Carrie-Ann Wade at www.cats-pajamas.co.uk

Get social with us via:

Lee on LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram.

Carrie-Ann on LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram.

Transcripts

Lee:

You're not suggesting I have to become besties with bozo boris, do

Carrie-Ann:

no I don't think I don't think there's any chance

Carrie-Ann:

that you would even agree to.

Lee:

Hello, it's another week.

Lee:

How are you doing?

Carrie-Ann:

I'm doing really well.

Carrie-Ann:

Thank you.

Carrie-Ann:

It's lovely to see you.

Carrie-Ann:

I can't believe.

Carrie-Ann:

Yeah, I can't believe it's another week already.

Carrie-Ann:

Another episode of the prep podcast.

Lee:

Yes.

Lee:

if you had a good week, how's your week been?

Carrie-Ann:

It's not been too bad and I've started my day to day

Carrie-Ann:

with a dip in the sea, which is a really nice start to the day.

Carrie-Ann:

I wish that could be every day, but yeah, it was making me think about

Carrie-Ann:

sort of routines and what gets you, what gets you going in the day?

Carrie-Ann:

So hopefully I'm on good form.

Carrie-Ann:

ready for an interesting debate.

Lee:

I just had a cup of tea and catching up on the neighbor's finale week, which is

Carrie-Ann:

my goodness.

Carrie-Ann:

I know.

Carrie-Ann:

Oh, and it's like, everyone's gonna be in this episode.

Carrie-Ann:

I can't wait to see what's.

Carrie-Ann:

Yeah.

Lee:

I know.

Lee:

Have you been watching, have you got back into it and watching it

Carrie-Ann:

I haven't really, but I've done a record for finale week

Carrie-Ann:

just so I can, so I can binge watch.

Lee:

I started watching about three weeks ago and there's been a steady

Lee:

stream of old faces and it's like proper bringing out the nostalgia in me.

Lee:

I'm this short from driving over to my parents' house and digging out my

Lee:

original 1980s neighbors board game.

Lee:

But

Carrie-Ann:

19 eight.

Carrie-Ann:

Oh my that has gotta be worth some money.

Carrie-Ann:

Hasn't it.

Carrie-Ann:

Now, now, now there's gonna be no more neighbors.

Lee:

I've got nobody to play with because the husband, husband doesn't

Lee:

want anything to do with it or me.

Carrie-Ann:

Oh, no one to play with that makes me we'll have to have

Carrie-Ann:

a neighbor's board game meet up.

Lee:

fabulous.

Carrie-Ann:

We've gotta wear eighties clothes though.

Lee:

yes.

Carrie-Ann:

stone wash denim, oversized jeans, and

Lee:

Well, I've got, I've got the curly hair now, so that's probably

Carrie-Ann:

I was gonna say a crop top, but I thought, no, nobody

Carrie-Ann:

needs to see me in a crop top.

Lee:

No, no, well, no, no, not to you.

Lee:

I'm I'm agree.

Carrie-Ann:

yeah.

Carrie-Ann:

Cheers mate.

Lee:

I'm agreeing that isn't a look that one wants to see of me either.

Lee:

anyway, as much as I would love for this to be a neighbor's appreciation

Lee:

podcast today, it's not we are back with regular, how to take the lead content.

Lee:

And today we are revisiting, through a different lens, I think a topic

Lee:

that we've talked about a few, a few times before, certainly when

Lee:

we were doing our lives over on Insta we've covered it quite a lot.

Lee:

And that's diversity and inclusion.

Lee:

So whether it's race, gender, sexuality, religion but I wanted to revisit the

Lee:

topic because for all the supportive talk that there's been and, and, you

Lee:

know, the, the movements that we've seen over the last couple of years, I'm

Lee:

starting to question how much action is actually being taken by leaders and

Lee:

organizations beyond the tick box stuff or meeting their statutory commitments.

Lee:

And sometimes they're not even doing that and I will be getting on a soapbox later

Carrie-Ann:

I've got your soapbox ready for you, Lee.

Carrie-Ann:

Cuz I thought that might happen today.

Lee:

But I'm talking here about real action where leaders are taking up

Lee:

causes as their own, where they're challenging oppression, where they see

Lee:

it, where they're perhaps giving way to other people to allow others who aren't

Lee:

as privileged as them to come forward.

Lee:

And I suppose I want to understand, why we are not further forward, why the same

Lee:

struggles and issues are being perpetuated and what can and should leaders be doing?

Lee:

And I suppose I come from this conversation, not as an expert,

Lee:

and I know you, you won't be professing to be as such, either.

Carrie-Ann:

Absolutely not.

Lee:

We're far from being experts.

Lee:

We're both still learning.

Lee:

We openly recognize our own bias and privileges that we have.

Lee:

And I'm sure that there will have been opportunities that I could have

Lee:

been, could still be a better ally.

Lee:

And it's that, that concept of allyship that I really want to explore today.

Lee:

And I know not everyone likes the term ally preferring terms that are perhaps

Lee:

a bit more action led, which again is, is a focus of our discussion today.

Lee:

But I do want to, to stick with the term ally, because I think it's a

Lee:

simple enough word that most people will understand what's meant by it.

Lee:

And I don't want to get in a protracted discussion around

Lee:

what's an alternative term to use.

Lee:

I think when we have spoken about allyship previously.

Lee:

And when you traditionally think about it in the workplace, it's perhaps been

Lee:

focused on those people in your network, who advocate for you, for example, or

Lee:

speak up for you or support your ideas.

Lee:

And we've talked about this in previous episodes in the introvert one, I was

Lee:

saying that I use my support network, my, my allies to help get my point across

Lee:

in meetings, when I felt like I perhaps wasn't gonna be so effective in doing so.

Lee:

But I think being an ally is more than just supporting your friends.

Lee:

And in a work setting I don't think we've always thought about the

Lee:

different ways we could perhaps provide allyship, especially as a leader.

Lee:

So that's why I wanted to focus through a slightly different angle

Lee:

than how we've covered it before.

Carrie-Ann:

Yeah, absolutely.

Carrie-Ann:

I, I think you've raised some really interesting points there, Lee, and

Carrie-Ann:

I think, I dunno, I think there's an opportunity for everybody leader

Carrie-Ann:

or not to take some time to reflect on what it means to be an ally.

Carrie-Ann:

And you're absolutely right.

Carrie-Ann:

It's not about being a support and an advocate for the

Carrie-Ann:

people you know or your mates.

Carrie-Ann:

It's got to go beyond that.

Carrie-Ann:

And I'm, I'm gonna be interested to see where this discussion takes us

Carrie-Ann:

today, but absolutely like you not professing to be an expert at all.

Carrie-Ann:

I'm on a, a learning journey even this week, I've had an opportunity to reflect

Carrie-Ann:

on how I can be a better, a better ally and more about the reasons why maybe I

Carrie-Ann:

didn't take action on something, which has been really interesting for me to reflect

Carrie-Ann:

on something for me to, to, you know, have in the front of my mind as I move forward.

Carrie-Ann:

So we're absolutely not having this conversation saying we've got all

Carrie-Ann:

the answers and we are gonna give you the toolkit to be a better ally

Carrie-Ann:

as a leader, but it is an important conversation, not just for us to be

Carrie-Ann:

having, but, but for others to be having, I think because you are right.

Carrie-Ann:

I think some of my experiences, the, the tick box stuff.

Carrie-Ann:

So leaders and organizations just, yep.

Carrie-Ann:

We've, we've achieved that tick it off tick it off.

Carrie-Ann:

And sometimes, you know what what's being ticked off in a, a leader's

Carrie-Ann:

list of actions they need to take to be a more inclusive organization.

Carrie-Ann:

Isn't always what it feels like further into that organization to work there.

Carrie-Ann:

So I just feel like it's a constant area that people need to be focused on.

Carrie-Ann:

And thinking about, to be honest with you, because there's always

Carrie-Ann:

more we can do, but like you.

Carrie-Ann:

You know, what's the action we can take.

Carrie-Ann:

And some of it will be about us as individuals.

Carrie-Ann:

And some of it will be that bigger organizational piece

Lee:

mm.

Lee:

So you are right about that constantly need to be working on it.

Lee:

And I suppose my starting point for, for the discussion is the why.

Lee:

So why does it matter?

Lee:

Why should we be working on it?

Lee:

Why is it good for leaders and organizations to be better allies?

Carrie-Ann:

Yeah, I guess from, from my point of view, I'd

Carrie-Ann:

start almost with the internal.

Carrie-Ann:

So myself as a leader, I I'm gonna have my own set of biases because

Carrie-Ann:

of my own personal experience.

Carrie-Ann:

Kind of my learned beliefs, my opinions, the experiences that I've had through

Carrie-Ann:

my life and my working life are all going to have an impact in some way on

Carrie-Ann:

the way in which I, I choose to lead.

Carrie-Ann:

So for me, there's something about the importance of being able to

Carrie-Ann:

reflect on and understand more about your own biases and privileges, and

Carrie-Ann:

more importantly, then the impacts that they're having on other people.

Carrie-Ann:

Cause if you are in a role as a leader, you are there to encourage develop,

Carrie-Ann:

support other people to grow, to take people on a journey with you towards

Carrie-Ann:

some sort of common goal or purpose.

Carrie-Ann:

And actually, if you don't understand the impact of your own biases on other

Carrie-Ann:

people who are different to you and who have different experiences to you,

Carrie-Ann:

then that's potentially I think gonna cause issues in, in building those

Carrie-Ann:

relationships and, and being able to lead.

Lee:

that's really important.

Lee:

And that sense, I know we've got another episode coming up around trust, but I

Lee:

do think that understanding and that connection with your teams and knowing

Lee:

what they might need and how that might be different from you is a really

Lee:

important part of building that trust.

Lee:

If you look at it from a, from the flip side, I suppose if people don't feel

Lee:

comfortable or welcome in the workplace, we know what the implications of that are.

Lee:

They're more likely to leave.

Lee:

They're probably gonna be feeling quite stressed or having some form

Lee:

of illness in, or definitely feel unsafe in the workplace that has

Lee:

ripples and a whole knock on effect to the culture of an organization.

Lee:

And we know, we've talked about this a lot, that the impact it can

Lee:

have on productivity, on innovation, on the customer experience, on

Lee:

staff, morale, all of these things.

Lee:

And that's why you need to create a sense of safety and security for your employees.

Lee:

And that's all your employees, not just the majority.

Carrie-Ann:

And that is that culture piece.

Carrie-Ann:

I think that you've raised, that resonates with me in terms of what

Carrie-Ann:

culture are you trying to create and embed in your organization?

Carrie-Ann:

And as you say, if, if the culture you're creating isn't one where people

Carrie-Ann:

from whatever background feel like they can grow and thrive, and they

Carrie-Ann:

therefore performing well, being productive, all of those things you've

Carrie-Ann:

mentioned then actually, what sort of organization have you got, cuz you're

Carrie-Ann:

not gonna be delivering on your vision and your goals as an organization.

Carrie-Ann:

So I, I think that piece you've raised around the impact on culture

Carrie-Ann:

for me probably is really important.

Carrie-Ann:

We hear, we hear all the sayings don't we culture eats strategy for breakfast,

Lee:

Mm.

Carrie-Ann:

culture drives performance and all of that kind of stuff.

Carrie-Ann:

So I, I think that link is, is probably a really strong one organizationally..

Lee:

So you've got the why, why it's important.

Lee:

And then I suppose there's the what?

Lee:

So we know that there are the big topics that people focusing on,

Lee:

race, sexuality, gender as examples.

Lee:

But it doesn't start or stop there, I suppose, in terms of opportunities

Lee:

to show allyship, we know that it's intricate, it's complex, it's nuanced.

Lee:

It's very different for different people.

Lee:

People often fall into two or more marginalized groups.

Lee:

So it's not like you can just pick someone up and put them in their little

Lee:

box and, and that's it sorted, you know, who they are and how to treat them.

Lee:

And I think organizations do try to put, pick people up and

Lee:

put them in their little box.

Lee:

And that's probably one of the issues that, that we need to discuss.

Lee:

So when we talk about allyship, what could that encompass, I

Lee:

suppose, what does showing up as an ally look like in the workplace?

Carrie-Ann:

I think there's a couple of things for me that spring to mind

Carrie-Ann:

as you're speaking, I guess the first one is about that, understanding

Carrie-Ann:

that listening and that that point you've made about not labeling people

Carrie-Ann:

and judging them and, oh, right.

Carrie-Ann:

They've got one label.

Carrie-Ann:

So that's where they fit, because actually, like you say, we've all got lots

Carrie-Ann:

of different things that are impacting on our ability to show up day to day.

Carrie-Ann:

And it's not always as straightforward as oh, because they've got X disability

Carrie-Ann:

they're not able or less able to do something or because they're

Carrie-Ann:

a woman that this is the impact.

Carrie-Ann:

Everybody's more than one thing.

Carrie-Ann:

So I think the bit for me around what you can do is start to think about

Carrie-Ann:

how you can create a safe space for debate and enable colleagues in your

Carrie-Ann:

organization or your team members to be able to feel like there's

Carrie-Ann:

psychological safety within the team and the organization that they work for.

Carrie-Ann:

And that actually, if they choose to raise an issue, the way that that

Carrie-Ann:

is responded to is going to be in a positive way that actually they're

Carrie-Ann:

encouraged to raise concerns and issues about how they're being treated.

Carrie-Ann:

How processes are impacting them, for example, in the workplace.

Carrie-Ann:

And I think, you have to try to create that safe space to have the conversation

Carrie-Ann:

because you have to understand the other person's point of view and where they're

Carrie-Ann:

coming from and what the issues are.

Carrie-Ann:

You can't just sit at the top of an organization and assume that, you know,

Carrie-Ann:

best, you have to be able to listen.

Carrie-Ann:

And check back in.

Carrie-Ann:

I think that what you're hearing is what that person or that group

Carrie-Ann:

of people are trying to say to you.

Carrie-Ann:

So, I guess there's lots of practical ways.

Carrie-Ann:

You can try to do that through things like staff networking, you know, the

Carrie-Ann:

organization that I currently work in, there's got a whole host of staff

Carrie-Ann:

networks, and it's really interesting the point you made about labels,

Carrie-Ann:

because we do have, for example, a disability staff network and then

Carrie-Ann:

actually feedback from colleagues was, well, the disability that I've got

Carrie-Ann:

doesn't ever really get talked about in that network because it's too broad.

Carrie-Ann:

So then actually we've other like smaller network groups

Carrie-Ann:

have, have come off of that.

Carrie-Ann:

So we've got a group that's for people with dyslexia, for example.

Carrie-Ann:

So it's just quite interesting that I think we try to put these

Carrie-Ann:

big, broad labels on things and it is so much more complicated than

Carrie-Ann:

that, but actually hearing what people are saying means you can take

Carrie-Ann:

action to help give them that voice.

Lee:

Yeah.

Lee:

And we've had this discussion before as women.

Lee:

And our sense of we are women leaders who don't have children and often

Lee:

discussions around supporting women in the workplace is supporting women to

Lee:

juggle childcare and being a mother and all that, which is really important,

Lee:

but that isn't our experience.

Lee:

And we don't necessarily always feel like we got a voice.

Lee:

Our identity wasn't recognized because we didn't fall into that

Lee:

nice piece of work people were doing around flexible working for moms.

Carrie-Ann:

absolutely agree with that.

Carrie-Ann:

Then sometimes the impact of how that's made.

Carrie-Ann:

I can't speak for you, but made me feel is that I've got it easier

Carrie-Ann:

because I don't have that caring responsibility for children.

Carrie-Ann:

So like you say it, it is those unintended consequences, isn't

Carrie-Ann:

it of labeling things too much.

Carrie-Ann:

Now I'm not saying it's not important to do those pieces of work, but if

Carrie-Ann:

you only choose to focus on one, what's the unintended consequence on,

Carrie-Ann:

on other groups of people who then might feel disenfranchised because

Carrie-Ann:

the impacts for them are different.

Carrie-Ann:

And then I guess that the other thing that just spring to mind as you,

Carrie-Ann:

you were talking then asking that question was around what your role

Carrie-Ann:

is as a role model and a leader.

Carrie-Ann:

And I think part of creating that safe space is openly demonstrating that you

Carrie-Ann:

are okay to have some of those difficult conversations and it absolutely doesn't

Carrie-Ann:

and shouldn't be about these are the things where I feel I'm hard done by

Carrie-Ann:

because that's, that's not what you should be doing as a leader and making

Carrie-Ann:

it about yourself, but it should be about being able to talk about things

Carrie-Ann:

and share some of your own experience to demonstrate to others that you are gonna

Carrie-Ann:

be open to having those conversations.

Carrie-Ann:

So, for me, at my most recent example would be around the menopause.

Carrie-Ann:

So, you know, part of being a woman in the workplace, part of reaching

Carrie-Ann:

an age or a stage in your life is that at some point you you will hit

Carrie-Ann:

the menopause and that will have impacts for you in your working life.

Carrie-Ann:

And actually it's only been very recently that people have felt more

Carrie-Ann:

open and able to talk about that.

Carrie-Ann:

But I, in a couple of conversations in the workplace recently i've been

Carrie-Ann:

getting very forgetful actually and thinking, am I perimenopausal?

Carrie-Ann:

And I've actually said that in a couple of meetings and it's been really

Carrie-Ann:

interesting to see people's response, cuz some people have been a bit.

Carrie-Ann:

Oh, I wasn't expecting you to say that.

Carrie-Ann:

Like now I, now I don't really know how to respond.

Carrie-Ann:

You're like, oh, I'm really sorry.

Carrie-Ann:

I forgot that.

Carrie-Ann:

Honestly, I think I'm perimenopausal and it's having a real impact on me,

Carrie-Ann:

but actually in other conversations, it's really opened up a dialogue

Carrie-Ann:

where other people have gone, oh God, I'm really glad you've said that.

Carrie-Ann:

Cuz you know, I've been experiencing that, but I haven't really felt

Carrie-Ann:

able to say, cuz just saying I've, you know, got a bit forgetful.

Carrie-Ann:

I've got brain fog feels like a bit of a cop out, but actually

Carrie-Ann:

now I've heard you say it.

Carrie-Ann:

So there's just something about, doesn't have to be always big things, but just

Carrie-Ann:

in how you are interacting as a leader, are you making it okay for people to

Carrie-Ann:

disclose and be open about the things that are impacting them in the workplace?

Lee:

I mean, you say that it not a big thing.

Lee:

That probably was a bloody big thing for that person.

Lee:

Who's who perhaps silently struggling and feeling like they

Lee:

couldn't a B their authentic self and, and be open about what, what

Lee:

they were feeling at that moment.

Lee:

And I think, yeah, you just speaking your truth has enabled someone else to go a

Lee:

there's someone that's like me and B.

Lee:

Oh, it's okay to talk about this here.

Lee:

So don't belittle that encounter.

Lee:

I think that's a big one.

Carrie-Ann:

Yeah.

Carrie-Ann:

So, so they were the couple of things that in, I mean, loads more

Carrie-Ann:

obviously, but like sprung to my mind as you were kind of there.

Lee:

I think as leaders in organizations you are in such a powerful position

Lee:

to make change happen and to change the system that perhaps are

Lee:

being oppressive to other people.

Lee:

And I think we can underestimate that and think it's got to be

Lee:

aligned with, I don't know.

Lee:

Well, well make, yes, it's got to be aligned with big strategy and

Lee:

the direction of the organization but you can put that lens on there

Lee:

or you can reflect back how is this gonna impact on X, Y, and Z?

Lee:

And don't just leave it to the diversity and inclusion person to, to do their tick

Lee:

box, for example, when you make a change.

Lee:

So I do think there's a really big responsibility and opportunity you've

Lee:

got as a leader in terms of big change.

Lee:

And then I think there's the smaller moves that all leaders

Lee:

could and should be taking.

Lee:

So whether it is, I don't know, respecting someone's request to use a certain

Lee:

pronoun when they're being addressed.

Lee:

For example, it could be, if you are, as leaders are invited often to take part

Lee:

in panel discussions or to speak at a conference or to, I don't know, judge some

Lee:

awards or something, whatever it is, maybe you are interviewing and you'll say yes or

Lee:

no based on your preferences and whether it fits with what you want to do, but

Lee:

maybe as leaders, we should be doing more, not maybe we should be doing more around

Lee:

going well, who else is involved in this?

Lee:

Is it diverse enough?

Lee:

Am I perhaps holding a space that could be better used by someone else whose

Lee:

voice isn't heard that often and being a leader that is an ally, is someone that's

Lee:

willing to go, I'm gonna step back and give this opportunity to someone else.

Lee:

Or it could be finding someone in your organization that you can sponsor and

Lee:

make sure that you are helping them to get the best opportunities that they can.

Carrie-Ann:

Yeah, absolutely.

Carrie-Ann:

And, and again, you know, we say they're little things, but

Carrie-Ann:

they're probably not for the people on the receiving end of that.

Carrie-Ann:

We like, we, we think actually in the grand scheme of our life as a leader

Carrie-Ann:

is it a big deal to give up a speaking opportunity and put someone else forward?

Carrie-Ann:

Probably not for us, but for the person that you might be putting forward that

Carrie-Ann:

will be a really massive opportunity.

Carrie-Ann:

And they're really practical things, as well as you're talking, I'm

Carrie-Ann:

thinking they are just so practical.

Carrie-Ann:

They're not things that are difficult to do.

Carrie-Ann:

And I think sometimes that's what happens in this space around

Carrie-Ann:

allyship and diversity and inclusion.

Carrie-Ann:

I think sometimes there's a fear that everything has to be like a big

Carrie-Ann:

statement and, and everything is too challenging to try to tackle because

Carrie-Ann:

there are such big issues, but actually it's those small steps and those

Carrie-Ann:

small things that really start to have an impact, particularly over time.

Lee:

And I do think sometimes the.

Lee:

I suppose the thought process, let's just take a panel discussion, for example,

Lee:

it could be is it my responsibility to check who else is on the panel?

Lee:

Is it my responsibility to give up my space?

Lee:

Should it not be for the conference person to do.

Lee:

My objective is to raise my profile and get my thought leadership out there.

Lee:

So why should I give way why can't someone else do that?

Lee:

But if we all think like that, it needs someone to start taking the first step

Lee:

and to start putting that challenge in.

Lee:

So why not be you, you know,

Carrie-Ann:

Yeah, exactly.

Carrie-Ann:

Change will never happen.

Carrie-Ann:

If we're all sat there thinking it's somebody else's job to do it.

Carrie-Ann:

Oh, well, I won't do it because surely someone else should, because they're

Carrie-Ann:

more senior or they've had a longer career or whatever the thing is.

Carrie-Ann:

But actually, as you say, we are prob if we are all sat there doing

Carrie-Ann:

that change will never happen.

Carrie-Ann:

So,

Lee:

Mm Mm

Carrie-Ann:

yeah, be, be the change.

Lee:

So going back to the beginning where you were talking about the

Lee:

biases that we all have knowingly or unknowingly, where do you begin in

Lee:

identifying what your biases might be?

Lee:

How might you perhaps need to change if you've identified a bias or if you've

Lee:

decided actually, I don't think I am being visible enough on a certain issue.

Carrie-Ann:

I think the first place to start is a, being able

Carrie-Ann:

to feel open with yourself about doing that reflection piece.

Carrie-Ann:

I think you do need to spend some time reflecting on maybe some of the

Carrie-Ann:

stereotypes that you may have of different groups of people, some of the prejudices

Carrie-Ann:

that you may have and being really honest with yourself about what they are.

Carrie-Ann:

And maybe trying to understand a little bit more about where they've come from.

Carrie-Ann:

Again, is it that about learned beliefs early on in life, for example, where have

Carrie-Ann:

those opinions and thoughts come from?

Carrie-Ann:

I think there's something about taking responsibility

Carrie-Ann:

to educate yourself as well.

Carrie-Ann:

And there are so many resources out there I'm probably gonna mention this

Carrie-Ann:

one, a lot, but something that I've found really helpful in terms of kind

Carrie-Ann:

of challenging my own thinking is a, a book called diversify by June Sarpong.

Carrie-Ann:

It's all around how to challenge inequality and, and why we

Carrie-Ann:

should do it and not just in the workspace, but in life in general.

Carrie-Ann:

For me, that book, I talk about it probably a bit more later, but that, that

Carrie-Ann:

book has been really helpful in terms of feeling able to challenge my own thinking

Carrie-Ann:

and my own perceptions and giving me ideas about what I can do to change my practice.

Carrie-Ann:

And that's not just the one book, there's absolutely tons of resources out there.

Carrie-Ann:

And then I think there's also something about as you are moving through your

Carrie-Ann:

daily life as a leader, and it's gonna sound, I dunno, I dunno how people

Carrie-Ann:

take this, there's something about practicing mindfulness, but for me, I

Carrie-Ann:

mean, mindfulness specifically focused on being aware of the thoughts and

Carrie-Ann:

associations you're having, when you are dealing with people who maybe

Carrie-Ann:

are different to you and, and then being able to process those and think

Carrie-Ann:

through the impact that they're having and why you're having those thoughts.

Carrie-Ann:

So that, that was just some of my initial thinking, but I, I know you'll

Carrie-Ann:

have more to say, I'm sure on that.

Lee:

Well, one, one of the things that, and we've talked about

Lee:

leaders, making sure they're not in their own echo chamber.

Lee:

And I think this is one where it's a really important area to question Am

Lee:

I surrounded by the same people or people that are just look and talk

Lee:

and have the same thoughts of me.

Lee:

If, if you are in that situation, you you're really

Lee:

likely to have a strong bias.

Lee:

We know diversity breeds, diverse thinking and approaches.

Lee:

So there is something about that and I'm just completely coincidentally I'm

Lee:

reading Matthew Syed's rebel ideas at the moment and on the train home last night,

Lee:

he's got a whole chapter on echo chambers and it was really interesting that he

Lee:

was talking about echo chambers is not about ignoring alternative sources of

Lee:

information, but about undermining trust in alternative sources of information.

Lee:

And it just got me thinking that so often that sense of your bias

Lee:

and belief and trust in something.

Lee:

If you're surrounded by loads of people saying the same stuff, and there's only

Lee:

one voice saying something else, do you have that trust in the information?

Lee:

Are you gonna challenge?

Lee:

Are you gonna really look at it?

Lee:

I suppose, as a leader, ensuring that you are getting a variety of voices around

Lee:

your table in your ear, however you want to do it, but also not just taking all

Lee:

of that at face value as well and doing your own work and even the work that

Lee:

you do and what you read, questioning it and, and trying to come from it from a

Lee:

really neutral point of view and suppose it's that triangulation piece as well.

Lee:

Isn't it?

Lee:

It's, it's always important that you don't just take everything face value.

Carrie-Ann:

Yeah, it's, it's funny.

Carrie-Ann:

You should say that in diversify, actually there's a chapter called

Carrie-Ann:

the other view which is quite near to the end of the book, actually.

Carrie-Ann:

And it is about how you, once you've understood more about your own biases

Carrie-Ann:

and prejudices, how you then seek out the other view and there's steps in

Carrie-Ann:

there about, we've talked about this already creating a safe space for debate.

Carrie-Ann:

There's also something in there about finding the middle ground as

Lee:

Mm

Carrie-Ann:

That actually that will help you with some of that challenging,

Carrie-Ann:

not taking things on face value.

Carrie-Ann:

Sometimes that can be hard to do, but can you find that middle ground,

Carrie-Ann:

not being complacent in terms of your own behaviors, but also like

Carrie-Ann:

you've said what, what feedback you are getting, don't be complacent in

Carrie-Ann:

just taking that at face value and going right tick that's that done?

Carrie-Ann:

That's what the data tells us.

Carrie-Ann:

And then being open to facing the challenge.

Carrie-Ann:

But one of the things it made me think about when you were talking

Carrie-Ann:

about that chapter of the book was there's an exercise that it

Carrie-Ann:

challenges you to do, which is to go to the website of a political party

Carrie-Ann:

that has the opposite views of you.

Carrie-Ann:

And basically almost.

Carrie-Ann:

To kind of take that in and then, and then do a review of that and identify

Carrie-Ann:

where that challenge comes from for you.

Carrie-Ann:

Why that feels difficult, but also trying to open your mind to why

Carrie-Ann:

they might have that point of view.

Carrie-Ann:

So I mean, difficult one to do for many people, I'm sure, but I just, it's

Carrie-Ann:

quite interesting as a sort of practical way forward to, to test out how you

Carrie-Ann:

can not take things on face value and really start to dig underneath what

Carrie-Ann:

your own prejudices and biases are.

Lee:

You're not suggesting I have to become besties with bozo boris, do

Carrie-Ann:

no I don't think I don't think there's any chance

Carrie-Ann:

that you would even agree to.

Carrie-Ann:

attempt to become anything close to even an acquaintance of bozo.

Lee:

But you are right in the point.

Lee:

And my husband tells me this all the time when I go off on one about our

Lee:

beloved government at the moment.

Lee:

And whilst he is impartial in his political views.

Lee:

He does challenge me to not just dismiss things that they say, because they're not

Lee:

someone that ideologically aligns with me.

Lee:

And I through gritted teeth agree with that and actually, separately

Lee:

have been listening to the rest is politics podcast with Rory Stewart on

Lee:

and I've then been raving about how, how I've been loving him, and I've really

Lee:

warmed to him and, and he just goes, you do realize he's a tory don't you.

Lee:

And I'm like, yes, yes I do.

Lee:

He goes, so you do realize that my points that I previously made, I thought, okay,

Carrie-Ann:

you do realize that I told you so Lee, but all of

Carrie-Ann:

that is about challenging some of our own Biase isn't it.

Carrie-Ann:

And being open to hearing different points of view and understanding

Carrie-Ann:

where other people are coming from.

Carrie-Ann:

And, and it doesn't always mean that you.

Carrie-Ann:

I have to agree with it.

Carrie-Ann:

And it also doesn't always mean that it will resonate with you if that's not

Carrie-Ann:

your experience, but you have to accept that other people have a different

Carrie-Ann:

experience to you and that's okay.

Carrie-Ann:

Or sometimes it's not okay because their experience is negative.

Carrie-Ann:

But what I mean is, you know, you, you can't be judging everybody and

Carrie-Ann:

taking your own actions based solely on your own personal experience.

Lee:

Yeah, there are a couple of things that you mentioned that

Lee:

I just wanted to come back on.

Lee:

One was the thing around data and the data that you get as a leader.

Lee:

And I do think that there is I suppose a warning that needs to come with

Lee:

data, because you might assume something isn't an issue because it isn't

Lee:

perhaps statistically significant.

Lee:

And when you are looking at big numbers and big reports, something

Lee:

doesn't stick out as an issue.

Lee:

But I think when it comes to matters of inclusion and ensuring that you are

Lee:

having equal opportunities or whatever it might be in your organization.

Lee:

I don't think you can assume that issues are invalid because

Lee:

you don't have statistically significant data to go with it.

Lee:

So I do think you need to take data with caution.

Carrie-Ann:

Yeah, a hundred percent and there's something for me about do you

Carrie-Ann:

even really feel like, you know, how to delve into that data to understand

Carrie-Ann:

what it's telling you because on face value, it might be telling you one

Carrie-Ann:

thing that gives you your big tick in the box, yeah, we're doing really well

Carrie-Ann:

on that one, but actually the point you made earlier about triangulation.

Carrie-Ann:

Are you able to triangulate that and then, and then see that that is valid or

Carrie-Ann:

actually, do you need to dig a bit deeper to understand that actually the data's

Carrie-Ann:

not telling you quite what you think.

Carrie-Ann:

And again, the data might say one thing, but the experience lived

Carrie-Ann:

experience in your organization might be quite different.

Carrie-Ann:

And, and I often think that about staff surveys when people get really

Carrie-Ann:

excited, because they've got a really high percentage of you know, Women have

Carrie-Ann:

responded or a really high percentage of, of people from a certain ethnic

Carrie-Ann:

group have responded to the survey, which is brilliant, but I'm always

Carrie-Ann:

more interested in the people who haven't responded because what's the

Carrie-Ann:

reason that they're not engaging.

Carrie-Ann:

I, yeah, I do think you do have to take data with that health warning that it, I

Carrie-Ann:

don't think it can just be about the data that's being presented to you as a leader.

Lee:

No.

Lee:

And then the other area I wanted to pick up was on the notion of education

Lee:

and absolutely this is really important.

Lee:

We said this on the outset, we all need to continually educate ourselves.

Lee:

And there are lots of ways that you can do that.

Lee:

It isn't just about, oh, I've read a book and now I know what I need to do.

Lee:

I think there is , again, we need to be mindful of the burden we might be

Lee:

placing on other people because I think often we'll go, right, well, you know,

Lee:

it's that person's responsibility to educate me if you've got a designated

Lee:

person, for example, in your organization, or I don't know, you've

Lee:

got a friend who fits into the box of the issue that you are researching.

Lee:

And therefore you think that they are the person that's gonna have

Lee:

to answer your questions now.

Lee:

They've got no responsibility to answer your questions.

Lee:

I think you almost have to ask permission of someone before you approach them

Lee:

and ask them questions to further your own knowledge and, and understanding.

Lee:

I think you need to make sure you approach them with humility

Lee:

and have an open attitude , and you're not having a discussion

Lee:

to have a debate or a challenge.

Lee:

It's about asking questions that is gonna help you in a non

Lee:

defensive way, learn about where you might need to improve stuff.

Lee:

So, you know, it's not necessarily going to your friend and going, can you educate

Lee:

me on the history of slavery and why, why it's such an issue for you nowadays

Lee:

as an example it might be going to colleagues in your organization asking

Lee:

permission to have a conversation with them and then asking them, you know,

Lee:

what are you finding the most challenging working here that I might not be able

Lee:

to see, or if there's one thing that me and the team could do to improve your

Lee:

experience here, what would that be?

Lee:

What advice would you give me so that I can be a better ally for you?

Lee:

So asking nonjudgmental nondirective questions that are really open and

Lee:

then be willing to listen to those back to the triangulation point.

Lee:

I do think that just speaking to one person and getting one person's

Lee:

experience doesn't mean that they're talking on behalf of everyone else

Lee:

that's affected by that issue.

Lee:

So I do think you need to speak to a variety of people

Lee:

and, and test it as well.

Lee:

And then there's that thing around not projecting your thoughts and

Lee:

attitudes or behaviors onto others.

Lee:

We've already spoken in this episode about being women leaders who aren't

Lee:

mothers, but we can't assume that our views on that are the same to as

Lee:

other women who were in our position.

Carrie-Ann:

Absolutely.

Carrie-Ann:

And I think, I think we, you it's about being respectful, isn't it?

Carrie-Ann:

And nonjudgmental.

Carrie-Ann:

And I like how you described approaching those conversations, because it's not

Carrie-Ann:

about you having a debate or if you're gonna go into that space to learn, you're

Carrie-Ann:

having a learning conversation where you are open to hearing what that other person

Carrie-Ann:

says and, and genuinely wanting to learn and understand more and not going oh,

Carrie-Ann:

That's the opposite of my own experience, so I'm gonna challenge that now.

Carrie-Ann:

It's not about having a debate.

Carrie-Ann:

It's about learning.

Carrie-Ann:

So if that's the route you're taking to educate yourself, you're absolutely right.

Carrie-Ann:

You have to be open minded and nonjudgmental in that space.

Carrie-Ann:

I think, because again, we've mentioned trust before, you're trying to build

Carrie-Ann:

trust in people to want to open up to you and actually people who maybe do feel

Carrie-Ann:

marginalized or disenfranchised, sometimes won't find it as easy to say to you.

Carrie-Ann:

This is what it feels like to work here because they're worried

Carrie-Ann:

it's gonna have an impact on them.

Carrie-Ann:

So again, it's about how are you creating that safe space to have that

Carrie-Ann:

debate and conversation where people feel that they're not gonna be blamed

Carrie-Ann:

or judged or negatively impacted by actually telling you their truth?

Lee:

I think that's situational and cultural awareness, there will be

Lee:

cultural norms, for example, that women won't In some cultures, women don't

Lee:

like to give negative feedback for example, or they won't be challenging

Lee:

or negative to their seniors.

Lee:

And that's just the way that they are.

Lee:

And you need to have an understanding of that before you

Lee:

enter into a dialogue, don't you?

Lee:

I think that one of the other areas that I definitely would like to see more

Lee:

progress on is that support in the moment.

Lee:

And I think leaders can be doing that now.

Lee:

Don't wait until afterwards, I've seen situations where something's happened.,

Lee:

That's been really awkward and then afterwards, the boss comes in and has a

Lee:

quiet word with you and goes, I'm really sorry that, you know, that happened.

Lee:

Or they try and apologize on behalf of someone else that said something really

Lee:

inappropriate and go, well, you know,

Carrie-Ann:

That's what

Carrie-Ann:

they're

Lee:

mean it, they were, yeah, they were only joking or whatever,

Lee:

you know, which is gaslighting.

Lee:

And I know not everyone likes that term, but I think we need to be as leaders,

Lee:

really mindful of how we are managing and showing up in situations when

Lee:

things occur, but also in situations,

Lee:

so let's just say, if you are in a group where you're a man,

Lee:

you are with a group of men.

Lee:

Someone makes a sexist comment or a joke, don't think, oh,

Lee:

I can let it slide this time.

Lee:

Cause there's no women around to see me be an ally.

Lee:

I think there's something about being consistent in showing up and tackling it.

Lee:

It's the same with conversations about racism in your family.

Lee:

If older people have certain views and you shouldn't just let it slide because it's

Carrie-Ann:

It's generational or it's it's generational.

Carrie-Ann:

Don't worry about it.

Carrie-Ann:

Yeah.

Carrie-Ann:

It's funny.

Carrie-Ann:

You should mention that.

Carrie-Ann:

I, I saw on TV last night, actually the hope United advert where it's

Carrie-Ann:

all the female footballers, who it's like little clips of them.

Carrie-Ann:

How they faced sexism in what they're doing.

Carrie-Ann:

And then actually there's a male football team that comes on to basically say

Carrie-Ann:

it's not their job to challenge sexism.

Carrie-Ann:

It's our job.

Carrie-Ann:

We have to stop the sex hate basically.

Carrie-Ann:

And I thought, oh, that's quite interesting.

Carrie-Ann:

It was quite, quite powerful, actually.

Lee:

so we know that employees want their leaders to be speaking up and speaking out

Lee:

on the issues that are important to them.

Lee:

We've seen this in all sorts of surveys and research that's been done over the

Lee:

last few years, but one of the reasons I often hear that leaders aren't able

Lee:

or feel scared to speak up on some issues, is that fear that they're

Lee:

gonna get it wrong, or if they get it wrong, they're gonna be canceled.

Lee:

So how do you get over that?

Lee:

If that is where you genuinely are at, at the moment, you just

Lee:

don't really know what to do.

Carrie-Ann:

I think that comes back to that point where you were saying

Carrie-Ann:

about the education piece and also all that stuff you talked about around

Carrie-Ann:

your not being in an echo chamber.

Carrie-Ann:

So I think if there is a, a topic that it is really clear that you should

Carrie-Ann:

be speaking out about, but you've got that fear factor of like, oh, I'm

Carrie-Ann:

gonna say the wrong thing, I don't understand enough about this issue.

Carrie-Ann:

You know, am I gonna make it worse?

Carrie-Ann:

If I say something.

Carrie-Ann:

Are you doing enough to seek out some advice from the people who are impacted

Carrie-Ann:

by that issue to understand actually what it is that they need from you?

Carrie-Ann:

Because actually, if you are able to hear that and understand that from people,

Carrie-Ann:

then I think that will make you feel less fearful about the reason behind

Carrie-Ann:

what the statement that you're making or the action that you're planning to take.

Carrie-Ann:

So for me, I think, I don't wanna say it's like a comfort blanket, but it's

Carrie-Ann:

that security that actually you're not just speaking out and saying

Carrie-Ann:

it because it's your opinion on it.

Carrie-Ann:

you're actually doing that in an educated and informed way.

Carrie-Ann:

And you are asking people in your workforce, what is it that

Carrie-Ann:

we need to do to support this?

Carrie-Ann:

And again, Being conscious of don't just go to the diversity and inclusion

Carrie-Ann:

lead, cuz that's usually one person it's not one person's job, but you know,

Carrie-Ann:

have you got a diverse enough group of people around you that you can have a

Carrie-Ann:

bit of a debate and conversation about what's the right thing to do here, we

Carrie-Ann:

do need to make a statement, speak out.

Carrie-Ann:

I'm gonna front it, but I just need to just almost have that sense check, I

Carrie-Ann:

think maybe before you say something, if it's fear of saying or doing the

Carrie-Ann:

wrong thing, that's holding you back.

Lee:

I think also that we go back to the fundamentals of being a good leader.

Lee:

We are all gonna get something wrong at some point.

Lee:

And as leaders, we shouldn't be striving for perfection.

Lee:

We should be able to fail and to be able to handle failure if it

Lee:

happens, because that is where true leaders grow and where they build the

Lee:

connection and all that kind of stuff.

Lee:

So I do think if you're in that mindset of it needs to be perfect.

Lee:

Just remember, as a leader, you should never be striving for that anyway.

Carrie-Ann:

And it's about being human, isn't it.

Carrie-Ann:

And demonstrating compassion as a human being.

Carrie-Ann:

That's fundamentally what you need to do.

Carrie-Ann:

And like you say, if you're coming at it from the right place and doing that,

Carrie-Ann:

With integrity then, like you say, if you miss the mark and you get it wrong,

Carrie-Ann:

then you handle that at the time.

Carrie-Ann:

I think it's worse for leaders if they are not acting in a genuine

Carrie-Ann:

way that then when it goes wrong, it's much harder to deal with.

Carrie-Ann:

So as we've always talked about in how to take the lead, we think you

Carrie-Ann:

should be acting with integrity and authenticity, and then that's how

Carrie-Ann:

you should handle it, if it doesn't quite go, how you think it's going to.

Lee:

And I think if you are, again, looking at that from the perspective

Lee:

of how do you challenge and, and show allyship in the moment, if something's

Lee:

gonna happen, if someone perhaps shares a view or a thought that isn't supportive or

Lee:

isn't inclusive or whatever, and you need as a leader to demonstrate that you are

Lee:

going to speak up and stick up for other people in that moment, I think there's

Lee:

stuff that you could be doing in advance.

Lee:

So I think there are ways that you could perhaps prepare for cuz if

Lee:

you can guess the types of stuff that might be coming up, you could

Lee:

probably think back at examples where, previously, you could have gone oh,

Lee:

I, I could have, should have would've said something if I knew what to say.

Lee:

And you could use that as a basis of right, well what would I say?

Lee:

What questions or response could I give if something like this

Lee:

was to arise again in the future?

Lee:

I think if you prepare, you are more likely to say it when the moment arises.

Lee:

If you feel unprepared, you are more likely to let it slide.

Lee:

So I do think there's something about preparation.

Lee:

I think there's something about not worrying yourself that you need to

Lee:

have lots of facts and information to hand in order to be able to have

Lee:

an informed discussion with someone.

Lee:

Because I, I think often this isn't about challenging someone

Lee:

on the facts that isn't the thing that's there for the debate.

Lee:

It's trying to understand someone else's position and why

Lee:

they think or feel that way.

Lee:

And so I don't think you need to worry yourself with facts that stack up what you

Lee:

want to say or how you want to challenges it, is what's the questions you're gonna

Lee:

do to try and understand why someone else is behaving or saying something

Lee:

or whatever in the way that they do.

Carrie-Ann:

And sometimes it's about just nailing your colors to a mast isn't it.

Carrie-Ann:

And saying that I'm really sorry, that's not acceptable.

Carrie-Ann:

That behavior, cuz you are right.

Carrie-Ann:

It's usually about behavior or an attitude or a statement that someone's made that

Carrie-Ann:

you are challenging rather than like you say facts and figures of things.

Carrie-Ann:

And actually I think you'd be very well respected as a leader if somebody shared

Carrie-Ann:

an opinion or a comment that clearly was not acceptable and was causing

Carrie-Ann:

harm to others by what they've said.

Carrie-Ann:

I think , just by saying that's not acceptable, that's not behavior that we

Carrie-Ann:

accept in this organization, that's not something that I'm willing to support,

Carrie-Ann:

I think will help you then open up the further debate about, okay, well,

Carrie-Ann:

action needs to be taken, but sometimes colleagues just need to see that you're

Carrie-Ann:

not gonna accept certain behaviors.

Lee:

so, right.

Lee:

I'm going there.

Lee:

I'm, I'm getting the soap box out because

Carrie-Ann:

I'm amazed.

Carrie-Ann:

It's taken this long, to be honest with you, Lee, I feel like

Carrie-Ann:

it's sort of been hovering there waiting for you to jump on it

Lee:

so something that has genuinely really upset me in the past week is the

Lee:

response to the cricket Scotland scandal.

Lee:

And it is a scandal.

Lee:

29 out of 31 tests on institutional racism were failed.

Lee:

They found 448 examples of institutional racism.

Lee:

It is a scandal.

Lee:

and on the day that the report was released I sat down and watched the

Lee:

full press conference that some of the players and their lawyer held.

Lee:

And the lawyer said that it was, you know, rightly this, this is a

Lee:

watershed moment for everyone, not just cricket, but then I came away and I

Lee:

saw hardly any comment on social media.

Lee:

There were no trending hashtags.

Lee:

Over the 24 hours that followed, and still to this day, I believe the

Lee:

leader of the Scottish government didn't make a comment on it.

Lee:

None of the sponsors of cricket Scotland made a comment on this issue.

Lee:

And I posted about it on all my socials more than once.

Lee:

And I got really little engagement on it too.

Lee:

And it really pissed me off.

Lee:

I mean, beyond pissed me off.

Lee:

I, I was just in, you know, what does it say about our society that

Lee:

we can pick and choose which causes we support when it comes to things

Lee:

like discrimination and racism.

Lee:

And it got me thinking, because I know some organizations on paper will think,

Lee:

well, this isn't relevant to them.

Lee:

They've already got it in hand.

Lee:

Maybe they think they're doing okay.

Lee:

Maybe their gender pay reports fine.

Lee:

Maybe they've shown that they've got a representative and diverse board.

Lee:

Maybe they've ticked all the boxes in their equality audits or whatever

Lee:

they might do as an organization.

Lee:

Maybe they've issued a few supportive statements over the time, or there's been

Lee:

some board papers about the big issues.

Lee:

Potentially they've made some donations.

Lee:

I, I don't know what, what they might do, but I want to get quite

Lee:

uncomfortable for a minute because I think if you are listening to this and

Lee:

you thinking like that, Then that's your complacency showing through right there.

Lee:

That's your bias and that's your privilege really showing up because

Lee:

none of those things are tangible actions that are really moving the dial.

Lee:

There's always more things that people can do.

Lee:

We are all still learning as we've we've already said.

Lee:

And I can guarantee you that if you go into one or more areas, or departments in

Lee:

your business and you ask open questions.

Lee:

If you really listen.

Lee:

If you put your biases aside, you are going to see so many

Lee:

opportunities to be a better ally.

Lee:

The words aren't enough without actions being taken.

Lee:

And I don't think the big gestures are enough without the

Lee:

steps happening along the way.

Lee:

So I say all that to say, my reflection and my question, I suppose, is do

Lee:

you think organizations are really ready for that to, to get involved,

Lee:

to advocate, to make change or have, have they just met their threshold now?

Lee:

Have they done what they can when there are so many other

Lee:

competing issues at hand?

Lee:

We know the urgent often pushes out the important.

Lee:

Have, have we seen that now with the discrimination and inclusion

Lee:

debates that are going on?

Lee:

We've certainly seen it with things like the economy versus climate change.

Lee:

And I wonder whether this is another victim of it being pushed

Lee:

out for, for more pressing issues.

Lee:

You know, what needs to happen next to, to get it back on the agenda?

Carrie-Ann:

Yeah, there is, there is so much in that isn't there and, and like

Carrie-Ann:

you say, I, I have to hold my hands up and say this week was a learning and

Carrie-Ann:

reflection opportunity for me because we've had some of this discussion already.

Carrie-Ann:

And I had to question why wasn't I, one of the people that actually

Carrie-Ann:

did something with what you shared on social media, given that I have

Carrie-Ann:

that direct link with you and, and.

Lee:

If F bombs were shared weren't they

Carrie-Ann:

yeah.

Carrie-Ann:

F bombs were shared.

Carrie-Ann:

But in, in genuine seriousness again, it's like trying to understand why

Carrie-Ann:

people might not be taking action and there's a personal bit for me there

Carrie-Ann:

about maybe for me, it was fear that I didn't know enough, but actually I

Carrie-Ann:

should have reframed that and gone, this is an opportunity to learn more.

Carrie-Ann:

Not, I'm not gonna be part of this conversation and debate and raise

Carrie-Ann:

awareness of this issue because I don't know enough actually what I

Carrie-Ann:

should be doing is raising awareness of it because I need to learn more.

Carrie-Ann:

So for me, that was a really important reflection point.

Carrie-Ann:

And I just, I don't know if organizations and leaders are

Carrie-Ann:

having enough of that conversation about, what more do we need to do?

Carrie-Ann:

What action do we need to take?

Carrie-Ann:

And I think you are right.

Carrie-Ann:

There is a level of complacency across different organizations, I

Carrie-Ann:

think about we've ticked all our boxes, we've met all of our targets.

Carrie-Ann:

Maybe those targets are not extreme enough, maybe they're too easy to

Carrie-Ann:

achieve, so that people can feel like they've hit those targets.

Carrie-Ann:

And you talked about, have you got a diverse board?

Carrie-Ann:

That's usually a target for somebody and had a recent conversation about

Carrie-Ann:

an organization that basically was like, oh, well, we've hit our target on

Carrie-Ann:

diversity because we set ourselves out to have I think it was only like four

Carrie-Ann:

board members from diverse backgrounds.

Carrie-Ann:

And I'm like, shouldn't the target be that you've got less white

Carrie-Ann:

board members than anyone else.

Carrie-Ann:

Like maybe you are not pushing yourself enough.

Carrie-Ann:

So for me, it's yeah, it's interesting.

Carrie-Ann:

I, I don't know what the answer is about how we kind of reignite

Carrie-Ann:

this debate in, into something that people actually can't ignore.

Carrie-Ann:

And I think that's part of the issue.

Carrie-Ann:

Isn't it?

Carrie-Ann:

Other things get pushed out, the economy, the cost of living crisis,

Carrie-Ann:

all of that stuff now is probably on the minds of employers, more

Carrie-Ann:

than some of this debate and topic.

Carrie-Ann:

There's something for me, I find that really interesting, what you said about

Carrie-Ann:

like leaders across Scotland haven't stepped up to even share a thought or

Carrie-Ann:

comment or disappointment in anything that's been shared and actually, you know,

Carrie-Ann:

the stats that you gave from that report.

Carrie-Ann:

Absolutely shocking.

Carrie-Ann:

And actually are organizations clear that if this happened to

Carrie-Ann:

them, they wouldn't have 404.

Carrie-Ann:

I can't quite remember the stats, I don't wanna misquote you, but are

Carrie-Ann:

organization sure that they wouldn't be in that same position if they had

Carrie-Ann:

colleagues sat in a press conference saying that, do you really know what

Carrie-Ann:

your colleagues would be saying?

Carrie-Ann:

Do you know what the findings of a report like that on your organization would be?

Carrie-Ann:

And that should make you want to stand up and take notice.

Lee:

I've read all 55 pages of the report and know you

Lee:

don't need to be a cricket fan.

Lee:

You don't need to even understand cricket to, to glean lessons . This is about

Lee:

how an organization runs and works and supports the people that work within it,

Lee:

how it fosters an inclusive and supportive environment for people to work in.

Lee:

And the recommendations that are made, I could easily see them being

Lee:

recommendations in a hospital or in a supermarket or, or wherever it might be.

Lee:

They, they are generic in the sense of the impact that they have, because they're

Lee:

not about, you know, you need to bowl in a certain way or bat or whatever.

Lee:

I don't, I dunno my cricket.

Lee:

I don't, I

Carrie-Ann:

all of your sporting pros is coming out here, Lee , but

Carrie-Ann:

that's the point, isn't it.

Carrie-Ann:

You don't need to know about cricket to know that the stuff in that report

Carrie-Ann:

is stuff that you should care about.

Carrie-Ann:

If you are part of an organization.

Carrie-Ann:

And that's part of my learning this week.

Carrie-Ann:

So thank you, Lee, for giving me a shake up.

Lee:

It worries me , because I think if we are going to get through the

Lee:

next few years with everything that we've got on the horizon with cost

Lee:

of living and this, that, and the other, we need to be pulling together

Lee:

and supporting each other as a society.

Lee:

If we don't stand up for people who can't stand up for themselves,

Lee:

then we are creating much larger divide than we are at the minute.

Lee:

And I do think we're setting ourselves up for a fall.

Lee:

I'm not necessarily a, a massive fan of having well, they do a good job

Lee:

diversity and inclusion managers in organizations don't get me wrong, but

Lee:

I do think organizations put all the weight with any type of topic when

Lee:

you've got a specialist in that area that leads it and takes responsibility

Lee:

for it, I think organisations then have that mentality with well

Lee:

that's so, and so's responsibility, they'll tell us what we need to do.

Lee:

And we'll engage at the points that we need to engage, but we don't

Lee:

need to get any further involved in the detail of the discussion.

Lee:

And I do think that it is seen most clearly in areas

Lee:

like diversity and inclusion.

Carrie-Ann:

Yeah, it makes people feel like they don't have

Carrie-Ann:

to take responsibility for it.

Carrie-Ann:

Cuz it's somebody else's job.

Carrie-Ann:

I use inverted commas it's somebody else's job to be worried about.

Carrie-Ann:

And it isn't, and we need to find a way to make this everybody's business.

Carrie-Ann:

It's all of our jobs and especially as leaders, but you know, if you're

Carrie-Ann:

an employee in an organization, you will have an impact on the culture.

Carrie-Ann:

You will have an influence, no matter how small it is.

Carrie-Ann:

And no matter how much you think you don't have one.

Carrie-Ann:

So it's everybody's job to do the right thing.

Lee:

So I don't think we've come to a conclusion and I wasn't suggesting that

Lee:

we'd have the answers to the world's problems in posing that question.

Lee:

But I suppose I wanted to pose it cause I wanted to challenge people's

Lee:

complacency around it, because I do think that's where we're at.

Lee:

And I think that's, that's why we've not seen a response this week.

Lee:

And it really upset me, as I said.

Lee:

Anyway we move on for now.

Lee:

I'd love people who listen to this.

Lee:

If they've made it this far to, to give your thoughts on that specific question

Lee:

and what you think, what else could be done, I'd be really, really interested

Lee:

to have a discussion about that.

Lee:

So to, to wrap up how to lead by example and become a better

Lee:

ally, what, what are your

Carrie-Ann:

Gosh.

Carrie-Ann:

There's been so much in this conversation.

Carrie-Ann:

I think for me, it's about understanding your own biases about educating yourself.

Carrie-Ann:

I'm gonna hugely recommend this book diversified by June Sarpong.

Carrie-Ann:

I love it because there's actual actions.

Carrie-Ann:

There's questions that it's gonna pose you there's tasks, it sets you to do so

Carrie-Ann:

I think that sets you on the right track to not just be reading, but actually to

Carrie-Ann:

get doing so I'm gonna recommend that book as my top takeaway if I'm honest.

Carrie-Ann:

There's, there's so much in there that covers a lot of what we've talked about.

Carrie-Ann:

I don't want to, to go over it again cuz I'm sure there's more we could say.

Lee:

Yeah.

Lee:

Almost my, how to in this episode, we usually say if you skip to

Lee:

the end, you'll get a summary of what this episode's about.

Lee:

But I almost say, sod it go back to the beginning and

Lee:

listen to the episode properly.

Carrie-Ann:

Yeah, challenge yourself and challenge your thinking.

Carrie-Ann:

And maybe as part of the discussion we've had think about how you would've responded