2050 TRAILBLAZERS PODCAST

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Over the years, I've been asked to address concerns surrounding diversity and inclusion, and the lack thereof, in the financial services industry. As awareness of the financial planning profession continues to spread and we attract more ethnically diverse talent, the challenge continues to be retaining and supporting these thriving professionals.

We'll tackle these issues through 2050 Trailblazers-- my new podcast that directly addresses the lack of diversity in the financial planning profession by engaging industry experts and leaders in conversation to encourage cultural awareness, cultural perspective, and ways to make a measurable impact.
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2050 Trailblazers

Ep 009: How to Build an Inclusive Hiring Process in the Financial Planning World

Our final episode of Season One of 2050 TrailBlazers was so good we had to break it into a Part 2! HR pro, Katie Augsburger, is breaking open the hiring process dilemma. She’s empowering all of us in the financial planning profession to tap top talent, retain them, and find authentic ways to increase and diversify your network.

What we talk about in this episode is going to be uncomfortable for some, but we’re about embracing discomfort on this podcast - because discomfort leads to growth. “Great things never came from comfort zones”. Everybody needs to be thoughtful about networking, and thoughtful about how they set up a hiring process and employee support system in their work space.

Are you ready to dive in? Let’s blaze some trails!




What You'll Learn:
  • How recruiting isn’t necessarily a linear process, but you can make each step intentional as you look to recruit diverse talent
  • Hiring diverse talent isn’t enough - you need to create support systems in your organization for your new hires
  • How hiring a diverse team can positively impact your organization and increase your bottom line
  • How to write job descriptions that aren’t gendered, or written for a specific age group
  • The best way to build a stronger, more inclusive leadership team for better workplace productivity
  • How to recruit and retain female talent
  • How to help your talent pool overcome impostor syndrome
  • What you need to do to amplify minority voices in the workplace, on panels, and more
  • How to share burdens to empower minority voices in your organization
  • How to create interview panels that focus on all forms of diversity - including generational and economic
  • How to write job descriptions that encourage people of all ages, ethnic backgrounds, genders, sexual orientations, and economic backgrounds to apply


Show Notes:

Episode Transcript
Rianka: 00:00:00 Katie, thank you so much for just continuing the conversation with me around this idea of, you know, just retaining top talent, making the workforce client, not client centric, such a financial planner of me, woman centric and just, you know, just through the lens of the minority that's represented in the financial planning profession. Uh, we had such a great conversation in part one of our conversation and I think one of the key aspects and, and something that you've shared with me and something I want to make sure we definitely had a chance to talk about, so we have a part two of the conversation with Katie. And so what we're going to be talking about really is the hiring process and what I've learned from you through your expertise is that, uh, to retain the top talent, to retain the women, uh, to retain these young professionals, thriving professionals that we're trying to get into the financial planning profession. It starts way before they are hired. It starts way before their day one. It starts in the hiring process.
Katie: 00:01:16 Absolutely. Yeah. The retention is so critical because we want to keep this good talent that we're bringing in, but a lot of people, like, how do I even bring in this talent, how do I even attract them, um, to my organization? And that's, that's a real trick for a lot of companies.
Rianka: 00:01:33 Yeah. Yeah. So what some of the questions that I am receiving, um, just through because of 2050 TrailBlazers because of this podcast, people are actually listening and it's actually sparking conversation, which is which just making me so excited, you know, uh, practitioners firm owners, presidents of firms, recruiting, uh, managers are reaching out to me and asking, okay, we're listening. Alright, where, where do we find, you know, black and brown people to hire, like we're looking for them. Where do we find the women?
Katie: 00:02:15 And that's the question I often get myself, is like, where do we post, what do we, how do we speak to this community? And the first thing I say is a guess what, brown people, black people and women know how to find jobs. That's not the problem. It's not where you're posting and leaning on the, where you're posting is a very easy way to blame those communities for just, just not being available like other, like their traditional target market is. Um, I know I know how to look for a job. I know about linkedin. I know, I know the companies in which I want to work at. The problem is, is on the company, what other job listings looking like? Um, what are the words they're using that are gendered words, or words that, um, that, that might weed out the right, these, the right talent that is a diverse talent. Um, where, where in the recruiting process are we using our bias to weed out people who might be perfect. So it's not about where we post but how we're posting.
Rianka: 00:03:29 Okay. And is there some best practices just from your experience where, you know, a firm, an organization, they are starting this effort, this diversity recruiting effort, this, we want to hire more black and brown people. We want to hire more women. What I guess, what are some of the best practices you can share? Like putting that person in the center and then create, yeah, and then creating that recruiting effort around, you know, this type of professional that they're trying to find and hire.
Katie: 00:04:09 I'm so excited that we're talking about this because there is so many steps in the hiring process where, where we can do better and get the talent that we want and the first, before we even post the job, the very first thing you should do as an individual in the organization is looking at your network. So look at your friends list on facebook, look at your, um, your in linkedin and really be honest with yourself about what the demographics are of that network. So just to put it in some context, 75 percent of, um, of a white person's network is white. So if your network is white, that is the best pipeline for anybody to get into, into your company is through your network. So if your network is all white, you are already a barrier to, to helping your company become more diverse. So really it is about authentically expanding your network, not tokenizing, but authentically expanding your network to include people of color, Lgbtq people, more women, because that's the first entry into an organization is just who you know. We all know this instinctually, right? We all know like how you get your best job is from someone you go to church with or somebody down the street that knows about an opening that hasn't been posted yet. That's how we get a job. So that, that first step is really that entry.
Rianka: 00:05:46 Yeah. And I would say probably the. Yeah, I, I think all the jobs that I've had him in my career has been through networking. It, it, it, it never came from a job posting.
Katie: 00:06:00 Yeah. Yeah. That's. Most people's doesn't like you get maybe those entry level jobs in the job posting, but for the most part, those big jobs, those life changing jobs are through your personal network. And if your personal network looks like you, then that's who you're referring into the organization. And so be really. And this is a hard thing for people to do, to take this honest look at their network and say, what am I doing to show people of color to show Lbgtq people, to show women that my organization is a safe space for them? What am I personally doing? Even if I don't hold a leadership position, if I don't have an expanded network, I am. I am unconsciously demonstrating that this is not a safe place for them.
Rianka: 00:06:46 Yeah. And so what are some of the ways that organizations or firms can show like, we're not only talking the talk, but we're walking the walk as well, like it's not as I keep saying this ceremonial type of feel, whereas like Oh, it's a feel good moment. We have this diversity initiative. Like what are some of the ways or what are some ways that firms, organizations can illustrate that they act like they actually mean what they say.
Katie: 00:07:16 Yeah. Moving beyond training. So a lot of organizations will just say we have unconscious bias training and we have a couple of people of color on our website, so we have checked that box and it's really about integrating diversity throughout the organization and it shows up in and who is represented in leadership. That is a really great way for people to see visually that you have invested the time and effort by an expansive, expansive amount of diversity at all levels of the organization. And that does take time. I don't expect nobody should expect that to flip the switch. Right Right away. Like you're going to do some work and then all of a sudden everything's changed. That takes time. But you can see those efforts. You can feel the effort when you are going through an organization that has put time and resources towards that and resources is a huge thing. If, if an organization is not investing resources in this, they're not taking it seriously because we put our money where we where we value. I definitely agree with that.
Rianka: 00:08:29 Definitely agree with that. And, you know, there are some clients who have reached out to me and specifically saying like, listen, I want to work with, uh, women, uh, you know, a woman owned business or I want to work with a business that has diverse talent. And so from, I know really to move the needle and some of this conversation is like, all right, well how and from a firms or organization standpoint, they really want to see, all right, we're moving the needle. But how does this affect positively my bottom line? And there's so much research out there that show, that says and shows from a data, from a dollar perspective that having more women, more people of color in leadership position, it just brings cognitive diversity to the leadership. Uh, and it just permeates throughout your entire organization. And, and in effect, it increases your bottom line just through there. There's not just as homogeneous thought process happening. Like we really have cognitive diversity coming to the table. And overall it will make your organization that much better.
Katie: 00:09:46 When, when anyone comes to me and says, what is the business case for diversity? I counter with what is the business case for homogeneity, but what is the business case for not having diversity and there isn't one. We all know our products are better, our services are more robust when we have a variety of people who can see a landscape that we might be blinded to and so it's really. It's critical. We know that it's critical, but again, it's how do we do that, so once we get past that network, there are additional tangible things organizations can do to help them really diversify. And again, this is only after you have worked to do some of that equity work inside your organization so that you have, you have the systems and tools to support these people, but how you post jobs, not where, but how is really critical in this.
Rianka: 00:10:47 I definitely want to touch on inclusion and equity and also tools, tools, and resources. So I'm jotting that down so we can circle back to it. We'll get through the hiring process, but there's an example that I gave back in episode three. I think it was with Dr. Ajamu Loving, when we talked about diversity and a diversity from a ethnic standpoint and you know, not diversity just from a gender lens, but taking it a level deeper and diversity in the sense of black and brown people. And it's like you don't know, it's like you don't know what you don't know and you don't know what you're missing until you try it. And the best example I could think of is food. And I gave an example that I think is very universal for people to understand is food. And so the example I gave, which is very applicable to what we're talking about now is, you know, I grew up, very, I guess American. Um, uh, you know, I'm a biracial. I'm Chilean and I'm also African American. And I grew up with my African American side of my family. So southern cooking is what I grew up on and it wasn't until I met my husband who then in high school, Reggie, that I had Haitian food. So, and see and Katie is already mmmm because you know how good it tastes. I could've went my entire life without trying Haitian food and would my life have been ok, yeah, my life, but I would have only lived maybe 85 percent.
Rianka: 00:12:44 It was not until I tried the Haitian food where I was just like, what seasonings is your mom using? Like, what is this, you know? And I'm naming different cuisines that he's a, that his mom cooked every single night. She cooks from scratch every single night. I'm like, Whoa, that's. Shout out to the Haitian moms, but when I tried this food, I'm like, Whoa, this is what I've been missing out on and now it, it just made me more aware that there's just more out there. And so I got very comfortable with trying different types of food and new types of food, but now I have a very diverse palette and I am so much happier in life. Katie, I promise you I'm so much happier now. We can just, you know, bring that to the diversity of your organization. If you have a homogeneous organization, you honestly don't know what you're missing until you hire someone who doesn't look like you.
Rianka: 00:13:47 Someone who does not think like you because yes, it will be challenging, but it will be challenging in a great way because group think will, if you are a part of group think you will be a part of the organizations and firms that will be the disrupted. Right now we are on a path of, from a technology standpoint, from a just innovation standpoint where you can be the disruptor and I'm saying that in a very positive way, disrupting in a, in a very positive way of making a, you know, just are your employees lives more efficient and better. Our clients lives more efficient and better and it's like what side of the coin will you be on?
Katie: 00:14:37 And the business case for, one of the many, many tier points, many, many business case reasons for doing this. Just one simple one is our demography are demographic changes outside of our businesses are, are huge right now. People of color are, you know, to the point
Katie: 00:14:52 of the name of your, your podcast, people of color making up a larger and larger share of our population and if your organization is not reflective of that, then you have no visibility on how best to serve those populations. So if you want your organization to be relevant, your organization needs to reflect the communities that they're serving and those communities are going to be predominantly, um, a mix of races and it's going to be a mix of power, um, that we haven't necessarily seen before in this country. And so we need to be thoughtful about how, how our organizations look to serve the communities in which we now have.
Rianka: 00:15:36 Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. Alright. I'm bringing us back.
Katie: 00:15:43 There's one thing I do want to point when you were talking about the different types of diversity. One we don't talk about enough and I think is so critical to have open conversations about this as economic diversity. We do not have enough economic diversity in our organizations. And I can imagine this is the case in the financial planning world where there's a lot of people who have, who know about this industry because they have either had access to historic wealth or they know people who've had the historic wealth or they're there at least middle to upper class. And if you do not have economic diversity within your organizations, people who have not had that lived experience of wealth, you are missing a huge knowledge knowledge base. There is so much. There's so much importance about having people who've had different lived experiences, not just racially, but economically. That strengthened our organizations.
Rianka: 00:16:44 I agree. I, I think, yeah, the social economic landscape has vastly changed for quite a few people, but for, for some it has stayed the same. And it's like, all right, are we, what's that word? I'm Charlie. You definitely have to edit this out. See, this is what happened sometimes when I try to use big words. All right,
Katie: 00:17:12 well actually that's like part of the point is that, um, I don't know about you but my family was working class and so just the language of business was not necessarily intuitive for me. I didn't, I did not. I speak with very common vernacular, very working class vernacular. And so when I ended up in these organizations where everybody went to an ivy league school, everybody had, um, parents that were at least middle class. I, there was a definite disparity in the way we spoke. And it is when I speak in this little, in a way that I'm speaking now, it feels almost like a mask because my language is casual, my casual language is more authentic to me. And this is how most people talk in the country. And so if we're not really clear with people about, you know, the differences that exist economically. Um, we are missing out and our products and services are not as, as good. Um, and do not serve as many people. So being thoughtful about that, being thoughtful about how different people are amongst. We like to think America is a classist society, classless society that we have no classes, but that's not the case. That's not, that's not true. That's not anybody's lived experience. And, and there are, as a person who has lived in multiple different classes, there are very distinct differences. Just like there's distinct differences among racial groups.
Rianka: 00:18:53 Yeah, agreed. Agreed. So bringing it back to
Katie: 00:19:01 Thank you for always bringing it back
Rianka: 00:19:03 to the hiring process, but I think the listeners have a really clear vision on, on the need and, and the, and the why behind this big ask and um, yeah, I think it's clear to the listeners now like the importance and need for diversity and how. So going back to the hiring process and um, what you mentioned thus far is you know, our network. So that's one of the ways that we can find this top talent. However, and I think it's a great point that you mentioned that, uh, the stat that, you know, a 75 percent of white people's network is white. And, and so if you are, I'm just using that networking recruiting method. You probably are not tapping some of the talent that you are seeking and so finding some of those authentic ways to increase your network, not tokenizing as Katie mentioned, but figuring out ways to authentically diversify your network so that you can start tapping more diverse talent. I think that's great and it sounds so hard to say and I hope that doesn't raise the blood pressure of some people, you know, because this is sensitive Katie, and I'll tell you, there's been some back and forth twitter battles on, on this and I'm just like, come on. We're just trying to make the financial planning profession.
Katie: 00:20:46 I do think it should raise people's blood pressure a little bit if you are. If you take a look at your network and it is all white people that should make you uncomfortable and that should give you pause and that may, um, that discomfort is usually what the catalyst for us to change. So lean into that. If you, if you're looking at your network and you're like, damn, this is super white, that's good information for you to have. Um, it's much better for you to have that discomfort than it is for you to continually not face that, but,
Rianka: 00:21:24 and the same is true, but at the same is true, Katie, as far as just like if you're black or if you're brown and if your network is all black or brown people, you need to diversify as well. Like,
Katie: 00:21:36 exactly. Everybody needs to be thoughtful about that. And same with, you know, there's a lot of people who don't have a gay or lesbian people in their network, they have religious reasons why they ashew that lifestyle. And I would challenge you to really be thoughtful about making connections with people that are outside your normal network because you will, your, your opinions and thoughts may change. They may not, but you will at least have a more human experience and be able to, um, to, to lead with empathy when you know somebody, it's very hard to hate them when, you know, it's very hard to, to look at somebody and um, and, and not see the human in them. So
Rianka: 00:22:30 yeah, it's like putting a name to to this, to this thing, this, this figment of your imagination or something like this, whatever it is, and when you actually meet the person or or or learn about their upbringing and it's just like, Oh wow, I love what you just said, Katie, as far as just like lead with empathy and humanizing the experience
Katie: 00:22:57 Any time you have a group of people that you are fearful or nervous or don't understand, that is your. That is information to you that you need to know more about that community. So whether that be undocumented immigrants, whether that be gay and lesbian people, Muslim people, whatever the community is lean into that. So I know, I know you' so your listeners are now understanding that. So I promised to move on to the rest of the recruiting process. I think of recruiting as a very. It is not a linear process, but at least we can talk about these steps in a linear process because it might help visualize this for people. Once you have. Once you have expanded your network or once you have taken a good look at network, then to your point, we go into the job postings itself and what do those look like?
Katie: 00:23:50 What do those sound like to the reader? And that is um, I did this exercise recently with a bunch of HR leaders where I had, I pulled at random, a bunch of job descriptions and job postings off the internet. Just completely random that morning. I did not spend a lot of time weeding through good ones versus bad ones. And it was shocking how gendered some of the language was and how, how, um, generational some of the language was. And so I had these leaders read through these job postings and then say who they envisioned doing that job. And really we shouldn't be able to envision one type of person, right? It should be any type of person, but the types of languages, these job postings were using really painted the picture that they wanted somebody older or that they wanted. They definitely wanted somebody younger or that they wanted somebody that was highly competitive, fast paced, which tends to be language we use to describe men, not women or collaborative, sweet, thoughtful, which is often language we use to describe women.
Katie: 00:25:02 Um, so to be really mindful about the words you're using in those job postings and then to be extraordinarily mindful about the qualifications. And, and this is where I'm speaking to the HR people in the house, if you're listening, we often will put as much, um, as much qualifications as possible to weed out people we do not want like a thousand people applying for this job. So we make the qualifications a little higher so that we can keep most of the people off of the, off of our inbox. But what tends to happen when you do that is that more men will apply for the role than women because women will only apply for a job if they have a hundred, 80 to 100 percent of the qualifications matched. Men will apply if they have 60 percent or above.
Rianka: 00:25:58 I'm sorry, hold on. Do you hear banging. Hey look, auntie's recording. Auntie is working and you're not letting me work,
Rianka: 00:26:16 Alright? You have to go downstairs or you have to be very quiet. Okay. Which are you gonna do.
Rianka: 00:26:23 Okay. I'll go downstairs, with your cousin. I'll come down when I'm done. Okay. Alright. Love you
Katie: 00:26:43 You should leave part of that in. That's the future of work though, right? That's like,
Rianka: 00:26:46 this is the future of work. So listeners, we'll see if we'll keep this in both. What happened to you?
Katie: 00:26:55 This is where you know when we're talking about last time about how women would make up the workplace. It does not bother me at all. I'm a mom. I expect kids to come in and out and I feel like that that is what we should be encouraging people to do is just be more human.
Rianka: 00:27:13 Yeah. Oh goodness. So I have my niece and nephew this week and I was like, Oh yeah, I can play Super Auntie and my, my, my niece is 12, she's turning 13 next month and my nephew is four and he's at that age where he needs just a lot of attention and I underestimated it. Mind you, like my husband and I, we don't have any children yet, so when I was like, Oh, you know, my uh, my nephew, my niece can hold my nephew's attention. She's 12, like they can play games or they can, you know, I have a very light work scheduled this week where I have maybe two meetings a day, probably lasting about an hour, hour and a half max each. But before I come in I'll always make sure, like, all right, he's fed, he used the restroom up, there he goes again and everything should be fine.
Rianka: 00:28:08 But yeah, even with um, you know, just, you know, even with my, uh, assistant, she's virtual and this happens like, you know, her son, cutest little boy. He'll come in like, hey mom, hey mommy, the episode just stopped. Can I watch the next episode? And she's just like, yes honey. And you know, she, she'll just put on something that he can watch, something educational that he can watch while we have our 30 minute meeting. And it was totally fine. Totally fine. And, and I think in our, in our last conversation and the previous episode, I mentioned how my client, she started breastfeeding didn't bother me at all like me were women. We have to roll with the punches and we do it and we, I think we do it well.
Katie: 00:28:55 Yeah. And I. and I just think it's such an important, it's an important to shift that we should not apologize for, we should just say that this is, if you want my professionalism, which I'm going to bring all of this talent and all of this skill to your organization that it comes with this and that is part of the package and there's no apologies for it. And that's what I hope that's the change that we see
Rianka: 00:29:20 Well, and let me tell you something about women. Okay. Something I've learned just in one day of, of, well three of playing the role of the 100 percent role of Auntie meaning, you know, they've stayed at my house. I've learned to become more efficient. I thought I was a, you know, an efficient person before I am waking up much more earlier to get things done so when they wake up I can just attend to them for an hour or so, get them busy and then, you know, back to work. So the efficiency is there. Multitasking is, um, I thought, you know, I thought I was a great multitasker. Now I'm a very proficient, efficient, excellent multitasker.
Katie: 00:30:09 It changes when you're a mom for sure. You just, for context, I am flying out today for a business trip and bringing my daughter. I'm getting her ready, getting all the dogs. Cats are taken care of and you just figure it out. You figure and doing a podcast, you can do it
Rianka: 00:30:27 right. And I think, you know what, and this is kind of off, this is like off, you know, my questions, but I think the authentic conversations are the best ones. What, what I'm seeing happening in today's corporate America environment or just organizations who are falling apart. They're hiring women.
Katie: 00:30:27 Yeah. Yeah. We can have a whole 'nother podcast about this.
Rianka: 00:30:52 Yeah. They're hiring women like the Dallas Mavericks hired. Uh, I can't think of her name right now, um, I'm blanking on it, but she was the former head person AT&T or like one of these companies and she is coming in. Um, they just hired Melody Hobson as a chair or vice chair. Um, Howard Schultz's stepping down and Melody Hobson is uh, you know, stepping in. Um, yeah. So women are women are rockstars and honestly if you don't have a woman on your leadership team, you are missing out. You are honestly honestly missing out.
Katie: 00:31:32 Yeah, absolutely. And it's just to the point we made earlier, when you have a stronger, more inclusive leadership team, you have better services and you make better products and that's just the full stop. There's no, but about that.
Rianka: 00:31:49 Yeah. All right, let's bring it back. So you were mentioning job descriptions and I 100 percent agree with you that for women we honestly, I'm surprised at the 80 percent. I've always heard that women before we apply, before we raise our hand, before we do anything, we always make sure we're 100 percent ready. Whereas men is what? Sixty, 65 percent? Sixty,
Katie: 00:32:15 60 percent, um, if this, the job posting is 60 percent of their qualifications, they will still apply and women it is, um, it is close to 100 percent, but they've moved that to, I think they've moved that to just capture the edge cases between 80 and 100 percent. But for me it's always been 100 percent. It's always been I have to, I have to hit every mark. And, and how unfortunate is that really? Right? Because because a lot of those qualifications are buffer and not really necessary
Rianka: 00:32:47 and for women, do you think it's because we already have a lot of pressure on us and so it was just like, Oh wow, I know I can't make a mistake. Like where do you think that comes from?
Katie: 00:33:00 I think a lot of it is, is imposter syndrome. I think a lot of women have been made to feel that they are, that they shouldn't be in that room, that they shouldn't be taking up space. And so they have internalized that to think that, oh, I know it's kind of a fluke that I'm here, or maybe they'll all figuring me out that I'm not a, I'm not good at this job or I'm not qualified. And I think that, that, that is a deep and unfortunate, um, trauma that our society has left on majority women and particularly women of color. And the more we can encourage our sisters to apply for that job to put themselves out there to advocate for other women, the more that we can do that, the less pervasive I think this will be.
Rianka: 00:33:57 Yeah. You know, it's so funny. I literally, I think I spoke to like four or five different people and it was mostly women before I threw my name in the hat before I ran for NexGen president because I was like, wow, you know, I was looking at the leaders who came before me. I was like, Oh man, I'm not qualified. I'm not, you know, I don't have enough experience. Like, Oh, am I, you know, what can I add? What can I bring to this role? And everyone I spoke to you just encouraged me even more of just saying, oh no, like you're, you're, you got it. And, and whatever. You don't know, you have a whole team, like, you're not doing this by yourself. I was just like, wow. And I don't know. I think the NextGen community can let me know how I did or not, but I had a wonderful three years.
Rianka: 00:34:46 So much learning, so much growth. But it wouldn't have happened if it wasn't for kind of like my, my board of directors. I would say the the folks I go to when I need to make really hard decisions of, do I really put myself out there because yeah, it was definitely imposter syndrome and um, for. So for the women out there, if you don't have that network of, of people who will like tell you the truth, I highly encourage you to just start, start, you know, just finding people who are not going to be yes people because you do not want them in your, in this close knit circle, but start finding people where they're going to push you and challenge you it's going to feel uncomfortable. But that is what's going to lead to exponential growth.
Katie: 00:35:35 Yeah. And this, this kind of touches on a conversation we had prior about allyship and the role of non non marginalized people and what they can do to help support. So how do you then advocate if you are, if you're not belonging to that population. So if I'm a white woman, um, what is my role and responsibility and one, it is helping to amplify the voices of people of color in your organization and in the recruiting process. So if you're in the recruiting process, if you're a white person in your interview panel and you look in the room and everybody in the interview panel is also white, or if you're a man and everybody on the interview panel is also a man, you as an ally need to speak up and voice that concern. Also a lot of, um, just, once people are in the organization, a lot of just the office upkeep and housekeep often falls to women of color regardless of their role.
Katie: 00:36:41 So if there is somebody that's going to be taking notes in a meeting, if there's somebody who's going to make sure lunch is ordered in a meeting, regardless of role, that is often a woman of color. That is gonna take on that. And that is an opportunity if you're a white person to step up and take, take that burden off of that. To take that expectation that I'm a woman of color is always going to do the housekeeping of the office, the task parts. Because if you are, if you are allowing that to happen, you are allowing her not to have power and agency in your organization. Um, so if you truly believe in sharing power than you need to share burdens too. And so that's how, that's what allyship looks like.
Rianka: 00:37:28 I like that. Not only sharing the power but sharing the burden of whatever the case may be. And if I'm recalling correctly, you wrote an article and I think it was on linkedin about,
Katie: 00:37:43 it was called, if you want to be an ally, load the damn dishwasher.
Rianka: 00:37:48 So I'm gonna put that in the show notes. So for those who want to check, check that out. Remember go to 2050trailblazers.com. Click on this episode and the show notes will be there and you can find this article that Katie wrote. Yeah, I read that. And I was just like, okay, alright
Katie: 00:38:08 well so much of the articles about either office, help, um, office housework or um, how to show up in the working world are geared towards women and women of color. For them to change their behavior, for them to stop. Um, stop taking the notes and loading the dishwasher, but really it's about white people, white women and white men helping to share the burden. It's not about them, it's not about brown and black women changing their behavior. It's about white people's expectations changing. Um, and that can be hard to hear, but that's really the truth. If we don't want black and brown women to feel like this is their responsibility to, to load the dishwasher than white people need to change those expectations because the only reason the these people of color are doing this is because they are expected to, they, it falls onto them. So we have to, we have to stop saying to women, and this happens for all women, regardless of color, that you must change your behavior. We need to say to the people who are perpetrating, you need to stop change. You need to change your behavior. You need to stop with these expectations.
Rianka: 00:39:20 Yeah, absolutely. And so as far as, you know, bringing it back. So when we're posting, uh, for jobs, so if we do put on, um, and there are so many different, uh, what's the word I'm looking for? Job boards in the financial planning space, in the financial service industry. Uh, so if you have recently posted a job description, I would love for you to go back and review it and can you look at it and say, all right is, you know, am I, did I do what Katie said I shouldn't do. So look at it from a gender landscape and generational landscape. Like are you already have that unconscious unconscious bias of like who you want to hire
Katie: 00:40:20 if you're looking at those posts and you see words like fresh, vibrant, um, that if I'm an older worker, if I'm over 50, will I feel like I'm fresh and vibrant maybe, but that, that might be a, a barrier to me that you're saying you want somebody young, fresh out of school will say some stuff like that. If you're saying competitive, fast paced, aggressive, which I see aggressive a lot job postings, which is always kind of surprising. Um, be thoughtful about who that, who is, who is reading that and what that's communicating.
Rianka: 00:40:57 Yeah. We have a lot of career changers who are coming into the financial planning world in a financial service industry. And so especially if you want to capture them who may not have a lot of experience in the financial planning process, but life experience they have a ton of and that type of just perspective. Bringing that to a client is, it is invaluable, really invaluable
Katie: 00:41:30 Generational diversity is so important. And, and when we, when we like unconsciously discriminate against or consciously, some organizations do this very thoughtfully discriminate against older workers, we are missing so much opportunity. And so really being thoughtful about making your job postings as inclusive as possible.
Rianka: 00:41:53 Yeah. Yeah. So, so far we have in the hiring process is network and so that's one way job postings is another. Um, and so say, so say for instance now we have that like we have 10 resumes, something that, that you mentioned, which I think is a really good process is for the HR team to remove the school names and the names of the individual before giving it to the hiring manager. Why did you suggest that?
Katie: 00:42:21 Yeah, there's been some really good, a good kind of small studies about um, names and our bias around names and it speaks to both class and racial biases. Um, when we see a Joe versus a Jose, if we see Laquecia versus um, uh, Melissa, what our, our biases and, and that definitely has to do with the perceived class of that person and the perceived race of that person. Um, so anytime we can remove those names and also that removes for a lot of people the gender. So we have no idea if this is a Michael or Michelle and that really shouldn't matter right in our hiring process. But sometimes we'll be like, oh, well if it's a she, she'll be more collaborative or she'll be this or if it's a he, he'll be more, um, he might not have some family obligations so he might be able to work later.
Katie: 00:43:21 These are just little moments that are, are discrimination, but we don't always, we don't always want to think that. So just removing the names before it gets to our hiring team can be huge. And then schools really can speak to, to a person's class what we care about might be the degree, but where they got that degree is not necessarily as important. A person that got their degree at a community college versus, and the Ivy League school, um, can definitely speak to that class differences that exist between the two. I'm also the years, the years when they've graduated, um, can, can flag the person's age. And so anytime you can remove this information, just redact it before sending it to the hiring manager. It allows for a much wider net that's cast already. And um, what often happens is people are kind of shocked the differences in their talent pool once they do those things. And that to you highlights how biased people can be in their hiring process.
Rianka: 00:44:25 That's a really good point. A really good point. Are there any tools out there right now? I feel like there should be some type of tool where you can run through a resume, remove school, remove name.
Katie: 00:44:39 There is an, there is not as much as there should be, but I'm sorry I don't have it off the top of my head, but there are um, there are, uh, HRISs which are, um, human resource information systems that help you, um, help you mitigate bias in the hiring process. And so being really thoughtful to make sure your, your applicant tracking system, which is a system that helps you filter through all of your applicants, making sure that is, is, um, tested for bias as possible. And if it isn't, then you need to talk to the system, the system, the person that put together your system to make sure that it is.
Rianka: 00:45:21 Mm, okay. So what we'll do is just do a little digging and if there's anything that you can find between now and the time we air then we'll just put it in the show notes. Yeah, absolutely. That's the cool thing about podcasts. We'll just put it in the show notes. We have no idea what we're putting in the show notes right now, but trust me there'll be something there by the time this airs, something good for you. Alright. So now. So, so we have top three things so far. Network, job postings now. Now the, you know, the, the group of candidates are in a, you know, the resumes. Let's remove some removed the names, removed the school. Is there anything else? Oh and roles and, and, and, and descriptions within, within those job postings to make sure that more than one person. So make sure both genders are reading this and see if there's any bias. Also make sure there's a younger professional and a seasoned professional that's reading this and making sure that there's no bias or pointing out. I wouldn't know what that meant if, if I was looking at at this job posting and I think from a, again, just from my diversity of lenses that are looking at this job posting, it will make you have, or my hope is that you will have a greater diverse pool of talent that you can choose from.
Katie: 00:46:50 Absolutely. And the once you've gotten through, you've, you've gotten a pool of candidates, you're excited to start the interview process. This is where I'm going to sound very bossy wait, that's a very gendered word. I'm not going to use bossy. I know very, very pointed. You should not have any person on your interview panel who has not gone through some type of training about how to spot their own bias. It is. We are constantly putting people on interview panels who are making these decisions, these hiring decisions based on very what I call petty things, what the person wore to the interview. Um, how many times the person says filler words like, um, or like, uh, the strength of their handshake. All of these things though, we have in our collective consciousness have decided these are good reasons to evaluate a person are, are filled with bias, filled with a white supremacy, really filled with, um, a very white way of doing work, a very male way of doing work.
Katie: 00:48:06 And if you are not thoughtful about that going into the interview panel, you should not be on the interview panel. And so we, um, I cannot stress the importance of having a panel not having just one person do the interview process. You need multiple people to see this candidate and truly vet this person's skill set so that you know a person that walks into the room that's overweight and you have a bias against overweight people. You may see them as lazy. You have somebody else in the room that can check your bias and you should have a high trust relationship with the people so that you can call that out. So the, after the interview process you say, I don't know, that person just felt kind of sluggish and lazy to me. And you can say, well, what are you basing that on? What about the questions that they answered?
Katie: 00:48:56 What are you basing that on? Is it based on appearance or is it based on their actual quality of work and to be really, really, communicative, like very highly communicative, but also well trained.
Rianka: 00:49:12 And are there any type of training that you would suggest? Is this something that we're going to put in the show notes as well?
Katie: 00:49:20 There's so much good training all over like whatever part of the country you are in, there are amazing consultants that do this work, but be thoughtful about who comes in to train your organization, making sure that they've been having these conversations for decades. There's a lot of bad actors out there right now because they know that this is a hot topic. So be thoughtful about who in your community is doing this great work. Make sure that that community, um, has been vetted by people of color and women. Um, if you, if you are doing this work, are you bringing in a trainer to help you with training your interview team and that, that panel is not, um, uh, those trainers are not diverse, um, racially or gender diversity or they are new. You should question them, but you should absolutely get outside support to do this because you, you need somebody fresh and I don't mean fresh by young, I mean fresh eyes. Somebody that's not in your organization that has no reporting structure to be able to call things out.
Rianka: 00:50:27 And this is why I love why I am loving the conversation with you, Katie, honestly, about, and why I intentionally picked you for wrapping up season one with us because you before speaking with me, you didn't know about the financial planning world, um, you didn't know about the financial service industry as a career path or like what was happening in our world. And so what you are doing, you're bringing a unbias very unbiased opinions and facts and just like, all right, well if you guys want to be more diverse, here's what you do.
Katie: 00:51:11 Yeah. The reporting structure is really important. If you have somebody in your organization, um, everybody has a boss, right? And so if you are in the organization and you are seen bias, you may be less free to really call that out. And so having somebody come into organizations say, here's what I'm seeing, here's what I think you need to be doing differently is very important and we all should be doing that for a variety of our businesses, not just in the equity Lens, but for a variety of reasons. We should have fresh eyes outside of our organization poking on things.
Rianka: 00:51:47 Yeah. And so do you provide this type of training through your organization?
Katie: 00:51:53 Yeah. And I, and this is, this is kind of an interesting and important point. So I, yes, my partner does equity work, but I, I stay in the um, the HR part of the equity work. I do not do the training and I, and the reason that people look at me and they'll see a brown person who does training and think, Oh, you must do equity training. And I'm like, oh no, the skill set that you need to do equity training is very unique. And so this is why it's very important to vet these people because it is very emotional work, it requires a great deal of thought, it requires people to help you navigate your own insecurities and fears and joys. And that is not something I know how to do as well as some of these experts. And so yes, I, our, our team provides that support, but be really mindful about bringing in good voices and expert people who have been doing this work a long time
Rianka: 00:52:57 with the unconscious bias training. Uh, I know this is a very skilled type of training and um, from what I understand you, you have been doing this for many years, so talk about experience also why I have you on this podcast here and we have been talking about some things that we are going to be working on over this summer for the financial planning profession specifically, which I'm very excited about. So that's just little teaser. No, we're not sharing what it is just yet, but just know Katie knows her stuff and she's going to be partnering with 2050 trailblazers on some things. So back to this unconscious bias training you, you, and when I say you, I mean you and your team, um, you, you guys do this. So if, if, if firms are looking to hire, um, you have an organization called future work design where,
Katie: 00:53:57 and we, um, we're essentially designing for the future of work, we're helping reimagine how work can look and so, um, my partners have 20 years experience in um, equity and inclusion work and I and I, I hit that 20 year thing hard because it is very important to be thoughtful about the experience. This is, this is taxing work, this is exhaustive work, this is important work and you want experienced people in that space. But yeah, we help organizations reimagine their workspace so that they, they really center humans and they're really building a organizations that support and develop the talent that they want. Um, so that they can, they can move the needle and be, be amazing organizations. And so yeah, it's exciting and I'm in love with it.
Rianka: 00:54:52 And so we've heard diversity training or you know, that. But you're using, I think, a new term to me. Well I know what inclusion is, I know what equity is, but you, you're mentioning these two together. So for the listeners, I guess if you can explain what does it mean to have inclusion and equity training?
Katie: 00:55:11 Yeah. So a lot of organizations stop at the diversity door. That's the way they want to bring the people of color and um, and that's, they kind of have this feeling that it was the racism will solve itself once we have people of color, once we have women in, patriarchy will solve itself because we'll have women in the organization, but the inclusion and the equity is about making sure that they have growth. Um, I cannot remember her name and I will get it in the show notes, but the, this wonderful woman, this black woman who does this work, she said diversity is the dance, but equity inclusion is being asked to dance. So the point is that the equity and inclusion is about creating fairness amongst your organization and creating opportunity in your organization for people to thrive. The diversity part is just the numbers game. Just making sure that you have people of color and women in your space, but equity inclusion is making sure they thrive and they live in the organization and that they are, they're holding positions of power in your organization.
Rianka: 00:56:22 Okay. So I think honestly this could go to a part three. I'm like, but you know, I think this is the first of many conversations that you and I are going to have, but it's before I let you go, I really want to touch on, um, on, on something that, that you're kind of touching on right now. Which is. Alright. Well one, we, we are, we want to hire a more racially, ethnically diverse talent pool. We want to hire more women. Uh, alright, so that's known. All right. We're going to. Our networks we're posting job descriptions. We are or posting to the job boards. We know we need to be very mindful about the roles that we put in the job descriptions. We have this pool of talent that we need to interview. All right. We've, we've received our unconscious bias training through the future work design team and, and so now we have, we've hired two awesome candidates and um, one's a woman of color and one is a white woman and uh, it just so happens that it turned out this way because we didn't know if they were a man or a woman.
Rianka: 00:57:47 We didn't know whatever because their names were on their resumes, their name, their school was removed. So it just so happens that the best talent was invited to get interviewed. And these are who we picked, you know, though, we interview them in person, Blah Blah Blah. So now, so now though, the work to make sure that the retention happens starts way before the interview process way before the hiring process. So what can organizations do to make sure that they've gone through this entire process, this exhaustive resource intensive process of hiring these two women? What do they need to have in place to make sure that they have a organization, one that's ready for them and then two that can support them?
Katie: 00:58:35 Yeah, I think it's really doing the work that we talked about in that first podcast where it's like, are, do you have career ladders? Do you have clear and transparent compensation? Do you have a feedback loop that allows people to raise the flag of concern when something happens in the organization? Do, do you have a performance management program that gives people thoughtful feedback about their work, uh, and, and gives them tangible steps in order to improve? Do you have a training program? And all of the stuff that we had talked about before. That's the real work. That's the harder work. It's even the recruiting is difficult. All of this work is much harder, but it is the critical part of the inclusion and equity process. The recruiting is really focusing on the diversity part of this, this work, this internal retention part that is about inclusivity, that is about creating equity amongst your organization.
Katie: 00:59:34 Um, and that is where the rubber hits the road and as far as, are we really living our values? Are we able to recruit these people of color, these women into the organization? But they only leave are they only stay in the organization for six months. That to me is a worse problem. So if you're not, if you're not doing that work, if you're not doing the stuff that we had discussed before, you are not serious about, um, about, uh, diversity, uh, because you are not putting the effort to and the resources again, the resources to actually grow in and have these people thrive.
Rianka: 01:00:13 I think that is an awesome way to just wrap up this phenomenal conversation, Katie
Katie: 01:00:22 I'm so excited. I love talking to you. I feel like I could talk to you for like 20 hours, with a little nap in between
Rianka: 01:00:29 with, with, with, with some breaks. But yeah, it's been awesome. I think, um, you know, after speaking to you just for the months, you know, gosh, oh my gosh, it's been almost a half a year that we've been talking so much I've learned from you so far and uh, I'm, I'm looking for it just to, to deepening our relationship and bringing your talents, your expertise into the financial planning world because honestly we, we have a lot of work to do. Um, and I think we all have a lot of work to do and I care about this profession. I care, um, that it is inclusive and inviting to everyone, uh, and, and that we are, that we have the best practitioners and professionals for our clients. I care. Um,
Katie: 01:01:26 It definitely shows. I'm so glad. I'm so glad you're doing this work. This is, it's hard to bring these conversations to surface. It's scary and, and I appreciate you doing that.
Rianka: 01:01:36 Well, thank you. I appreciate your time and sharing your expertise and we'll make sure we can, we'll put information in the show notes on how people can find you and some of the resources that you shared throughout, throughout this episode. It will be in the show notes. Thank you, Katie.
Katie: 01:01:55 Thank you, Rianka. I loved it. Loved it.
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