This is a recording of our live webinar with our host Nubianna and speakers Pamela Fuller, Sacha Thompson, and Tristan Layfield. They delve into the subject of equitable performance management on this episode of The Group Chat.

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SPEAKER 1 0:10

So just to do some quick introductions, and just an overview of our platform. So living corporate is a platform that has candid conversations to amplify historically underrepresented voices at work through engaging a spectrum of thought leaders from various walks of life. And with this particular web show, the group chat. We’re simply designating a space in time to continue to build our culture of candor, through dialogue with you. And doing so is our hope that through these conversations, we will become a gathering place that equips people with actionable insights to fully represent themselves, and others as allies. Say how we are live. And today is actually the last group chat for 2020. So we don’t pick up another show until January of 2021. And we have a couple more people a doctor guy calling in from Detroit. Nice to have you. Let’s see, with each of the conversations that we have on the group chat, we have an opportunity to have an open conversation, listen deeply and learn from each other. And today is no different as we discuss equitable performance management. Now, before I introduce our panellists, I have to go over a few ground rules to help us create the best experience for everybody. So some of the key things are that this particular web show is recorded. And so if you do not consent to being recorded, please watch the replay that will be available on living If you’re new to the platform, and you haven’t had an opportunity to update your username, please update your username to a name that you prefer to be called. And lastly, use the chat. Let us know your reactions. Throughout the conversations. Any questions that you have put them in the chat our teammate Aaron is also here. He’ll help us identify questions and make sure that we’re able to address them as appropriate throughout today’s dialogue. Now that all that is said and done, we’ll get into more of why you’re here. So our first panellist is an either in thought leader on inclusion and bias. Her solutions oriented and client centric approach enables her to work with clients to design tailored competency based programs to solve their most pressing needs. Prior to her role, she served as an equal employment opportunity and diversity analyst as well as a trainer where she conceived and implemented proactive diversity programs to include Human Capital Planning, training on unconscious bias, and microaggressions as well as statistics and statistical workforce analysis. She’s addressed leaders across the world regarding diversity and inclusion, as well as various structured leadership development programs. In addition to that, and many other things. She is the co-host of the latest liberal corporate web show. So what do I do? Pamela Toller. Good to have you here with us today.

SPEAKER 2 3:37

Thrilled to be here. Thanks for having me on the group chat.

SPEAKER 1 3:43

Our next panellist is the founder and CEO of the equity equation LLC, at every city coaching and consulting firm based in Washington, DC. With nearly 20 years of experience within the education, nonprofit and tech industries, she has seen the challenges faced by many executives with good intentions, struggling to make diversity, struggling to make decisions around diversity, where executives are motivated to do the right thing when it comes to DNI but may be hindered by their own biases and fears. She’s also seen and experienced the damage endured by black indigenous people of color employees, when they are not centered are valued in their company’s diversity, equity and inclusion efforts. Her work is about removing barriers or providing support in order to get to a place of equality. She helps executives and leaders have the important dialogue and coach them to the necessary long term changes that develop institutional culture of diversity, equity and inclusion. Sasha Thompson. Welcome to the group chat.

SPEAKER 3 5:00

Thanks for having me.

SPEAKER 1 5:02

Thank you for being here. Our final panellist for today is a career coach and resume writer on a mission to help millennials flourish in their careers. With for my four plus years, as a hiring manager for Fortune 500 companies, and over 500 clients, he helps professionals leverage their value to transition their careers, host of the tap in with Tristan and co-host of the web show the access point on the live and corporate network here to join in on the on the discussion of how to move performance management boys equity, Justin Lee Phil, welcome.

SPEAKER 4 5:45

Thanks for having me.

SPEAKER 1 5:49

So we also have rusada. Here, thank you, Rosada for joining and for everyone else that has joined, go ahead and say hello in the chat. Let us know where you’re calling in from. And we are about to get into today’s comp versation. And so before we get into the woes of performance management, let’s be clear about what performance management is. And why is needed. So Pamela, okay, I’ll pull this over to you. And of course, this is often what is performance management.

SPEAKER 2 6:24

So I’m sure Sasha interested in have thoughts on this as well, I think in its like simplest form performance management is a quarterly conversation or an annual performance review, right. But the reality of performance management, and I think in order for it to be both equitable and effective is that it’s really an ongoing part of leadership and how you’re engaging with your team. If you have direct reports, you should be managing performance, and really leading performance in every interaction in every project and every assignment, right. And I think that takes lots of different forms really clear expectations, really tangible tactical feedback, both positive and negative sort of feedback in the moment. And then always looking at where someone has opportunities for growth, either to apply skills that they currently have, or to build additional skills that might make sense for their career progression. And the final thing I’ll say about it is I think performance management really needs to be tied to also what the individual wants. So sometimes leaders are managing performance, you know, we often treat others the way we want to be treated instead of how they need to be treated. And so managers are often managing performance with their own career in mind, versus managing performance with what, you know, Tristan and Sasha and obiano wants out of their careers. I totally agree, I was actually going to add that last piece of it’s something I think the employee owns, versus part of like a formal process, right? And so it’s a shifting of kind of what are your career goals? And what do you want to accomplish? And how do you find those points in time, be it quarterly, monthly, annually that you want to kind of benchmark yourself against? And I think oftentimes we look at it as the formal process that company has in place, versus how we want to manage our own careers and our own paths.

SPEAKER 3 8:25

Yeah, I 100% agree with what both of them have said, you know, I think what it should be is a continuous process, something that is happening consistently. But oftentimes, what I think it really winds up being is something that happens at one point in time or multiple points in time throughout a company. And I think that’s oftentimes where we find a lot of the issue, right? Performance management tends to sneak up on people. And they find themselves in a situation where they don’t know how they were actually performing throughout the year until they get to that performance management point. So I think there’s a difference between what it should be and what it often winds up being.

SPEAKER 1 9:03

Absolutely, I think as we discuss this more, will start to go into those differences, especially as we think about ways that we can better prepare ourselves for perform performance discussions, as well as ways that we can challenge existing performance or appraisal expectations. Okay. Going into the next question, Sasha, I’m going to ask you to kick us off in answering this question. Why would anyone say that performance management is inequitable?

SPEAKER 2 9:38

I think Pam touched on it just now. Right? I think a lot of managers look at it as the golden rule versus the Platinum rule. Not everybody needs the same thing. And so when managers provide kind of the same uniform, equal appraisal, whatever it is, it’s going to be inequitable, because not every employee is at the same place. Not every employee needs the same thing. Not every employee wants the same thing. And so from the start, it comes to be something that’s inequitable, because there you may be giving, you know, reward or opportunity to people that already have access to those opportunities, and others don’t even have access or know that those are even available. So again, I think it goes back to that Platinum rule, and truly understanding, excuse me, truly understanding what each employee needs. But that takes a little bit of work. Right? That takes a little bit of dedication from that manager to do that. And so, in these busy times, managers kind of don’t have the time or feel that they don’t have the time to commit to that. And so I think that’s, that’s a big part of that challenge is it’s easier, it’s faster to give everyone the same thing than it is to take that extra step and give people what they truly want. And need.

SPEAKER 3 11:09

Yeah, I completely agree with Asha on that. You know, I think the very premise of performance management is that it has this this underlying tone that everyone starts in the same spot. And so everyone’s measured the same way. And I think oftentimes that that gets us into a bind. On the other reason that i think that you know, performance management tends to be inequitable is because we all have bias that we are dealing with throughout a process. And most performance management processes do not have very clearly defined boundaries and standards upon which people are going to actually be measured. Right? So it tends to become a very ambiguous process that allows for a lot of leeway, either way, right. And what we know is that people tend to rate performance based on relationships that they have with people more so than the actual work that was done. And so in this instance, when we are not actually putting, you know, define standards around what we are measuring, and making sure that people are sort of aware of that trained on how to actually measure that and sort of understand what period they’re measuring it for, right? It tends to, you know, always steer to become an inequitable process. Excuse me.

SPEAKER 1 12:28

Yeah, I think those are definitely some of the gaps that were that are common. Right. So having this inconsistent process of providing continuous feedback. Also, having me I know that Lani is echoing like, that the requirements are the criteria is very ambiguous. We’re not all starting at the same spot. Pamela, are there any other gaps that you would also want to contribute as to what makes performance management and equitable?

SPEAKER 2 13:04

I think rashanna sort of touched on it. She said, the time commitment invested is what has distinguished effective leadership in her experience. And I think, you know, lots of people are people, leaders, because that people leadership comes with a promotion and additional compensation, but they don’t actually like people. And they never, they never make that mind-set shift around, you know, if you are a people leader than your actual responsibility is to care for your people, right to lead them. And so if you see performance management as a hassle, then you are inevitably inequitable in that performance management, because you’re basically managing performance based on who irritates you the least, right? Because you don’t really want to have to spend all the time that it takes to effectively manage people. I think the other thing is the organizational context, that organizations are really good at creating leaders in their own image. So organizations are often very contradictory in what they say they want, and actually how they treat their employees. They want innovation, maybe even disruptive innovation. And yet they penalize people for being disruptive, right in the performance management process, or they have a diversity, equity and inclusion statement and values. And they’re really focused, apparently, on diversity, equity and inclusion. But then somebody comes in and really pushes on their systems and processes or how they’re approaching customers, or clients or stakeholders, or how we want to do business or how we want to prioritize community interest or whatever it is that you’re looking for, from that diverse group of people. And in the performance management process that’s penalized, right? There’s no reward for that work. It’s like, well, that makes me uncomfortable, or that feels like you’re leaning too much into conflict. Or you’re trying to critique the way we do things. Well, I thought you wanted to join this company, because we’re so great. Now you want to change it, you’re gonna break it right, the legacy of the history of how we do things and so I think Performance Management is so often not focused on the individual’s performance, and more focused on how comfortable they make everyone or how they fit into the organizational culture or how that manager even feels about managing people. And that can make it really inequitable.

SPEAKER 1 15:19

glad that you brought up a conversation or mentioned, like fit into an organization, because one of the things that we think about is fed typically is structured around the dominant culture, right, or the dominant race within organization, what happens to be which happens to be white? The dominant gender, which also happens to be male, right, and so, one of the questions that I would like to ask is, how does this fit disproportionately, like impact black and brown employees?

SPEAKER 3 15:56

I can start on that one well, in and of itself is a barrier for black employees, where corporate spaces are not built for us to be there, majority of this country was not built for us to be in the spaces that we’ve actually, you know, arrived in. So for someone to, you know, say that, oh, you’re not a right fit for the company, or you’re not a right fit in this instance, most times, I won’t say all the time, but most times, that is coded language in some way, shape or form. I, you know, so for me, I think it absolutely, disproportionately affects black people. And then when we really talk about performance management, it’s really about indoctrination. How well have you been indoctrinated to our culture, the way we do things the way we like things done? And oftentimes, that also means how well have you been indoctrinated? You know, in the sense of your appearance, and the sense of the way you interact with people how you speak, right? All these things that can act absolutely negatively affect, you know, black people, indigenous people and other people of color. So I think, you know, natively fit is something that I think isn’t is never a good situation when it comes to, you know, black people, indigenous people and other people of color.

SPEAKER 2 17:13

And I think that’s, you know, exactly what Pam was talking about, you know, just now, especially when companies talk about diversity, equity and inclusion, right, like they want diversity, but then they want fit. Okay, well, which do you want, right, like you can’t have both, you either have to have that diversity, where you’re pushing the envelope, right, you’re thinking outside the box, but then you can’t have fit with that as well, too. And so companies are giving these very convoluted descriptions of what they want. And if none of that is centering us, right. And so one of the things that I often see, too, is, we’re told one message, right, and we try to fit into that message. But then that’s totally, there’s another language that’s being spoken, that we don’t necessarily tap into or speak or understand. And that’s what you’re actually getting appraised against. And so there’s this constant battle of trying to figure it out, trying to understand what fit actually means. Because it could be fit to the company fit to that manager fit to that team. And none of that’s really defined. Right? Right. So it’s like we’re navigating so much, just to do our jobs. Right on top of that, the other part of that, I don’t know why I just started coughing, as soon as the start is one of the I often see, with executives, they don’t even know how to provide feedback to us, because of the fear of, I don’t want, you know, this angry black woman, or this angry black man to react in this way. So I’m going to sugar-coat this and not give them the true reality of you know, what their performance is, until the very end. Right. And so that often is then placed on us as our fault as well, too. And it’s not. So there’s definitely another side to this that I think companies need to own and or not. It’s really like, it’s about building competency to have meaningful conversations, right? Because we can’t always every conversation we have at work is not always going to be lovely and non-confrontational, right. And if it is, that’s probably a problem, right? This is probably this probably problematic in some way because we’re not pushing the boundaries of how we’re looking to achieve results or the work that we’re trying to do. But I think lots of leaders there’s a data point that Um, some research that was done at Franklin Covey that leaders are often in their seventh year of leadership before they receive any kind of training, right. And like imagine you think about if each of you were to think about the worst manager you’ve ever had, like, think about the kind of damage that that person can do in seven years, right? Like you think about seven years of someone’s career that’s transformational. Like it’s got them on the executive track or in a standstill, right or fired from several jobs, right after seven years. But because we don’t focus on people management as a competency, we focus on people management as a way to get a promotion, or to like replicate your individual contributor results. It should be I mean, that’s, that’s it feels criminal, right? In the organizational context in which things can be can be terrible, that you would allow somebody to be responsible for other people’s careers for seven years without some sort of assurance that they are able to do that. Right, and some sort of guidance and support. And then I think it compounds because the people managing those terrible people, managers are not able to have feedback conversations with them. And I think that the, we really need to think of performance management as actually the main task of people leaders, versus looking at it as this thing they do on the side while they also maintain their individual contributor responsibilities. Right? There was something else you said, Sasha, that I think, you know, your opening statements or your the opening of that comment, like, organizations are really looking for compliant diversity, right, they’re looking, and I think, among VIP OC, we also struggle with that, right? Because we’re like, well, this person over here, who is also Black has achieved what they have, but they’re not making enough waves. And I, you know, sometimes I struggle with it in my role I work for, you know, a fairly conservative company that’s based in Utah, right? And it’s like, oh, maybe I should be pushing more and, and we have this sort of critique of one another, even in in terms of that diversity. And I think that can be really challenging. And it goes to the individual part of this right, that each of us are like, sort of pushing as much as we can push or recognizing the context that we’re in and what that means for sort of the value of our diversity or whether it’s valued, but it is this like, from an individual standpoint, I think I’m on the receiving end of performance management. And I know we’ll get into that it is this like daily bargain of like, how much is my identity impacting this circumstance? And there’s the Geena Davis foundation for gender and media did some research and they came up with this data point that I think it’s so fascinating. When women make up 17% of the room, men think that they’re 50% of the room. And when women make up 33% of the room, men think they’re the overwhelming majority. Right? And so like with diversity conversations, and performance management, I think that’s another thing is like, we feel so profoundly our own leanness, and our like solitude. And on the other hand, the majority feels like, there’s enough of us, there’s a whole bunch of us there, right? Like, that’s one of us. And that also makes the diversity and even performance conversation challenging. Because when we bring up our identity as part of performance management, there’s a sense that like, whoa, whoa, like, there’s a ton of y’all, this is not what the issue is right? And it makes it challenging to have those conversations.

SPEAKER 1 23:31

I love the fact that you’re bringing to the conversation, and with the data that you just dropped about the perception of how many women are in an actual space, I remember taking an organizational sociology class, and there was research where non-people of color when they see one black person in an institution, they automatically equate that to being for black people within that institution. And so I think that goes to what you were just speaking, where we feel like we are isolated and that we are having these struggles independently. And we there not enough of us there feeling like there’s so many of you all, you know. And so that’s a new perspective to definitely apply to the conversations that we continue to have as we move forward. One of the things that we often notices that there’s always a lot of effort that’s put into recruiting people of color into these new into organizations, and not as much effort put into our maybe public effort that’s put into retaining people of color in organizations. And one of the questions that I want to ask as it pertains to this conversation is why do we see so many black and brown leaders stall out? Like at entry level leadership positions? Right? So we know that from a representation perspective, a lot of minorities are in the lower tiers of the organization, and seldomly, do you see us in the, in the executive suite? So interested to hear your perspectives experiences each of you on perhaps, what are some of the reasons that performance management may? Or how performance management may be contributing to that style?

SPEAKER 2 25:43

Um, you know, you ask these questions, and I mean, they require some thought, right? Like,

SPEAKER 1 25:47

I don’t know, it’s so many things. How do I articulate?

SPEAKER 2 25:56

Yeah, where do we start? But the, one of the initial thoughts I have about it is when you think about the informality of performance management, right, so there are 10 people on the team. And for the women and people of color, right, this was even one of the unintended consequences of me, too, there was some research done that said, Men actually stopped having like private conversations with women, because they were so afraid of what the repercussions of that could be, right. And so you think about a team, a sort of typical white male manager and a team of 10 people, and maybe five of those people are also white men. There is a sense of comfort and informality and ongoing dialogue that is happening there that the other people on the team are not privy to, right 71% of leaders select protégées of the same race and gender and you think about the aggregate effect of that over a year, every informal conversation, every meeting that I say, you know, what, Sasha, why don’t you come with me to this? Right? Like, Hey, I’m actually doing this thing. Why don’t you join I sent you the invite, like, if you happen to be available, come on, or, you know, I’m, I’m, I hop on a call with one of my subordinates after another meeting, and I say, you know, I was just in this meeting with the executives, and we’re talking about this is sort of interesting to hear your thoughts about that, right? There is, over the course of someone’s career, you build so much awareness of like the strategy and what your next move should be in the organization through these informal conversations and being sort of let into the decision making 10, if you will, and the aggregate of all of that experience actually does at the end make you more capable and competent, because you have more experience in looking at things through that leadership lens, or more understanding of how the business or how the organization operates and what drives it. And so I think when performance management is simply about the formal process, like their formal processes, Kristen’s opening quote, talks about this, the employee lifecycle, there are formal processes for every component of the employee lifecycle. And yet we know that people’s experience in that part of the process is significantly different. So there’s a formal on boarding process. But for one person, it just means that you check the boxes off of the checklist for formal on boarding. And for another person, it means that your first two weeks of work, somebody took you out to lunch every day, right, which is profoundly different. So I think that one of the reasons that black and brown talent stalls out is because of the fact that we are not we are not often given the benefit of all this informal and extra experience that helps teach you the rules of the road and an organization and how to navigate it.

SPEAKER 3 28:45


SPEAKER 1 28:50

We can’t hear you Tristan.

SPEAKER 3 28:53

Okay, can you hear me now? Sorry, my mic decided when to mute itself. I think Pamela brings up some really great points. And the other thing for me, at least in my experience is I’ve seen the bar be moved so many times for people of color, right? Where was the bar for President Barack Obama? Now, right after him we see a bar for that’s really, really low for somebody who didn’t even have the skill sets for the job, right. And this is something that we see replicated inside of corporate spaces as well. Right. So I think when I had been in these corporate spaces, and I’ve been talking to people, you know, I think it’s something a lot of us a lot of black professionals, we strive to meet the bar that set for us, and it’s always something that’s a moving target. You know, whereas in many of our other counterparts, that’s not always necessarily the case. And then they also like Pamela said, they have a lot of the resources, they have a lot of the, the access and the structures to be able to get them to those spaces, right when I was looking at There was a report being black in corporate America that was put out by the Center for talent innovation in 2019. And they were talking about like black, the black people having access to senior leaders. And the end compared to our white counterparts, our access to senior leaders is incredibly low. Right? We its like 31% of black professionals feel like they even have access to senior leaders at work, which means that oftentimes, they’re not being mentored, they’re not being shown a lot of the ropes of these things, right. And then you, you, you take that even further, and you start talking about, you know, just how that affects us in general, too, right? I think there’s 19% of black people, according to the same report, 19% of black professionals feel like they’d never see someone of their race or ethnicity ever achieve a top position at their company. Right, that ever like that, that’s crazy, right? What does that say about the organizations that we work for, and how they actually, you know, take black professionals and, and provide them with the tools and the resources to actually succeed and to achieve these levels of success inside of their organizations. So I think it’s really imperative that that companies and organizations just really look at sort of what they are doing, because you know, it when 65% of black professionals feel like they have to work harder to advance, and only 16% of white professionals feel like that’s true. Well, we know that the majority of white professionals are the ones that are managing these black professionals. Right. So if they feel like you didn’t have to work harder to advance, what does that say about the processes that they put in place? When they’re doing your performance management reviews? Right? What does that mean about the goals and things that they put in front of you? So I, you know, I think it’s, it’s really interesting to see, but I really think that it, there’s a lot of moving of the goalposts for us.

SPEAKER 2 31:59

You know, what, there are a couple of thoughts that are going through my head, and like one of them is definitely that moving, but it’s also the pressure to some extent, that are put on the very few people of color, or in senior levels, right. And I’m just thinking of like my experience before I left corporate to work for myself. And we had, you know, one or two director level or above leaders that took it upon themselves to say, okay, we’re seeing some disconnect here, right, like, the number of people that we are recruiting in that are people of color is equal or greater than the people that are leaving? What can we do about this leaky bucket? The company didn’t say that, because the company is focused on the recruiting numbers, right? It took our leaders of color to say we need to what can we do to help fix this. And that’s the part I think, to me is, is a little frustrating about this whole situation, because, again, that’s additional work on top of the senior leaders that are very few and far in between. And so what ended up happening was, this one leader then reached out to three or four other leaders, and then they were like, okay, who’s the next level below us? Who are the next two levels below us that we can support, mentor, sponsor, do whatever we need to, to hold on to them? That was something that they did on their own. The company did not feel fit to pay for that, right? They paid out of their own budgets to support that. Once they saw success, then the company turned around, right. And so those are the frustrating things, because it should not have to take a leader stepping into that space to do that. That should be something that company sees as important. So for me, that was kind of a red flag of Okay, what’s really important here, what numbers are important? And it always goes back and again, because I came from Tech, it’s all about the data. Right? Well, what data are you sharing? And what does it really mean? Right. So yesterday, someone posted on LinkedIn, a certain com company has made the choice to double their number of VPS over the next year, right? Great. I sent a message staff person, I’m like, what’s the number? How many actual VPS do they have? Because if they only have to write if they only have to, then doubling that. That’s not that difficult, right? If they really want are working toward that. And so it’s, it’s about the spin, it’s about the PR, it’s about the good marketing that they want to do in the space versus doing the work. And I think that’s the piece that needs to be pushed back a little bit on these companies, how that, excuse me, goes back to performance management is again, it’s about perception. And numbers, right? Let’s hire let’s hire let’s hire. We’re not asking people about what are your promotion rates? Right? How many? Are you actually promoting to the next level within these demographics? How many what’s your attrition rate? And why are people leaving? Right? What’s happening at that point, for them to leave, and what can be done to solve that problem? Those are the conversations that aren’t happening. And again, because performance management is individual, it’s one off, they’re not stepping back to look at the collective to see, okay, this is a problem here. Right, we’re seeing this with our Native American employees, we’re seeing this with our black women. So until companies really want to have that deep dive into the data, and actually look at the ugly side of it, and not just the pretty parts that they could put out for PR, then all of this is just a farce. Right? And so that’s, I think, where the performance management piece comes in, as it needs to be looked at as a collective, and not constantly this one off individual report that comes out. I think one of the reasons those conversations don’t happen, those difficult conversations is because organizations are not interested in being very reflective of their own processes, right. So the problem is, if you enter into that conversation, and you’re actually unwilling to change anything, structurally, then your answer is the reason that we’re not retaining black and brown talent, or black and indigenous people of color is because they are somehow deficient. Right, like they are somehow less than or you can’t say that, right. So. But that’s but I think when you don’t have those conversations as an organization, that is actually the prevailing thought. That is the underlying bias that exists is that like, you know, we saw the Wells Fargo CEO, like it’s not there’s nothing wrong with us. It’s that there’s not black talent, it’s like, well, we know that that is not the case, right? Black women are the highest educated per person population in the country. So what is your response to that? Right? Like, I think that they don’t enter into these conversations. And same with performance management, when a manager is doing poorly at Performance Management, their default is to say, it’s because their team is underperforming. And they don’t take the responsibility for that if your team is underperforming, you are underperforming, right, because you are ultimately responsible for their performance. I think the other thing, that your comments when we think about Sasha is all of the discretionary effort. That is given all of the pressure and additional responsibility that black and brown people who’ve been successful in organizations feel that they need to take on and pay it forward and pull someone up behind them and change systems and use their own budgets. None of that is rewarded. So like when it comes time for those executives to have their performance management conversations, those conversations are limited to whatever their like area of technical responsibility and never expand to the larger contributions that they’ve made to the organization voluntarily, right. There are only so many hours in the day. And so when black and brown employees give that extra effort, they are taking that from their children and their partners and their mental health and their well-being. And everyone cared about that for about eight weeks in June. And they’ve stopped caring about it. Right, it stopped, it has stopped being an important part of the conversation.

SPEAKER 1 38:56

Yeah, I’m gonna have us pause, because we will definitely get into that. I want to have an opportunity to address some of the questions that we have going in, into our into the system, the platform that we have. So we have a question from Toki. And Toki. Is saying from a DI lens would do you think about compensation tied to perform it. And it’s open to any of you to start a response.

SPEAKER 2 39:36

I guess I need some clarity on that. Right? Because when you say from a dti lens, are you saying kind of what Pam was just talking about in this additional work that’s off the side of the desk work? Is that part of your performance management process? Is that what you’re evaluated on and then get compensated for that? Or you know, is it something else another metric that you’re looking at. So that’s I just need a little bit of clarity on that question.

SPEAKER 1 40:05

Yeah. Toki, can you shoot us a comment? Or in the chat to clarify? And when I read this, I was thinking more. So of should there be a way to make sure that when we look at diversity, equity inclusion, and the metrics I get, I’m assuming a lot of things and the metrics I get that get tied to the efforts of diversity and inclusion? Should that be tied to compensation for leadership? Right? So if we’re saying we want to increase the number of minority executives, or we want to retain a certain amount of minority associates employees, should that get associated with actual competent compensation for leaders? But that’s my assumption, we’ll let Toki provide us some more context on that.

SPEAKER 2 41:01

I do think my instinct is to be to feel some gratitude and hope about any of these public statements. So I’m certainly I’m certainly on the same page of sessions we need to continue. These are, I guess, how I would phrase it is, I think these are first steps. And first steps and public statements are good. And if this is what it took, if right, if the events of the last few 100 years is what it took, for you to make this public statement, like, fine, I wish it would have happened sooner. I wish it would be more substantive. I wish it would be more strategic. I wish you were more public and transparent about what it meant. I wish that I had a way to monitor accountability. I wish all these things and I hope that all these things are coming in the future. But I think as a as an initial step and announcement, these announcements are good. I think. And, and I think that maybe the role of the customer, the role of stakeholders and employees is to the extent possible, pushing Starbucks and other companies to come back to us on this. Right. So you’ve made this announcement now in a year. Right? What is it? What does it mean? Like, what did you really tie their compensation to? Is it like $1,000 bonus, because for someone who makes half a million dollars, that’s not actually that significant? Right? And they can lose that. And that’s okay. And they’ll make it up in some other performance metric or bonus. Right. And so I think, as a first step, it is very positive. And it there’s some analysis to be done and Time will tell if it’s actually substantive. Yeah, I agree. Um, I say Toki could put in there, ERG’s work, like, I absolutely believe that he RG and employee resource groups, and all of those needs to be compensated for that work, because they’re doing a whole hell of a lot more work than they probably shouldn’t be doing. Because there are a lot of incompetent di professionals and some of these companies, that’s just me being Frank, and it’s a Saturday, so I’ll just put it out there. So I think that there’s a lot of weight put on them. So yes, I totally believe that they should be compensated for their time, effort, energy, talent, all of that. The other piece of that which kind of ties into what Pam was talking about, is, I believe that there needs to be structural change, diversity, equity, and inclusion should be part of a long term strategic strategy within the company. It’s not a nice to have, it is tied to not just compensation, but revenue. It’s in every aspect of the business. And what I work on is I have a 12 point, pillar strategy around that, right? How do you look at this? And you know, again, it’s just its customers, its employees, its community engagement. But what are you doing to remove barriers? What are you doing to provide access right at all levels? And really making companies step back and evaluate, okay, how are we doing this where it’s not just a checkbox, or a nice to have, but it’s something that’s a part of our DNA, like, if this was gone, we will lose money behind this, right? And so it becomes a priority when it’s a part of the DNA of the organization. And so anyone that I’m like consulting with, if they’re not ready to do that work, then they’re not the client for me.

SPEAKER 1 44:37

Absolutely. Yeah, I am going to Tristan.

SPEAKER 3 44:44

I 100% agree with all of that right. I think I lost my thought because I had it right there. But I really agree with what both Hamlet and Sasha had to say about that. I think it’s, its really sad to have to tie, you know, D and I work to compensation like it really tells us something about where we’re at. Right? Not to say that’s a surprise to any of us. But I think it’s, it’s very, it’s a very interesting way to have to force organizations to do this, rather than it be something that they willingly want to do. And it’s very interesting to me, because the one thing that most corporate leaders understand is that diversity actually is profitable for your company. We know this, there’s literal research that shows this, right? When you have more women in leadership, you actually have a more profitable company, right? It’s just, it’s just what it is. So for companies and organizations to already know that this is something that impacts their bottom line, but still cannot get it done. It’s very, it says something about the structure. And it says something about the barriers that we put in place around all of this. And that we, we willingly know that it helps us or we know that it helps us but we willingly ignore it, or try to stay away from it. Right? That that’s so interesting to me. But at this point, if this is what it takes to get it to a point where this is something that’s a more serious conversation inside of organizations, and that they are actually going to move forward. And that, as Pamela said, they come back, they report out on these things. We know, we can tell if this is making a difference in the way that they’re doing business and work, then I think yes, okay, great. But I think there’s going to be need to be a little bit more around that to like Toki said, like, Sasha touched on, you know, people are inside of these organizations, a lot of hard heavy lifting and not getting compensated for it, right. Just because you have black employees does not mean they are your DNI, consultant. And also all of your black employees should not be your D. consultants. All right. So I think it’s really interesting. We’ll see, you know, because I think sometimes it’s always a focus on the executive level, which is great, because they are the people who have the authority to change and make decisions most of the time. But there’s also what about the pain of compensation for the standard, everyday individual contributor, mid manager, frontline manager, who is also out there doing the work, right? That’s what my concern is, because what that tells me is, we aren’t compensating the black people who are doing the work inside of our organization, we’re still rewarding, top level white people, for doing work that many of us are already doing inside of this organization, we’re referring our friends, we’re bringing people in, right, we’re inside of the ER G’s, we’re consulting those executive leaders, so they can actually meet their numbers so they can get their raise, but we don’t get any of that. Right. So once again, it’s still an interesting inequity that’s been put in place here, simply with that rule that Starbucks has put out. So you know, it’s sort of a double edged sword because we do sort of need it because we know we have to force sort of force people’s hands but it’s also not compensating a lot of the people who are making this a reality for these companies.

SPEAKER 2 48:12

It is it didn’t Twitter say they were compensating there or Twilio, they were they made an announcement a couple months ago about compensating the ESG folks and it’s like both policies need to exist.

SPEAKER 1 48:23

Yep, I’m gonna switch the pace a little bit but I think that that adds another layer to the or pills back another layer on the onion, right Tristen Sasha Pamela discussion that we’re having about compensation and making sure that we’re really evaluating that the pupil that the appropriate people are getting compensated for the appropriate reason, we are not going to do rapid fire right now. What I think would be more important for us to discuss in the last five minutes that we have is this question that it’s building upon a lot of the conversations that we’ve been talking right, so I know, Rashad, put in the comments about how there’s a different career path for people that seem to be able to easily assimilate and how that’s in a way of privilege. In order to navigate in this space. We have comments about code switching and the ability to do so we talked about the goalpost moving and I know that, Zack, into your question into the platform about that, this question will really help everybody likes center on something that they can actually take away. Right. And so in the beginning of the conversation that we had, we talked about how there should be this ownership of your performance, right? But that becomes very challenging, when you are in situations are incorporations that don’t allow you that opportunity to build or appropriate relationships that you need to build right or have the appropriate conversations in a timely manner, where you’re getting that continual feedback that we mentioned is absolutely necessary. And then also, when you get hit with that language of being a strong personality being too direct being angry, right, that really is coded language for you’re not a fit within either my team, this organization, right? What advice would you give someone that is seeking to challenge, a performance rating that they’ve received? That isn’t necessarily reflective of the interactions that they have been having with their manager? Right. So we know that sometimes things don’t get documented, but they get reported as truth, right? And there’s nothing to substantiate that. So what would be your advice? Trust, and I’m gonna start with usage.

SPEAKER 3 50:56

Yeah, so I think there’s, there’s two avenues of advice here. For me, there’s the people who absolutely need their job and aren’t willing to risk anything, I’m gonna give you a piece of advice, or I’m gonna give you a piece of advice. And then the people who are willing to, you know, sever ties with a company or organization if it comes to it, right. So for the first people, the first group of people, I really suggest, and I guess this applies to both of them, actually, I’d really suggest reflecting on the feedback that you’ve received first, right, making sure that you sort of understand where it’s coming from, or understand what it’s saying. And, you know, trying to see where, where your boss is coming from, if you truly do not agree with this, try to figure out how you can produce evidence that showcases something otherwise, right? Whether that be emails, whether that be, you know, different reports that you’ve done, whatever the case may be, but you’re going to have to be able to produce evidence to really make a case around this. And the third thing is really understanding what your companies or organizations process is around this, because many companies and organizations actually don’t have a lot of, of a process to dispute performance ratings or performance reviews, right. So you know, if you if you are in the in the lane, where you are not willing to, you know, necessarily risk your job, it’s worth having a conversation with your boss in a calm, cool collected manner, and basically stating your why you disagree with the rating that they provided this right? The rating that they provided you and also providing those receipts, yes. See, rashanna knows me, she said Tristan is an advocate of keeping receipts. 100%, right. So you know, putting it right back in front of them and having a conversation around this, to sort of see how they respond to that. In all honesty, and most of my time in working with executive leaders, on most of my time in corporate America, I have never really seen a rating change. So if there is an understanding there that that more than likely, no matter what you come with, or do, it may not actually be changed. The other thing that I would say is if you’re willing to really risk it, and fight it, then you know, take it above your manager, take it to HR, you know, take it to take it to their boss, right, if you’re willing to run it up the chain and even potentially, you know, put yourself in a position where you may need to sever ties with the company, I’d say do that. I’m personally an advocate of fighting for myself, right? If a company or organization is going to mischaracterize the performance that I I’ve had while I’m here, I’m willing to go ahead and just sever ties with you. So I’m going to fight for myself, currently, I’m going to be the biggest advocate for myself in my career, I’m going to run it up the chain until you get tired. I’m a very persistent person, especially if I feel like I have the receipts to backup what I’m bringing here, right? So if you’re not, I say have that conversation with your manager and see sort of what steps you can take from there because most leaders do not like someone who sidesteps them or goes above them, right. So that that is something that you want to start with first. But on the on the flip side, if you start there, and they’re not giving you much and you’re willing to move forward, I’d say run it up the chain, provide your receipts. And if necessary, start, you know, figuring out what your options are as far as removing yourself from that organization. If that’s if that’s an option because I if they’ve done this to you once odds are they will do it to you again, right. So you have to start questioning Is this a company or organization that I still want to work for and be affiliated with? If this is something they’re willing to do to me when I know for a fact this is not what should be happening, right? So you know it there’s sort of two different avenues. If you’re going to play the game, you got to be respectful of the chain of command, you got to make sure you have your seats. If you’re not if you’re willing to step outside the game, do those same things, but be willing to take it up the chain and deal with whatever repercussions come.

SPEAKER 1 55:05

Absolutely. Sasha. Pamela, anything you want to add to that?

SPEAKER 2 55:09

And I 110% agree. Like I’m all about receipts and documenting everything. I think when it gets to the point, though, if the feedback is a surprise to you, it’s almost too late. Right? So you know, 100% agree with Tristan on that, like, you can fight it, but very likely not going to change. What I coach people on and something that I learned early in my career is that you being proactive about your career path, right, and what you want to do. And so I started very early, in my one on ones weekly or whatever, monthly one on ones with my manager, knowing what my goals were, right, making sure that Okay, give me this feedback. Right. So we and it was documented, right? I would follow up those meetings with, you know, thanks for the 10 minutes, whatever, this is what we covered, this was the feedback you provided me. Right? Very proactive about that entire process. So that by the time reviews came around, all those receipts are right there. Because I’m like, at what point did this change? Right? Because it’s all documented. They don’t like when you got receipts, especially if it’s, if they’re trying to say things nonverbal. And I mean, in not in writing, right, it’s a phone call, it’s a stop by your desk, it’s something that’s not documented, you follow up an email to them, per hour conversation. That, right, you document everything. Um, the other thing that I started to do was, when I got feedback from other leaders about positive things that I was doing, or like, thank you for this great for this, I would copy my manager. Right? And this, put that in a folder, right? Because now I have documentation that goes totally against what you’ve been trying to say. And I’m saying this from experience, because I, we shared this earlier, we you know, was put on a pit by a manager that had just come in, and you know, said, Oh, well, you don’t work well across the organization. Really? Okay, so at what point did this change? Because here’s everything from the manager I had before you, here’s some of the leaders that a VP and director level, right? I need to understand at what point this changed. And I never got a response. Following back on our eBook, everything was documented, right. And so then things started to shift, then things started to change. So I always, always, always tell people document not because you want to hold them accountable, but you want to hold yourself accountable. And so I’m always looking at this as make this some your career, be proactive about your career and your path and what you want to do. So that that would be my advice.

SPEAKER 1 58:27

Absolutely. I agree with that as well. I know, Pamela, you were putting some comments in here. So you agree, just proactively document everything, to just show that you’re good at Columbia. Anything else that you wanted to add?

SPEAKER 2 58:43

The one thing I would say also is not to be afraid to go outside of the chain of command from a mentorship standpoint. So I think that there are times when trusens first comments, sometimes you are able to leave your role. And sometimes you’re really not right. But there as a manager, I think managers are more amenable to feedback and guidance and critique from their peers than they are from people above them or below them. And so it’s like if you report to a director, find another director. And just like send them not, the first ask to them should not be about this difficult thing with your manager. It should be something like I’ve been really impressed with what I’ve seen when we’ve been on town halls or the work that your team is doing. I have a good friend on your team who seems to really enjoy your leadership. And as I look at my career, I’d love to just get some insight Can I take you to coffee? Can we set up a coffee over zoom or glass of wine over zoom or whatever it is in our current reality? And I think building those relationships gives you opportunity to have additional insight into your direct boss who may be avoiding your receipts right avoiding your emails, not willing to engage in a difficult conversation and you’ll find that they’ll start to you know you have someone in your corner because many decisions about your career happen. With without you in the room, but this other director might be in the room and they’d be able to say, you know, I’ve had some informal engagements with Pamela. And she just seems so lovely. And she’s like always trying to figure out what the best thing for the businesses and navigating her career and all that. So I think, you know, even when we don’t have someone who looks like us have those director level positions, pushing outside of our comfort zone and finding, you know, an ally or co-conspirator to build a meaningful connection with can be really helpful when you are in those hairy situations.

SPEAKER 1 1:00:32

Y’all, we are past the top of our hour, always great conversation. In group chat, appreciate the panellists that we have here with us today. Sasha. Thank you, Pamela, thank you. Thank you for being here. So one of the things that I am taking away, and I know that we mentioned this on our prep call, but is really the importance of relationships, and developing relationships, with your managers, with your peers, with other people like Pamela just mentioned, that can be allies to you, so that you can have information that you wouldn’t ordinarily get if you were just operating alone. But also you start to build a support network, also, keeping your receipts right. And then when you run it up any type of problems that you have, when you run it up, you already have the relationships established to help you really navigate and really advocate for yourself, which is something that we always want our community uplifting and corporate to be able to do is to advocate for yourself and others when you have the ability to, like I mentioned earlier, this is the last show for 2020 on the group chat. That doesn’t mean that there aren’t other living corporate initiatives that are going on. So Justin has his show. He has the tapping he has the access point. Pamela also has her show. So what do I do? Sasha is not on the liberal corporate network, but she is for the family. And she’s speaking, so make sure to follow her and stay up to date with what’s going on with her. I know. Also, there’s a number of ways for us to stay connected. We had a book drop in the comments from Lani. So look in the comments. If there’s more information that you want to learn about equitable performance. I’ll be sending out a follow up email. But I definitely appreciate everyone being here going on this journey with us. And I hope to see you in 2021. Have a great week.

SPEAKER 3 1:02:41

Thanks for having me.

SPEAKER 2 1:02:42

Thanks so much.

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