BAIL Yourself Out

Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, DEI an' Nem

July 06, 2023 Kandice Whitaker Season 1 Episode 3
BAIL Yourself Out
Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, DEI an' Nem
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) training has been the hot buzzword in corporate America for a few years now. However, has the effective execution of DEI training manifested in the corporate workplace?  Well, this week on the Bail Yourself Out Podcast, host Kandice Whitaker joins this week's co-host and DEI expert, Dr. Brenda Carter, on the realities of DEI in America today. What are the intentions versus the reality of actual DEI programs in America? Are corporations just checking boxes, or are fundamental changes occurring? Dr. Carter shares the harsh reality of where DEI programs currently are in the corporate USA, what healthy programs look like, corporate allies, and the issues they should be addressing.  

As two women striving in corporate America environs, Kandice and Dr. Carter reflect on the post-pandemic increased workplace flexibility, the dangers of employers and employees who fail to see the value in this tractability, and how it can be an asset to all involved. 

The hosts also cover the mental health aspects of a toxic workplace. What qualifies as "toxic," how it typically manifests itself, and why "suck it up and deal" is no longer the appropriate course of action. 

Finally, the hosts discuss leaving your current employer. Why would one do so, when is the right time to part ways, and what are the benefits of leaving? Most importantly, Kandice and Dr. Carter expound on why staying with your employer for years on end is an old idea that has passed its expiration date

Keep up with Kandice Whitaker and the BAIL Yourself Out Community Online

Kandice Whitaker  0:02  

Welcome to the bail yourself out Happy Hour Podcast, where each week we'll help you navigate the corporate jungle. Here's your host Kandice Whitaker, nope it's happy hour. I'm your coworker Kandice with the K pull up a chair in your favorite drink for the bail yourself out Happy Hour is about to start now.

What's good what's good happy hour fam. And I'm so excited to introduce our guest co host today. Yeah, my girl the soon to be Dr. Brenda Carter. She is a pure fool. And the way we cut up talking about workplace foolishness and whatnot. Brenda Carter is a beautiful person. She's a wife, she's a mother, she's a Christian, but most importantly, she has a heart for the people. And she's out here laboring in the vineyard to make the world a better place. And you know what? After this break, you're gonna meet her happy hour style. Keep it where you got it.

Pierce Taylor  1:08  

Welcome to the Bail Yourself Out Happy Hour podcast the bail acronym is used to outline the steps to implementing resilience in your life. B Believe you can win A accept change as part of the journey. I Inventory strengths and L learn from what's happening together will impact the bail framework in action. Now back to the show.

Kandice Whitaker  1:26  

Hey, hey, Happy Hour fam. This is your girl Kandice with the K in the Bail Yourself Happy Hour lounge with my co host, my girl, Brenda Carter, the soon to be Dr. Brenda Carter. So my girl is a specialist in dei and organizational justice. And that's so important to what we do here. And all the conversations that we have about careers business and the season diaspora This Is Us This is what we do. I'm gonna just jump right in what do you want the world to know about you? Brenda Carter? 

Dr. Brenda Carter  1:59  

So first of all, thank you for having me. You know, we go way back like the maybac. So you know, we go back like whiplash man.

But I thank you for having me. Yeah. So I've been in Dei, for a few years, now, I live the DEI for all my life.

I like to say that I am your sister fighting for you on the other side, you know, your big sister that's on them, making sure that they treat the family correctly. Yeah, that's the stance that I take. Yeah, I've been in this game for a little bit. And with my organizational justice, expertise, it allows me to really, really begin to help organizations and leaders go from performative dei to really being transformative, because we've seen more than enough where folks are like, you know, I do Dei, and it's my idea, we want to talk to you employees, they're looking like, no. So you know, that's my focus is to really, really do that. Because a lot of communities suffer when folks are just so focused on tick mark in the box, but they're not really focused on driving change. 

Kandice Whitaker  3:03  

So you know, I love that you said that, because as a person who has mainly worked in the change space, right, I understand how hard it is to change the culture of an organization. That's actually the hardest thing that you can change. So one of the organizations and of course, I'm just asking you, from your experience, this is not the whole wide world. And I understand that you have not surveyed the whole world, every organization in the world, right. But from your point of view, how many organizations do dei just to check the box, as opposed to those who are really committed to seeing a real change?

Dr. Brenda Carter  3:35  

 I would say to me, what I see is that the ones that are really doing it, unfortunately, they're on the smaller end of the percentage than on the larger end. I feel like you had, I'm afraid you were gonna say that I really was. I was over here holding my breath. Yeah.

But now, here's the thing. how you would go say that. Here's the thing, though, here's the thing, right? So I think that that number has grown, I think, you know, with George Floyd and that major event, you had everybody making commitments, and it takes what it takes in order to bring change, some of it was performative. But then I do feel like certain companies along the way, were like, Well, wait a minute, I really do want to get this right. And so that number started to grow. Because, you know, I used to do change management to when we had change agents, change champions. And so I think you've had certain companies that have championed it. And so other in a play Tag, you're it. And so you're having more companies that do want to get it right. Unfortunately, though, a lot of companies they're still on the performative and or they are avoidant of certain cohorts that fall within the DEI bucket, and they only want to focus on one and say, Hey, we've done it and it's like, no, no, go run this back. No, you have not your own focusing on women, are you only

Kandice Whitaker  5:03  

a second. But the people who are listening to Brenda and they don't have a doctoral degree when she said cohort, she meant group of people. Thank you.

They care about subgroups, and they don't care about other group. You know, my inner trainer likes to bring small words in so we don't lose people. I appreciate. I am in research mode so that my brain is just, it just says, I got you.

Dr. Brenda Carter  5:29  

But yeah, they only want to focus on certain groups. And we know which groups they like to focus on. And then like, you know, in certain states, you have the attack on Dei, where they're trying to make sure that schools can get out to Florida and Texas, where I live, I let a race to the bottom. I don't understand Florida, Texas, and Ohio deserves an honorable mention, because they are always on the list for some Szigeti. They are, they are. And I'm just like, man, but you know, some of these companies that can't wait to not have to do it no more. So you can tell like it was just all for, for the performance of it to look good. So they don't face any backlash. But unfortunately, the amount, I can't tell you the number but I do see a large amount of companies are more so in the performative end and less on the really trying to get it right. And but you know, those numbers can always fluctuate and change, I think until corporations have a vested interest, meaning that they can't recruit talent, or they can't keep talent because of a toxic culture, or a toxic environment, then maybe they'll understand the importance of being more inclusive. Because right,

you got a bunch of them that are losing talent. I mean, like losing, like, they get them and they can't keep them. And they still because you gotta remember status quo, good old boys network. So they're like, Oh, you left. That's crazy. And its not until somebody, unfortunately, its not until social media holds them accountable. So I basically got to be embarrassed to act it right? Unfortunately. Yes. 

Kandice Whitaker  7:03  

Yeah, I have a story from personal experience, because I am very familiar with the corporate good old boys club. So I not so long ago, quit a government contract. I'm a contractor. I've been a contractor for a very long time. And the conversation went like this. I actually made a TikTok talking about it. And I got a lot of comments on it. The client was rude to me, condescending and I pushed back. And they went back to the person who was prime on the contract and said, Oh, Kandice seemed visibly frustrated. And so my feedback was I was, and here's why even the project manager said, oh, yeah, they were being jerks to her. Like, I'm not really sure what that was about. Right. So then I get well, they're the client. So I said, that's when corporate savage kicks in? That's interesting. If the expectation is that I accept being treated unprofessionally by the client, because they're the client, then we're not a good fit. Let me know if that's the expectation. Yeah. And what did they say? Oh, well, they're the client.

Dr. Brenda Carter  7:57  

The thing is, is that it doesn't matter about if they're the client, right?  Agreed. There as a leader, and especially if you're running your own company, you still need to know how and when to stand up. Because not all money is good money, but also too sometimes you just using that voice will get the client back in line. Look, this is not how we operate, right? Sometimes it what does it cost you to advocate? What does it cost you to just simply be like, listen, I heard that the meeting was a little crazy today. And, you know, please, when you're dealing with my contractors, let's have some level of decorum, like that really doesn't cost you much. And if it did cost you something, it wasn't going to be good money, because I've come to find out that those types of clients and those types of people, they are going to be a headache, all throughout the process.

Kandice Whitaker  8:54  

Just like that,

Dr. Brenda Carter  8:56  

they don't they gonna be a pain in the So I'm just saying you're not saving yourself. Yeah. And I'm saying by by by burning your own health in the fire for the sake of saving it like so. I'm sorry, you went through that, but they don't know. 

Kandice Whitaker  9:11  

Girl in the grand scheme of things. That was the least of it. But this is a company that clearly didn't get it. You know, I was there when they announced their new Chief Diversity Officer, a straight white man.

Dr. Brenda Carter  9:22  

Well, you know, the data shows that the majority Well, I don't know when the last time the data has been pulled. But from what I saw the majority of dei professionals are white, and I'm not here's the thing, be a real ali. If you want to be a real ali, be a real advocate. If you're going to be a real advocate, like well, we have the civil rights movement. We had freedom riders, right. It wasn't until white people started getting killed that they care right but But what I'm saying is it that I understand that there is never I've never seen a movement where it was just one group alone. There was always some type of partnership but if you don't do that, do that. Don't get in there shucking and jiving Old School Talk. Shuckin n .

Javin, right? Don't get in, don't get in there front end and toe in this whole, like, I'm dei and so therefore I'm it No, don't do that, because they didn't have diversity training, they just had a diversity officer. You see, I'm looking to diversity training, that's just the basic that and even just like change, like, okay, as a change managed professional, I can't tell you how many times I've heard this change management isn't just training and communications. No, it's not, let's just talk about the fact that I've worked in change management for I don't know, maybe about 20 years at this point, and I've never worked in dei space ever. I do IT. I used to, I used to be like, that's a whole different horse of a different color. Yeah, but it doesn't matter. Because planning for change is planning for change, right? Behavior change that part, people don't like that. That's it. And that's all. That's it. That's it. So I mean, if you're gonna get in there, like, I've seen some white men who really do get it, meaning number one, they've had the curiosity to educate themselves, they have not put themselves in the place of being the savior or the expert. I've seen those and they're effective. And what they do is they have opened up the door for others that do not look like them to get into the positions that they rightfully deserve to get into. Right, but they wouldn't have had the chance if somebody hadn't sponsored them. So I have seen that. But I don't see that a lot. 

Kandice Whitaker  11:25  

Well, you know, what I absolutely can say I have had the tremendous fortune of having brothers and sisters of all hues helped me along my journey. Yes. And I wouldn't necessarily attribute that to a certain race. Some people are helpful. Some people are not.

Dr. Brenda Carter  11:44  

It's about their values and their character. Exactly. You can't attribute values and character to a specific race. I mean, heck, that's the reason why we have the problems we have now. Black means bad. White means good, right? No, it comes in different forms, and you got to be able to take it in whatever form it comes in. Right? But unfortunately, when I'm looking at the data, and when I'm looking at like, even, like diversity ain't like the different surveys you see out there. I was gonna say, what is diversity Inc again? That's a servant like, okay, so if you're an employee, and say, you're like, oh, is this employer a safe space for me, you may see that the employer is like, you know, rated top 50 from Diversity Inc, rated top 50. From from this survey, and I'm not being specific, but there's different surveys that that organizations can take. And it's like, oh, I'm saying for LGBTQ, I'm safe for women, you know, and so this was like, the the signal but, but the thing is, is that with some of those surveys, you already know, the survey. But when I talked to it, when I look at your data, or when I talk to your real employees, or maybe I look on Glassdoor, or something like that, and I see from the black employees that they like nah, fam, or from the Latino or from the LGBTQI, they like they're given that that smirk that like you try to write the side eye that's, that's, that's what you really gotta go by, you know, you definitely have to focus on the real people's experience because at the end of the day, most corporations most companies are out there to protect their public image. And we'll do that at all costs. 

Kandice Whitaker  13:31  

So this is the really interesting I'm gonna put a paper clip in it right here. We'll be back.

In our virtual Happy Hour community, the party never stops. Follow Kandice with a K Whitaker on social media, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube. And now back to the show.

Hey, there happy hour fam. We are back with our guest co host today. Brenda Carter, who is dei and organizational justice advocate. And by the time y'all hear this, you should be Dr. Carter. We had a wonderful conversation about dei in the workplace. But I do want to get your thoughts on this article that recently came out in the Washingtonian magazine. Basically, Mayor Muriel Bowser, who is the mayor of Washington, DC, is imploring federal government employees to come back to work because she's like, Yo, it's killing the city?

That's exactly what I said. But my second thought was, do you think mandating coming back into the office would disproportionately affect certain populations? 

Dr. Brenda Carter  14:38  

I think that absolutely. So number one, data shows that black women face the most microaggressions out of any group, but when more news water is wet, pretty much right. But here's the thing, but it's able to if they've said that they've been able to reduce it because they haven't had to be in person. So they there's less instances of experiencing these micro aggressions that they normally would experience with if they were being were in person. The other thing is, is that you got to look at the caregivers, right. So that's another route. So usually caregivers, they have like just different hardships that they have to face within the workplace, because either they're taking care of parents, or they're taking care of kids, they need to take off, they need to do this, they need to do that. And so when you come back into the workplace, now, it's the added stress that is, in addition to the work stress, where before, it's just like, okay, I can have, I can still be my caregiver status, and it opens up a world of employment options for vast people, right. Um, and I get to still go ahead and work and I get to have the best of both worlds. But when you start mandating coming back in person, now you have you have this, this population of people where they're going to have to make choices like that. I don't know if I can stay in the workforce, or in fact, the opt out like women, we say, we want more women leaders, we want more women in the workforce, but a lot of them are caregivers. And so you know, when you get women that like during certain parts of their life and their age, where they're like, You know what, I got to leave the workforce because I got to take care of whatever, right virtual or working from home, open up the doors when he didn't have to do that. When you mandate it. Now they gotta go back to trying to make those decisions. 

Kandice Whitaker  16:27  

Exactly. I literally was just saying that to somebody a couple of days ago, like, Where was all this work from home when my kids were little? Oh, do you know how much my life would have been better? 

Dr. Brenda Carter  16:36  

Yeah, yeah. And better, I think to like the working from home, the hybrid, I think it's even helping women to be to become executives a little bit more. Because when I first came into the company, and I met, I had a chance to speak to our CEO. And I was asking her like, oh, my gosh, like, How'd you do it, because this is a multi billion dollar company. And she was like, you know, I took an L pretty much when it came to being a parent and being a wife. And it was right before it's 2019. And so then you have 2020, and all of that other stuff. And we have COVID. And so now, even as I'm seeing other women operating in the executive space, they're not having to be away from the home as much, which is bringing in a different dynamics. 

Kandice Whitaker  17:25  

Beautiful thing. I remember during COVID Seeing project managers literally with a baby hanging from their chest, yes, leading meetings. It was like, Look, we got the baby, we got the dog, like stuff is happening. It's COVID, the world's going to hell, we don't know what's happening, right?

Dr. Brenda Carter  17:39  

 And humanized everybody, right. And instead of things being shunned, like, Oh, he or she got a baby in the background. It was accepted. And that's where we need it to be. Because we're all here all the time. The whole time for real, yes, you know, so it's a it's an interesting time. But now with AI given everybody a run for their money.

Kandice Whitaker  17:59  

 You know what I recently downloaded little chat GPT myself, and I use it for a couple of things a, but I don't see it replacing people because it's not dynamic. For example, I got asked to write a reference letter for somebody. So it was like, a reference letter for a project manager and it typed something up. But then when I read it, I was like, Yeah, this sounds very inauthentic, so I had to put a little salt and pepper on it. Right? Right. Right. Yeah. The season it so we got the Ragu, it was a good base. Yeah. But you know, you got to put little salt and pepper, little garlic, some cheese, make it right. Make it bring it together. I am not afraid of AI. I just hate the panic culture that we have. Whenever something is new. It's like, oh, it's gonna take people's jobs. Yeah, guys. Yeah. I mean, but then you talk about it's like Sky net. I know. I'm dating myself. But it's like, we go back to Sky  net for a second. Like, wait, I'm gonna pre date you. Where you here for y2k?

Dr. Brenda Carter  18:58  

Absolutely, the world is about the SP and the world as we know it.

Kandice Whitaker  19:12  

Literally nothing. So I want to kind of go back for just a second. You mentioned microaggressions in the workplace, right? And so microaggressions is just one thing, right? But like that kind of adds up and could become toxic. They're long enough, right? How would you know, if it's just okay, Brenda's having a bad day. She's being a jerk today, or now this has gotten to the toxic stage. How do you know? 

Dr. Brenda Carter  19:40  

It's the consistency, right? So if it's like, every time you go into the workplace, it's something and it may not just be for one person, or it may be from a person of power, right? Because that's another thing like even when I look at like so organizational justice, there's three pillars there's interactional justice, there's procedural justice and is distributive and so interactionally that's where microaggressions normally happen. It can happen between an employee and somebody in leadership are in a position of power or between a colleague and a peer, right. But that's also where inclusion can happen, like, what's the culture we're creating? Is there a level of respect? Is there fairness in our interaction, but when that's missing, that can impact then your performance evaluations, if you get a chance to get put into like stretch assignments. If you're experiencing tokenism, all of those things lie in that interactional piece. And when you are experiencing that, not just from like one person, but you're experiencing that in your overall environment, that's when it becomes toxic when there is a system that encourages this behavior and reinforces this behavior, even if you like say something and they gaslight you and they're like, is that really what happened, you should not be insensitive, right? Like, that's what makes it toxic, that's what makes it psychologically unsafe. And even when you look at the broader effects of racism, it can lead to anxiety, depression, substance abuse, stress, which leads to hypertension, diabetes, like all of these things, we ain't holding in stress, we cuss people out, keep your pressure low, cuss them the hell out. But then you lose your employment. And now that's another form of stress, right? Yeah, so it's like so a person feels trapped, which is where it becomes toxic. Now you now if you get like, you know, a good example is .. How is this different than the slavery situation, I didn't say it was different. I didn't say it was Different, where you get that from?

Kandice Whitaker  21:51  

How is this different from a plantation scenario? 

Dr. Brenda Carter  21:57  

It's just you have a little bit more, just a little bit more options, like you can leave your company and go for another company and you you're gonna have to, you're gonna have to keep it up, keep it milly, keep it a buck, right? Like when you go into these organizations, you got to know what you're going there for and no one has time to leave you. So you're saying you could be sold from one plantation to another? Yeah.Yeah, I mean, you know, instead of saying it, Ellison's you can go to the Johnson's In light of what our ancestors went through, I know. But you know, how we are culturally, for those of you who are not in the season diaspora and my listeners shout out to you for being here. But we laugh at things that are inappropriate. You know why? Because we laugh is not to cry yet. That's a fact. That is a fact. There was a wonderful documentary on HBO some years ago called Why We laugh that explains it. we digress. we digress. we digress. But yes, that's that's the plantation model.

So okay, on the plantation. You can switch masses. Okay. And hopefully you'll find a master that'll give you your your your emancipation papers. Okay. You mean actually do what they say they're going to do. Yeah, yeah. Good luck with that. I know. But so yes, but no, seriously though seriously.

I know. And that's the thing like people going like, Oh, my God. I'm sorry. If this was your first time really thinking about it? I'm sorry. They gonna think They gonna be like. Well wait? So did that makes me Yes, it does. Yes. You're on the plantation too sorry, yes or no to sundown pick and that cotton? Go ahead keep more, oxen for me.

Kandice Whitaker  23:54  

Bring it back for a second. I felt the ancestors encouraging us. I felt that in my sha nana. You know what? I there was not a single day that I don't think about the fact that I have two grandmothers, one who was born in the United States who graduated valedictorian of her class. Another one who imigrated to the United States from Jamaica, who was a teacher in Jamaica. Both of them ended up cleaning people's houses.

Yep, both of them. Yep. And I'm only two generations removed from that. Right? Right. And it is on their shoulders that I stand. I don't take it for granted. Every single day of my life. I'm here because they cleaned white people's toilets. Yeah, in the worst of conditions. You know, I'm like, yo, I know why my grandmother drank. Facts. look and be happy that's all she did. Like brah. I would have drank too, like, yeah, I would have drank too. Yeah. And that's the thing that like online when I'm writing certain articles, I always want to give voice to specifically the black experience because I hear from different groups like oh, just pull yourself up by

Dr. Brenda Carter  25:06  

your boot straps ba ba ba, but they say it not knowing a damn boots, right, and the boots. The strap we was lynched from because let's let's go back for a second, right. So when you say bootstraps while some were coming over from Ellis Island and they were able to start communities and they were able to start businesses when we were starting businesses, the kkk was coming into our neighborhoods and burning them down, okay? Or, or if they wanted our property, they would terrorize us they would use violence as a tactic to get us to vacate. So then they can seize the property, and then make money off of it. So you have not had the experiences that we've had in terms of terrorist nation. We know what terrorist nation is. And even if you want to say, Oh, well, you're missing a word government sanction. Yes, government terror. That part right. And then when you say, Well, I was able to come over and I was able to get a loan, but we weren't. And it's been documented. Certain groups were able redlining. Yes. And redlining certain groups were able to get businesses in our communities where we couldn't. So when you see you're like, Oh, well, how come y'all aren't doing businesses? Why don't you do this? No, no, it's not that we didn't try. We were denied. We're doing them in 2023. And even when we are doing businesses, black women are leaving corporate. Correct.

Kandice Whitaker  26:23  

Like you're damned if you do and you're damned if you don't for real. No Sherlock. Right. Right. Right. So I want to ask you something, though, for real. You mentioned really briefly, but I want you to outline it, how working in a toxic environment can affect your mental health. You mentioned stress,

Dr. Brenda Carter  26:40  

yes, a lot of us already come from traumatic background. So when you go into these environments, right, it can compound the situation, even if you're not coming from a traumatic background, it will give you a complex, where you'll start second guessing yourself. And this can even happen if you're not black if you're a woman, right? It's like well, wait a minute, do I belong in this leadership role, right. And you really start to second guess even though you are performing, you may even be over performing. But what will happen is sometimes the the mind games that are worked in workspace will make you be like, Well, wait a minute, I'm not doing enough. Oh, and I didn't do this. So this is why I don't deserve it. And you'll always be telling yourself why I don't deserve Why I don't deserve, why I don't deserve, while other people get what you want, not even doing a fraction of what you've done. And so what that does is is that hits your self esteem, that hit your self confidence, you start becoming anxious, because you feel like I need to do more and more and more and more and more. And it just eventually becomes too much. And it becomes it gets you to a point where you're burning out, right? And then you're home, and you're stressed and you're not getting enough rest. Because now you're trying to figure out how do I do this in order to advance because now you're in overdrive, you're not even just like performing regularly. No, you're like over performing. And so you're going to burn out. And so if you do that for a long enough period of time, it's going to show up in your body, it's going to show up in your mental health. And it's going to impact how you see yourself even long term,

Kandice Whitaker  28:18  

I definitely can attest to that. I've gone on social media and made reels and different videos attesting to that fact. Like, I definitely have so many stories of where I tend to be optimist. So personally, you know, I saw the signs of it being a toxic work environment, but I stayed longer. And like, you're right, the amount of time it took me to rebuild my self esteem. Yep. Because when you have multiple people telling you over and over again, you a shit basically, right? Yeah, seriously, it's it is traumatic. And so that's the reason why I'm here. And that's why these conversations are so important. So people like us can not feel alone, but also understand how to see the signs and be like, You know what? Jesus did all he could for you to tap out right here

Dr. Brenda Carter  29:06  

And that's the thing, right? Because it's also like built being with a like in a relationship with one won't do another one will. There you're we're in a time period where we have more options than what we've had in the past. And you have to know that to see those options. But sometimes if you allow the voice of that negativity to continue in your mind, you won't be able to see the options because you stayed too long. Right? Realize how powerful you were if you had a left went somewhere else that will at least get you to that next bracket that you're trying to get to and give you the reward and the output that you were supposed to get. So that's an that's the danger of staying in a place too long. Right? And of course, you know, our family we was always taught like do your work, keep your head down and some I noticed you never happened. Rise. Yeah, they tried it. Yes. But here's the thing, you ain't gotta do that you miss in a bag if you don't if you don't know what's going on out there, because when I say that another another will, it will come with a 30k 1000. All right, I'm just saying,

Kandice Whitaker  30:16  

Okay, well, we come back from this break down what we're going to talk about, I definitely love talking to people about secure in their bag, because the truth of the matter is, that's the quickest way to a raise and promotion. Facts! We're gonna put a paper clip right here. We'll be back.

So tell me, are you enjoying the show? Gone ahead and rate us five stars and leave a comment. Now back to the show. 

All right, y'all, we are back in the happy hour lounge with my girl Brenda Carter. We are acting a whole fool today, y'all. But that's what we do. Educatedly ignite. You know what, though? One thing I didn't ask you. And I think it is worth saying for the people who are listening, if they're an employer, or if they work for an employer in Dei, right, for trying to be more inclusive. How can they help? How can they be meaningful allies? As opposed to okay, we check the DEI box?

Dr. Brenda Carter  31:17  

Yeah. I think the first thing is be willing to keep it 100 with yourself, be honest with yourself. What I mean by that is if in times past things have been reported, and people have been protected, who were the perpetrators? Be honest with yourself about that and start having conversations with the right powers that be to figure out how do I correct that because no one's going to trust you. If you don't correct that. That's number one. And number two, those types of behaviors, if there is a system that is still rewarding them for those types of behaviors, or there is no accountability, right, what'll happen is it will continue because there's nothing there that says we're making a change. The other thing is, is that you have to make yourself familiar with the experiences of the different employee groups that make up your company, right? So and when I say make yourself familiar, don't just take information just to take information just to take information just to take information, right, you shouldn't always be in data collection mode, but you should be leveraging that data to really get familiar with what is the unspoken culture that is happening in your company? Because there's always two cultures, there's always the tale of two cities, right? So you have the culture that stated that, you know, people may be in corporate feel, but maybe frontline, they don't get a chance to experience that you need to know what that looks like. And you need to gauge how far away are we from where we want to be. The other thing is, you need to take a look at your managers and your leaders and how they're interacting in the day to day because that also drives culture. And oftentimes, we just do like unconscious bias training, and different things like that. But that doesn't change behavior. You when you look at them, is not just wagging your finger and saying like slapping their hand and saying like, what are you doing, don't do this, you really need to provide for them the capabilities, show them how how to manage conflict, how to build a team how to leverage differences, right? Because if you don't equip them, they're not going to know how to do it. And if it's not important to you, it's not going to be important to them. So those are just like some tidbits that I would say if you're really trying to be inclusive, start there.

Kandice Whitaker  33:39  

I love how you said that. But it kind of brings to mind when you said Be mindful of the complaints that have been leveraged in the past but be honest, right? I would take it a step further to say as a non professional if you ignore it silences acceptance. Yep, sure that's making you complicit. Yep.

Dr. Brenda Carter  33:59  

And turning the other way. That's not an ali, that that's, that's not an accident. That's passive aggressive enemy. Right. And so when I do get this question a lot in terms of how do I be an advocate? How do I be an ali is the same model that we hear when we're in the airport. If you see something, say something. Now, you may choose to say it at different times. But please make sure you say something. The biggest thing is that like, you'll something will go on and nobody says anything ever.

Kandice Whitaker  34:31  

Well, I think this goes to my second point about what you said. You said Be familiar with experiences, something like that that happened in the company. But I don't want you to just see it. Be empathetic to it. Response. Yeah, they'll just be like, Oh, that's sad. No, no, my good,

Dr. Brenda Carter  34:49  

right? Because like I can tell you I can't tell you how many times like I'll hear something and it may be like and I know that the intent isn't bad but it it is my duty to course correct you. So if let's just take for an example, like diverse suppliers, right, and you have like a lot of minorities and black and Latino people starting up their businesses, and then wanting to get the bigger contracts. And so sitting on the opposite end, I may hear well, you know, we do want to go with this particular one, but they don't have the equipment. And they don't have the polish of perhaps this particular company, who is maybe White owned or whatever, right, but they have the skill, they just don't have the equipment. And one of my push backs is that, of course, they're not going to have that because that other company didn't have it, when they first started, you are talking about a 20 year run that these other companies have not had. And it's not that they cannot do the job, they have not been given the opportunity matters. And that's so you can expect for a small business to run at full scale, like a mid sized business and pick them up and say, Oh, well, we don't want them because I challenge you to think a little bit further to say, Well wait a minute, the same way. We gave them a chance also many years ago, and we ended up allowing them and helping them to scale. Maybe we should also give these opportunities to these other groups of people who are doing the same thing. And they still bring a good product.

Kandice Whitaker  36:30  

Exactly. compare apples to apples, not apples to oranges. Yes, yes. Sometimes I get frustrated when you have to make these very, like obvious data points to people like are you serious?

Dr. Brenda Carter  36:41  

Yes. I can't tell you how many times I have to look away so that way, it'll see the faith that clearly for me. Like I drop something, you know, I kind of like somebody's talking to me, and I'll just look away. Because I have this like this look on my face. Like,

Kandice Whitaker  37:03  

don't have no filter baby like mine. I be Like really?

Dr. Brenda Carter  37:06  

And so then I have to go like so. I gotta literally think about it. Right. And I got it. Only thing that comes out is so let me ask you this.

Kandice Whitaker  37:17  

My phrase when I was trying to get my thoughts together was I'm confused. And it got to the point where my co workers they would be rolling. They'd be like, oh, Lord Kandice is confused about something.

Dr. Brenda Carter  37:30  

Yes, yes. It's that's mine. The this let me ask you this. And when I go, so yeah, that means I'm about to I'm about to really dig in.

Kandice Whitaker  37:41  

And I'm going in for the kill is I'm confused. Yeah, my understanding was,

Dr. Brenda Carter  37:46  

yeah, so So let me ask you this. If you're wrong, yeah. Yeah.

Kandice Whitaker  37:54  

All right. So earlier in the last break, we were talking about toxic work environments and securing your bag. I'm going to drop it probably before this podcast airs. But I've always said the quickest way to raise a promotion is just getting another job. Yeah. And there are a number of reasons why you want to do that, you know, millennials and Gen X's, we get a bad name for job hopping, even though you know, we have no vested interest in really staying right. So I'd love to hear your thoughts on securing your bag, leaving a toxic work environment. That could be one of many reasons.

Dr. Brenda Carter  38:32  

Yes, I believe in bunny hop, Bunny Hop, drop, top duece.

Kandice Whitaker  38:36  

Get your corporate hoe on, oh, hey,

Dr. Brenda Carter  38:40  

but here's the reason why. Because Long gone are the days where corporate shows their commitment to you long term.

Kandice Whitaker  38:48  

Oh, Where is the Organ. Just like that,

Dr. Brenda Carter  38:53  

like, that's gone. Right? So you, you can't lay off 1000s of workers in a day, but they want me to give you years of dedication all for me to get to year 1920. And you say, Oh, we're downsizing. Goodbye. No. And the other thing.

Kandice Whitaker  39:09  

Tried me and now you know me, come on, allow me to reintroduce myself.

Dr. Brenda Carter  39:13  

But here's the thing. The other thing is, is that when you look at your peers, and you see them moving at a faster rate than you you need to know it's time for you to move so you can get what you want. It's

Kandice Whitaker  39:29  

just told us you got to know when to hold em.

Dr. Brenda Carter  39:35  

that's the thing, right? Like, if you know you want to be an executive like let's just take a step back and look at this from a career strategy standpoint. You know, you want to get to a point Ah, but you are in a place that is holding you at point B for a very long period of time. The only logical option is to leave that point and get on with the next track that will get you to put Ah, so if you have to take a transfer or something like that, do what you got to do because your goal is to get to a point. Ah, now if you are in a company where you feel like man, I am fulfilled, I am doing what I want, then that's fine. You don't have to leave if you don't want to write but if you know that you have goals, or maybe you just got bills, I mean, because them student loans ain't no joke, right? Uncle Joe Come on, but it but I'm gonna wait for him. But what I'm gonna do is if corporate is gonna give me that big bag, and we talk about generational wealth, and they're gonna give me that equity and the formula okay, and he's gonna give me the sign on bonuses where I too can be like, what was that the Christmas show? The one where he ended up getting super mad because his boss stiffed him on the on the bonus. The Grizz walls Christmas or whatever, but but those big bonuses well, you used to be seen like the middle aged white men back in the 90s driving a nice car and they got the nice house. And oh, I'm building this pool in the back. Well, I took my family on a vacation to Greece. That's because they're getting big ass bonuses.

Kandice Whitaker  41:07  

We don't count on bonuses, baby. I tell people don't ever count on those. You know why? Because you will come up short. That's objective.

Dr. Brenda Carter  41:15  

Yes. So what I'm saying is is that there's the candy is out there them yams is out there. Okay. Go get some yams. Okay? Go get them yams. Season them up with the chalone everything else that you know to do. But what I'm saying is, is that if you are at a place and they're not giving you what you know you can do and you have the track record the credibility, the work to do it. Start flirting, put your stuff out there because I promise you when that recruiter hit you want them first couple of zeros that are greater than the one that you begun. Oh, baby, you won't come back and you go right into the podcast and be like, Yes, I did it.

Kandice Whitaker  41:58  

I know. That's right. We got a testimony, testimony testimony

This has been an amazing podcast. I was so glad you were able to come and talk to our family here in the lounge, have a little sip, have a wonderful conversation about the importance of dei and Equity and Inclusion not just for the seasoned diaspora it is for the greater good of society. So thank you so much. Thank you for Dr. Brenda Carter.

Dr. Brenda Carter  42:34  

Thank you for having me. This has been fun. I mean like I said we go way back let me back so you know I'm saying but it was just it was good vibes.

Kandice Whitaker  42:42  

Alright fam we out.  Wasn't that a great interview? Hold up before you grab your hat and head out. Make your way to and join the Kandice with the K Whitaker's Facebook group. That's where you can find our free Happy Hour community, luxuriating enchanting, thank you for listening. And if you enjoyed the show, please leave a review. That's how we keep the lights on. If you're on Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, feel free to shoot me a message and say Hey, girl, hey, I'm Candice with the K Whitaker and I would love to hear from you. And with that, I love you. And I mean, you know why? Because there are people in the world who hate for no reason I choose to love for no reason. I believe as the great Martin Luther King Jr. said pain is too great a burden to bear and I choose to love Peace y'all be great.

Transcribed by

Dr. Brenda Carter
DEI Realities
Diversity Inc. Survey
Returning to the Office/ Work Stress
Hybrid Working
Toxic Work Behavior
The unique Black experience
Meaningful Allies
Minority Business Opportunities
Job Hopping