Understanding Diversity, Inclusion And Workplace Culture With Stacey Gordon

As leaders and entrepreneurs, we must be aware of work ethics and policies that would benefit the organization and make the site a better workplace for us and our employees. In this episode, the CEO of Rework Work, Stacey Gordon discusses diversity, equity, inclusion and workplace culture. She shares how she started in her career and what paved her way into pursuing the passion she has right now. Together with Dr. Diane Hamilton, Stacey delves into attaining a high level of business success. An executive advisor and diversity strategist, Stacey is the creator of the number one resume course at LinkedIn learning and an unconscious bias course which has consistently been the second-highest viewed course on the platform. Join in and learn what works in your organization, strategies you must focus on and the importance of a roadmap in your professional journey.

TTL 870 Stacey Gordon | Diversity And Inclusion


I’m so glad you joined us because we have Stacey Gordon here. Stacey is the author of UNBIAS: Addressing Unconscious Bias at Work. She’s also the CEO of Rework Work. She helps people understand diversity, equity and inclusion. This is going to be a really hot topic to discuss bias in the workplace.

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Understanding Diversity, Inclusion And Workplace Culture With Stacey Gordon

I’m here with Stacey Gordon. She is the author of the book UNBIAS: Addressing Unconscious Bias at Work, leading at the intersection of diversity inclusion, workplace culture and her role as Executive Advisor and Diversity Specialist. She coaches and councils executive leaders on DEI strategies for business while offering a no-nonsense approach to education for the broader employee population. It’s so nice to have you here, Stacey.

Thank you.

I was looking forward to this. Bias ties into the stuff I study in terms of perception and so much more. I can’t think of a better time to be touching on this topic. You are right in with everybody that’s very interested in this. I know you are the creator of the second, most viewed course across the LinkedIn Learning platform. That’s amazing. You have more than a million unique learners. From having written so many different courses myself, that’s quite a feat, congratulations.

It’s still trending. Someone just messaged me and said that course is trending along with the other two. The top three are all about unconscious bias. One is about diversity, inclusion and belonging. The other is with Arianna Huffington and Verna Myers. It’s also about unconscious bias in the workplace, diversity and inclusion. It shows that is what everyone is paying attention to because when you think about cross LinkedIn learning, they’ve got thousands of courses and topics that are all about unconscious bias and diversity.

Of course, you wrote with Arianna. How did that come to be?

No, I didn’t write that one with her. That one just happens to be. It’s part of a learning path. A group of us have about seven different courses on various topics so LinkedIn Learning grouped them all and created a learning path.

I want to talk to you about LinkedIn Learning but I want to get a background on you for people who aren’t familiar with how you reached this level of success. How did you get to this level?

You are asking how did I get this level of success? Am I there?

I’m sure you will keep going but how did you get here so far?

TTL 870 Stacey Gordon | Diversity And Inclusion
UNBIAS: Addressing Unconscious Bias at Work

I started recruiting. Every job I have ever had a voice in has some aspect of recruiting, even if it wasn’t my veins day job. I somehow ended up weaseling my way in and taking it over. I always enjoyed the aspect of working with people and helping to put people into places that they enjoy. I actually moved into focusing on diversity, equity and inclusion because what I was seeing in recruiting was that people weren’t able to get the jobs that they enjoy because they were female, black, Latina. It was disheartening to see people get rejected again for things that are completely outside of their control, like the color of their skin or their gender. That is what spurred me to realize that the actual company, the leaders needed education and the policies, practices and procedures need to change.

I definitely think that there are a lot that has been brought to the forefront. As the CEO of Rework, you help people understand diversity, equity and inclusion based on what you have learned through your work. Tell me a little bit about Rework.

We are a full-service consulting company. We are working with CEOs of executive teams, their HR teams, senior leaders. We are helping them to see why DEI matters, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. I see a lot of acronyms, DEI, DIB, DEIJ. It’s always diversity, equity, inclusion, B is Belonging and J is Justice. Any way that you see those, that’s what it is. It’s just trying to hone in on the strategies that companies are working with and embedding DEI into those strategies. We are not trying to create new strategies. We are trying to say, “Look at the strategy you already have. It’s missing something. It’s not fulfilling its full purpose.”

Instead of having, for the lack of a better term, “Jerry rigged it.” You have to go back and fix it. It’s like, “Let’s do it right from the beginning. Let’s look at your mission, your values and these things that you are working off of and let’s make sure that when you say that you want diversity, you really mean that.” Most people, when they say diversity, they are just talking about race and gender but they are not talking about ability and not hiring people with disabilities. They are still discriminating against older workers at alarming rates so there’s ageism at work and nothing is being done about that. It’s one of those things that discrimination seems to be quite okay with everyone.

I know what you mean. When we talk about it, we forget how many groups are discriminated against. Your company is Rework Work and you have done some great things as you are trying to reduce bias in everything that you have done. I think it’s interesting to look at the thirst for this knowledge. Going back to LinkedIn Learning, what made you interested in creating a course there?

What made me interested in it is the idea that I realized everyone needs this information. As much as I enjoy the work that I do, I don’t like sounding like a broken record. When there’s information that is pretty much the same that I have to keep repeating over and over again, the first thing I want to do is figure out how can I put it in a book, videotape it, record it, do something so that I don’t have to keep repeating it. What I have found is that even in creating that course, it was a very difficult process because I had to distill it down. There are a lot of things that are missing from that course. I am quite well aware. I get emails all the time from people who say, “You didn’t talk about people with disabilities. You didn’t talk about this and that.” I’m like, “I know. Let me tell you, there is so much fodder on the cutting room floor.”

I can imagine. This is obviously hitting a nerve and you have worked with so many companies, American Express, ADP, Kia Motors, Hewlett Packard, Walmart, GE. You have a serious group of people but of course, you have your MBA from Pepperdine. You’ve got quite a background as far as education. I have had a lot of different people I have talked to on the show. 1,400 to 1,500 people, whatever how many I have interviewed, some of them are diversity experts. I have found that most of them are women of color and a few men. Do you think you need to be a woman of color to get people to listen to you on this topic? I think it’s interesting.

Absolutely not. I might argue that being a woman of color on this topic sometimes makes people listen to you less because the people that need to listen to me are the people in power. In most of the companies that I have worked with, those are white men. I haven’t worked with a female CEO yet. Of all the people that need to hear me and I get a lot of these backhanded comments from individuals who will message me and will tell me, “I listened to your session on Unconscious Bias. I participated in one of your workshops. It was actually interesting.” I have had people even tell me, “I thought this was going to be crap but it was good.”

It’s funny because I have had a lot of experts on where the topic can sound dry or they are like, “We’ve got Toby from HR coming in from the office.” They don’t want to have that but this is. You mentioned unconscious bias. That’s such a huge topic. We hear a lot about things, you have seen on Facebook or you are on CNN or Fox getting whatever it is that you are reinforcing, whatever you already want to think as it is. Do you think that social media and the news are making it harder?

[bctt tweet=”Some things are completely outside of our control, like the color of our skin or our gender.” via=”no”]

Yes, and no, because you choose what you listen to and what you pay attention to.

Is it why we do get confirmation biased because we keep choosing?

This is why we do the education because you don’t realize you are human. Until we interrupt that thought process and then you realize, “I am doing this. Maybe I should broaden my horizons.” If I think about my LinkedIn feed as an example, it is different now than it was several years ago. Nowadays, I get messages from people in different languages and articles. I get articles and different things that I would not normally see. Why? It’s because the algorithm is only going to keep giving you what you click on. In the beginning, it is all equal. They will just send you things.

What happens is as you curate your feed and the people that you are around, not just obviously on LinkedIn but especially on Facebook. The more that you click on certain people’s information or news outlet’s information, the more the algorithm says, “This is what you want so we will give you more.” They don’t care about giving you data. They care about getting clicks. If we understand that, then we realize that this isn’t being curated to make us educated. It’s being curated to make them money.

Recognizing that is one thing but then a lot of people feel that sense of comfort, “I knew I was right. I knew it was this way.” People don’t know what they don’t know sometimes. Taking your classes and reading your book can help them recognize that. How do we identify bias, to begin with?

You’ve got to be aware of it. You can’t identify it if you are not aware. If you are in that space where you are, as you said comfortable and you are just looking at the same old-same old, that would be the first thing. You’ve got to have an honest conversation with yourself and ask yourself, “Have I looked at news media, talk to somebody different from me, been somewhere that’s different, done something differently?” If the answer is no, then you are stuck in that loop, then you’ve got to say, “I am going to deliberately do something different.” What does that do something different? There are so many different options for you.

I’m going to use this example but I don’t want to use the person’s name. There’s somebody who is very conservative and all they did was watch Fox News. We would have these conversations so hard during the election. The election cycle, especially when Donald Trump was in office. We had to agree to disagree because all I wanted to do was watch Fox News. The thing is, I persisted. We talked more and finally, she started paying attention to other news outlets, started reading a little bit more and looking at other things. Does she change her opinion 100%? Of course not, but she’s realizing that the information she has been getting is one-sided.

A lot of that is entertainment. People are looking at some of this stuff thinking it’s news. I don’t even know what news is. I don’t know where you go for that anymore. It’s a different time.

You don’t have to think. There is no one place to go. If you want to be informed, educated and interrupt bias, you have to go to several places. You need to go look at MSNBC, NPR, Fox News and World News Network, all the different things. I know when I was in New York, I used to watch Channel One or something. A news station that I don’t get here in Los Angeles. That station always had a lot more global information and worldly news. I don’t get that as much anymore. Now, if I want it, I have to be deliberate about going to check news sites. If you go to Times.co.uk instead of dot-com, you get a completely different headline and spin on the exact same news stories, even being in that way and going to see how is the same news outlet giving information to different countries.

TTL 870 Stacey Gordon | Diversity And Inclusion
Diversity And Inclusion: Leadership is about awareness and education because the more that we pay attention, the more we learn what needs to change.


During the elections, my husband and I would go back and forth between Fox and CNN just to see the exact same thing turned completely in different directions. I found it fascinating. I don’t think a lot of people want to have that sense that they don’t know. What they thought is possibly not completely accurate. How do you get them over that uneasy feeling?

It is about moving to a growth mindset. Getting away from defensiveness and this idea that I don’t want to do things differently because I’m going to get it wrong, say it wrong or I’m going to be challenged and moving into a mindset of, “I know I’m going to say it wrong and get it wrong but that’s okay because I’m human, we all get it wrong sometimes and I want to learn.” It’s also role modeling them. If you are in a comfort zone where everyone is in that defensiveness mindset, no one is going to want to change but once you start talking to people who behave, speak and do things differently than you, then you see that it is okay to do this. This person did faltering so they didn’t spontaneously combust.

It’s very hard in the workplace. I have worked in industries that were predominantly all-white guy building. I would be the only female. Sometimes they will say things that seem very madmen time, even in nowaday’s day and age. There are so many things on the news about how you can’t say this and that. I see it a lot in smaller companies where they don’t have big HR departments that they think, “Who’s going to say anything? I have a sense of humor.” Do you see a lot of that still?

All the time. We are constantly fighting them. I think the earlier question you asked was how do you interrupt the bias? How do you get to this place where we can start to do things a little differently? I have to keep saying it is about awareness and education. I was talking to a senior leader who says that he doesn’t leave the country and when he’s not working, he’s with his kids. He’s a family values type of guy and he’s very proud of that.

I had to explain to him, I said, “I’m not saying don’t be proud of that but you have to also hear the judgment in what you are saying. You are a family values type of guy. What does that mean for other people who may be not married, don’t have children or might be gay? You see the judgment in that. You see how that gets perpetuated down in everything that you look at. You look at it through this lens of family values. That family values as good and anything else is bad.”

Are we getting this from religion or media? Where are we getting this?

We are getting it from everywhere. That’s what makes us hard because you are getting hit from everywhere. Sometimes to change your viewpoint means that you do have to draw a hard line with people who were going to look at you and go, “What’s wrong with you? You are soft, a bit too peasy and not a family values guy.” We are consistently socialized to stay in our boxes. We all have a box and we are socialized to stay there. Getting out of that box requires effort.

It brings to mind a conversation I had with Steve Forbes about this when he was on the show. I have talked to him other times about this. He used to be able to talk politics at dinner parties and have a good little discussion and then now you bring it up, and the party is over. To me, it’s like everything has gotten to that level of tension in the world. You see such anger in the postings on social media, “I’m right. You are wrong.” You get a lot of I’m right, you are wrong in religious discussions but you are getting it so much in political discussions. It seems like everything is getting worse. Are you finding it’s getting worse or getting better? Where is it going?

It’s not getting worse but it’s getting noticed. All of this was happening before.

[bctt tweet=”Reduce bias in everything that you do.” via=”no”]

Are people just saying it out loud more or what?

Definitely because if you ask a person of color, black, Latino or Asian person, nothing has changed for us.

It’s the rest of the world to figure it out.

It’s changed for others. They were like, “Why are we talking about this? I get accused of coming into a company and doing a witch hunt or stirring things up.” I’m like, “I’m not doing any of those things. Those things were here before. The only thing I’m doing is coming in now and trying to provide you with tools to address it before it gets out of hand.” If you don’t address it and you keep sticking your head in the sand, we are going to have a major issue. You used to see it with Blizzard Entertainment. Their CEO put his foot in his mouth as it comes to the sexual harassment lawsuit. I used to work for Blizzard back in the day.

Fox is putting a female in the CEO position after all that they were going through. I think that once something comes out, you can’t unsay it anymore and it will haunt you. I sat across from one of the big bosses at a dinner at a function one night. The one seat over from him was the new hire, who was a female of color, who he had hired for a position. Right there, she could have heard him and with people all around him, he said, “We needed to get a black woman so we hired her.” It’s like she had no other value. I’m mad at myself and to this day that I didn’t say anything. A lot of people don’t want to be the person who brings it out and has to be put on the spot when you are at dinner parties and you are in the middle of all this. I have seen other people do that. “Women, how they are?” I have heard them say that.

There’s a way to do it after we start to talk about being an ally. People will be like, “How do I be an ally?” It’s to show up and, at that moment, that’s your moment to say something.

I should have said something right then?

Definitely, right then but it might not have been you and your place because you are a female. It probably was the place of another white male to say it. That would have been the most effective.

He said it to a Latino man and a white man and neither of them said anything either.

TTL 870 Stacey Gordon | Diversity And Inclusion
Diversity And Inclusion: When they say diversity, most people just mean race and gender, but they’re not talking about ability.


It doesn’t have to be confrontational. You don’t have to say, “I can’t believe you said that. That’s just so rude.”

What would you say if you were a white guy sitting next to him?

You might say like, “You didn’t hire this person because she actually had the skill for the job?”

He might have got, “Sure, she does.”

It’s just even in that moment, you are making the point and you can call it the conversation. You have to start somewhere. You’ve got to at least call it out because if you don’t say anything, it continues to go over. Silence is consent.

I was just so stunned that someone would say something like that, especially, she’s right next to him saying this. It’s bad enough if she wasn’t but either way, I couldn’t imagine why he thought that was okay to do?

That’s the other thing too, is that a lot of things do happen at the moment and you just can’t do anything because you are stunned into silence to like, “Did this person just say this?” If you have the opportunity, you can go back to it later. Obviously, you were at a dinner party, you are probably not going to see this person again but if this was a team meeting, team lunch or something, you might have been stunned at that moment. There might be an opportunity later in the day or even the next day and I’m going to give it the guys named, I will call him John to say, “John, yesterday at dinner, you commented Lisa and her higher. I wanted to let you know that really sat with me. It bothered me. Let me tell you why,” or even before “let me tell you why,” just say, “This is what I heard you say.”

Do you tell Lisa what he said if she didn’t hear it?

No, there’s no reason to. How is that going to help her? He’s the one who needs to understand that what he said was inappropriate so you can say, “Did I hear you correctly? Is that what you said?” You give the person an opportunity to maybe even correct themselves. Understand and say, “What were you trying to convey with that when you set it?” You just do it from the point of view of it. “It bothered me and I don’t think it was inappropriate.”

[bctt tweet=”Many things happen at the moment, and you just can’t do anything at the moment.” via=”no”]

I have written about emotional intelligence, curiosity and perception. As I wrote some of the things I have written, I would think, “The people who need this aren’t the people who are going to recognize that they need it.” I think emotional intelligence is such a hot topic. I had Daniel Goleman on the show. I remember thinking, “How are you going to get these people interested?” It’s getting people interested in the business setting if you get leaders to buy-in for the need of it and the culture comes down from the top. If you’ve got a leader at the top who just doesn’t get it, is there hope for the culture of the organization?

There is hope for the leader. That is specifically what we do. We have a couple of different programs that we have where we work with the CEO and their senior leadership team. We provide them with a psychometric assessment and have them work off of that. It’s helpful because it gives us a starting point and something to talk to. What we find is when we do these, we then do one-on-one sessions with each leader. We will find that sometimes it is like hitting your head against a brick wall like, “How many ways can I try this? What do I have to say to this person?”

What I have found works is empathy, where there are a lot of talk about the empathetic leader. What we see is that when we can compare it, correlate it to something in their life that they understand and that frustrated them, we can capture that moment of frustration then turn it around and say, “A hot seat. Do you feel that? That’s what we are talking about here. When you say this, this is what that person feels.”

Empathy is such a big part of emotional intelligence. That’s a lot of what I talk to people about is developing that through asking questions, which we are back to curiosity again. We have to feel that sense that we can ask questions and explore to build that empathy. I have had Francesca Gino on the show and she did a great piece for HBR about the case for curiosity. That can be a big starting point of recognizing that people can feel that psychological safety to ask questions. Are you seeing a lot of that?

Definitely. Right before this, I was working in a learning lab on psychological safety for a client and there are so many steps. I think this is both an easy and a difficult thing to do because a lot of what we do, diversity, equity and inclusion, is not necessarily a separate topic. What we are doing is weaving together all of these professional development pieces. We are talking about emotional intelligence, courage, curiosity, foundational leadership development, listening skills and empathy.

We have to take all of these things and put them together, which is what makes this hard. What it really is, is becoming an authentic leader that understands all of these pieces of the puzzle. Most of these leaders got the puzzle but they don’t have all the pieces. Our goal is to bring those pieces together and help them see the full picture of the leadership that they are supposed to be modeling and what that does to the company, which is why we work with the senior leader and the CEO as a team. We actually do a group profile as well that shows them how they show up to their company.

That’s interesting because there are a lot of policies within companies that can allow bias behavior. You say we need to place accountability for that. What kind of policies have you seen that allow bias behavior?

Every single policy that’s on the books. Think about it, every policy is being a policy.

Explain that. Which ones are negative?

TTL 870 Stacey Gordon | Diversity And Inclusion
Diversity And Inclusion: When people say something inappropriate, allow them to correct themselves.


What I’m saying is that every policy, at some point, is enacted by a person. That person is biased. It’s going to be done in a biased way. If your policy is that we conduct exit interviews before a person leaves the job but if you only conduct exit interviews on the people who have left voluntarily and not on the people who you have fired but we have also noticed that you are firing all the black people, you have a biased policy. It’s not the policy itself that’s biased. It’s the people who were enforcing the policy. It’s about looking at the behaviors, which is why it just always keeps coming back to leader behavior, management training and education for the entire workforce.

As you are saying that, I’m thinking of companies I have worked for where they would not fire anyone of color no matter how bad they would be because they were worried about the race card, as they put it, not my words. That’s how they would say, “We can’t fire her for this reason.” What do you say to leaders who think they are in fear that they can’t fire people just for that reason?

What they need to do is let’s look at, “Do we have a policy?” A lot of the reasons that they have problems with firing, hiring and all of that is because they don’t actually have a policy that puts these processes in place. When you hire off of gut-feel and you fire because you don’t like a person, that’s going to set you up for lawsuits. Large and small companies all have pockets where this is happening. No matter what policies they’ve got on the books, you can go into any company and you are going to find managers that are doing this. Those managers are liabilities for the company.

Let’s say these managers need to start having these authentic discussions about race, what does that look like?

We start with where are they? How interested are they in this topic? I know it sounds simple but we have to figure out, where are they on the spectrum? Are they in a place of like, “This is something we don’t need to talk about, it’s a waste of time, we’ve got other priorities and we don’t have money to spend on this,” or are they in a place of, “We understand it’s a problem but we don’t know how to fix it?” Are they in denial but there’s a problem at all? Depending upon where people are, the solution is going to be different. First, we have to dig in a little bit and see what are we dealing with? Of course, along the way, it’s always a mix. I like to start by preaching to the choir and working with the managers who get it because then they can role model that for others. If they get it and they are doing well, then we can use the carrot instead of the stick.

What do you say to the leaders, which I have heard from elder white men, who feel like there’s reverse discrimination, it’s not fair and you are paying for other people’s sins from the past that I don’t do this thing? Do you hear a lot of that?

I will use gender as an example. We want to increase gender diversity, which means we want to hire more women. We are trying to get to 50/50 women and men. The men now say, “This is reverse discrimination and ridiculous. You are biased against men. You are only hiring women.” First of all, they are not only hiring women. Second of all, they are creating new policies that are going to be better. When you create better policies, those policies aren’t applied just to the women, we applied them across the board, which means that everybody wins because now you have better policies. What we see is in areas where we are seeing that there are pay equity issues or there are discrimination issues, policies change and they focus on it. Everyone wins from that because the overall culture improves for everyone.

I had a guest on the show who was talking about women on boards and California had a certain percentage of women that had been on the boards by 2021 and we were discussing that. He says he works on all these boards where he tells them to just only hire women until they get to the 50/50 position. He says, “Through people retiring and whatever if you leave, you will never get to that point.” Do you think that that’s a good approach?

It can be. It depends on what are they bringing to the table. We have to go back to skill. There is this pervasive thought that somebody is only going to get a job because they are a woman or they are only getting the job because they are black and that is harmful. There’s not a woman, black person or Latina person on this planet who wants a job just because of the color of their skin or they have a vagina. That is not what we are trying to do. In situations where you do that, what ends up happening is those token people, individuals will quit because they are not respected, their opinions aren’t valued and they are basically window dressing. They know it. Everyone else knows it and it does more harm than good.

[bctt tweet=”If you don’t say anything, it just continues to go over and over again.” via=”no”]

I had recommended a wonderful black woman for a board position. She’s very well known. She got up and said something about, “I’m probably here because I’m a black female, I’m going to take full advantage,” and then she went on to talk about what needed to be done, but she called out the elephant in the room. I don’t know if that is why they picked her. That’s not why I recommended her but she talked like that. Is that a good way to start?

It can be. It’s all about who you are. For me, I can walk into a room and say something that maybe somebody else can’t. It’s knowing your audience and understanding, is there reluctance or resistance? Do you want to be in that situation? Do you want to be the only woman? Do you want to be the only black person? Sometimes yes. Sometimes no. Sometimes we are tired and just over it. “I’m not in the mood now. I don’t feel like fighting. I don’t want to do it.” We have to look at it because diversity without inclusion is tokenism.

When you decide you are going to plop somebody into a room so you can make it look more diverse, if you are not listening to that person, don’t intend to value their input, don’t want to hear their ideas, not going to let them lead a project and not going to make sure they are being paid equitably the same as everybody else that’s there, don’t bother.

In my experience, I have seen the pays are the same and everything is the same but if there’s underperformance, there’s a fear of firing somebody or sometimes, they are put into a position just for that sake. I don’t know if they know it or not. Maybe they will take it. In her case, she goes, “I’m happy to be here. Sorry if that’s the reason but I’m going to make the best of it.” There’s so much focus on Black Lives Matter in many things. Do you think everybody is gun shy? That’s probably not a good term to use.

It’s difficult to talk in platitudes and generalities. I try my best not to because it’s going to be different for different people. The thing people want to come to me and say is, “Let’s do unconscious bias education for everybody.” I’m like, “You probably do need it but let’s first figure that out.” Is everyone reluctant to hire people of color? Is everyone running out and hiring a chief diversity officer, and doing unconscious bias education? Maybe, maybe not. I hate to sound like a consultant but I am. That’s part of the problem.

Everyone wants to run out and either does an action or refrain from any action based upon a generality that may or may not have anything to do with their company, which is why when we get started, we are like before, I’m not going to come in and paint a broad brush over this. We need to find out how is your company working? I don’t give a crap what Google is doing now. You are not Google. What Coca-Cola is doing doesn’t help you. You might be in the beverage industry as well but they are a larger company than you.

These are the things everyone wants to come in and they ask, “Have you worked with X, Y, Z company because they are in the same industry?” We figured that you could help us if you have worked with them. You are not them. You have to stop looking in the rearview mirror at what other people have done and start doing some future casting about what is going to work specifically for your organization. That’s the hard part because people do want a roadmap. They want to be able to copy and paste from somewhere else. I’m telling you that is going to set you up for short-term success but long-term disappointment.

What are we getting different from your book on bias than we would get if we took the LinkedIn Learning class? Are we getting some kind of a roadmap? What are you aiming for with both of those things?

What they are getting is a roadmap that they can create for themselves, not one they have copied from somebody else. What we do is help people, especially in the book. The book has been trending as number one on Amazon under the category of business ethics, which is so interesting to me because we talk about the fact that there are three reasons to do DEI. You’ve got to look at the legal case, business case, which everyone knows the business case, profitability, etc. and then you’ve also got to look at the moral case, which is the right thing to do. There are three different things that we have to be looking at, not just one. When you look at that roadmap, most leaders have not taken the time to think about why they are bothering to do this in the first place. They want to go to the HR team or the chief diversity officer and say, “I wrote a check, go fix this thing over there.”

TTL 870 Stacey Gordon | Diversity And Inclusion
Diversity And Inclusion: No matter what policies they’ve got on the books, you can go into any company today and look at the tremendous amount of discrimination.


Ethics is such a fascinating topic. I teach it quite often at different universities and the subjectivity of it makes it a fascinating discussion. What I like about it is we are talking about some of these biases, the difference between ethics and law, and some of the things that are out there. Everything that you write about and all your course information are so helpful. A lot of people want to read your book or take your class. How would they find you to find out more?

Literally, if you google me, I pop up but rather than giving you my social media and all those different things, you can find them all at ReworkWork.com. Down in the footer, it’s got my LinkedIn, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and all the different things that we have. In Rework Work is where everything stems from. That’s just an easy way. You can find the book there as well.

Stacey, this has been so helpful. Many people can use your advice and I enjoyed having you on the show. Thank you.

Thank you so much. I appreciate the invitation.

You are welcome.

I would like to thank Stacey for being my guest. We get so many great guests and this is such a hot topic. It was something that Dr. Maja Zelihic and I looked at a lot in our work on perception. If you hadn’t realized that our book was out, it’s The Power of Perception. Also, we created the Perception Power Index, which can talk you through the steps of the perception process, which is an EPIC process. EPIC stands for Evaluate, Predict, Interpret and Correlate to come to your conclusions. A lot of what Stacey and I did talk about ties into the research that Dr. Maja and I came up with for the book. The book is very timely because bias, especially confirmation bias, is such a problem in the perception process.

When you can’t have that empathy to understand what the other person is, where they are coming from, it’s challenging. To us was a combination of IQ, EQ, CQ for Curiosity Quotient and CQ for Cultural Quotient that led to this whole thing that we call perception. We hear that perception is reality. If you only see things from your vantage point, then it’s very hard to know what you don’t know, and then it’s very hard to communicate well. A lot of that works with perception.

It ties in well to what Stacey was talking about of getting yourself out of that comfort zone of only having that confirmation bias of telling yourself the same things you have always wanted to hear. Sometimes, you might be off base or making mistakes and not even recognize them. There are a lot of work for people in the diversity and inclusion type space because a lot of us have just fallen into this comfort zone.

I think that our idea when we were writing The Power of Perception was to help global leaders to recognize that doing business in Africa, South America or the United States, everything was so different because of cultural norms and perceptions that could influence interactions. We did go through a lot to interview and from this show alone, I included a lot of content from people I have interviewed and others who are perception experts. Some of those are some great shows if you are interested in learning more about perception because it’s such an important topic in the workplace.

It just piggybacked a lot under the work that I had already done with curiosity and creating the Curiosity Code Index. If you go to DrDianeHamilton.com, you could drop down the menus at the top and either go to Perception or Curiosity information. In both of those spots, you can see the books and the assessments for both of those areas. If you are a consultant or if you want to get SHRM recertification credit and all that, it’s all available there on the sites. You can find it there. I hope you take some time to explore the Radio Station information on the site as well because we have had so many great guests on the show like Stacey. I hope you join us for the next episode of Take The Lead Radio.

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About Stacey Gordon

TTL 870 Stacey Gordon | Diversity And Inclusion

Stacey Gordon is the author of the book, UNBIAS: Addressing Unconscious Bias at Work which debuted at #1 on Amazon’s Hot New Release list and is also available at Barnes & Noble’s, and wherever books are sold. Stacey is the creator of the second most viewed course across the LinkedIn learning platform, surpassing more than 1 million unique learners, which also includes her popular resume course.

Her unconscious bias course has been translated into at least four languages and she has worked with people managers and executive leaders from companies such as American Express, ADP, Kia Motors, Hewlett Packard, Walmart, GE and many others to deliver notable sessions that support their D&I efforts. She earned her MBA from Pepperdine University Business School and her SHRM-SCP certification, as well as the SHRM Inclusive Workplace Culture Credential.

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