Sara Jones, CEO of InclusionPro joins Carolyn and Mark to talk about all things diversity, equity, and inclusion. Sara explains gaps in authenticity and perception and gives tech leaders everywhere new goals to strive for when it comes to company culture.
Episode Table of Contents[00:54] Why We Always Go Back to Company Culture
[10:38] How Leaders Respond to Employees’ Desire
[23:03] What Attracts People of Color to Apply
[30:54] Why Leaders Avoid the Important Things About Company Culture
[41:37] What Technology Can Never Replace
Episode Links and Resourceshttps://www.linkedin.com/in/saradansiejones/ (Sara Jones)
https://inclusionpro.com/free-ebook-inclusive-leadership-and-the-authenticity-gap/ (Inclusive Research and the Authenticity Gap)
https://www.ted.com/talks/sara_jones_my_story_of_love_and_loss_as_a_transracial_adoptee?language=en (TED Talk: My story of love and loss as a transracial adoptee)
https://www.suu.edu/news/2020/06/girls-techology-computing.html (SUU Women In Tech)
https://www.sorenson.com/ (Sorenson Communications)
https://arielalternatives.com/ (Ariel Alternatives)
https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0407362/ (Battlestar Galactica)
Why We Always Go Back to Company CultureCarolyn: Today I am really happy to have Sara Jones with us. Sara's a friend and we've spoken before. Almost all of our guests, even though we're talking about tech, they always go back to culture. We're going to talk about that with Sara today.
Sara Jones is the CEO of InclusionPro. She has over 20 years of experience in technology, business development, law, and leadership. You were a practicing attorney, right Sara?
Sara: For 10 years. I'm still recovering.
Carolyn: So as the CEO of InclusionPro, her mission is to guide leaders in building inclusive company culture that promotes team performance and team innovation. She's written a book recently called Inclusive Leadership and the Authenticity Gap, that we get to talk about today.
Sara: Thank you. And this is a fun opportunity for me to merge my love of technology with diversity, equity, and inclusion. As most folks know, it is pretty hard to do. I've had a couple of decades talking about this, so hopefully, we can share some really great learnings. Most importantly, I think for the folks listening that might be thinking "DEI again."
Carolyn: Which stands for?
Sara: Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. A lot of things have shifted. I think a lot of folks come to this type of conversation with the old thinking in mind. I'd just like to invite listeners to get rid of what you know. Just be open to hearing some new thoughts around diversity, equity, inclusions, and things that we're able to do now that we weren't able to do even five years ago. That's my little plug for saying, "Open-minded today?"
InclusionProCarolyn: That leads really nicely into my first question about being a recovering attorney, your love for tech. What inspired you to create InclusionPro?
Sara: InclusionPro is the end of a long 20-year journey having diversity, equity, inclusion as part of my personal career journey. Now, it may not be part of everyone's and a significant part of that is because I did start in patent law. Having an engineering degree and a law degree, put me in an industry that had only 5% women and people of color. I get a lot of people that are like, "Oh, our industry has no women." I'm like, "Yes, I've been there."
I actually know what it's like. It's not like I came from academia or some area that was just flushed with a lot of diversity. I have lived this and I understand the impacts of it at a very personal level. But I also have been an executive. I know the challenges of being an executive, those operational aspects and how it really works in business.
There's some big misalignments that can happen that we need to talk about when we get to this idea of authenticity. What is the individual need versus the larger organizational...