Increase Diversity Summit with Jenn Tardy

Jenn TardyIncrease Diversity Summit with Jenn Tardy

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Jenn Tardy returns to the podcast to update us on her diversity training experiences, and give a sneak preview (and an awesome discount!) to her upcoming Increase Diversity Summit Event.

Episode Transcript

Rob Stevenson 0:05
Welcome to Talk talent to me, a podcast featuring the most elite talent leaders on the front lines of modern recruitment.

Jenn Tardy 0:12
We actually want to understand the themes of someone’s life, we want to understand how they make decisions where they’re willing to take risks and what it looks like when they fail.

Rob Stevenson 0:22
no holds barred completely off the cuff interviews with directors of recruitment VPs of global talent, CHROs, and everyone in between.

Jenn Tardy 0:31
Once I went through the classes and the training and got the certifications through diversity and inclusion, I still felt like something was missing.

Talent Acquisition It’s a fantastic career, you are trusted by the organization. You get to work with the C suite and the security at the front desk and everybody in between and everybody knows you.

Rob Stevenson 0:52
I’m your host, Rob Stevenson. And you’re about to hear the best in the biz. talk down to me. Okay, hello, all of you. Wonderful recruiting munchkins out there in podcast land. It’s me Rob, back here with another episode of the show. I’m really excited about this one because I have on the show today, an old friend of the podcast we have recorded together a bunch of times, it’s always a ton of fun when we do she has had a ton of roles in the talent space, probably could be in some kind of cushy SVP of talent role right now if she wanted to be but she started her own consultancy to help companies and help talent operations, increase their awareness about their diversity hiring programs. Don’t let her name fool you because she was always there. Right when you need her Jen tardy. Welcome to the podcast. How the heck are you today?

Jenn Tardy 1:39
Thank you. I’m really excited. And as a quick side note, my dad used to always say tardy but never late. And I used to always tell people that tardy but never late.

Rob Stevenson 1:50
Let’s do you know, do you good on like a business card?

Jenn Tardy 1:53
Yes. My I think my dad, he he took it for himself, though. I don’t. I’m good. Yeah.

Rob Stevenson 1:58
you want to step outside the shadow of the shadow? Totally makes sense. Totally. But never late. I’m sorry, I should say Welcome back, we’ve probably done three or four at this point. But it’s always, it’s always a treat. So welcome back to the show. And we could go in any number of directions here. But I guess first, what has been going on over there at Jennifer tardy consulting

Jenn Tardy 2:21
you know, it’s so interesting, wow, you may have other organizations that are developing new products and lines and services, we have been working to consolidate, because we’ve had so many different offerings, because, you know, we geek out over trying to figure out how to help workplaces to increase diversity without harm. And we can have a whole conversation about that. But we realized that people were coming to our website looking for services, and it was they were sort of getting lost in all that they could do. So now we’ve spent this year streamlining it into one product offering, which is one roadmap. So here’s your if you truly want to increase diversity, and retention without harm, follow our roadmap. And that’s what we’ve been really we’ve been up to. And now we’re about to start talking about that more often now.

Rob Stevenson 3:16
Got it. So you had like a Starbucks menu of offerings that can be really intimidating if you’ve never been in a Starbucks before, right? And you’re like, Yeah, I just want coffee. I don’t know, help. And so the people who who came to your website, and they’re like, Well, we know we need help with diversity. But probably if you’re at that point, you don’t even know how you need to be helped, right?

Jenn Tardy 3:35
That was exactly what I was experiencing. I was waiting for organizations to say, Hey, Jen, here’s what we need. But what I realized a light bulb went off, they need Jen to say, based on what you’re experiencing, here’s exactly what you need to do what you need to do. Now, let’s figure out how we can get you here. And that power conversations have changed. And we’ve been able to more positively help organizations to do this work.

Rob Stevenson 4:02
So what is the streamlined offering? It sounds like it’s more of like a cradle to grave the entire process as opposed to an ala carte offering, is that right?

Jenn Tardy 4:11
Actually, you can do both. So the roadmap is the one offering. So it says when we bring you into our when we start a partnership together, we really want to think about how do we get your recruiters trained first. So we have a certification program for recruiters. Let’s get them trained first, and then let’s move over to train your hiring manager so that by the time your hiring managers are trained, you now have recruiters who can also help to guide the conversations in those kickoff meetings. And then in that same instance, while everyone’s being trained, let’s take our team of consultants and let’s analyze your data. Let’s find out exactly what’s happening within your organization that’s creating a barrier to increasing diversity in retention. And so once everyone’s done being trained, we now have a report that says this is the state of diversity recruiting at your company. And now we’re explaining this information to those who are on the frontlines who have already been trained. And in the process of all of this work, we actually have a communication strategy that’s embedded in this roadmap at different milestones that celebrate your successes. It’s like it because a lot of work happens within organizations in silos, and no one’s talking about the good work and employees need to understand all that’s going on. And so with this roadmap, it helps to do all of that, it really sets people up in different spaces, to learn what they need to do so that when the time is right, they can begin taking action to implement more easily.

Rob Stevenson 5:44
Make sense? So a more strategic organizational view in terms of okay, how do we message those? How do we celebrate those? How do we make sure this campaign remains sticky remains effective? And it’s not just a 90 minute workshop? And then back to business as usual?

Jenn Tardy 5:58
Exactly! And some organizations may say, Okay, well, we don’t really need our data analyzed, we’ve already done that before, what we really just need is our training managers to be our hiring managers to be trained. Okay, so from that standpoint, you can still see our roadmap where you can say, here’s where I am on the roadmap, and I only need this one thing. So that’s that ala carte piece of it, if they want to do it that way, they still have the option to do it.

Rob Stevenson 6:22
Okay, got it. I wanted to double hook on something you said a moment ago, you said increasing diversity without harm.

Jenn Tardy 6:30
Yes, you always pick up on this stuff. Yeah.

Rob Stevenson 6:35
I’m a professional after all. I’m not gonna I am though, in a non professional way, going to not ask a question and just say, increasing diversity without harm. Pause. To answer the non question.

Jenn Tardy 6:47
Got it. Got it. I’m with you, I’m with you. So I share with people often that our biggest competitor, so with our organization, where training and consulting firm, helping organizations increase diversity and retention, our biggest competitor is not other consulting companies. It’s the organization that tries to go at it on their own. They are our biggest competitor. And what happens is, they don’t realize that oftentimes, they’re inflicting more harm than good, even with positive intent. So harm can look like leaving people feeling tokenized, it can look like using ineffective language that causes backlash, it can look like having conversations, that leaves some people feeling like increasing diversity does not include me, right. And so we have a whole list of what harm can actually look like within organizations. But those are some of the easier examples to talk about. And so our goal is, when we do this work, we’re taking all of those things into account, to make sure that that this process of increasing diversity within your organization is also an inclusive process that brings everybody along in that process to

Rob Stevenson 8:04
is it possible to go through an overhaul like this, without some kind of discomfort?

Jenn Tardy 8:13
No change foundationally creates discomfort. And so, right. And so when you ask when, when I’m able to answer that question that way, and then we begin to look at this idea of increasing diversity, or increasing representation in spaces where people are underrepresented. There’s a level of change there, there’s a level of change in action, there’s a level of change and who’s accountable for what, and so with all of that change, it’s the change that creates the discomfort. It’s not the actions that you have to take. It’s the fact that things are changing. And so if I can help people to understand that, yes, this will be there will be a level of discomfort. But I’m going to give you the tools to navigate that discomfort. I’m going to tell you upfront, where you’re likely to feel uncomfortable in this work. And I’m going to give you the tools to help to navigate that along the way too.

Rob Stevenson 9:10
So the reason I asked about the discomfort piece is because how much discomfort is acceptable, and what is the line between discomfort and harm?

Jenn Tardy 9:23
How much discomfort is acceptable? Wow, that’s a that’s a very philosophical question. You know, Rob, I always say of all the podcasts that I’ve been on, you asked some of the best questions, and I can appreciate that too.

Rob Stevenson 9:37
In your face chat and cheese. I love those guys.

Jenn Tardy 9:43
You’re so funny. Okay, so to me, the answer to that question will be very individualized. It depends on someone’s capacity for for handling, navigating and managing their own level of discomfort. And where’s the line between discomfort and harm. So it’s interesting before you, before we press record, you and I were having a conversation about the idea of calling out people, right. So this is a great example, you know, discomfort versus harm, in some instances. So number one, a team JATC, we don’t hold the philosophy of, we need to call people out in order to do this work effectively, it does not mean that calling people out is a harmful thing to do. So there are consultants that they do take on, they do hold the philosophy of yes, we have to call people out and that’s fine. That’s their ministry to do that work. It’s just not what we hold, we hold calling people in. And so this idea of an example of when something can go from we you have to get comfortable with being uncomfortable, and now we’re going to call people out sometimes you can just go too far with it. And the but the biggest point here is you don’t want to lose people in the process. How do we do this work bringing more people along. And what we’ve seen to to work well, is the idea of calling people in

Rob Stevenson 11:10
the calling in is is important, because I think what stops a lot of people from wanting to undergo, you know, this kind of training from wanting to even speak about this stuff is this fear that they’re going to be called out or that they’re going to be made to feel like a bad person, or it’s like, look, I’m I swear I’m not racist, like I don’t know, this is just a thought I had, right. And there’s that fear, and that you’re going to have to get beat up a little bit to correct some of these behaviors. And that’s not necessarily the case.

Jenn Tardy 11:40
Not at all, not at all, at least not in the environment that we try to cultivate. So again, we’re trying to create safe spaces where people can say things from the standpoint of trying to learn and sometimes, I mean, I don’t know about you, but we weren’t born with the best with like, amazing communication skills. And so sometimes, we can only say it the best way that we can say, and so what I believe my job is in working to be a strong facilitator, which if you don’t have strong facilitators and spaces like this, you can create more harm than good, right? But if let’s say you were to make a comment, and that comment, would normally be taken in a very negative context, my responsibility as the facilitator is to ask more questions to make sure that I could understand the intent of what you were saying. And if I can even support it by saying, Okay, I understand what you’re saying, is this what you’re trying to say right here, and I can say it in a way that has a more positive reflection to it. So if I’m supporting you in your journey, and you feel supported in your journey to communicate, then more people are going to witness that and more people are going to lean in with their questions, too. And that’s what I want to see happen, versus people pulling me to the side after and whispering their questions to me. Yes, because that means that in the context of the group, you really didn’t feel safe enough to ask your question, then,

Rob Stevenson 13:00
does that happen a lot to people sort of like mill around during break time? They’re like, Hey, John, can I quickly ask you like, blah, blah, blah?

Jenn Tardy 13:09
Yes, but what’s interesting is that it’s not outside of workshops, where people pull me to the side to ask me questions, because, you know, I want us to talk within the workshop, it’s typically random moments where I could be walking with my kids in the park, and or somehow someone may know that I’m doing this work. And the question, it’s so interesting, this type of question that will come up. It’s around like the education system and like gin, if, if there’s a school, that there’s a high population of black and brown kids, but the faculty is all white, but the school this these students are performing well? Do you still see a need to really think about representation in the school system? So it will be it’ll be a question like that. And it’s typically from people on the school board or, you know, superintendents, and I’m like, Okay, so let’s unpack this. And let’s talk about it about why representation. So it’s

Rob Stevenson 14:17
a question to receive when you’re walking your kids in the park,

Jenn Tardy 14:22
isn’t it? I just received this question two months ago, and walking my kids in the park. And yeah, and, and I was having a conversation with a stranger. And you know, how it how it happened. She asked me, you know, so what do you do for a living? Because I was there at the beach because I’m writing my book. And my kids came up to visit mommy, and we’re walking to the park and she was like, So what are you writing the book about? And I was talking about diversity recruiting. And that was the space for her to ask me that question. That’s how it happens.

Rob Stevenson 14:53
Got it. Yeah, you do. It’s funny when you sort of reveal your profession the kind of questions you invite Yes. Have you ever felt like, here we go, like, have you ever felt? Probably not? Because it’s like, this is your mission? But do you? Have you ever felt like I don’t want to? I’m just gonna say that I’m an accountant so that I don’t get like you. Like, if you’re like a barbecue trying to have a very normal, nice Saturday afternoon, do you ever be like, You know what I don’t I don’t want to talk about this today, I’m gonna say I’m an accountant.

Jenn Tardy 15:20
Know, weirdly enough, I love having these conversations. So it’s you have to also remember to the whole entire introvert. And so I love if I can find the space where I can have a one on one conversation. I don’t care what we talk about, as long as I don’t have to move around and interact with everybody in the crowd, right? So no, I don’t and I geek out over these conversations too. Typically, the conversations turn more into advice, career search or career advice that people will bring up. But if I think here’s, here’s the thing, if I believe that or if I feel like the conversation is going to turn negative, or the reason why you’re bringing it up is because you want to debate this topic. Yes. Exit the conversation easily.

Rob Stevenson 16:07
Like and this is the same thing you were saying? Like, is someone coming to this with good intent? Yeah. Or am I getting sucked into a Facebook comment thread right now?

Jenn Tardy 16:15
Right, right. I mean, because even in the work that we do, we post a lot of content on LinkedIn. And I talk to my team about this all the time. We do not respond to trolling. Oh, we just will leave, we’ll leave the comment right there. And that respond to it. However, if someone is just having the if someone is just struggling to ask a question, and we can see, okay, they’re really trying to understand this, but the way that they’re asking it is a little rough around the edges. We’ll still address the comment, but we won’t respond to trolls. Yeah,

Rob Stevenson 16:46
that’s a delicate thing to but you’ve probably seen it enough where you can understand if someone is really trying to learn or if they’re just trying to make their own point disguise with a question mark at the end? Correct? Correct? Well, Jen, there’s never a bad time to have you on. But I wanted to have you on specifically right now. Because whereas normally you go into organizations, you work with a team directly, you are kind of opening up access to your awesome material and trainings here in this event coming up. And so I wanted to give you a chance to share a little bit about this event, the increased Diversity Summit. Could you tell, tell the folks out there and me a bit more about it.

Jenn Tardy 17:23
Awesome, thank you. So we are hosting. We’re calling it the increased Diversity Summit experience. And I really want to emphasize the word experience, because we’re doing things a little differently than then you may have seen in other summits or conferences. So first, our theme is who is qualified. And it really explores this whole idea of how especially being on the frontlines of increasing diversity, if you’re a recruiter, a hiring manager, a leader, someone who’s making a decision about who can enter a company, it’s really putting the question on the table, can we really tell who’s qualified or who’s not qualified? We typically think we can. But this summit experience is going to explore all of the conditioning, all of the biases that show up at different milestones in the hiring process. And we’re going to do it in a in a different way. For example, a lot of when you go to trainings, you hear a lot of people talk about different biases, like the halo bias, or the similar to me bias. But no, we want to talk about professionalism bias, this idea of who is and who isn’t professional, because people are leaking out of your hiring process because of that. The other thing that makes this summit experience different is everyone who’s coming to the stage, they only get 15 minutes to talk. And so if you only have 15 minutes to talk about your particular subject, within the who was qualified thing, then what would you say it has to be that concentrated? What are those mic drop things? What are those things that that everyone in the room wanted to say, but people were too intimidated to figure out how to how to say it. And then we spend 10 minutes talking among our peers and breakout rooms, about that topic, and then we’ll come back in for q&a. And that’s how we do each each milestone. And so we get to have conversations about, again, professionalism, again, how to find people from historically underrepresented groups. We talk about safe spaces, the importance of safe spaces when we’re trying to engage with marginalized communities. We’ll talk about being polished and having a pedigree and how that impacts our ability to increase diversity and even retention. A lot of people are talking about how do we retain people within our organization. So we get to unpack that. So it’s just a lot of great conversations that we’re gonna have. And I’m really excited about it. Who

Rob Stevenson 20:06
is the ideal attendee, people within

Jenn Tardy 20:09
organizations who want to know, how do we increase diversity and retention? And so typically, those who are on the frontlines of doing this work, whether you’re a recruiter, a hiring manager, or someone who works in diversity, equity inclusion, someone who works in learning and development, people who are standing on the frontlines of doing this work, and who want to know, where do I hold accountability? And what actions must I take to to reach set accountability?

Rob Stevenson 20:37
Gotcha. And then what is the what is the outcome for someone who goes into this really takes it seriously really wants to get the most out of it? At the end of the of the summit? What has changed? What are they now able to do?

Jenn Tardy 20:52
So and in our topic, so we’ll say it’s called who is qualified, and we call it a transformative journey to decode bias in recruiting and retention. So we want people to walk away with a transformation, a different transformation of mindset, a different way of thinking. So things that we’ve always known what is a different way of thinking about how do we increase diversity, and we want people to walk away with powerful language that they can take back into their company, as they’re trying to do this work there. So an example of language is, there’s no way to increase diversity if people are leaving your organization as quickly as they’re entering. Right. So we actually have a workbook where we put the language in the workbook so that you can take it back with you went to your company, so transforming mindsets.

Rob Stevenson 21:44
That’s an awesome takeaway. It’s just like, okay, here are the common objections you might face, right, here’s like, here’s a very thoughtful, nuanced way to respond to it. So you’re not, you know, caught empty handed.

Jenn Tardy 21:57
Yes, yes. And even within our breakout rooms, or something that we’re doing uniquely. The last time you and I came together, we were talking about the white paper that I had written called our lived experience intelligence. And so you know, is this idea of how, how our identities have influenced what we have access to when we don’t have access to, and how it shapes our perspective on life. Right. So now, moving forward into this summit, when we go into these breakout rooms to discuss this session, we ask the question, based on my lived experience, intelligence, dot, dot dot, and we’ll pose different questions where people can lean in with their own lived experience intelligence to answer the question at hand. So like, one question, for example, is based on my lived experience, intelligence, what is one? What is one networking action that I would expel? Immediately? Because I know that it’s preventing people from gaining access to networks, right. And so my own lived experience intelligence, what would expel it like, what would I just be done with? And so we’re having great conversations that way. And we’re allowing people to mix it up, talk to their peers, and get to know other people

Rob Stevenson 23:14
Is there also some sort of like, group discussion are people going to get to trip up with their own questions and bring things from their own organizations to kind of be addressed

Jenn Tardy 23:23
outside of the breakout rooms where they can have those conversations. So we do have the q&a, so people can talk. But we do have two panel sessions, one of the panel sessions where we’re talking about how to use your applicant tracking system to increase diversity, where we’re bringing people from three different organizations, they’re really unpacking what they’re doing at their organization, through the use of their applicant tracking system to increase diversity. So any of the panelists that are coming on, we really want them to be open and transparent, so as to give other organizations ideas in that way.

Rob Stevenson 24:01
Jen, I’m so excited you’re doing this event, it seems seems really valuable. And the fact that you are able to kind of open it up to more people. And and not just in the individual, like the offices you go into and the individual teams you meet with. It’s not your typical webinar, right? It’s it really the way you’re describing it, it sounds like a whole conference, essentially. So I just love that there’s all this content being offered.

Jenn Tardy 24:24
Thank you. And one of the things that was also really important to us, these speakers outside of the panel sessions are the internal experts within JTC. And so what people are going to notice is, when Emily comes up to stage and Emily says, hey, the first time you get to meet me is after the contract is signed, and we start talking about the timelines and because Emily is all about workflows, whereas Brittany will come on stage and she’ll say, Well, you really don’t get to meet me unless you want Jen to do a workshop or someone on the team to do a workshop. And so What I’m trying to do is D center Jen Tardy and right and center, the team of experts that we have at JTC in in the area of expertise that they hold, and they’re unpacking how they go about doing the work that they do. So that organizations can use that information to do that work internally within their company, too. So it’s gonna be exciting, especially when Beatrice comes up and teaches us like, I care about data. And in data for me looks like workforce data versus your workplace data. And I can’t wait to get my hands on your data. So she she’s talking in that in that regard, who’s Beatrice? So Beatrice, she does all of our business intelligence. So she’s the person that when we when we ask to look at your applicant tracking data, and your employee data, your HR is data, Beatrice is the person that says, Okay, let’s see what’s going on in your organization. Let’s see who’s leaking out of your hiring process. And let’s compare it to what’s happening with census data as well. So so we can see where you’re underrepresented in general, she’s, she’s fantastic at what she does. She’s the one that creates those reports where we call the state of diversity recruiting at your company. So she handles that. So

Rob Stevenson 26:17
the event is Thursday, September 14. And by the time this episode comes out, it’ll only be a few days away. But there’s a link to sign up on in the show notes here. For all of you out there listening, if it sounds like the kind of thing that you can benefit from, and I’m telling you, like, bring your whole team to this thing. Get your company to pay for it. If you get like an l&d stipend from your company, this is a great thing to use it on. If you even if you don’t like your company should be supporting this kind of this kind of work. How could they say no to an increase diversity somewhat, come on, get your whole team at this thing. And then if you can’t make it Thursday, during the day, it’s on, you can you can access it on demand. There’s various options for that, too. So I just wanted to plug the ability to use it.

Jenn Tardy 27:01
And because your community has been so good to me, I want to give you rob a coupon codes. So anybody who codes through the link that’s on this podcast, can use a coupon code to get a discount to come to the summit as well too. So thank you!

Rob Stevenson 27:17
Amazing! I love that you gave us a little look under your seats moment. You get a coupon the Oprah of diversity of talent, and tardies in the house. I love it. That is a fantastic generous offer. I really hope that people take advantage of it again that that link is in the show notes. And Jen, good luck on this event. It’s going to be amazing. So I’m so glad you’re putting it on. And I’m sure it’s gonna be a glittering success. So congrats in advance.

Jenn Tardy 27:47
So I appreciate that. And I also want to say too, I really appreciate the work that you’re doing to get a lot of great voices and a lot of great topics of discussion out again, you asked a lot of really, really, really great questions. And so I know your audience is learning some great things. Thanks,

Rob Stevenson 28:03
Jen. Let’s let’s end on the note of you praising me. I love that. Thank you. Thank you, Jen for being here. You can come back anytime you want. I do love having you on. So yeah, it’s just it’s been a pleasure as always Jen, thanks for being here.

Jenn Tardy 28:17
Thanks for having me.

Rob Stevenson 28:18
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