From Our CEO: Great Place to Work Joins the UKG Family

EachForEqual – When We All Reach for Equal

Speakers: Tina Tchen, President and CEO of TIME'S UP Foundation and Carolyn Slaski, Americas Vice Chair - Talent, Ernst & Young LLP

Hear this discussion with Tina Tchen, President and CEO of TIME’S UP Foundation and Carolyn Slaski, Americas Vice Chair – Talent, EY as they explore the importance of incorporating a holistic view of equity in the workplace and the impact it has on great workplaces for all.

Show Transcript
Julian Lute:

I have to admit, I am such a fan boy for these two organizations and super excited that you get to hear this conversation between these two dynamic powerful women.

Julian Lute:

For Tina Tchen, the central question guiding her current work is how do we change workspaces to make them more equitable? During her eight years at the White House, Tina served as Chief of Staff to First Lady Michelle Obama, assistant to President Barack Obama, and Executive Director of the White House Council on Women and Girls, leading the first ever White House summit on working families and the first ever United States of Women's Summit. She's optimistic. She's energetic, and she's up to the challenge. In fact, she's been dedicated to these issues for her entire career.

Julian Lute:

Please help me out in making sure that Tina Tchen feels welcome. She's a President and CEO of the Times Up Foundation.

Julian Lute:

All right. She's going to be joined by our next leader who believes in leading with intention, integrity, and care so that others can be their best and make a maximum impact in this working world. As the Americas Vice Chair of Talent for EY, Carolyn leads EY's efforts to deliver an exceptional experience to each of the organizations 62,000 employees in the Americas. She leverages her understanding of the issues facing EY's client serving and professional teams across every aspect of the business to develop strategies that support EY's momentum in the market, attract top talent, and increase the engagement and retention of its people.

Julian Lute:

Please join me in welcoming Carolyn Slaski, Americas Vice Chair of Talent for EY.

Carolyn Slaski:

All right. This looks like a great group.

Tina Tchen:

Yeah.

Carolyn Slaski:

So Tina, thank you so much for joining me up here. We're right on the cusp of the Woman's Day on Sunday, and I can't think of a better person to talk to than you.

Tina Tchen:

Oh well, thank you. I'm delighted to be here, Carolyn.

Carolyn Slaski:

So we're going to have a little bit of a conversation here, going to put Tina on the hotspot a bit. But then, just so you know, we're going to have time for Q&A at the end. So just think about your questions, and they'll be some mics in the back for those to do that.

Carolyn Slaski:

So Tina, great intro. Times Up really kind of came from the entertainment industry and Harvey Weinstein. On the plane ride out here, I watched Bombshell. So I'm full on-

Tina Tchen:

[inaudible 00:02:55]

Carolyn Slaski:

I got it all. So tell me now what Times Up, what you're doing now? You're new to the CEO role, so where you've been, what's your vision for the future?

Tina Tchen:

Oh well, thank you. Thank you, Carolyn. Yes, I'm so new. I've only been there since November 1st, although it's been a bit of a whirlwind. And as some folks know, let me pause for a moment on that origin for folks who don't is if Times up was really born out in the wake of the Harvey Weinstein revelations of the New York Times and Ronan Farrow reported on in the fall of 2017. Originally it was just a group of women in Hollywood who actually until the reporting came out, thought they were all alone, which is what happens to so many sexual harassment survivors. Because there's so much silence around sexual harassment, you actually think you're the only person in the company who's experiencing it. And all of a sudden these women in Hollywood realized they had this shared experience. But to their credit, they started to turn their pain into action. They wanted to do something about it. They wanted to do something that wasn't just about the entertainment industry.

Tina Tchen:

So when Times Up launched on the red carpet at the Golden Globes with Oprah Winfrey's amazing speech. We started with our first initiative was the Times Up Legal Defense Fund, which I helped found. And it was really designed in the moment to provide legal services and PR support to low income in particular women who wouldn't have access to those kinds of resources because it turns out actually if you're a low wage worker, you can't get an employment lawyer to take your case. Because if the recovery is only going to be $3000 because that's all you make, you can't find a lawyer to take it. So I will say the $24 million we raised right away, 100% went for those services. It's housed at the National Women's Law Center. To date in the work that we've been doing, 4800 people have received legal or PR support, 800 lawyers. As a lawyer, I say I'm very proud of my profession. 800 lawyers have stepped up to actually provide pro bono or low cost services.

Tina Tchen:

And you should know these people come from 70 different industries up and down the wage scale. But importantly, three quarters of them are low wage workers, which was what the goal was. And I will say at the top, if you are somebody who needs help, if you are a lawyer who wants to provide services, if you want to help support the cause, if you just want to know more about Times Up, you can text Times Up to 30644.

Tina Tchen:

Now quickly, I'll fast forward. Since then though, we've really expanded into other industries. We have a Times Up healthcare, Times Up advertising, but really working across all industries. And the issue now is in addition to supporting survivors, we don't want to just deal with sexual harassment after it happens, the aftermath. We want to keep it from happening altogether. And that's why I'm so pleased to be here at a Great Place To Work because what this organization is dedicated to is what we are dedicated to, which is actually the way we are going to keep sexual harassment from happening in the workplace is to create workplaces that are safe and fair and equitable under the kinds of places where everyone, women, people of color, LGBTQ, disabled workers can all reach their full potential. So that is our goal. That is our goal.

Carolyn Slaski:

Great. And Tina, from what you said, there's the foundation. But you consult with companies, right?

Tina Tchen:

Right.

Carolyn Slaski:

So I know you think in buckets.

Tina Tchen:

So our motto is to build better workplace culture through changing culture, company, and laws, right?

Carolyn Slaski:

Culture, company, and laws.

Tina Tchen:

Let me work backwards. So laws is kind of easy. We do do public policy. We've been out there. We were actually part of the group that helped pass a New York Safety Agenda that extended the statute of limitations for sexual assault in New York this last year. Since the whole Harvey Weinstein allegations have come out, 17 states actually have done different kinds of changes to their employment protections like outlawing NDAs or extending protections to people like contractors who aren't covered under federal law. So we will continue to do that work.

Tina Tchen:

But legal change is slow. Laws change slowly. They often change to the lowest common denominator. So the important way I feel strongly about change is to work with companies. We need to help companies do better and get better. And as everyone in this room knows, companies really want to do that. So one of the important things, and I'm so excited about, we received a grant from the Linda Gates Pivotal Ventures last fall to start an impact lab, which we now have at Times Up to do research, to build the data and the evidence on why these issues are important. Again, something that a Great Place To Work is about. But also to go the next step and actually start to pilot and develop new solutions because as somebody who's been working on these issues for three decades, we now know that all the work we've been doing before has clearly not been enough, and we need new kinds of tools. And I think that we owe it to companies to develop those tools.

Tina Tchen:

I mean, one example is we just recently entered into a contract with a behavioral science group because I want to see this whole new brain function and reward theory and behavioral change theory that's out there. We can use that to change workplace culture. We can use that to innovatively address unconscious bias in new ways, and we're going to do the research to make that happen and then get that out to all of you, all the companies because that's one of the things we really want to do.

Tina Tchen:

And then finally, we need to change culture. We are all existing in a broader culture. I often say we weren't raised with these issues. In fact, we're talking about changing gender norms that are not decades old, they are millennial old, right? This has transcended religion and race and time and space and geography. And so this is a big change, and I'm so grateful that we have had the leaders in entertainment, people like Shonda Rhimes and Oprah Winfrey and then leaders like Gloria Steinem who stuck with Times Up from the beginning to help us change culture, to change the messages that we get on TV. We have Times Up advertising is working to change the image we see in advertising to really try to change culture also and to sort of really build not just a change inside of workplaces but a broader ecosystem that will support it.

Carolyn Slaski:

That's great. Well, I know as a... I would look forward to seeing some of those projects and products that you're going to be giving out to the companies and made available. We'll get into culture in a little bit, but first, let's go back. Many of us all work with companies and we want to make sure that we're getting a culture that's free of gender discrimination. And many times that responsibility is placed sometimes in HR, sometimes in a DNI group. I mean, there's various places that it lands. Tell me why... Is that the way it should work? I know you need accountability, and I think accountability is critically important in this. But where that lands, any thoughts on that?

Tina Tchen:

So I've thought a lot about this, and I've been using some of what my own experience, our collective experience for the last three decades like what didn't work, what do we need to change. And I was a corporate governance lawyer for years, representing companies and shareholders and boards of directors. And one of the things that I think we need to do is these issues need to be not just the province of our DNI folks and our HR folks who have been laboring on it valiantly for so long. It needs to be elevated to a C Suite issue, and it can't just be something that the CEO sometimes mentions in their annual report every now and then.

Tina Tchen:

We need companies and board of directors to see this as a corporate governance imperative. Because I believe if we've learned anything from the last two years, we have now seen both to the positive and the negative the risks and the benefits to companies of these issues. And if you don't treat them like a corporate governance issue, then you're going to run the risks that we see companies we've gone, lost their CEOs or gone belly up altogether. And so these issues pose as greater risk, as greater benefit as the next technology that you're investing in, right? Or how you're combating security's fraud. I mean, this is as critical and deserves that level of attention. So that's number one.

Tina Tchen:

Then number two also to your point is this is a holistic effort. And I know you guys do this at EY because I know that's your approach, is this is not just an HR and DNI. It's the general council on the law side. It is pay and promotion and where that resides. It's the operational issue of how people are reviewed. It goes down to where people's offices are and how they get assigned to new projects. All of that is what effects culture, all of that is how our employees experience their work. They don't experience their work in silos, and yet we have tended to think about culture and how we address these issues in silos. When in fact, all of those things interact with one another in how our employees experience them. So it's about time as managers that we treat them holistically and we look at it in an integrated way across the board.

Carolyn Slaski:

Yeah. I couldn't agree more. I mean, this idea that it has to really permeate the entire organization across all the functions. Once you start getting into silo, then that's who owns it and it becomes something that's separate from the business.

Tina Tchen:

Well, I know that's what you all have done because I've seen it in working with Kelly Grier on how she's really both charged and empowered your partners, right?

Carolyn Slaski:

That's right.

Tina Tchen:

Where I started from the top at EY to really own this issue in everything that they do.

Carolyn Slaski:

Absolutely. So let's get to that, that idea of culture. You always say that there's sexual harassment, there's these... But let's talk about the culture and zone in on why culture is critically important in this conversation around that. So talk a little bit more about that.

Tina Tchen:

Well, culture is sort of a way of talking about that whole ecosystem about how it affects workers. And I think in the past, especially on issues let's say of sexual harassment, which we spend so much time on in Times Up. That was really looked at as strictly a compliance issue. It only got dealt with in HR when there was a problem. We did a training once a year, and it was that without trying to get at the underlying issues of unconscious bias, about microaggressions, the whole piece of how we are in the culture, how are workers are experiencing their work. And often, and you've heard me say this many times as a lawyer, instead of defining values that we wanted to have in our workplace, we define them as compliance issues. We define them as labor law issues or compliance issues in the HR setting.

Tina Tchen:

And speaking specifically to sexual harassment, we used sexual harassment definitions that were based on the law. I often say that up until the Harvey Weinstein case came out, I could have recited to you the verbatim, the sexual harassment policy of every company in America because we all had the same ones, including the employers I worked for. We all used the same legal definition of what sexual harassment is, and that bar for bad behavior is really low. It's really low. There's a lot of things that are terrible, toxic behaviors that actually aren't illegal. You've heard me use my favorite example, which is the equal opportunity bully.

Tina Tchen:

So currently under federal law, if you are charged with sexual harassment, the winning defense is to say, "Oh, I don't just harass women. I harass everybody." It wins.

Carolyn Slaski:

And you get wins.

Tina Tchen:

You are legally allowed to harass everybody so long as you're not just harassing people based on race or gender or protected class.

Carolyn Slaski:

An equal opportunity jerk.

Tina Tchen:

Yeah. The equal opportunity jerk. But I suspect that is not the culture that you want to have in a company, which is the point I use to illustrate that we need to set our culture around values. So what is culture about? Culture is about a shared sense of values that we are working towards, and I know from the research that you all have done here that core values is one of those things that men and women actually kind of agree on and see. Well, what is that? We sometimes think of that core values as just what is the value of the company product or that... But core value is also how we treat one another. I submit that we need to expand that definition of shared company values to be also how we want to treat each other, what is the respect we want to give each other, what is, to use EY's word, belonging? What is that belonging that we want to convey as our core value as a company? And then that's what you write your policies to. You don't write your policies to the legal definition, which as I've told you is too low. You write your code of conduct to your values. So it's more aspirational.

Tina Tchen:

Now your lawyers are going to tell you, "Oh, no, no, no, no. Don't do that. You're taking on more risk than you need to." That means a white man who gets harassed is going to sue you. And I've had more enlightened CEOs tell me, "I get that. But that's a risk I'm willing to take because I'm running a bigger risk to my enterprise, to my brand if I don't create a better culture. Even though I'm taking on a marginal risk." And you know what, we do that all the time. The guys that are developing driverless cars out here in San Francisco, they're taking on a huge risk on what's going to happen with those driverless cars. But it's an investment that they want to make, and we have to see our workforce as similarly worth of that investment and that risk taking to build a better culture.

Carolyn Slaski:

I mean, I love how you talk about because I do see this, the lawyers, and I hope if there's any lawyers in the room, I'm sorry about this. But they really do, don't want you to go beyond what you need to because you're going to create greater risk. And we've talked about as an organization, there is greater risk to having a culture that doesn't comport with our values.

Tina Tchen:

Absolutely. Because guess what... I mean, here's the other thing we've talked about, millennial workers. That millennial workers and consumers see that. If you're not authentic to the values you're putting out in the world, and you mentioned it's Women's History Month and International Women's Day coming up. And companies are going to do their great gender thing. And if you're not treating though your workers inside your company with those values, you're going to get called out. We're in a social media age where you will get called out, and I say that to companies all the time. You are hearing your consumers and you know that they're paying attention to those values. I get that. Well, in order to authentically convey those values, then you've got to actually live them at home. It's just like what we teach our kids. The way you live at home and the way you project yourself out into the world need to sync up.

Carolyn Slaski:

Yeah. And always anchoring back to your values is critical. You mentioned that our millennials like it. But quite honestly your workforce likes it. It's something you can all rally around, you all get it, and you go back to your values. And that's one of the most important... You mentioned our CEO Kelly Grier who at the Gala last night. She has made it so crystal clear that it is the responsibility of all of our partners to create this culture. And she makes no qualms about it. This is not my responsibility as CEO. It's not talent. It is the responsibility of each and every one of you to create an environment and a culture that comports with our values. And that means no bullying, not just sexual harassment, not all the way that end of it, but a culture that you want people to actually... That want to come to work.

Tina Tchen:

Well, and you raise an important point, and we're dealing in a week here where we're a week after the Weinstein verdict. And that was critical and important in a real step forward for justice. But it also I have worried over the last two years with that focus on his actions, which were truly criminal, that that's all people think we're talking about when we're talking about gender discrimination or sexual harassment. When in reality that's not it. That is the far end of the extreme. And when 85% of workers have told the EOC that they are experiencing sexual harassment in the workplace, it's not that. But it is these every day microaggressions, it's the every day slights. It's the comments that oftentimes actually aren't even said with any intended malice. But just people who didn't understand the effect.

Tina Tchen:

The example I give that I use to get is when I tried jury cases, and we'd interview the jury after. I've seen this happen more than once. I would get from the jury, "Oh, we were so surprised you spoke English so well." So guess what, the only language I speak as somebody born in Columbus, Ohio. But you would get that. And an African American, well established, she was nationally known, woman lawyer. She switches law firms like in your late 40s or early 50s, goes, walks into the new law firm on the first day coming in as the new partner. And a receptionist says to her, "Are you the new assistant?" Right? Or many people who get you're sitting in a meeting and you're the professional leading the meeting but people expect you to get the coffee or take the notes. It's those kinds of things that happen, and for DNI issue, that's why we're losing people.

Tina Tchen:

That's why we're losing women just when they're reaching their most productive stages is because I had one Muslim woman told me when she went off to... She was a successful corporate person. She left to start her own business. She said, "Look, the daily battle was just no longer worth it. I could not take the daily battle," which are those small internal, those slights that happen. We all know that when we get them, you spend the next 90 seconds... You're in a big meeting, something happens, you're supposed to react to the meeting, but the other part of your brain is spending the next 90 seconds going through, "Do I laugh? Do I not laugh? Do I say something? Do I say something afterwards? What do I do?" And it's exhausting.

Tina Tchen:

It's exhausting, and we have to in culture again figure out how to address those issues as well. And those are issues... I also say not everything's a firable offense. I mean, everything exists on a spectrum, on a range of behaviors, and we have to also get ourselves comfortable with calling out and talking about the lower range of behavior so that people can get better. Because this isn't about always just firing somebody. This is also about creating a good culture where we make each other better and we have conversations that might be uncomfortable. But we have honest conversations about this, and we can collectively build that culture where everyone is supporting one another.

Carolyn Slaski:

We've talked about proportional consequences to things, right?

Tina Tchen:

We have. We spent a lot of time on that at EY.

Carolyn Slaski:

Things need to be proportional, not everybody gets fired. But there needs to be consequences, and it needs to align with what they did. So it's really important.

Tina Tchen:

Well, it needs to address power. That's another thing that at EY, you guys took very seriously and understood that a lot get lost in this conversation a lot too is that what happens in the sexual harassment context is it's about power. It's about the misuse of power or the overuse of power, and oftentimes when you are the person with power, you actually don't appreciate the effect that a comment may seem to you to just be a throwaway comment has on everybody else.

Tina Tchen:

I had a client of mine tell me in the middle of the whole Les Moonves CBS situation say that he was a law firm, and this partner sort of said to the associates, and he thought they were just having chit chat on the news of the day I'm sure. But he said, "Ah, it's terrible what's happened to Les Moonves." Well, the associates went running to the DNI person and said, "Oh my god. If the partner thinks what happened to Les Moonves is like terrible, what does that say about us?" But I'm pretty sure the partner just thought he was talking about news of the day. I also think he thought he probably only read the New York Times version of Les Moonves and not the Ronan Farrow version, which was much more detailed. But he just had no idea as a partner of a law firm what affect just a stray comment would have that just sent his associates into a tissy because they just had no understanding where he was coming from.

Carolyn Slaski:

Right, right. So Tina, you have often said that many women of color do not necessarily believe that the Me Too movement belongs to them. We've seen some of the studies that Great Place To Work has done where Latina women have made some progress but our Black women do not necessarily. So anything thoughts around-

Tina Tchen:

Oh absolutely. Well, and I think we really and we've tried hard at Times Up to be intersectional in how we talk about these things. But it is true, and I know the surveys here at a Great Place To Work demonstrated that women of color experience work in really different ways than white women do. And in particular, Black women experience work in very different ways. We know that Black women are four times as likely to file sexual harassment claims as white women are. But they don't move forward because they're not believed. And they exist as this really difficult intersection of race and gender in the workplace in ways that if we're uncomfortable talking about gender, we're really uncomfortable talking about gender and race combined.

Tina Tchen:

And that's why it was interesting at Times Up, we did a lot of support of Gabriel Union when she was dismissed from America's Got Talent. And as it came out, she was dismissed in part because she'd gotten comments like your hair was too Black, her fashion was too Black, she was too outspoken. And Gabriel, to her credit, pushed back. She got dismissed. We got a call to NBC on that, but that was a good example of the kinds of things where people had no understanding of talking about a Black woman's hair in that way and what that affect is. That's culture too. That's the kind of things that where we don't understand each other's different cultures when we come from different cultures, but we're now existing in a common culture that's the workplace where we have to actually do the work as employers to accommodate that and to actually make all of our employees feel comfortable and able, as I've heard you say before, bring their whole selves to the workplace.

Tina Tchen:

Because I firmly believe two things. I believe we are in a transformational moment. I actually didn't want to take this job. I was kind of happy in my law firm job. But I didn't want to take this job on November 1st. I did because I believe truly we are in a cultural transformational moment on these issues, which does not happen very often, and when they happen, you have to seize the moment and push as hard as you can. And if we do that, and these are the kinds of issues that a Great Place To Work has been doing too, if we do that and push right now, we can actually really fundamentally change I believe the way workplaces are organized here. Not just here, but around the world. And these are hard. These are hard issues that I think we need to really address and really address as a broader culture.

Tina Tchen:

So I'm excited about what's to come, but I know there's a lot of work to do.

Carolyn Slaski:

Well, I am so glad that you did take it because I can't think of somebody who's background would be any better than yours to just like be laser focused on this. I mean, I've seen you in action, and your law background is incredible because you know the law and yet you know how business is done. And you balance the two so incredibly well. So you at the helm of this is perfect.

Tina Tchen:

Oh. Thank you. Thank you.

Carolyn Slaski:

One more question for you, and then we will open it up for questions for the group. So we always talk about people need to do something bold and brave, and you need to be really... We're going to put a stake in the ground, and we're going to do something really great. And then at the same time, those little things each and every day. Can you talk about kind of both of those things, the bold... And I know you've talked about from the Obama administration, when the light bulb went on in your head.

Tina Tchen:

Oh yeah. The uncomfortable story that I don't tell. I know Valarie was here earlier today. So you can't tell Valarie I'm about to tell the story. That I told the story I'm about to tell you all.

Tina Tchen:

But you need bold, and we've been talking a lot about bold up until now. But you also need persistence, and then I'll talk about persistence and then about small things.

Tina Tchen:

So the persistent thing is there is no one and done here. And culture is the kind of thing you work at and you are contributing to or detracting from every day, even when you don't know you're doing it. But these are tough issues that you have to pay attention to all the time.

Tina Tchen:

So the story I'm about to tell you all, which you cannot tell Valarie I told, is so here we are, we're in this woke administration. Valarie's the Chair of the Council Women and Girls. I'm the Executive Director. First term, we have this great diverse cabinet. We think we're doing really well. We go through the 2012 reelection cycle, which was really hard. It was really hard. We're kind of trying to run the government and trying to get reelected through a tough election. And we emerge from that in January of 2013. The New York Times, and I hate to say this, but you can Google it and find it. The New York Times runs a front page article with the headline that reads something like, "Obama inner circle has an all-male look." And it was a photo from the Oval Office with a picture of the president's senior advisors. And indeed, it was all men sort of surrounding the president sitting in the oval.

Tina Tchen:

Now our communications team, which I say with all love and affection, their response to that when asked was, "Oh, no, no, no, no, no. Valarie Jarrett's leg is behind Dan Pfeiffer." And you can just see it just peaking out from behind Dan's khaki colored pants there. So that was the answer. But it was a wake up call. So it was a wake up call to us to say we had not been paying attention. We've been paying attention on running the government and getting reelected. We haven't paid attention. So yes, that's what happened.

Tina Tchen:

So it meant we had to redouble our efforts, and I am proud to say we redoubled efforts. We had a point and time in the second term where the White House Council was a woman and all three were deputies were women. And then if you recall, we got to the end of the second term, Susan Rice was the National Security Advisor. So head of the country's national security apparatus. And all three were deputies. Her legal council, her international counter terrorism deputy, and her domestic homeland security deputy, all women. All women. The four women at the top of the national security apparatus in the United States of America were all women. And that's what you can do when you pay attention, when you're working on it every day.

Tina Tchen:

And then finally, I'll just say because I like to give somebody like little things because little culture is also about our individual interactions with everybody. It's not just the big and the bold. So I will give you all the quick thing that you can do to change culture when you go home and you're back in your offices at the end of the week or on Monday, whenever you go there is that you will all... This is definitely a room where you're going to be in a meeting or you're going to chair a meeting. You will all be there in the next few days. And you can now start to watch for the thing that happens in a meeting when a woman says something and the conversation moves on until the man says the same thing 10 minutes later, right? You've got it. Sir, you're nodding your head. So this happens.

Tina Tchen:

But you can now keep that from happening. Because if you chair the meet, you can now say, "Carolyn just said that. Let's go back to that." But you don't have to be the chair of the meeting to do that. If you're a participant in the meeting, you can do the same thing. You can just simply say in the meeting when it happens, "Let's go back to what Carolyn... Because I've got a question for Carolyn because she just made that same point." Really easy. But those are the small things and the small interactions that will try to change because it will then say to the women who you're meeting with, "I hear you and I see you and you're valued." And that's how you change culture, and that's how you overcome that daily battle that that young woman told me about.

Carolyn Slaski:

That's wonderful. That's great. All right. So we will open it up for questions. I think they told me there's microphones I guess here and here. So if anybody wants to be brave enough... Oh, here we go.

Elizabeth:

Hello. I'm Elizabeth from Live Nation. First of all, thank you for all the work that you are doing and continue to do for Times Up, Me Too, and just for quality overall. So a little bit of context, I attended the diversity conversation at Great Places To Work and the head of diversity at the MBA said that there's kind of two paths to embedding diversity in the organization. And one is by helping people see the light, and the other is by making people feel the heat, which really resonated with me. So I know you lead the task force at the Recording Academy, and you're talking about some of the work that you're doing with other organizations. Do you feel as though they are seeing the light or are they feeling the heat because of what's happening socially or is it really a combination of the two?

Tina Tchen:

Really good question. So I think it's a combination of the two. There is no doubt that feeling the heat has some benefits, and we're seeing that. We're seeing them in the broader culture. I mean, that's what's happening when you see a Weinstein, when you see a Les Moonves, when you see a Matt Lowry, right? I mean, that's the heat that's coming down on people. If that's the motivation, guess what, I'll take that. I'll take that as motivation.

Tina Tchen:

But I also think companies are seeing the light in part because we are dealing with the 3% labor market, and you all are trying to attract and keep talent. And the way to do that is to build a better culture. You're dealing with a workforce that guess what, no matter how much you tell them not to talk about their salaries and their jobs, they're on Facebook every day talking about their salaries and their jobs. So that authenticity of how you're really living out your values will come through. And actually I think as you're building systems, you actually need both. You need carrots and sticks.

Tina Tchen:

In any cultural change, in raising our kids, you need carrots and sticks. And I think as you're building sustainable systems to do this work, it has to be a system of both reward and accountability.

Elizabeth:

Thank you.

Carolyn Slaski:

Great.

Beate Chelette:

Hello. My name is Beate Chelette. I'm the founder of the Women's Code. And I have a question around women leadership versus the general diversity and inclusion term because I'm finding that we have a lot of pushback now to be specific about what women leadership is, and we are rolling the conversation in an overall... Well, everybody deserves to be heard. It's all about diversity and inclusion. How do we solve that?

Tina Tchen:

Oh, that's a really good question. I will say this as a self confessed, very binary person, having been very binary for my 64 years, and it's also not just women's leadership, it is how do we talk about women's leadership in a non binary world in context too. So here's what I think. I think it is really important, and I always talk about more building better workplaces and fair and safe and equitable. We are talking about workplaces that will work for women, for LGBTQ, for people of color, for disabled workers. We really do need to do that for everyone, and we need to keep that front and center and conscious.

Tina Tchen:

But I also believe, as someone... Remember, I am a gender. I've been doing gender equity for my entire adult life. I am also someone who believes there is something deep, as I said earlier, deeply embedded around gender norms and sexism and gender discrimination in our culture. It's in our religions. I said in a speech recently, it is literally in the Bible. It's not even goes back to the Bible, it's literally written into the Bible. And that is what we're up against, and that is very different and unique. It transcends offers of cultures, it's around the world. And that is a very different battle. And so I am very cautious about taking the whole issue of gender and gender lens out of the conversation because I think they're very unique issues that we have to confront, and it will not help us to take it out of the equation.

Beate Chelette:

So address both.

Tina Tchen:

It is both. Like a lot of things. This seems to be my answer to all the questions. It's both. It's both.

Carolyn Slaski:

Great. Question.

Speaker 6:

My question has to do with gender equality in authoritative groups such as boards. We see that in the Fortune 500, fewer than 10% of boards and fewer than 10% of companies are comprised of women. We see research that indicates that in any group, even with brilliant and articulate women where they are in a real minority, say 7%. Their ability to influence the room is really limited. So it would appear that pressing boards with regard to Me Too and all the other things that you're involved in is a direction in which to go. And I'm wondering if you're working on that moving toward a goal of 50/50, male and female on boards.

Tina Tchen:

So one of the early slogans that came out of some of our early Times Up meetings coined by Jill Soloway was 50/50 by 2020. Jill used to say it was 50/50/50/50/50 to my earlier conversation about not just men and women. But to that point that we do need to diversify boards. And people are moving in that direction. I will say that I think in July of last year, the S&P 500 list just crossed where every company in the S&P 500 had at least one woman on the board. But to your point, one woman isn't sufficient. There is a lot of research that says until you get to three women on the board, you don't have critical mass. You don't have a way to actually shift that thinking, which is why as much as I commend Goldman Sachs for their recent announcement that they would actually not take public any company that did not have at least one women on the board, it's not sufficient. If they really want to live that out, the motivation that causes them to say that is if you have a more diverse board, they're going to make better decisions, they're going to be a better investment that really to your point only works when you've got more of a critical mass.

Tina Tchen:

I will say the interesting thing that at least the slow movement that we're getting to demonstrates is that myth that we can't find the women, not true. Because they're out there clearly, they are out there. I think what companies need to do is we have to open the aperture about what is a good board member. For too long everybody has decided the only way to be a board member is to be the CEO of another kind of company. Guess what, not so much and especially when you're talking about a new economy. The kinds of things that companies are facing right now in terms of technology and the broader culture and millennial workforce and these cultural issues within the workforce means different skills are what you're going to need on your board. And I think enlightened companies are actually seeing that that's what they need. So thank you.

Speaker 6:

Thank you.

Tina Tchen:

It's critically important.

Carolyn Slaski:

I do. It's amazing. I get the opportunity to sit with many boards in the work that I do, and you can see the difference when you have a board that has diversity around the table, the dynamics are just so much more rich because there's just the what good comes out of that. So it's interesting to watch.

Carolyn Slaski:

Go ahead.

Drea:

Hello. My name is Drea, and I work at Accenture as a change practitioner. And our CEO Julie Sweet just talked about bringing people along the change journey. So for you as someone who moves in different worlds and different sectors as well, the law industry, the entertainment industry, your background in policy. What skill can I and we develop that would inspire people to come along with us on the change journey, particularly when they are disengaged and disinterested? Thank you.

Tina Tchen:

I'm laughing because I'm looking at the clock. It's a minute 48 left to answer this question, which is such a great question. And I think actually we could spend the whole tomorrow on that question because I think that's the core question. The core question of this work is how do we bring people along on the journey. So I don't know that I have a one minute long answer for that other than first of all, to keep at it, which is my sort of story about the Obama administration was all about. To be honest and vulnerable about it. We were just talking earlier that one of the skills that leaders can bring to this conversation that I don't think we talk enough and we sure as hell don't talk about it in business context is being vulnerable because who in business talks about being vulnerable, let alone a CEO level.

Tina Tchen:

But I think if we can do that and if you're a leader in an organization, and you don't even have to be at the top. If you start doing it at the level that you're at is both talking about your own vulnerability in these issues, your own places where you may not understand it, the moments where you may have said the wrong thing to somebody, I think that also changes it. Because none of us actually get this right. I do not get this right. And I think we got to be honest about that and open with each other and create the space for everybody in the conversation too.

Tina Tchen:

I'm asked a lot about what about men, right? And one of the things I feel responsibility to do as a movement is we have to create the safe spaces so that men can also be a part of this conversation without worrying about thinking they might offend somebody or say the wrong thing. That's okay. Because none of us were raised with the right thing to say on these issues, and we're all finding it out and learning as we go. That's why we got an impact lab because we actually don't know the right answers. And I think we need to be honest and vulnerable about that. And that would be my one... Now we've run out of time. A minute and 48 second answer to that question.

Carolyn Slaski:

Thank you. And I'm sorry. Tina, I can't thank you enough for being open and vulnerable to this group as well. I heard things like this is an issue that does not belong in just one place, it belongs throughout the company and owned by the entire company. You have to make sure you don't go to the lowest common denominator. Don't let the lawyers get to us and go to the lowest common denominator.

Tina Tchen:

Don't tell my colleagues at the bar that I said that.

Carolyn Slaski:

Culture is you have to stare down and go after the culture because that's where it is that you need to do. Belonging and a lot of carrots and sticks. Does that sound about right?

Tina Tchen:

That sounds right.

Carolyn Slaski:

Great.

Tina Tchen:

That sounds right.

Carolyn Slaski:

Well, Tina, thank you very much.

Tina Tchen:

Thank you.

Carolyn Slaski:

Good luck with everything. And thank you.

Tina Tchen:

Thank you all.

Carolyn Slaski:

Okay.