51 min read

🎧 #071: DEI Today in the Smart Buildings Industry

“Diversity, equity, and inclusion isn't something that can be an add on. It's not a new part of your business. It should be integrated into your business. How do your core values align with your DEI efforts, your business practices, etc? Everything is literally connected."


—Tara Turk-Haynes

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Nexus Podcast Episode 71 is a discussion on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Today in the Smart Buildings Industry.

Like I said in last week's newsletter, I believe this topic is just as important as the technical topics that we usually cover here at Nexus Labs, like indoor air quality, energy management, integration, ontologies. Technical and the social topics are inextricably intertwined. And judging by the 15+ replies I for last week, it seems like most of you agree!

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This discussion was moderated by Mandi Wedin. Mandi is Founder and CEO of FEROCE Real Estate Advisors, where she advises forward-thinking real estate companies on positioning their real estate teams to succeed during times of disruption.

Our panelists included:

  • Tara Turk Haynes, Vice President, Diversity, Equity & Inclusion at Leaf Group, where her role is to lead the DEI efforts both internally and externally to create a more equitable workplace.
  • Mike Brooman, CEO of Vanti, where he continues to build and lead a diverse team who transforms buildings into smart and efficient environments where people want to work, play, and learn.
  • Louisa Dickins, Co-Founder of LMRE, where her team connects the brightest talent with most innovative Prop Tech companies globally.

Listen/Watch/Read

My Highlights

  • The status quo of DEI and the smart buildings industry today (3:11)
  • The value of diversity to the industry (10:51)
  • The talent war, the process of hiring and building diverse teams (22:10)
  • The action phase of the conversation. Takeaways and actions we can all take (37:11)
  • Audience Q&A (51:54)
  1. Feroce Real Estate Advisors (1:11)
  2. Leaf Group (2:00)
  3. LMRE (2:14)
  4. Vanti (2:27)
  5. Jim Collins' Books (17:36)
  6. Cushman & Wakefield (1:00:18)
  7. HBR: Diversity as Strategy
  8. Managing Diversity for Success: The Case of IBM
  9. The Propcast: Diversity, Talent And Race

You can find Mandi, Tara, Mike, and Louisa on LinkedIn.

P.S. You might remember past podcast episodes with Mandi on ESG-R and Mike on the role of the MSI.


Music credit: Dream Big by Audiobinger—licensed under an Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike License.

Full transcript

Note: transcript was created using an imperfect machine learning tool and lightly edited by a human (so you can get the gist). Please forgive errors!

James Dice: hello friends, welcome to the nexus podcast. I'm your host James dice each week. I fire questions that the leaders of the smart buildings industry to try to figure out where we're headed and how we can get there faster without all the marketing fluff. I'm pushing my learning to the limit. And I'm so glad to have you here following along.

James Dice: Today's broadcast is titled, Diversity Equity Inclusion Today in The Smart Buildings Industry.

We chose the word today because we want this to be a kicking off point for an ongoing conversation and actions we can all take moving forward.

I believe this topic is just as important as the technical topics that we usually cover here at Nexus like indoor air quality, energy management, integration, ontologies.

In fact, I think as we'll explore today, the technical and the social topics [00:01:00] are inextricably intertwined. You can't pull them apart in reality.

So with that, I want to pass it over to our moderator today, Mandi Wedin. Mandi is Founder and CEO of Feroce Real Estate Advisors, where she advises forward-thinking real estate companies on positioning their real estate teams to succeed during times of disruption.

And we're certainly in one of those times today. So thank you Mandy for hosting us today and take it away.

Mandi Wedin: Thank you, James. Thanks for. Providing the space and the time for this conversation. And I am very happy to be joined by a really great group of people who are going to share their experience in their learning with us.

Our panel is here to teach and to learn. So please share, like James said in the chat and post your questions in the Q and a so three panelists joining us, Tara Tara Keynes. She's the vice president of diversity equity and inclusion and talent management [00:02:00] at Leaf Group. Her role is to lead the DEI efforts both internally and externally to create a more equitable workplace.

Welcome Tara and Louisa Dickins Lu from LMRE. She co founded that organization where her team connects the brightest talent with the most innovative prop tech companies global.

James Dice: Welcome though.

Mandi Wedin: And Mike Mike broom and the CEO of Vanti. He continues to build and lead a diverse team, Evonne D who transforms buildings into smart and efficient environments where people want to work to play and to learn.

Welcome, Mike, okay, so we'll jump right in and talk about DEI in the smart buildings industry today. So when I talk about DEI, I talk about it before. A place of widening our field of vision. When we have multiple inputs, multiple viewpoints, [00:03:00] multiple lived experiences, we have an opportunity to make better decisions because we see more, our field of vision is opened and DEI is a shorthand for talking about widening that field of vision.

So let's start with our first question, which is share your take on the status quo of DEI and smart buildings industry today. What's your honest take on where we're at and I'm going to start with you, Mike, since you're smack in the middle of the industry.

Mike Brooman: Thanks so much. So, I definitely think we can do more It's an interesting conversation to me because so kinda way in bounties is ABM it.

So we've predominantly come out of those industries and then broadened into a kind of wider building services. And, and these are very familiar conversations that were happening a good few years ago within comp tier, which is the largest it industry association. That's dedicated to the channel.

I think there's, there's a multitude of factors within this. I think we don't have [00:04:00] enough role models. I think we're going to need to try and find those role models within the industry. I think you've got more coming through, which is great, but for say there's a good amount of work to do at grassroots level as well in terms of particularly within the education system.

And encouraging certainly women, but also a broader range of ethnic groups to join in ministry. Because I think particularly building services, engineering tends to be very male orientated and certainly very white. So I think yeah, the, the current status against maybe some other much more diverse industries is, is less stupid.

But I think also there's a lot of things that we could take away from the good work that's been done in other industries in order to make a real difference to smart building industry and hopefully do it a lot quicker as well.

James Dice: Thanks,

Mandi Wedin: Lou, do you want to share your perspective from the recruiting side talents?

Louisa Dickins: Yeah, for sure.

Um, [00:05:00] And like say pink, cute to you in Janesville. Having all of us on this webinar. So I guess from a recruitment standpoint, I agree with everything sort of, Mike has said there's a lot that needs to be gone.

I'll see behind the, I guess, how many, I guess women mouse, women or men on it. Um, When we look at so, races, sexualities, but I guess I I'm already for those. So now our job was basically to chat for the space, people from all sorts of backgrounds, whether you're sort of degree educated, wherever you're from, I don't know, just to have a diploma, whatever it is of your junior or senior, you could be.

Going out college or society, I don't know, trying a new sort of career path, a big thing that needs to be done. It's basically on the education and make it seen as a lot more of a proper sort of career pathway. And lots of people don't know about smart building space and you can't tap into a diverse pool of talent until people actually know about it.

And so what I'll be sort of talking about later is what needs to be done really answered the grass roots levels to do about telling people at the [00:06:00] table, you know, with different ways you can go to and the importance of making a building not safe and smart. I saw a really, we were doing it looking at some stats recently at a Moray.

And I noticed that was attempts and increase instead of DEI specialists across also clients, particularly in this space, which is quite a lot. And we also saw burst and increases in the past 12 months about clients and looking for sort of blanket as shortlist. So I guess TV's about any names in trying to make sure that.

No biases, but despite this sort of improvements being made to the light, you sort of mentioned earlier would the Providence, which this space is facing as it sort of grows very quickly, founders and owners, operators, you know, big companies, that's the old the supply and demand. So often, even though they might want to have this, you know, so they want a diverse candidate pool.

Like I said earlier, it's just not there. So compromise the [00:07:00] maid and they will find a short term solution to find someone to sort of fill the gap that then in the long time you still don't have a diversity at senior management team or team in general. So, throughout this webinar, I guess we'll all sort of be telling the audience is what we can do in terms of education, what we can do in terms of awareness and what we can do in terms of marketing to try and attack will DEI.

Mandi Wedin: Excellent. Thank you. And Tara, from your perspective, do you want to share about the status quo of DEI and what it's like to be a practitioner and leader in that?

Tara Turk-Haynes: So many things in what I want to say, first of all, it's like diversity equity inclusion. Isn't something that can be an add on. Like, it's not like this new part of your, you know, your business focus, it should be integrated into your business.

And when you start talking about like how to attract different candidates, like the whole world is having a problem when it comes to finding great talent, this is not just specific to this instance.[00:08:00] And so companies are now having to really. Adjust and realign, what are your core values? Right? Like do your core values align with your DEI efforts, your business practices, like everything is literally connected.

So to treat it separately, you will have a fractured results. And so a lot of company. Not able to find the talent. We'll discover that that's one of the reasons why retention is huge. You can attract someone, but will they stay there once they get to your organization and do they feel welcome? Do they feel like they have a voice?

Do they feel like they can contribute overall? These are the hurdles, because I think a lot of people especially in homogenous spaces have not had to think about what it's like for someone else who doesn't look like you to be in an industry. And so your training literally should not be a bias training where it's like one off, okay.

We did this like sexual harassment training or whatever. We're good to go. You're constantly having to reevaluate how you've walked through your life [00:09:00] with whatever privilege you have, whatever that might be. And so looking at it from what person didn't have that privilege, how did I get here? And how was I able to, you know, achieve the goals that I have.

Based off of what privileges I have. And so whether that's you belong to a golf club, right? Like, is your golf club inclusive? Do they allow women? Do they allow people to underrepresented backgrounds? Like really? Where do you get your talent and are your eyes open enough to be able to look at people who are second career, right.

Like second careers are really huge right now across the board. Are you requiring degrees for your roles? Plenty of people, amazing people have no degrees and they're super successful. I used to work at a startup that got acquired by Cisco, for cloud data management. And one of them literally never graduated from college.

He was Yahoo salesmen and he basically created this multi-million dollar business. And here we are. So what biases do [00:10:00] you have that are preventing the people that you think will make your business much more profitable in creative and innovative? And the last part I'll say is those people are then going to connect you to a level of your business that you may not have been, you know, known before.

There's a great IBM study where IBM was one of the four runners of TEI. And they basically implemented a DTI program in the nineties that allowed them to connect to underrepresented communities. They increase their business model that people wanted to buy from salesmen who looked like them, or could identify culturally with what their background was.

So you can't lose in this situation. It's just going to be super challenging for you to realize how much you've walked around with preconceived notions that are preventing you from being successful.

James Dice: Thank you.

Mandi Wedin: Okay. So let's talk about the perception of the value of diversity. Because perception is reality and that [00:11:00] impact on the future of our industry, the smart building industry, the commercial real estate industry. And I say this from a place of being in commercial real estate, my entire career, sticking it through and watching the evolution and the changes in the forces that come from demographics and other things impacting the ability of real estate to stay relevant and meaningful in people's lives.

So how do we connect the value of diversity, the future of our industry, and continue to do great things. So I'm going to start with you Lou, on this one to get your take,

Louisa Dickins: I thought this, we were going to be talking more specifically about sort of the small building space. And I think the perception, we don't quite know sort of what it is. I think everyone knows.

Everyone's trying to learn from other industries of this of importance at every single level of psycho level within the business to ensure it's sort of implemented throughout the company, whether it's sort of the employee level, the management level, [00:12:00] the, to the company, sort of, benefits of whether it's sort of employee engagement employee satisfaction.

I read like a McKinsey report the other day. And it said companies that exhibit gender and ethnic diversity, all 15 to 45% more likely to outperform to the less diverse peers. And also you just and the same study found that organizations more racial and gender diversity bring more sales, revenue, more customers, and higher profits.

So for me, that's like a no brainer saying, look, there's pre from sort of other industries where the real estate world considered. And I mentioned earlier about this increase in DEI specifying hired by these corporates, whether it's say Cushman and Wakefield they obviously have admin Stan that he's there at CIO.

Who's doing brilliant things and implementing so many awesome strategies and innovation managers. But even though the CIO specialists are sort of, trying to change the perception of the wider business, do you need more than a couple of people in that team for the larger companies? you need to have like sort of diversity and [00:13:00] inclusion champions also after that most of the junior level.

So I think perception will change over time. I think some big hives are being made at the moment, but also lots these companies that haven't yet put the budget where they are putting the budget in place, but haven't budgeted yet to ensure this change of perception actually happens. So I think it's difficult to say, I think it would change over the next three to five years, but we have a long way to go, but moves are being made that's instead of a very sort of basic thing, which I've seen from am hiring standpoint

Mandi Wedin: and Tara, how has this worked in. Where have you seen it in other industries? And what do you have any examples that you would be

Tara Turk-Haynes: willing to share? I mean, I think what's amazing is that the, you know, not compartmentalizing our segment segmenting industries at this point, we're all going through the same pain points.

Everyone wants to figure out how best to get the best talent to make their business impactful. So across the [00:14:00] board, literally you have. Rest assured you are not the only ones in this industry are having the same point, but what you really also kind of meets a focus on is like, people want to do the right thing, but they're paralyzed with what that right thing is like, how does that right thing exist?

And one of the things that I think is. You have to do something simultaneously. If you're going to recruit for underrepresented talent, which means going out there and meeting them where they are, right. Lupron spoke to this a little bit about education, about like reaching out to, you know, alumni groups or are there, you know, going to college fairs, mentoring, doing mock interviews, sponsoring, you know, scholarships.

My husband is in the buildings industry, and, you know, he is involved in if most you know, they have a mentorship program for young people entering the facilities management space. So like, do you have people there who are willing to reach back? And are you not just waiting for that talent to come to you because you will be waiting a long time?

One of the other things I'll say is training is so very [00:15:00] important. Put some money into your resources to be able to train your people so that you're building an inclusive environment. And it's not just the people at the top. It's also your frontline managers, because they're the ones who do day to day interaction with your people.

I saw some study that said like 61% of people were happy when, you know, they had their leaders doing DEI training. 81% were much more happy because their leaders and their direct managers were making some kind of effect to them as well. Those people who deal with the day to day are the ones that you really kind of have to empower and be able to operate on your behalf so that you're keeping those people.

And they feel like they're contributing overall to the goals and the values that you have for your organization. So this is happening across the board. Like people are literally trying to figure out what their roadmap is going to be, but I would say. Plan for longevity. I say, DEI is a journey and not a destination.

We're always going to be doing this. You're just plant get comfortable and being continuous in your practices. Like this is not going to be like, okay, we [00:16:00] got our degree check done. Okay. We're all, we're all inclusive now. Yay. You have hundreds of years of systemic racism and other biases that you're overcoming.

It's not going to happen in like two years. It just, well,

Mandi Wedin: yeah, I love it. It is a journey. so Mike, you want to share about some of the DEI as a mindset and a practice that you see in your team and in the industry?

Mike Brooman: I can, I can certainly try. So I think for me, from an industry perspective, I think we need to bear in mind that all people use buildings, right?

So we need to make sure that. In terms of, from a smart building perspective, the technology that's going into those buildings helps everyone. So, and that can be across the board for any kind of physical disability. We actually had an example in a member of our team who was kind of lightened up and one of our designers put into place together.

And actually they found it really difficult to, to look at the contrast on it, really minor examples, but in [00:17:00] terms of how it plays out in the building, its accessibility, all of those other bits and pieces, this is where it really kind of contributes to that end result in that as soon as you have internal lenses who understand the potential problems, whether that's from a systemic perspective or from a disability perspective, actually you can start working that into the delivery and making that difference kind of out in the field in terms of kind of how it shows up for us and what we've been doing about it.

I think. We, we made a really conscious effort about probably six or seven years ago now where we I read the, the Jim Collins' book. Good to great talks a lot about kind of defining values within your company and a really amazing experience from a couple of different perspectives. I think we'd got to a point where we'd grown to about 20 people.

We were starting to kind of having to implement things like policy and procedure and making sure that people understood those and that kind of thing. We found ourselves really kind of starting to cater for this lowest common denominator [00:18:00] of people that haven't been through any values assessment.

So we defined our fine buddies, rehab mastery, which is kind of being, being as good as you can be integrity, making sure that we're being there with people would always come speak in the trees that have everyone's interested. Discovery, no stupid questions. We won't be able to turn up, be curious.

And in this industry, it's absolutely essential that people can learn quickly and kind of apply that knowledge and then have care. And that's looking out to people internally, but also looking after our clients and fun because well, next to sleeping works pretty much the longest thing that you're going to do.

And we want people to have as good a time as possible. Unfortunately, it doesn't mean it's a permanent party at vanity. But we do want people to have a good time while they're here. And I think in starting to do that work and really starting to work on culture, it really set the foundation and started unlocking a number of things that we could do in terms of our recruitment process.

Because as people have already kind of mentioned it talked about it, we, [00:19:00] we knew that there would be great people out in the world that didn't hold a degree. And actually, so we started shifting some of our questions through our process to be things like. Do you have a high lab T play with technology right time?

Because actually we knew if people were doing that, that actually, they wouldn't be kind of, you know, the vicious learners and they would want to apply themselves. And they probably could skill up quickly because they were used to kind of tinkering around with things. And I think it's really a tower echo your point in Tylee that this isn't a destination.

I think I'm very conscious that we still have loads of things that we could be doing. And then we'll say there are constraints in terms of funding money, sadly, in terms of how much we can do with it. But the also really have experienced anywhere. Like I can bring to my right eyes at the grill kind of boss and in this, in the early on when we had our CEO joined shortly after we'd Done not by values assessment.

We had some kind of really [00:20:00] furious arguments around positive discrimination how we should, and shouldn't handle things through the hiring process that actually. It wasn't necessarily about bringing people in with skill that actually against our sport in terms of bringing people in demonstrating really great values and could get on board with that learning attitude, that actually was then incumbent on us to be able to steal those people up and support them on the journey.

And then I think a lot later as we finally got to the point now of in terms of our kind of recruitment pipeline. And implementing a new tool that we use. We can start putting metrics now or making sure that we are quite balanced. We are just shy at the point of 50 50 in terms of men and women into our recruitment pipeline, which is like completely different where we were kind of four or five years ago where it was almost broadly, a hundred percent male.

We know that within that we still have a lot of work to do and bringing women into technical roles. And that is something where, again, the kind of [00:21:00] values assessment first and then actually find an ethic, people who want to find a group. And then I think the black lives matter movement really kind of triggered things in inside of faculty.

And actually there's to have, have conversations with black colleagues that we have today, but also are setting up a tackle racism who meet every two weeks to look at. How do we create a kind of safe and equitable spaces for people to be in? And again, in terms of looking at that privilege, that people may not understand in terms of that they are kind of bought into defaulted, into having a reason to kind of consider and think about this stuff, really kind of helping people to understand those unconscious biases.

And also now moving towards a kind of generalized, unconscious bias training for for all members of the team. So I'm not perfect, but certainly have some really great examples of people were very different lenses on the [00:22:00] world has led to the best outcome in terms of volunteerism organization, but also then the best outcome for our clients.

Thank

Mandi Wedin: you. So let's talk about the the talent war, the process of hiring and building diverse teams. Lou, you already referenced that it's a supply and demand challenge. Right? I see it as also a chicken and egg challenge. Right? If you don't have a team that appeals to diverse candidates, you're going to have a really hard time hiring diverse candidates or even having access to talk to them.

So I'd love, I'll start with you loot share a little bit about what you're specifically seeing challenges, lessons learned and obstacles.

Louisa Dickins: Yeah, for sure. Where do I begin? This is the DC stuff. Like, I guess like everyone on the panels said today, hiring their best teams in every set of industries that have extremely difficult.

And it takes a hell of a long time. But I think especially for like smart buildings [00:23:00] industry, which subsea stem industry, and that makes it even more challenging. And it's probably one of the growing sort of fields, plenty of opportunities. But so it's like probably one of the most diverse ones.

So I guess women black people in Hispanic people are super under-representative. So you need to sort of work out what do, where this sort of lack of supply coming from. So like I mentioned earlier, women are often in school outperform men, but never thinks to take it on. And just in general, Lots of children don't know of the sort of credit pathway.

So, well, first of all, you go back to start talking about smart buildings, indoor air quality of GCO, T footprint, more talk about it from a younger age, not university that's when all the students started looking at consultancy, finance, whatever it is. But then if you look at um, say it's a black and Hispanic research, they are often ones you have not as many goods to the universities, but then the smart building space, there's this perceived barrier that you have to, to enter the stem workforce.

You need to have an [00:24:00] engineering degree or computer science grade. That's so not true. There's the control technicians roles. As information managers, as service technicians integrated that has like engineering or tech mission. And the job title does not mean you have to go to like university. And so I think we need to do.

Basically a lot more entertaining people, whether it's sort of junior people to more people who have say at 30 or first five are looking for a new sort of creative about what's out, but in the world. And it doesn't matter where you come from. So many of these jobs. And I knew the ones listening in who runs one of these companies so much that it's on the job training and you just have to have, you know, a passion for it.

You have to be able to speak smartly up to pick up sort of new skills, but there's so much stuff out there. And then in terms of then say the marketing side I saw an ad baptized by wellbeing Institute and I had like loads of celebrities, like Jennifer Lopez. They, they all got talking about the importance of making wellbeing, smart and like getting, you know, everyone's talking about getting back to work and it talks about importance of where it's [00:25:00] that office.

A CJ, residential building a cinema and about why people want to get back to that. But if you have like all these say celebrities talking about it and the importance of our buildings, other people where it's say students, kids, whatever it is, we'll say, oh my God, I just said, it's I talk about it. Maybe that is important.

Maybe that isn't exciting breach to go down. then when you mentioned earlier about making a company attractive for people to go to, so that's important, it's about getting DEI, right? The first thing, cause um, more research which you've done from Alamo Ray, we've asked so many of our um, the male candidates.

I can't remember the exact sentence, but it was something like 90% said if that was like a senior management team that was divest and had like eight cool female heads Different races. I think 90% said, yeah, they'd make it, they'd find it a lot more attractive. And I think it's a lot more for women candidates coming to this market, which is obviously the hardest sort of people to recruit into this market.

So that is just so important to get it right. And I think [00:26:00] it's, I don't think having two heads business here now is I don't think there's anything wrong with that, but if you're talking about a long-term about attracting and different sort of mindsets, you know, helping everyone to in advance it a great together is very important.

I do think outside of it and how can you like spread the word and outside of, you know, really cool marketing video messages, like I said, do what Ben, the wellbeing one, the stuff which, you know, James does a fabulous job at nexus about sort of spreading the word, this, the smart buildings academy.

It's just about getting everyone talking about how it is accessible and how it is increasing and everything like that. And then it's yeah, I guess. I haven't said a pushing off to the heads of diversity or the senior management. And we all mentioned earlier that everyone's got a part to play in this wherever it's near to the creator, whether, you know, sort of, and it's talking about it openly, but I think those a few places, which we can stop, but it's just so important for any business to get it right early, even if they don't think it's high on the agenda, because they can't [00:27:00] see the quick returns from it.

Like it's a long-term play, which would generate your business a lot, you know, and the people a lot more sort of happiness and obviously the dad business animal want to make profits along them, but they've got to think of the whole picture and all the people that come into that. That's a little bit about why I said, I don't know if you have any other questions you'd like me to go into.

Mandi Wedin: That's good.

James Dice: Hey guys, just another quick note from our sponsor nexus labs. And then we'll get back to the show. This episode is brought to you by nexus foundations, our introductory course on the smart buildings industry. If you're new to the industry, this course is for you. If you're an industry vet, but want to understand how technology is changing things.

This course is also for you. The alumni are raving about the content, which they say pulls it all together, and they also love getting to meet the other students on the weekly zoom calls and in the private chat room, you can find out more about the course@courses.nexus lab. Start online. All right, back to the interview

Mandi Wedin: I want to turn to Mike and talk about. [00:28:00] Lessons learned from this what you're willing to share and how you are translating that lessons learned into iterating and advancing the mission.

Mike Brooman: Yeah. So you I think you mentioned really great points there. I think it's important to recognize that from a kind of HDR team is really the last place that you're going to stop the chain young people in as they start to kind of move out into, into the field.

So from a stem perspective and making that exciting. That's important, I think would definitely kind of build on these comments, like, you know, smart buildings. They don't have to be huge assets, but they often are larger buildings at the moment. There is some really exciting demonstrable results.

And so really practical things that as kind of technologists we can take along and have people kind of get really tactile and hands-on with. Right. I think we're not in a theoretical industry of, you know, creating virtual tokens or assets or the [00:29:00] things that might be very difficult to comprehend.

Like these are big things that people see every day they live in one, they go to work and when they get to school in one, it's about kind of bringing it to life and really making it relevant. I think. In terms of lessons learned the focus of the value set a passion for what we do. Our skills can come later in training for scale, definitely can't train for kind of passion and values.

They are relatively intrinsic, or they can change over the longer term. And I think it is about getting into the community. It's about doing things at a grassroots level. My hope is that there isn't anyone from commentary on this call, but from one of the things that I got frustrated with being on the exact counseling commentary was that there was a real view for kind of global initiatives in global change.

And my point was almost always like, let's do it grassroots. Let's make sure it works. And then let's scale it up into something else. And I think it works the same for all kind of founders, business owners and [00:30:00] whatever else, senior leaders on this call. It is about doing those small things first. And as you say, kind of iterating and building over time, it's the only way that it works.

I think things that we've done at work very well hosting work experience, folks doing outreach into schools. So gain giving talks, bringing it to life, make it applicable to subject areas like why bother doing maths? Well, actually here's how it applies in this world and all that kind of stuff.

And one of the best things that we ever did was something that we actually need to restart. Now we're kind of, post pandemic and we've got restrictions lifted is we ran an initiative with like the business tool rebel Michael's. Which was all about bringing people into the office once a month, we would open the door.

We would clear out the, the office space upstairs, where we handled our hot desks. And we would have a lot of raspberry pies, sensors kind of electronic kits and that kind of stuff. And we would just encourage people to come in and join us. And [00:31:00] actually it wasn't, it wasn't the the initial ambition.

We have one of our most skilled electrical engineers tend to that route. And we also have a software developer who joined us yesterday who was actually an AP students. So kind of college kind of age who did go off to university came back and worked here every summer whilst he was at university.

And then just joined us now as a full-time employee. So I think would entirely echo the, you know, this isn't about getting a badge and then expecting immediate results tomorrow. It's a really term play, but actually. If you are of a human mindset, you do recognize the privilege that you have, actually the efforts in terms of, you know, giving up a Saturday morning, once a month, like is entirely required.

If we're going to see the change that should happen within this industry.

Mandi Wedin: Excellent. I want to come to one of your rebel makers session and play with the, the tech,

Louisa Dickins: the toys [00:32:00] put the tag.

Mandi Wedin: Awesome. Okay. So, Tara, I love to hear from you about what you do, what your team does at leaf group. I really appreciate your context of we're not in this alone. Everyone is experiencing this, but I'd love to learn from you about what you're doing, where you've seen progress and where you've iterated and learnt.

Tara Turk-Haynes: Yeah. So for those not familiar leaf group is the parent company to lifestyle category. So we own media as well as e-commerce brands like live strong while I'm good, which is super popular in Saatchi and society six. So really in the digital media space and my role I've always been in talent for over 15 years, then my DEI.

Came up to, after the murder of George Floyd and our company really being in a place like many others where we're just like, where are we in this place? And how did we get here? A lot of people have no ideas for some people. It felt like a very sharp turn around a corner. And for some of us we'd be like, hello, you're trying [00:33:00] to tell you for a little bit.

And we have that mix of people within our organization. And so really solidify. I stepped in to start doing things like putting together terminologies in terms of like LGBTQ plus or underrepresented talent, why it's, you know, you know, not wonderful to hear someone say, I really don't see color.

Like there's all these different things about like what our intentions are versus like what we actually land. And my, my, my approach to the role was we don't all share the same education. We all all come from the same area background. Taught to me as a black girl in Detroit, Michigan is not going to be the same as what Lou and might get, and that's fine, but how are we going to be now in this workplace together to fill in the gaps of what I learned, what you learned?

What's true. What's not true. What helps us communicate better? What's helps us build businesses better. How can we just fill in those gaps and be more inclusive to one another? Some of the things that we did we devoted a whole intranet [00:34:00] page to our DEI efforts. So we have terminologies. We have, you know, articles for managers.

We did some panels. We did a talk back for the 13th documentary, which is really powerful for people for black history month. We've had model minority panels. We had Dr. Jelani Cobb who's. Well, you know, popular MSNBC as well as the professor do a chat with our CEO about how do we get here July? He's an incredible historian as well as a journalist.

So context was super helpful for a lot of people, but the more conversations we were having, the more people started to feel like, oh, I can contribute to this. Now in terms of data, what we also rolled out was a. A continuous microlearning platform that everyone is expected to participate in. It's all about diversity, equity, inclusion bias.

You learn a lot. There are paths that get released every Tuesday and they're micro. So this like eight minutes, eight minutes in your week, we have to have another conversation. Right. And so for [00:35:00] us, from the HR perspective on the backend, we're also able to then measure sentiment by manager. So are we saying.

These managers, actually, their teams don't necessarily feel like they feel super inclusive or this manager is actually knocking it out of the park in terms of making their teams feel inclusive. That way we can structure what training we need for who. Right. So it allows us to be very strategic in what we're trying to do.

And then lastly I'll say getting your people involved our ERG have increased. Our employee resource groups have increased. We thought to start this year. I also implemented a DEI council that has reps from each of our brands or departments. Talk about what's happening within their department or their brand.

How can I support from a corporate level? What kinds of things can we do right now? My DEI council. So proud of them came up with ideated, a mentorship program. You don't all have to like senior leaders and executives don't have to come up with absolutely everything. You can totally crowd source. Some of your [00:36:00] questions.

It is totally okay to say to your team. I have no idea. How we're going to do this, but help me figure it out. And lastly, I will say the most important thing is figuring out your why, why are you doing this? Because you know what your why is going to be your theme throughout what you're doing. And if it's a little shaky, so are your resources.

And so your, your results. But if it's really strong, if you really say, I really am committed to changing this industry, changing my business, I want this to be something that you know, will be attractive to other people, get your core comms team involved, hit social media, tell people what it's like to work in your environment.

You know, Mike has a great idea, but also the kids are on Tik talks that chat like Twitter hashtag. Learn all of these things, don't sit back and be like, oh, I'm, you know, I can't, you know, I remember phone books, I can't do this. You have to figure out or hire somebody to do it so they can tell your story.

Your employer [00:37:00] brand is so very important. You're probably doing a lot of great things, sit down and figure out what those things are, capitalize on them and then figure out what other great things you can do.

James Dice: Awesome.

Mandi Wedin: Okay. So let's move to the action phase. Let's talk about takeaways, next steps and action items that we can share with the listeners of the live session here and the future listeners of the recording. So Mike, talk to me about what action items and takeaways that maybe you took from this and what you would share with the listeners.

Mike Brooman: Sure. So I think in terms of takeaways, I definitely think we've got a bit more to do about making it really exciting. I think that's really cool. And I think actually our thanks for the tip and I'm just, I'm going to go in there and read up on that a bit later as well. And also actually I think one thing that we have focused on a lot is the attraction phase.

And actually, I think we do need to switch now to much more of a retention and checking in and [00:38:00] making sure that sentiment is gates. We have just done a survey to look at people's protected characteristics and what that looks like across the business. But yeah, I think we definitely need to shift into checking that sentiment and making sure that things are well-structured In terms of price to the audience.

I think it's really just well, listen to Tara in terms of why. And I think if you're kind of I'm okay with the status quo, I don't have to do anything. Well, then this probably isn't for you. But I do think it is going to get to a point this does make, there will be a tipping point where the demonstrable results across lots of organizations will really start to come to the fall.

So I wouldn't have vacate for doing this out of a fear of being left behind because I don't think it would be genuine or authentic. But I think if you do believe and have been listening to any recent events that there is a lot of injustice in the world, there is a lot of an equality, equity and justice is back to the [00:39:00] place that really your next step is do something.

And even. That is to just start engaging in the community, understanding what your community looks like. We're still very cognizant that actually in Berlin, where we were kind of shifting to actually white people being in, in more of a minority that as a company, we do not represent the community, which surrounds us every day.

And that's something that we need to get addressed. And then I think take a look at hiring, right? Because that is the place to start. When new people are coming into your organization, look at the funnel, make sure you do positively promote it to underrepresented groups, make sure that you are bringing people into that process that may not have been in it before.

And also I think normally it directly relates by, I think it, it does really help, even if you go through that Patty's definition. With the boat from Jim, there's a one pager out in the internet. Talk about your miles team. You'd put in a rocket as five people, send them off to another [00:40:00] planet and reestablish your company culture, because actually that has made it a really great difference here.

And I think he does give us that constant reference. Even just in little ways, we have them as each of our values as emojis in our real-time chat tool called slack. So we can record recognize people instantly when they're demonstrating those values really kind of reinforce them on the day-to-day.

my overriding message is thanks. Sit on your hands. Don't think everyone else is going to do it. Certainly don't think other people are going to go and do it for you. Gown do something

James Dice: awesome.

Mandi Wedin: Tara, you already shared a lot of great ideas and I love your energy around this. Mike. I see you notice it too about make it fun. It's energetic. So, what would you share as action items? Lessons learned everybody's on their own journey. Some people are at the starting line. Some people are further along.

What would you

Tara Turk-Haynes: share? I will say a couple of things. One be proactive, right? Cause right now we are talking about like underrepresented talent as it relates to gender and [00:41:00] race, but it also includes so many other things. There are 34 categories of diversity. And so that could mean like disability that can mean, you know, mental and physical.

Like there are all these different things that you can be proactive about. If you're saying you have an inclusive environment, you mean you welcome all of those people. So for your hiring practices, are you, do you have like, ADH or can you help people who may not be able to hear effectively? You know, what kinds of questions are you asking?

And you know, other biases in those kinds of questions really get somebody to deep dive into your systems. If you don't know. That you can hire people to do that for you. And it's a really low lift to make sure that you are being welcoming. I will also say, you know, don't do like, just like Mike said, don't, don't like, do anything.

Don't let your fear paralyze you be able to be open and vulnerable. People love vulnerable leadership. I will say, you know, is this is an industry. Cause you know, by marriage, I know some of it and like facilities [00:42:00] management, my husband has a black man has terrible stories about showing up at job interviews because he has a name that doesn't necessarily sound black, whatever that means.

And then he shows up and they're like, oh wait, that's not who I thought this was. And so the dog doesn't go well, Eliminate the people on your team who are going to be perpetuating those kinds of attitudes and really clean house, and make sure that you have people who are really on the right track for you.

Don't also ask your underrepresented talent to educate you. That's not helpful, like really can be committed to finding resources. There are so many courses out there. There are so many people who will come into your organization, talk to you about it. Pay those people to tell you and educate yourself.

Don't rely on your team to do the lift for you you know, and, and make it so that they're responsible for your own education. We are all trying to make an impact together. One of the things I like to say is not Tavia Butler, quote, like everything that you touch impacts, you know, the world, like you change everything you touch.

And so really being mindful [00:43:00] of that, it's a huge responsibility to be a great human being in this world. And so I feel like we can all do it. We just need to make sure we're being a lot more mindful.

Mandi Wedin: Thank you. Okay, Lou, what have you seen companies take action? What would you share with people for takeaways? And I'm going to follow this up heads up to the panelists. I'm going to ask you this questions again and take it from the mind point of one of the team members. Who's not a manager. Yes, they can be a leader from any seat, but they don't have a leadership title.

And what advice would you give them?

Louisa Dickins: Okay, well also the start with sort of a few takeaways and building on Mike Torres points. What I've seen in terms of my clients is, you know, Tara mentioned about sort of being practice. And also men about sort, almost outsourcing and finding, paying people to help these sort of tackle this problem.

The challenge of DEI, I mean, companies, my contribution successful in scaling and building these teams and they had budgeted for it [00:44:00] and they have property investments, senior management saying, right, this is what we're going to do. This is the budget for the year and this is what are like metrics or targets that we want to achieve throughout the business.

So I think it's very important for stakeholders, people in the industry to start doing that in budgeting early on. And they have. And that's before leader two, it takes buddy forever. So it's investing earlier, it's having all senior management sending the message to the wider business. So things change that to start to happen.

It's going back to the eight or the diversity problem. It's getting people in at the grassroots level, which Mike spoke about earlier is talking about it being a proper career pathway or the huge earning potential, but also getting rid of these perceived barriers of you have to be degree educated, which we all spoke about earlier.

There's so many different sort of pathways and opportunities, but then also I think after we've you know, done all that, we've done the investment. We've had the, you know, these DIY sort of specialist coats going well. People think included, you know, the next real challenge is businesses [00:45:00] need to get bright.

And I'm speaking the health, some of the corporate side work with, they need to actually make sure consistent is happening because. It's so difficult when you have so many different moving parts of business. And we spoke about that to make sure that we're communicating and, or integrated each other, because that's how innovation is going to happen.

That's how businesses grow and maintain that current set of talent pools. So opposite. It's about getting more people in, but it's looking after everyone and making sure that we're communicating. So that's like where I've seen most success stories that also comes from another big budget about training and investing into your current team.

So a lot of this sounds like it's revolving around education and like, investment and culture. And yeah, it's done to basically everyone in this industry to be sort of champion as well and openly speaking about it. Mike mentioned early off sort of that massive move. And that's when they sent the prop started addressing it, but it's consistently addressing it.

It's not like it's one movement that's just happened. We should all continue sort of speak [00:46:00] about DEI and what we consider do, and then actioning it.

Mandi Wedin: Any specifics you would share with maybe the two years in to the industry, first job person who has passion or ideas around this and let's figure out how they can make an impact.

Louisa Dickins: actually, I spoke to on an assignment, this is on a podcast with different pen on literally this topic understand is that because Wakefield and Phillips people wouldn't know about him. And I was, I do struggle on some of those and hiring for diversity is my client shortlist.

And that's what we did do our best to, but I speak them out. I I'm struggling to get a diverse pool for it to grow. What can I do? And he was like, it was crew it's it's. You need to tap until two different. Talent pools and you have, the problem will be near the one degree of separation. You know, if you're not part of a different demographic or something, it's really hard to actually engage with them.

But we spoke about working with sort of different sort of associations and not as leaning on one person, your business it's about everyone trying to tap into different communities, different sort of people. So, [00:47:00] yeah, I think it's just talking to everyone being a lot more open minded.

I actually did a post yesterday on LinkedIn to get people's personal experiences of best. And lots of people asked me not to actually mention their names. So unfortunately I can't give it to the exact case study, which I was kind of hoping I could do for you guys. So, sorry.

Mandi Wedin: Well, at least people are sharing, even if it's sharing a one-off private feel, sharing.

Okay. Tara. How about you? how do you talk to one of your newer team members or younger team members or someone who doesn't feel like they yet have a way to make it?

Tara Turk-Haynes: Well, I was in everybody has a way to make an impact. And like, I will say this current workforce, if you're starting to dive into it, super motivated, really want to know what your doing as a company so that they can then sort of figure out where they can contribute.

I've talked to tons of people who reach out to me all the time. And it's oddly enough, in the facility space where people are like, you know, they're new to this [00:48:00] space. They want to make a change. Some of the things I've heard they've started book clubs within their organization. Can we talk about some of the books that are popular, how to be anti-racist like there are so many great books that you can have conversations about.

There are people who starting employee resource groups. I believe those employee led so encouraging. People to participate in those, I talk to every new hire that we have about DEI and engagement four weeks in. So having somebody that reaches out to them from the executive level or managerial level to see what their interests are and how can you best help them, can you be a mentor, a sponsor?

You don't have to have the answers for them, but if they say like, Hey look, it would be really great. If we started this program, be the person that can help them facilitate that. You know, removing barriers and challenges allowing them to know that their ideas will contribute overall. So, you know, you don't have to design what that looks like.

You just have to give people the space to be able to create that impact. [00:49:00] So eliminating all of your levels of like nos, you know what I mean? Like a lot of people come into an organization a year ago. No, no that's going to be de-motivating and I'm not going to tell you in this industry where people are literally really having inward conversations about.

Do I need to be in this organization? Is it right for me? We career hoppers are no longer a negative thing right now because a lot of candidates, a lot of employees are saying after this pandemic, after everything that's happened, social justice, everything, my, my, my, why has to make sense. And I want to be in an environment that allows me to do that.

So be that company or be that environment that allows them to say, like, I can make an impact here.

Mandi Wedin: Excellent. Okay. So from the engineer's perspective take yourself back to the way back machine when you were a project leader and you didn't manage anyone and you want to figure out how to make an impact, what would you say, Mike?

Mike Brooman: Uh, So I think first and foremost, it's about [00:50:00] understanding yourself.

I think there's a lot to be said for things coming from within. So I think, you know, understanding who you are understand what privilege you hold understand and explore, you know, do you know everything about yourself and that takes time, right? That's not an immediate thing. I think from a very kind of personal perspective.

I would encourage people to get into as much of this and consume as much content as possible, particularly on offer from your company. For me personally we had a couple of people here who are near divergence. We arrange some autism training for the entire business. I sat in that training in front of a set of slides and when I did that, oh yeah, that happens to me.

Oh yeah. And that happens to. And that actually led to my later diagnosis of Asperger's which has been fascinating for me in terms of understanding a lot of key things that have happened through my life and why they've happened in particular ways and how they felt at the time. But I do also feel as [00:51:00] though that's really empowered me to be a better ally for people who are not neuro-typical in our business.

And also understand too, as far as an extended. In terms of what that means to not be kind of in the typical and normal club for other people who may be people of color or different genders. And then I think he's about kind of being curious, asking questions, asking why things are done in particular ways, you know, and how that might be inclusive or exclusive to a particular demographics.

And I think the very least that people can do, however, junior they are, is contribute to making spaces safe and be an ally to others in the organization thing that's super important. And it's something that anyone can get on board with Tamara for even today being is it's the morning for something.

Mandi Wedin: There you go. Okay. Excellent. Excellent. Well, we save time purposefully for question and answer session. So. [00:52:00] People in the audience have questions that they want these experts to share guidance on. Please put them in the Q and a session. We have one that I'll start off with. And Lou, it ties back to one of your earlier comments about the challenge of getting women to participate in the industry and what we know are known and how we're overcoming that.

Can we talk specifically about the construction technology, the IOT building automation and where you're seeing women joining the ranks of those teams, how it's been successful? We don't need a secret sauce cause there is no secret sauce, but I think

Louisa Dickins: what this B. Positives and next events, obviously the say the contact it industry is very Sigma.

Male-dominated where I've seen success stories is when a women had seen the huge potential sort of grow. Cause that's actually not been enough in the business, [00:53:00] a light bright, this is my opportunity to suggest and implement some new strategies, really to have like a lot more to the autonomy and changing the sort of culture and promoting and more of a diverse workforce.

And they've seen to you, but that will be quite strong-willed women who they've gone into it. I've had a lot of candidates not take jobs despite really liking the product, being excited about it because of the, it's the pure sort of male structure there is there. So then that goes down to, if I can get any bits of advice, if you're trying to attract women is either giving them.

And I think Tara, you spoke about this earlier is giving them like reason. Like why would you want to join our business? You know, the exciting part of that. Making it a lot more appealing, giving people like, oh, is a, your own there. So you'll do that. But otherwise we don't have that sort of reason to sort of entice them as great as your product could be.

Or what you're trying to create is will never be sort of that exciting. So you got to really sort of give something else to sell all the men, just sort of the [00:54:00] job, because a lot of millennials and younger and younger candidates are not just looking for, will not just join the job for the, to the nine to six sort of roles.

They want to do something else. They will, they want to put the coach. They want me to ex you know, these other sort of responsibilities, which are now available within a career.

Mandi Wedin: Thanks. Okay. Micro Tara, do you have anything you want to share? Any experiences or anecdotes or advice.

Tara Turk-Haynes: I mean, I'll say also, like when you consider the underrepresented talent group that you're talking about, you have to consider like all of the things that they deal with. And then we're talking about caregiving status.

We're talking about like other kinds of opportunities. Is your company set up to support that, right? Like women. Disproportionately we're affected by the pandemic. When we talk about economics, if you look at any of the McKenzie studies, especially the women, women in workplace 2020 study, which, you know, was devastating for a lot of people, they were literally [00:55:00] saying women, there's someone who are not coming back, right.

How can you make it appealing for them to do that? And black women, work. Extraordinarily impacted by the you know, the pandemic where their job, the jobs that they were doing completely eliminated. A lot of those were labor jobs, blue collar jobs. If you're tying to find some of those people to meet those kinds of jobs, what kind of upskilling can you do?

Someone asked, I think in the question, look at your job description what's needs versus wants, right? Like, are you looking for the unicorn? Are you looking for somebody who has potential you can grow when they grow within your organization and you create loyalty, you CA you create this level of, you know, support and in a way that allows them to feel like there is growth.

I think that monster recruiting report just came out and they were saying 22% of the people who are leaving the org the workplace today it's because they felt like there was no growth. Like there was an extraordinary percentage where they said there were some people who are literally looking for jobs all the time.

So, you know, once you hire these, the people, you have to figure out how to [00:56:00] keep them and make them feel like secure that they're going to be in an organization that supports them, allows them to have opportunities for growth. So creating those environments I think, is going to be super important.

Mike Brooman: I'll just build on that, I guess I'd say, I think the, the other thing that's been in Samoan girls, but the entire talking areas think about it in terms of, again, going back to that steps that we can take think about the kind of promote from within as well. Right? It might be that we have people joining us in particular roles that actually wants that within the organization, demonstrate and show interesting capabilities in other areas.

So it's not just necessarily about as people cross the threshold it's then about how can we develop people internally to towers point on gray bar. That's the essential potluck, because if you've got people that want to stay within your organization, that can see progression that can see that people can move around, actually that sends more positive messages out.

And I'm sure they won't mind me mentioning everyone on this panel, but [00:57:00] I think she's probably our best example of someone who actually started working with us as a contractor doing marketing. She then moved, in-house doing marketing. We then advertised a team integrator role for our service team because after a while managed service clients and.

Was already thing. I can do that by none of the technical capability, but everything else you're talking about in the job spec, I can totally knock this out of the park and she did. And then just recently we've moved her again into a role that is now entire business transformation and her knowledge capability and skill that she's built through that makes it absolutely indispensable at bounty because actually she understands so many parts of the business.

And while yes, she doesn't have a technical degree in terms of the impact and the difference that she makes within the organization. It's absolutely huge. And she is also that role model for that is, and we hold her up as an example and time what is possible [00:58:00] within the organization. They have to come through technical routes can still have a huge impacting and be doing a role that is largely technical.

Mandi Wedin: Thanks for sharing that story. So I have another question from the audience and this is about some people see that the industry is for the most part sitting back and watching still hasn't taken much action. But what we're talking about here is companies that have, and the next steps. So how does the mindset shift from being passive to active happen?

Tara Turk-Haynes: I'll say leadership starts, you have to have a CEO, a leader who's like. Okay, this is our new world. And then it, and it filters in from there. I'm not saying that CEO has to figure out what that actual structure looks like, but you have to be committed because at the end of the day, any changes that you make as an organization are under that particular leader.

So if you have a leader who is probably not willing or a little [00:59:00] passive, either, if there's no one there who can get them there, then. You know, it's going to stall, like you have to be able to have that. I think your second step is putting together a plan. What's your statement? Where would you like to go being very real about your demographics?

Don't try to do a marketing statement that says, yay. We're almost like we're half women. Like what are your real stats like really put down as you know, and put them on your site. So many companies are doing that right now. If you look at apple or Buzzfeed and all these other companies, they're just like, you know, they might have a little marketing spin to it, but their data is really, it is what it is.

Right. And we hope to be able to be in a an environment that will be more inclusive. We know we have a long way to go. However, here's where we are now come with us on this journey as we make this change. And then, you know, put, you know, when you have your, your Y put in structure to figure out how do you get to your goals?

Put councils together, be able [01:00:00] to like, hold people accountable, maybe make sure you have checks and balances, have somebody who's looking at all parts of your business and making sure that your efforts are integrated. Like what, you know, no stone to be unturned because you're now looking at a new world where a lot of companies are doing that.

Louisa Dickins: Yeah. I'd like to um, I like to build a money, can use 'em take Cushman and Wakefield as like a case study example. Adam Sani, he he now has put subs. They have senior management on board are tackling to the DEI. They've also been, so that's the new management and now they sort of implemented and go divest team champions throughout sort of the junior levels of the business and for our all the teams.

And they also have. They do. Like, I think it's like Seth, not certain events that they've got awards for as well. So if you're doing something, which is like enhancing that the same way they do it for innovation as well. So it's sort of getting everyone to work together with the same initiative and sort of motive, which is great.

And that is a massive bloody business to to create, to get everyone sort of thinking the [01:01:00] same way. So yeah, I completely agree what Tara said it, senior management, but then it's like getting the wider business.

Mandi Wedin: Okay. Other question that came in was about, we've been talking a lot about internal leaders and some about external, but what's the, what's the external, how do you communicate to this as a benefit? What are the results for your clients, for your customers?

Louisa Dickins: When you, when you say that you mean the results for say, if your business like selling a product or like, would, is that what you could be? No. Well, one of

Mandi Wedin: my question so Lindsay's asking specifically about communicating benefits of a product to clients, and we can talk about that. And then I'm also thinking through how do you communicate?

How, because your company is bringing more diverse people to the table and building a better product. How do you take that and deliver that as here's why you should hire us? Because this is what we do. Yeah. [01:02:00]

Louisa Dickins: I was like reading. A report is the same ones that I mentioned earlier by McKinsey. If you have like a diversity of sales, seen you a lot more sort of understanding when you sort of selling product all sorts of different clients out that it's annual sales and profits, just go up.

So if your clients looking at it from a profit to the lens view, yeah. You do just want, obviously you want, you want people working of a happy team, but the client at the end of the day often just wants to see sort of what value they're getting out, whoever they're sort of working with. So there's so, so much data out there that creates a more diverse, inclusive workforce death, January grades

James Dice: value.

Mandi Wedin: Anybody else have thoughts on external marketing or communications?

Mike Brooman: Yeah, maybe. I'm not sure if I'm maybe taking this too literally or not. I think the the direct translation into some kind of return on investment metric. If, if that's your searching point, it's probably the wrong place to start. I think we need to go back [01:03:00] to the kind of wider reasons and the why's for why we're doing this, which is lots of bad systemic stuff needs resolving.

So I think if we're looking for, you know, dollars and cents or pounds and Pence in, in terms of a metric, please don't start there. I think in terms of the benefits and we've, we've touched on some of this already, but I think the lack of group thing and the ability to see things and perceive things from lots of different menu.

It's been again, in terms of that and blossoming, yeah. Sitting in sessions now with members of our team, particularly when we're solving problems, particularly when we're working on design challenges he is amazing to see the number of different perspectives that now emerge because of the different people, different backgrounds with meals that we have in the room.

I'm not sure that necessarily translates to something that you could put on your marketing collateral is we're going to come up with the best ideas. But I do think when people kind of engage with the [01:04:00] team, they get a real sense of that kind of culture. It's always amazing to get feedback from clients.

So I think it's, it's probably looking at it as after the fact in terms of. How people engage and then you getting that feedback to go, actually working with this team was different. We really enjoyed this, but we did enjoy the different perspectives and focus. We could see ourselves within it. They're probably the outcomes that you want to be focused on.

I think connecting this with financial metrics is yeah, I probably checked out.

Tara Turk-Haynes: I totally agree with that. Like, I think the question would be like, why would you want to stay stagnant? Like, do you want to be part of the world that's already changing around you? Like, hi, I would like to be part of 20, 21 and 20, 22 and beyond.

So essentially, like it's just asking, like, do you want to still stay archaic? And you know, why not talk to people or engage with businesses that reflect the world? We actually live in rather than the world. We probably curate ourselves. I was [01:05:00] like, at the end of the day, the reverse question is probably a lot more helpful to understand, like, do you want to work with the person who definitely is like, no, I like homogenous groups.

Thank you. Thank you.

Louisa Dickins: Nice.

Mandi Wedin: Yeah. When I talk about ROI, I talk about the financial metric ROI return on investment and then bring a relevance lens to it. And that's the risk of ignoring. You'll get left behind you. Won't be relevant anymore. So if you need the, to speak the language of finance, go for it. And then you'll also need to layer the additional languages that matter as well on top.

So any, so we have final minute warning. Anybody want to share anything? Before we say thank you to everyone for participating and listening,

Mike Brooman: I would just say thank you to everyone. This has been, I've made so many notes through the school. Um, I'd already paid some people about getting stats on the website because I think it's just private.

Louisa Dickins: The say, sorry, Mike, I've let you be making so many nights. I thank you [01:06:00] so much as well.

Tara Turk-Haynes: Hey, thank you so much for introducing me further into an industry have only been in proximity to work.

So like, so now I can actually have more to talk about at dinner, but also just understanding that your industry is very similar to all of ours. Like we're all in this together. And the more we create community, the better outcome we're going to have, we can facilitate dialogue and learn from each other.

That's the most important thing.

Mandi Wedin: Thank you all for sharing your ideas, your expertise and your guidance. Really appreciate it. This is how we make progress and move things forward. Thank you again to James and the nexus community for providing the space for this conversation. And with that, we're

James Dice: done.

James Dice: All right friends, thanks for listening to this episode of the Nexus Podcast. For more episodes like this and to get the weekly Nexus Newsletter, which by the way, readers have said is the best way to stay up to date on the future of the smart building industry, please subscribe at nexuslabs.online.[01:07:00] You can find the show notes for this conversation there as well. Have a great day.