Johannah McWilliams: Well, Carin, the first question is for you. So getting people in the door is one thing, but keeping them there is another thing entirely. So beyond diversity and representation, what are ways in which we should think about retaining employees once they've joined?
Carin Taylor: Yeah, that's a great question. So as you've mentioned here, we definitely need to move beyond just thinking about diversity and representation. And we've had to think about this for quite some time. And as we know, it's not enough just to bring people in. We have to also give people a reason to stay. But you also have to understand what makes people want to stay, and that's where I think we need to really start to hone down and find some solutions on-- we've figured out enough solutions on how to get people in the door, but the stickiness of getting people to stay, I think, is what is often missing. And so what makes people stay are things like having an environment in which their safety-- where they can openly share their ideas and perspectives without being judged and they can also be their best selves, right? We have to think about how do we want people to feel like they belong and like they want-- do people want them there, not just that they're tolerated for being there. People want to feel like they can be challenged and do great work and be stretched in ways that they can grow and progress. Most people don't join a company to stay stagnant and where they are. Everybody wants to grow. And so as we think about how do we get beyond just representation and diversity, we really need to go to the point of, what is it that's going-- what is it going to take to keep every single one of our employees, not just in our company, but thriving, and a reason to be there? We don't want to get to a point to where people are quietly quitting and not giving 100% of themselves. And if we are not focused on what's really going to keep people in our companies, that sense of inclusion, belonging and equity, then people will continue to walk out the door. And I think it's something we all need to be very concerned about.
McWIlliams: Scott, do you have anything to add to that?
Scott McMillion: No, great stuff. And, Carin, I think you had a lot of great points to note. I would just think from what we look at, at least in a government [sense?] and specifically the FBI, it comes down to that employee engagement and that employee experience. That employee experience is so key, and how the organization engages with that employee, I think speaks a lot to retaining individuals. Obviously, our mission or even the vision of the organization can be something that is helpful in keeping people at the organization, because they look at the mission and particularly in what we have and upholding the constitution and serving the American public to protect them from those domestic and foreign adversaries that would look to do us harm. But again, does somebody want to come to work every day? Do they feel valued? Do they feel that sense of belonging when they show up in the office, show up on squash, show up on scenes, or even working with some of our other teams? It's that employee engagement experience. If that's successful and successfully done, where people do feel those things such as being valued and treated with dignity and respect, they will stay, because then it's not about just the mission. It is about, "I enjoy coming to work. I feel valued when I come to work. I feel respected. I feel I am contributing authentically to the mission and the organization sees my success as a benefit-- my individual success as well as my collective success as a benefit to what we're trying to accomplish." And so I think retaining people is so, so key because otherwise you have a revolving door. And none of our organizations, private or even public sector, would want that because then they're taking that knowledge, sometimes expertise, out the door. And we want to be able to retain that for our organizations to help benefit, as well, of what we're trying to accomplish in our mission, as well as in our strategy. So it's just so important. So making sure that people feel that sense of value and that they're wanted, I think, are very, very key, especially in that place of safety where they can come into authentic selves or have their authentic perspectives that they can share.
Taylor: Well, can I just add one additional point-- actually, two additional points? One is the cost of attrition. One of the things that we don't pay a lot of attention to is how much it costs to onboard an employee and to have that employee walk out the door 6 or 12 months later. American companies are spending billions of dollars just thinking about how do they not just retain their employees, but the amount of money that is walking out the door when those employees walk out the door. The other thing that Scott touched on was the employee voice in this process and so also understanding that you have to listen to your employees. They are the ones who know the best what it's going to take to retain them and what their experience is. And so the more we can also include their voice as a part of the process, the more we can create solutions that are on point with solving for their needs.
McWilliams: Thanks for sharing. I liked your point about the cost of attrition because it's not just the right thing to do, right, to treat your employees well. It's also the smart thing to do. It's quite business savvy. And so that's definitely a good point. So, Scott, a question for you. Do you think that potentially as a result of the historical distrust between many minority communities and law enforcement, that the very people the FBI's working to recruit might be uninterested because they view the agency in a negative light? And if so, how do you intend to change that perception, or how are you changing that perception?
McMillion: That's a great question. I will tell you, yes, there are definitely some historical distrust between law enforcement in general and particularly racially, ethnically demographic communities. There's no doubt of that. And the FBI is no stranger to some of the wrongs-- historical wrongs, I should say, with those communities. And for us, I think the best thing-- us as the FBI and then other organizations as well could speak independently, but I know what we've been trying to do is be accountable for those errors, accountable for those wrongdoings and the mistakes and atrocities, whether it's with the wiretappings or how we treated some very historical public figures. And I will tell you, we have to own that. We have to let the communities that we're serving know that we are accountable for it, and how we're doing things differently.
I will tell you that when I look at it from the FBI standpoint, this is a different FBI. Yes, there were societal things that were going on in the historical past. Then I will tell you the FBI was a part of that society and did some atrocities. But I will tell you today when I look at the FBI, it is for us to not go back to those ways, to ensure that everything that we do of the process, and the people we bring, and the partnerships is that it is literally on point with what we're trying to accomplish. And with that, I would note that we're doing things right. We're doing things right. We're going where the facts lead us. We are following the process and procedures, the legal guidance that ensures that we are doing the right thing in our investigation and our intelligence gathering. It is so very, very important. And so we try to make the case to communities that have been damaged by our behavior in the past to let them know we're accountable. But then also to pull back some of the mystique and build that trust, which is going to take time, and show them literally the things we're doing to change, which includes making sure we're following those processes in a legal and factual way to ensure that we are literally reminding every new employee of the path and how not to navigate in that direction again. I think [inaudible] will say this is the new FBI. Well, I will tell you, there is no doubt. There is a new climate, literally, when it comes to things we're doing, when it comes to our investigations, how we handle even some of the toughest challenges that are facing our country domestically as well as internationally. And so I think by pulling the mystique back, by reaching out directly to communities, we're doing the best we can. Listening to those communities, hearing their thoughts, their perspectives are very, very key.
Look, we're not perfect. We're going to have some setbacks but, hopefully, never to what it was in the past. And if there are, we expect the community just to call us out on it. Matter of fact, this is also why we need diversity within the organization. We need people that look differently, have different experiences in the organization to internally hold our organization accountable so that we don't go back to those paths, and to be able to say we are moving in the direction of right and not in the direction of wrong so that we never go back to there. There will always be that segment of population that we cannot convince that we're a different organization as a law-enforcement, intelligence-gathering organization. But the ones that would even consider-- and matter of fact, I would just say that we need, as I mentioned before, people from diverse backgrounds and people with diversity of the way they look-- but not just the way they look, but their experiences, their thought, their perspectives, in the organization so that we can be the best that we can be in serving the American public.
McWilliams: Great answer. Carin, do you have anything to add to that?
Taylor: I do. I wanted to touch just quickly on-- Workday, like many other companies, does pay equity analysis every year to ensure that we are consistent and fair with our pay practices, right? Many companies do this. And as we're all doing it, the goal really is to make sure that there are no disparities across things like race and gender when it comes to pay. And this is something that companies monitor on a regular basis. But what I also wanted to add is the focus on equity beyond just pay practices. It becomes extremely critical when you are building out a diversity strategy or the experience that you want to have within your company to, in addition to thinking about pay, that you also think about equity around things like opportunity. Is there equity to access to leaders within your organization? Is there access to development and mentorship and all the things that are going to help us grow our careers? Are there equitable processes in that way as well so that when you have a diversity of a workforce that everyone has the opportunity to learn and grow and thrive, not just a segment of your population, right? I mentioned earlier, people don't want to come and just sit and stay stagnant. They want to have opportunities to grow. And if you don't have equity of opportunity where you are sharing things like pay and opportunities and develop-- and you're not sharing that information, it's harder for people to access it. And so we also have to think about how do we create those systems of equity across everything that we do as well.
McWilliams: Yeah. So, Scott, I mean, like Carin just said, in the private sector, workers can negotiate with their employers for the pay they want and the pay that they think they deserve for their job. But in government, salary's predetermined by rank on the GS pay scale. And so while private sector companies like Workday focus on pay equity, the government focuses on giving every employee an equitable opportunity for career development and promotion. So what is the FBI doing to give everyone an equitable chance to move up through the GS ranks?
McMillion: Yeah, I think, again, as you noted, we're kind of set. We're kind of locked in the federal GS ranks and scaling of our salaries. However, those opportunities that are available, those career development opportunities that people need to be able to access so that they can make themselves most comprehensive for any of those positions that they're going to be going for for promotions and to be able to move up within the organization-- upper mobility is so key and very important for many of our employees and is important to them. And so as an organization, because our pay is locked, and we know that [inaudible] promotional levels have certain extra pay, or more pay, for those particular promotions, it is important that we engage our workforce to ensure that they are being developed, they are being cultivated, they are being given the tools that they need, the network they need. And really, it comes down to network, and it also comes down to that ability to develop and cultivate. And so through our Cross-Cultural Mentoring program, what we really try to ensure that employees, particularly those that are frontline leaders moving to senior leaders, and those senior leaders who are moving to executives, have opportunities to meet with executives, to meet with aspiring leaders so that they can widen their network and meet individuals that can give them insights, can develop them, to give them coaching, to give them, literally, mentoring that they'll need, training that they need, instruction that they need to challenge them on their philosophies when it comes to leadership. And so for us, the Cross-Cultural Mentoring and Sponsorship program is so key because it pits somebody who is not necessarily of that person's demographic racially, ethnically, or gender, and allows them to expand their network, particularly to those executives in those senior leaders.
And so that's one thing. The other thing is the support. People need to be able to develop themselves, cultivate themselves through sabbatical opportunities to increase education. So we have a university education tuition program so others can pursue and get advanced degrees, particularly at the master's levels so they have those skill sets, that education, that background that will also help them be comprehensively competitive for some of those promotions we talked about. We have shadowing programs where they can shadow executives and some of our senior leaders and some of our frontline leaders as well. And also we are being proactive in looking for talent, if you will, in the lower GS ranks so that we can develop that talent as they're coming through or those that haven't been onboarded with the organization as long and look for promising individuals. But then also people that need help and assistance-- because sometimes it's those individuals that just show a little bit of initiative that can really turn into gems down the road for our senior leaderships as we cultivate and develop them. I think for us to be able to have an opportunity to learn from others, be exposed to others is so critically important.
One last thing when I talk about mentoring and coaching, yes, we have cross-cultural, but we also have what I like to call mirroring, people that look like you. Because sometimes that understanding of what the plight of an individual is, is so critical and important to talk with somebody who looks like them, to see what their challenges were, to see what their successes were, to see what the things that impacted them, the decisions that they made and why, and to have those conversations. And so we have some of those mirroring or representation of self mentoring programs as well. And we use that through our diversity advisory committees, our women's advisory committees, specifically our LGBT+ committee advisory affinity groups is what I'm saying, to be able to give those insights, to give those conversations and give those tools that someone's going to need and be able to answer those questions that-- those who are represented like that to answer those questions of how they navigated their careers and find out what challenges and successes they can utilize for their upward mobility track as well.
McWilliams: Thanks for answering. And from what I can see, you all truly are doing a really good job at this. I've covered the FBI with Workday for a couple of years now, and one of my main points of contact, she's a really promising young leader. She's been promoted twice in two years. So I really am seeing that those who work hard, who are innovative, who are dedicated to the mission, they are given opportunity after opportunity to succeed from what I can see from the outside. So with both of you as chief diversity officers, I'm sure you're aware that with the push of DEIA, which many believe is long overdue, there's also a sentiment growing that certain people are being put into roles prematurely simply to check the diversity box. The thought of, "Oh, well, they were just given that job because they are--" fill in the blank. What would you say to someone who holds that viewpoint?
Taylor: So I'll start. The first thing that I would say is not only is that hurtful, it's very offensive, right? No one wants to be given a job that they don't know how to do or that they are not prepared for, especially if you are an underrepresented person or a woman, right? There's always a lot of confidence that you have to have before you want to go into a certain position. No one wants to be hired only for their race or gender. So when we hire anyone for only one aspect, it does not set that person up for success. So we need to think about how do diverse perspectives and experiences-- to Scott's point earlier, how do they add to what your team doesn't need or doesn't have? And so I always like to help hiring managers think about the fact of what doesn't your team have, and that's what you should be looking for when you're going off and hiring. So if you have a team of all extroverts, start thinking about whether or not the mix on your team is maybe bringing in a couple of introverts, right? If you do have all people of one race or one gender, think about the perspectives and the experiences that someone who may have a different race or gender may bring to the table to add to the conversation and the expertise that folks may be having on your team.
One of the other things, I think, that's also critical and a good best practice when you are bringing in diversity-- because a lot of times people are saying, "I can't explain why it makes sense to hire a diverse person." Right? And what I say is, "When you introduce a person to your organization or to your team, talk about the uniqueness that they are actually bringing to your organization. What did they have that was different that no one else had on your team? And that becomes the reason or the reason that you have decided to hire for diversity because you needed something different or something additive to make your team actually run differently." And so I think we have to continually remind people that you never want to hire someone for a single element of who they are. You have to think about people much more broadly. And then also think that no one wants to be hired for the fact that they are an underrepresented person or a woman or an LGBTQ person. It doesn't matter. We want to be hired for the skills, the attributes, and the experience and perspectives that we bring that are additive that will help an organization be more successful. And that's what we should be thinking about when we're hiring for diversity.
McMillion: Yeah, I would just add, when I hear comments such as that, really it's so shortsighted and even, as Carin said, offensive. Because really, we're not talking about the person that got the position, really talking about the person who made the statement, just how shortsighted that is. And I would ask that person to look and reflect in the mirror on themselves. Because again, we're not talking about qualified. We're not talking about, do they have the skill set, do they have the talent, do they have the knowledge, or as Carin mentioned so eloquently, the uniqueness that they bring to the table to fill that position. I will tell you then, these candidates who were in the selection, when you read their bios-- and I think that's one of the things that we do well in the FBI, is to publish bios on our individuals in leadership and those that are appointed, so that everyone can see literally the individual skill set, the talents, the things they bring to the table, if you will, that are going to make them successful and why they got the position. Our leadership ranks in our frontline or senior leaders, and the higher you go up, even to our executive levels, the rigor is very, very high. The standard is high. And everyone, irregardless of what they look like, are going to make sure that they have completed the competencies and all the development opportunities that they have that would make them successful in that position. In our position, I would think for any private or other public sector job or career organization, they're not-- or don't want to put somebody in a position that's going to be unsuccessful. That hurts the organization. That hurts others that will be coming up behind them.
And so when we talk about the competencies, leadership in the FBI, and the problem solving, judgment, initiative, flexibility, all the things when it comes to communication, how good these individuals are and proven because they've given examples-- but I think I point also back to any private or public sector organization to look at the rigor of their process of evaluation to ensure that everyone that fits there, that there is no question, whoever sits in that seat has met that standard of rigor. So it's not necessarily against applicant to applicant, but it's against the rigor of what you're looking for, at least in the FBI in the competency model that I mentioned about those things that we look for. Who has demonstrated leadership? Not by position or title, but who has demonstrated? Who has exhibited? How were they accomplished certain things? How do they think? Are they visionary? Are they innovative? Are they creative in their thinking? Who is bringing that to the table? And so I think when people see that or see individuals who may not look like the norm, they may say, "Well, how did they get the job? Are they just trying to check a box?" And I would just say organizations to steer clear of that is to ensure they are very transparent with the process, very transparent with the standard and the rigor, and then reflect, in my opinion, in some capacity. We publish our bios and so that we can see that person, no doubt, clearly has the standard, the high rigor that they went through. And so I think that exposure to who that candidate is, is very, very important. But the other thing I would caution, we can't have tokenism. It can't be just one person in there. That also hurts because then you get these comments such as, "They're only because," and so I think when you look at the span in any organization that's looking for talent, particularly in the frontline, senior, and then executive level of leadership, that talent should be deep, it should be wide, and it should look uniquely different than just one monolithic viewpoint if someone were to just look at a work chart and look at the faces that seem to be represented.
McWilliams: So making real progress means having tough conversations sometimes, like this one. And sometimes they include painful periods of the past that still affect members of certain groups today. How do you two advise that we have these conversations in a way that invites all employee groups into awareness and allyship without creating more division?
Taylor: I love this question because I truly believe in my heart that the biggest thing we can do right now is encourage conversation. I believe that we will never make the progress we need to make if we don't work together and if we are not willing to meet each other in the middle. And for me, it starts with talking. So I always think about when there is conflict, and you're trying to work through things. And you want to get to a better place, and that is the goal. For me, there are a few things that we have that stand true. One is we need to make sure that we can have true open and honest dialog. We need to be able to uncover the truth about what has gone on and what's going to help us move forward. We need to seek to understand, not necessarily to agree. We also need to make sure that we listen and speak equally, right? It can't just be my voice and my voice dominating from my perspective, and me not taking a step back and being willing to listen to the other perspective, especially when it is different from my own. I believe that we need to create a space for safety where tough conversations can be had, and also give people an out when they have tapped out and said, "Hey, I've had enough of this conversation." In order to be able to have these difficult conversations, you also have to give people an out for themselves if it's not the right time for them to continue the conversation.
Taylor: A couple of things I would just say to-- we need to give everyone an opportunity to speak and to share, and so the last thing that I would say is, as we are dealing with our differences, and especially our differences of strong opinion, we need to lead with empathy and compassion and not being critical of others' perspectives. But we really need to seek to understand, to learn, and to grow. And from my perspective, these difficult conversations, the more we can work through them, the more that we grow as a society. It's the hard things that we have to push through that enable us to grow, not the easy things. And so I think the more we can come together where there is discontent in how we are operating, the more we will have an opportunity to move forward together in a stronger way.
McMillion: No, that's really great, Carin. I would just say what you said [laughter] and underscore, like you said, that openness and open conversation is so important. And we cannot steer clear of these conversations operating in fear and not wanting to have these challenging conversations. I think that open-mindedness is very, very key. The wanting and willingness to be curious about somebody else's truth, about somebody else's pathway, about somebody else's background experiences, is very, very key for us. I would also note in there is some of the self-education. Individuals have to self-educate about facts, truisms that have happened. It is not beholden to just the person who is explaining their pathway or their background to say how it is, and that they speak for an entire population, because they don't. They speak from their individual perspectives, and some of that is cultural that they've experienced. And some of the norms that are within that culture are present. But we also have to give the grace, as you mentioned, the empathy and understanding, towards others, because it's not necessarily the same across the board.
And I would tell anyone in that open-mindedness and having these dialogues is to literally look for also opportunities for similar-- I think most, if not all, populations, demographics, or people that are different - because we're all different and unique - we still have some baseline fundamental things we want to achieve. We want to be successful. We want to have a good life. We want to be happy. We want to be seen. We want to be heard. All of those things are consistent across the population and people.
And so when it comes to treating people with dignity and respect, giving grace and understanding, I think, is so very, very key. It is incumbent upon us all to have these dialogues so that we can all become more culturally aware, culturally intelligent, and as well as operate under the empathetic model of giving somebody the grace to give their truth and to explain their truth, where we're not necessarily trying to change anybody's mind, but we just want them to be aware [inaudible] say in the sense of agreeing with, "I agree with everything," because that's not going to happen, especially when we're talking about diversity of thought, but just understand the perspectives, and then work to literally find those similar and common ground areas.
Taylor: Yeah. If I can just double down on just one thing, and that is our history within this country is painful. And so a lot of the things that-- a lot of these tough conversations are around things that have been happening in our country for many, many years. But they are things that drum up pain in all of us. And so I would also just add to Scott's point around stepping into these conversations and putting aside your fear and pain and trying to lead with a little more courage. Because that is going to be how we step in and how we are able to move forward together. And so if we stop because of the fear and because of the pain, it will not enable us to move forward. And so that's why it's so important and critical that we come together and to Scott's point, we understand the differences, but we leverage the similarities to get us to a better place.
McWilliams: I love that. We really don't know what it's like to be anyone else. And we'll never understand what it's like to be anyone else. And the closest that we will ever become to understanding is by listening. It's the only way to even come close to understanding what somebody else's lived experience is. And in our culture, there's so much talking, there's so much sharing of our opinion, and so little listening intently. So I really did love your all's answers. And that kind of wraps us up today. And so what I want to end with is by asking you two-- Scott, where do you hope that federal agencies-- or Carin, where do you hope that private sector companies will be in 5, 10, or 15 years down the road from now as that relates to diversity and belonging?
McMillion: Yeah, good question. And I will tell you, when I think about 5, 10, 15 years down the road, really, you're talking about, to some degree, sustainability, continuing the work, continue the hard work, the journey that we're on, and hopefully we are better represented, we feel that our workforce is in the government, feel that we're more included, that we're listening more, that we're hearing more, that we have a wider span of safety for people to come and bring their authentic selves to work, and to serve literally the American public in that capacity. And so for me, when I look down the road, how do we sustain-- how do we continue the good work? And then how do we come up with those other creative, innovative ideas? And so what that looks like is that we do see representation across our leadership spectrum in the federal government, specifically in the FBI. Our director has done that in appointing certain people and allowing people to literally expand and be successful in the rigor. I think under director Ray, he has had the most diverse what we call the seventh floor, the place of decision-making, literally in his top leadership. We have the first time ever, the associate deputy director, the number three position, is African-American male. First time ever that's happened in the history of the FBI, which is 115 years now.
And then when we look at women, women we have cascaded literally throughout the organization, particularly in those leadership positions. We just signed on to the 30x30 Initiative because it's important to bring women into law enforcement and particularly the FBI to be held accountable for that. And so we're being intentional in the activities. And I would hope that every government organization would continue to be intentional in what they have done in starting the hard work of diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging, and literally ensure there is a plan, a strategy for sustainability so that we don't lose focus in some of our mission or other things that may happen, that we stay the course and continue to champion diversity, equity, inclusion for our organization. So what I think about down the road, what does it look like? A time when maybe we don't have these conversations. Or these conversations become shorter or pivot on something a little bit different about how do we continue the work instead of just maybe starting the work and getting the wheels turning. So that's kind of how I look at it. I'm very hopeful for the future though.
Taylor: It's a great question. I'm hopeful for the future, as well. It's hard for me to think out, especially 15 years with the pace change in technology and what's happening in the world, to even imagine what this world is going to be like in 15 years because next year it's going to be very different, right? Our next election is going to cause us to have and deal with issues that we did not deal with in the last election. So things are changing at this rapid pace and that causes me a little bit of fear, but it also causes me hope. But for me, I really think about down the road, how do we get to a better operating system? And what I mean by that is right now we have a system that is broken, right? And we can acknowledge that the system needs to be repaired in many, many different areas.
And so for me, it's how do we acknowledge that the change is not just coming but how do we come together to disrupt the current system so that we have a new operating system in 5 to 10 to 15 years? Because what we do know today is that it's very difficult. We all know the reasons that we are putting so much energy into this space right now is because of the system that currently exists. And so until we can kind of work through where we have inequities in that system, where we have imbalances in that system-- we've got to work through some of that. But we have to be able to dismantle and then repair that system as it continues to evolve, and so I think we need to put a little more effort there so that these conversations, to Scott's point, become easier, we spend less time talking about why the business case of diversifying your talent or your workforce, and we really start to solve bigger problems for not just our organizations, but for society at whole. So huge opportunities for us to come together, huge opportunities for us to be hopeful for the future, and there's a lot that we need to do to continue making great progress together.
McWilliams: Well, it gives me hope to see people like you two at the forefront of companies and government. You're genuine, approachable, humble, and experts in this area, so knowing that people like you are in charge also gives me hope for the future of the company, of the country, and more. So thank you for sharing your time and your wisdom, as always. I hope that we have many more podcast episodes in our future because these are always just a lot of fun and a lot of wisdom is always shared. But until next time, so thank you so much.
Taylor: Thank you.
McMillion: Thank you.