Assessing Diversity in the Workplace With The Mom Project’s Rocki Howard

Everyone wants to improve diversity, equity and inclusion at their company, but most don’t know where to start. Creating actual change requires a data-driven and action-oriented approach, but kicking off such an intense project can be overwhelming.

My guest today is here to provide some guidance. Rocki Howard, chief people officer at The Mom Project and former chief diversity officer at SmartRecruiters, knows a thing or two about assessing diversity in the workplace.

“I’m really passionate about building high-performing cultures where people and individuals can use their diversity and their individuality as their strengths,” Rocki says. The first step to achieving that goal is to set a baseline by assessing diversity in the workplace.

Listen in to learn how Rocki is empowering companies (like yours!) to see where they stand on diversity hiring.

Listen to “S4H35” on Spreaker.

Start By Finding Your Baseline

Before assessing diversity in the workplace, you need to know what the standards are. Rocki and the SmartRecruiters team set out to draft standards for diversity hiring. “We created what’s called our Diversity Hiring Toolkit,” Rocki says. “It takes you through four phases of maturity in terms of your capability to be able to hire diverse talent.”

Based on their maturity model, Rocki and her team next developed an assessment to help companies benchmark where they are on their diversity hiring journey. “So we created this assessment that any company can take. It doesn’t cost you a penny. You don’t have to be a SmartRecruiters client,” Rocki says. “It is open to any company, any size that wants to take it.”

Assessing diversity in the workplace with the SmartRecruiters toolkit helps companies identify a concrete starting point for improving their diversity hiring efforts. And by learning where you stand now, it’s easier to figure out what you need to do to get where you want to be.

Rocki has you covered on that front, too: One of the items she’s most proud of in the toolkit is the list of actionable steps companies can take today to move the needle. “You get this complete report that says, ‘This is where I rank’,” she says. “And most importantly — which is what was really important to me in creating this tool — [it tells you] here are things you can go back to your desk and actually do today to get better at hiring diverse talent.”

Learn What Success Looks Like

To truly make progress, you need a true north. Rocki and her team started with a hypothesis about what diversity hiring success looks like. Then she and her team put in the work to narrow down nearly a dozen initial core hallmarks into four success pillars of diversity hiring:

  • You need to have diversity brand equity.
  • You need to be able to source strategically.
  • You need to be able to have a fair and equitable hiring process.
  • You need to have organizational support.

With the success pillars hammered out, Rocki dove into the key results indicating success along the diversity hiring spectrum. Eventually, the SmartRecruiters team produced 130+ questions to assist companies in assessing diversity in the workplace.

With such a robust tool in place, Rocki hopes to inspire companies to identify their diversity hiring baseline. “A lot of people are afraid to take an assessment like this because they know that maybe they’re not doing their best,” she says. “I believe you can’t improve until you figure out where you are, and you have a benchmark.”

Take It Over the Finish Line

To round it all out, the SmartRecruiters team conducted a survey to assess the current state of diversity hiring in the workplace — and to see how your company stacks up against your peers in the industry. Rocki shared some of the high-level results from the report.

First, companies are falling short on diversity brand equity. “They’re missing basic opportunities to share their commitments and build that inclusive workforce with potential applicants from their brand,” Rocki says. Adding images featuring diverse talent and statements sharing your commitment to diversity on your career site can go a long way.

Bias continues creeping into the hiring process, too. “Many of our organizations have been slow to adopt best practices for minimizing bias in recruitment and promotion,” Rocki says. “And one of those best practices, that we know for sure, is the consistent use of validated assessments that are aligned to the skills that people actually need in the job.”

By using assessments to make data-driven hiring decisions, companies can minimize the effects of bias. That objective hiring practice opens up greater opportunities for hiring diverse talent. And it all starts with assessing diversity in the workplace.

People in This Episode

Catch Rocki Howard on LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter and on the Voices of Diversity podcast.

Read the Transcript


Welcome to Science 4-Hire with your host, Dr. Charles Handler. Hiring is hard. Pre-hire talent assessments can help you ease the pain. Whether you don’t know where to start, or you just want to stay on top of the trend, Science 4-Hire provides 30 minutes of enlightenment on best practices and news from the front lines of the employment testing universe. So get ready to learn as Dr. Charles Handler and his all-star guests lend old school knowledge with new wave technology to educate and inform you about all things talent assessment.

Charles Handler:

Hello again, everyone and welcome to the latest edition of Science 4-Hire. I have a great guest today. Someone that I’ve only just recently met. A lot of times my guests are people I know really well. But this show is a great opportunity for me to meet wonderful new people and to learn from them and to share those learnings, obviously, with all of you. So today I welcome Rocki Howard from SmartRecruiters. Rocki, I would love for you to give a great introduction of yourself, no one can do it better than you.

Rocki Howard:

Well, Charles, I’m so excited to be here. And more importantly, I’m excited to get to know you too. I’m fascinated by the work that you do. And so I’m glad that our common interests have brought us together. As you said, my name is Rocki Howard. I am the Chief Diversity Officer at SmartRecruiters. I identify as she, her, black, Christian, Gen X, wife, mom. I love to embrace multiple dimensions of my diversity. Yeah, because you know what? You can’t take one of those pieces out without having the other when you show up.

Charles Handler:

I know. I know I’ve done a lot lately of just looking at different facets of diversity. Cognitive diversity, experiential diversity, and demographic diversity is critical obviously but there’s so much more to it and it just makes it more complicated but also makes it more awesome.

Rocki Howard:

It does.

Charles Handler:

And our perspective. So, psychology and the psychology of the workplace, it’s really all about individual differences. It’s been like that since the beginning. And that’s what they train you about in school is, Hey, everybody’s different. All jobs are different. We’re going to try and help people understand people’s differences and how well they fit in the job. This is just an extension of that but it goes so much deeper. It’s really cool what’s happening right now.

Rocki Howard:

For sure. And I think you’re so right, there are multiple dimensions of diversity and I think we get stuck sometimes in singling in on a particular dimension instead of looking at our multiple dimensions of diversity, which is why it’s so important to me to say, “Here are the dimensions of my diversity that I lead with, that you need to understand, that inform the perspective and inform how I see things.”

Charles Handler:


Rocki Howard:

And speaking of multiple dimensions of diversity, I also have my own podcast. It’s called The Voices of Diversity, where we do highlight multiple dimensions of diversity so people can tell their story. I’ve spent 30 years in the talent acquisition space, you name it, I’ve done it in recruiting and have been really blessed and honored to have a focus on diversity, work with other clients and companies to help them improve their diversity, hiring outcomes have been recognized as a global minority leader, a top 100 global minority leader. And I’m really passionate about building high-performing cultures where people and individuals can use their diversity and their individuality as their strengths. And so I’m excited to be here and chat with you about some of the work that we’ve been doing over at SmartRecruiters.

Charles Handler:

Yeah. And that’s honestly why it was so important for me to reach out to you when I found out some of the stuff you all are doing or the program that you’re working on. I figured, Hey, this is a great thing to highlight. We’ve had other DEI themes and guests on the show. And again, they’re all diverse. They all bring something different that we can learn from. What I want you to inform our listeners about is something that I feel is directly actionable. So a lot of times podcasts are great conversations and entertaining. There may not be something that’s directly actionable. But I think you can offer all of our listeners something of tremendous value. So I would love for you to talk a little bit about that program, that feature program that you have put together and we can go from there in the conversation. I was blown away because I’ve not heard of anything else that’s like this before.

Rocki Howard:

Yeah. Well, you know what? We were really excited. And it was one of the reasons why I came to SmartRecruiters. So my role here as a Chief Diversity Officer was a bit more unique than that most CDOs have. So of course my priority is working internally with our organization to make sure that SmartRecruiters is a culture that is inclusive, where people belong, that’s built on equity, where diversity is just an expectation. That is certainly the primary part of my job and my team’s job. However, the other big important part of my job was really to work across our base of over 4,000 companies and to help our CEO achieve his mission. And one of his missions is to eradicate racism and discrimination in the recruiting process. And so we really work together to say, “How do we do this?” And what we wanted to do is to come up with standards.

And so we went deep into the intersection of diversity and recruitment and we were like, “You know what? There’s not a standard that says, ‘How do I know if I am really doing a good job with attracting diverse talent?’” So we created what’s called our Diversity Hiring Toolkit. It was our first step. And that toolkit includes a diversity hiring success maturity model. It takes you through four phases of maturity in terms of your capability to be able to hire diverse talent. We then built an assessment and this assessment… Here’s the thing because, again, Jerome ​​Ternynck’s vision is to use SmartRecruiters and the privilege we have as a leader in the HR tech space, to use that as an opportunity to inform what all companies do. So we created this assessment that any company can take, it doesn’t cost you a penny.

You don’t have to be a SmartRecruiter’s client. It is open to any company, any size that wants to take it. And this assessment allows you to be able to self-assess your diversity hiring maturity. So here’s the cool thing. You take the investment of time. You take the assessment and then you get the third part of our toolkit, which is you immediately get what we call our diversity hiring blueprint. And this goes to where you were talking about Charles, at the top. You get a 20-page blueprint that’s based on our four pillars. Each pillar has three standards and I’ll walk you through the pillars in a minute.

You get this complete report that says, “This is where I rank.” And most importantly–which is what was really important to me in creating this tool–here are things you can go back to your desk and actually do today to get better at hiring diverse talent. And I think that’s always the gap in the market that I think I was trying to resolve. I’ve been in that situation where as a talent leader, an HR leader, a diversity leader, I go to a webinar, I go to a sermon or pay for certification and you get all excited and you get caught up in the hype and then you get back to your desk and you go, “Okay, what do I do?” And you’re like, “I have no idea what to do.” Because it wasn’t pragmatic.

Charles Handler:

Right. Well, you’re coming back into a situation that’s not structured. Most of the time the context around you has to be willing to support and sponsor what you’re doing. And if you’re going because you don’t have much or you lack something in a certain area, I get it. I’ve been there, we’ve all been there. It’s human nature, you get excited. That’s the goal of those facilitators and people who are helping you learn, you’ll learn a lot more when it’s fun. And you get energized about it. So, I get it. So do you have any examples of the kind of actionable stuff? How did you set the benchmarks that you’re comparing people against? Where did those come from?

Rocki Howard:

Yeah, so Jerome had done some work prior to me coming to the organization. And that work was really about doing some research across our industry, across the clients to say, “What are the common pillars or what are the common themes that we do?” And he had some hypotheses, so we started there. We then took what was his, I think it was 10 core things. And we’re like, “Okay, how do we organize this?” And so we came up with four core success pillars, those four core success pillars when you look at recruiting diverse talent. Ultimately, you need to have diversity brand equity. You need to be able to source strategically. You need to be able to have a fair and equitable hiring process. And across the board, you need to have organizational support. From there, under each one of those pillars, we had three standards that help define what each one of those pillars mean.

Because we didn’t want to have this big, Oh, okay. Well, what does that actually mean going back to what we talked about? You give me this big, broad category and then I don’t really understand what that means. So we then came back and said, “Okay, let’s define each one of those.” So under each one of those pillars, we have success standards. And then for each success standard, we went back and said, “Okay, so now we have this success standard. What do we think? Let’s do the research. Let’s do hours and hours and hours worth of research, let’s do the research and let’s see what we believe indicates success along this spectrum.” And so that’s the work that we did. It wound up being 130 plus questions that we wanted to ask people and say, “Okay, if you rate here, here, here, here, you’re probably at a one, two, three, four.”

So we went through each one of these standards and said, “What does a one mean? What does a two mean? What does a three mean? What does a four mean?” And that’s how we got started. Like I said, the purpose is really so people can understand, Where am I today? And this is… I want to say this to people, a lot of people are afraid to take an assessment like this because they know that maybe they’re not doing their best. I believe you can’t improve until you figure out where you are and you have a benchmark.

And this is about being proud, not perfect. Let’s be proud that you are in the fight, that you want to do something. Let’s figure out where we are and then let’s give you some steps to move forward. And what’s interesting is if you… One of the things that I’m sure we’ll dig into, so now what’s happened is we’ve had over 400 companies across the globe take our assessment. And what I can tell you is about 70% of all of our respondents are at a level one and two, only 6% are at a level four. So I think we’re all in the same situation where we’re at the beginning of this journey and we’re all trying to figure out how to take those next steps to move forward.

Charles Handler:

Yeah. And we’ve come a long way. I think if you think about earlier in my career, it all really started with a consciousness of, Hey, we need to look at these things. Let’s put a bunch of videotape training programs in and then somebody gets a little certificate and all of a sudden their whole worldview has changed and they’re open up to all these new things. It doesn’t happen that way, we know that at least that was getting started. So we’re seeing a great evolution. I’m very curious if you were to describe what things make someone a level four. When you talk about that, what are the differentiators more specifically for companies that are at that level, the benchmarks that I think a lot of people would want to shoot for. What do you see those companies do that’s impressive, that really rates on your assessment?

Rocki Howard:

Yeah. So I think when I think about companies that we call diversity talent allies, that’s our highest level. Diversity talent allies are people who have strong diversity brand equity. So when you look across the touch points of not only their employment brand but their overall brand, diverse talent from multiple dimensions of diversity can envision themselves working there. There is not a token graphic. The graphic that you download that shows the right photo. There’s not some stock photo where all the colored hands are there, et cetera. There’s genuine reflection and conversation that is consistent about what diversity means, what their organization does. They are clear about their commitment to diversity. It’s not… when you look at their job descriptions, their job descriptions are bias free.

Their job descriptions include not only their EEOC statement, because that’s a legal compliance thing. It talks about their commitment to diversity because it’s important to them. These are organizations who are strategically sourcing, which means they’re making investments in their sourcing that equate to the verbal commitments that they’ve made to hire diverse talent. This costs money and it’s not just, I’m posting on a diverse job board. This is, ”How do I get the tech in place? How am I building long-term release with organizations and in communities that attract the talent? How do I invest in helping to grow the talent that I need? How do I leverage this new remote workforce that we have now to attract people from different areas of the country or potentially the world?” One of the things that I love to say is that diversity talent allies do not accept the answer that diverse talent doesn’t exist. They will fight to find it.

Charles Handler:

It’s out there, it really is. It’s just all about how you look, using a resume, the same old places. I think that it’s amazing when I talk to people about their college or campus hiring: “Oh, we go to these 10 universities all the time because that’s where we get the best people.” But I know it’s probably more than just setting up something at a career fair at a historically black college, university or other flavor or permutation of a diverse learning institution, which we hope that all learning institutions are pretty diverse but the resume, the same old place, that’s just not getting it done. And until you look beyond those things, it’s really hard to find what you’re looking for.

I think the sourcing thing has all always been… I talk about this all the time: People with my background, we very much focus on tests. I’m a testing guy but I think a difference for me is that I look at it at a very broad level. And testing people are very focused on adverse impact, which is a good thing. I mean, we really don’t want that, it’s a problem. I often say we, in my discipline, have been working on hiring equity and fairness ever since the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and 1991 where we had to basically begin looking at adverse impact and holding companies accountable. We’ve been working on this for a long, long time. It’s a very myopic, one little piece of it. But the point I’m rambling on to make here is you can’t hire diversity if you’re not putting it in your funnel, it’s like getting blood from a rock.

Rocki Howard:

For sure. It’s the definition of insanity to expect to do the same thing over and over again and get a different result. And that’s why sourcing strategically is such a core pillar. Now here’s the other thing. So let’s assume you’re putting it in the top of the funnel. There’s nothing worse than sourcing great diverse talent and putting them into a biased process. So our third pillar is fair and equitable hiring processes. How do people of multiple dimensions of diversity even get into the process? Have you taken your website, your career website through an accessibility audit? Do you know how to do reasonable accommodations? Is there a diverse hiring panel? Do you have assessments that are taking the bias out where you’re assessing people on clear criteria? Are you using scorecards and you’re scoring those candidates equally across the board? Are you doing things like that to make sure that people are in a fair and equitable hiring process?

So it’s really interesting. I was doing a talk not too long ago and I was in a room. I was on a stage. I was in a room and there were about 350 people in the room. And I would say 95% were white. And so I did this experiment and I said, “Okay, if you identify as white stand up. Now, if you have ever interviewed with an all black interview panel, sit down.” Nobody sat down.

Charles Handler:

Right. I wouldn’t think so.

Rocki Howard:

Right. I wouldn’t think so either. But if you asked me, as a black woman, how many times I have sat across from an all white interview panel, how many times as a woman I’ve sat across an all male interview panel and we could go on and talk about other dimensions of my diversity. And so how do we start to chip away the bias if you don’t have a different point of view and someone who can recognize that bias from the company perspective? So when you think about fair and equitable hiring processes, you can’t just put people in the top of the funnel. You’ve got to make sure they’re going to go through the hiring process with a fair and equitable hiring process.

Charles Handler:

A hundred percent. I’m a very visual thinker. I like putting out graphics and stuff. And so I’ve been working on it with our artists here, it’s not done yet, maybe by the time this podcast is done, it’ll be available. It’s just an image and it is a funnel that has strata in it. And I’ve got all these different colored balls at the top and we actually map those to the demographic composition of the workforce. So you’re looking at the workforce out here. And then we start looking at all the different things that go into somebody dropping out the bottom of that hopper that could really work against diversity goals and introduce bias. We have advertising. So who actually sees these job ads? Because there’s all this algorithmic stuff, even before you get into the process. So that removes balls disproportionately.

Then you get into the recruiters recommendation engines: “Oh, I like people like this, AI process, feed me more of these.” Then we get into screening with resumes and that kind of stuff. Then it’s the interview with all the bias that could come there. And so it… really, you’re removing balls at a disproportionate rate all the way through. And then we’re showing at the bottom, Hey, look at what you’re left with: a bunch of white male figures and not a lot of anybody else. And it might be a little hyperbole but I can’t wait to share that because it’s exactly what you talked about.

Rocki Howard:

I can’t wait to see it. I can’t wait to see it. And so that’s kind of the challenge. Now look, here’s the final piece to this whole thing. It’s what we call organizational support because, ultimately, it starts with your C-suite. It starts with your CEO and really setting diversity, inclusion, equity and belonging as an organizational priority. And then making sure that we teach everybody in the organization what their role is in diversity. Because here’s one of the things that I find very interesting: Most C-suite leaders are all about it. They get it, they want it, they just don’t know what to do. The further you start to take it, if you go back to your funnel from C-suite through middle management to front management, we lose that prioritization. And we haven’t taught people at all levels, what’s my responsibility. And not only hiring great talent but creating a culture where great diverse talent wants to stay and where they feel like they belong.

And so when we went to put this thing together and, again, we weren’t going to tackle the whole spectrum of organizational diversity but we went deep into that intersection of diversity and recruitment. Those are the four key pillars that we built it on and it’s amazing. So now, Charles, what we’re doing is we’ve said, “Oh, well, we’ve had 400 people answer this for us.” And so this week actually, we’re going to launch our state of diversity hiring report. And what we have found is that the impact that people are making, hasn’t quite caught up with their intentions.

Charles Handler:

Yeah. I mean, it takes time. What you’ve created is what I just wrote here, a regimented detailed, actionable approach that creates accountability because recruiting should be metrics focused. You really should be. If you’re not doing that, you’ve got to go back and figure something out because you’re not doing it right. And having that accountability, having that measurable progress toward the standards you’re looking for. It’s so motivating too, I think, when you get that feedback. So I think that’s amazing. In that rolled up report, I’m just curious. Do you have any macro level view about assessments themselves and how people are using assessments across those 400 folks?

Rocki Howard:

What I can tell you is we did come out of the report with five key themes. Those five key themes that we found is that organizations are barely scratching the surface. They’re missing basic opportunities to share their commitments and build that inclusive workforce with potential applicants from their brand. They are working to your point, they’re working without a plan. So many employers, their recruitment plans are neither strategic enough or specific enough to actually move the needle. Budgets haven’t really budged. So it was really interesting, I believe it was something like 64% of leaders said that they did not have the budget to actually achieve and accomplish what the company has stated as their diversity hiring goals. That’s insane, 64%. So budgets haven’t budged. There’s also not enough focus on internal talent. So we’re all focused on where we find this talent in the market but we’re neglecting opportunities to nurture our internal talent and our internal diverse talent.

And then we find that bias keeps creeping into the process. And so to your point, many of our organizations have been slow to adopt best practices for minimizing bias in recruitment and promotion. And one of those best practices that we know for sure, is the consistent use of validated assessments that are aligned to the skills that people actually need in the job. Not some arbitrary I’ve got a coordinator job and the coordinator needs to have an MBA from Harvard. No, they don’t. No, they don’t. Let me give them an assessment to see, can they actually coordinate? Okay, they can coordinate.

One of those things that we believe and we talk about even throughout this is: Are you interviewing for the outcomes you want the position to actually be able to accomplish? So are you really saying, “I need someone who is going to be able to deliver X, Y, Z”? What is it that helps me to know if this person can deliver X, Y, and Z? And really look at what you need to help that person to deliver. Versus “Here is this job description where I’ve come up with this arbitrary set of skills that I’m going to try to assess people on,” et cetera. So I think it’s really about taking a step back and then taking a step back and going, “Well, how did I get to this set of skills that says, This person can deliver this?”

And here’s the most interesting thing of all: Even when you assume that a degree is needed, let’s go back and think about how many people who got degrees are actually working, where they got the degree, that should tell us something. Do I want my doctor to have a degree and a specialized education? Absolutely. Do I want my lawyer to? Absolutely. Do I want my CPA to? Absolutely. Do I need my recruiter to? No, I don’t. Here’s the set of skills I need my recruiter to have.

And so when I was at my previous organization and one of the reasons why I got recognized is because I built a fantastically diverse team, that team at one point in time had 52% cultural diversity, gender split, almost 15% LGBTQIA, something like 12.5% veteran and we didn’t set out to create the most diverse culture in the world. What we set out to do was to say… and this is going to be politically incorrect, the way I’m going to reword it. But I’m really going to tell you guys what we used to say. We said, “Everybody has a special brand of crazy, your special brand of crazy doesn’t need to be the same as ours. So it doesn’t need to be a culture fit. It needs to be complimentary crazy. So it needs to be a culture add.”

And so making that decision about, “Okay, now let’s look at our roles.” I ran a recruitment center. So I had everything from coordinators to leaders in the building. Do they all need to have this very narrow set of experience that we’ve said before, to be able to do the work we’re going to do? No, they don’t. Okay, what are the skills we need to see them demonstrate to get the outcomes that we need them to have? Okay, so now let’s look at people who have those skills. They come from a variety of industries, a variety of experiences, a variety of educational type of experiences, a variety of social economic situations. And so that’s how we built the team. It’s really funny. One of the best compliments I ever had is from one of our new leaders. He happened to be a white male over 40 and he sat down at our table and said, “This is great.” And we’re like, “What’s great?” He’s like, “This is the first time in my career I’ve ever been a minority.”

Charles Handler:

Yeah. I mean, one of the things I’m working with and I’m in knee deep in or eyeballs deep in, gathering stories about people who have come from a completely different background, that’s allowed them to enter into a situation, it could be an industry, a lot of times it’s, hey, there’s a company that does marketing stuff. They brought in anthropologists to look at the whole thing they’re trying to do from a different viewpoint. So, it’s these experiences that bring a different frame of reference that you couldn’t achieve if everybody’s exactly the same. And that could come from a work environment, historical environment, demographic environment, whatever it is, that’s where I think you’re right. These job descriptions, which I’ve always hated, as a person who, as a living, I break down jobs into the human elements that are important to do that job.

That’s not a job description. A job description is like, you’ve thrown a bunch of stuff against the wall, whatever, it’s a shotgun approach and somebody else may get it three years later and add a bunch more stuff. You get the essence of what the job is but it’s really interesting because jobs evolve and change. A lot of times it’s about what a person can do when they get in that job. A lot of people will accumulate new responsibilities. The job description will change because the person in the job can do a lot of stuff. I guess what I’m saying is living and dying by the job description is a really bad way to go. It’s just like resumes. Why do we even need the darn things? Maybe somebody should reinvent the job description.

Rocki Howard:

Well, you would think that if we can get married by swiping left or right, find our life partners, we should be able to figure out how to connect people to the jobs.

Charles Handler:

Yeah. We’re getting better. I mean, look, I know early in my career, you pick up the paper and you circle the want ads. I mean, that was the internet. And if I want a job in Timbuktu, I got to go there and get their paper. Otherwise, how the heck do I know they even have a job? So we’ve come a long way. I think that’s the other perspective. And it takes people with vision like yourself and organizations that want to sponsor that to really break it down and say, “These are best practices.” I don’t think there’s a rule book necessarily. I think that part of the reason you’re finding what you find in these aggregate analyses is people don’t have the experience doing this. It’s new in a lot of ways, even though it shouldn’t be. So it’s great to have some guidepost, guardrail, beacons, whatever you call it out there. And I think it’s just fantastic. So as we wrap up, what would you want to leave our audience with? Some words of encouragement maybe, some words of wisdom of course. What would you like to tell everybody?

Rocki Howard:

Yeah, I would just say you’re not in it alone. Diversity, equity and inclusion and belonging is complex. And if you’re feeling overwhelmed, you’re not by yourself. I think this is a business proposition that is the only business proposition that’s a hearts and minds issue. And it’s also one of those business propositions where you don’t want to try to solve it by yourself. Find industry peers, find partners who are willing to crowdsource and share with you and let’s grow together and let’s make progress that makes us proud. We’re not going to get it perfect but we can definitely be proud of the work that we’re doing.

Charles Handler:

Awesome. I am going to inject my own. That was great. I feel like it’s important for everyone to understand too. And it may go without saying, doing the things we’re talking about here. It’s not, there’s an outcome to that, that goes beyond just saying, “Hey, we’re doing this because it’s the right thing to do.” It drives higher performance in organizations and it makes people feel valued for who they truly are. And, as a psychologist, I know very clearly that when work can do that for you, the motivation, the energy, the power that you bring to your job goes up. And then everybody wins because you’re engaged and excited.

You’re creating more for the company. This is not something we’re talking about, just because the EEOC and OFCCP are breathing down your neck or something like that, it’s all about the reality of people and companies and what they can do together. So, that’s my closing point. And now I would like, because you are an active person who is putting themselves and their teachings and all that out there. So tell our listeners, how can they follow you, your podcast, your writings, all that good stuff?

Rocki Howard:

Yeah. So the best way to follow me is on LinkedIn. It is the social platform that I am most active on. So you can find me at Rocki Howard, there’s only one. And it’s Rocki with an I. You can find The Voices of Diversity on any major podcast player. You can also check out our website at And certainly I will send the links to you, Charles, so that if people want to take this free assessment, they can click a link and do it but they can dig around the website and find it as well.

Charles Handler:

Perfect. Well, thank you so much. This has been a wonderful 40 minutes. I’m sure our listeners are going to enjoy it. I know I did. Thanks for your time. I know you’re busy.

Rocki Howard:

Thank you so much. It was such a pleasure. Thank you so much. Have a great one.