Good thing I have Love of Learning as a top VIA strength. I am finding that with each Hey, Boss Lady! podcast guest, I am not only learning about an exceptional woman. I am being called to examine my own past and how I want to participate in the creation of the future.
Tiffany R. Warren is the type of person I think about when I refer to someone as a ‘force of nature.’ She unconsciously focused on making sunshine when others were busy making storm clouds.
As a recent Hey, Boss Lady! guest, she has had me thinking of my personal resistance to diversity since I first encountered the dreaded EEOC filing requirements in 1974 as part of my first full-time job. With the clarity of hindsight, I bought into a lot of crap back then. My only excuse is that I was young. That excuse no longer holds water!
My thinking has been slow to change, and like many, 2020 was a year of accelerated learning. Today, when I reread a 2008 Harvard Business Review article entitled, The Business Case for Commitment to Diversity, I wonder why so many of us were shocked to realize 12 years later much work still needed to be done. Guess we were not so committed! I, for one, asked myself “what was I thinking?” If diversity was not profitable was I suggesting we should not treat people equitably? Yikes! I don’t even like thinking that question!
In less than 30 minutes I learned about Head Start’s success; how an organization I never heard of, Inroads, paved the way to business experience; and how a young person can find the time to not only achieve greatness academically while working but create a nonprofit that positively impacts those excluded from the very industry you work in.
Today, Tiffany is an Executive Vice President and Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer at Sony Music Group. She is the founder of Ad Color, and a long-time member of the board of the Ghetto Film School. When her pre-school teacher observed that Tiffany gives voice to those who have not learned to speak for themselves, she was some observant teacher!
As you listen to the podcast, ask yourself these questions:
- What were your ancestor’s wildest dreams for your success?
- When did you lose your racial innocence? (or, when did you have to admit to yourself you may be a little more than just biased?)
- What tendencies showed up in you as a child that still ground your life today?
Facing all these questions may be a bit tough, so take Tiffany’s advice and practice self-care: Ground yourself with a spiritual or affirmative passage, have a clear vision of who your best friends are and pour a glass of Jesus water aka wine (Linda Neal’s Tierra Roja would be nice).
I hope you feel as I did after listening. The time for ‘firsts’ is behind us. The time for a world that works for all has come. We can do it!