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Cindy Blows S#!t Up pt.2

Let's blow shit up.... AGAIN! 

Cindy Gallop doesn't waste any time throwing haymakers in this final episode.

Who is Cindy Gallop

Wait, have you been in a cave for a decade? Cindy Gallop, founder and former chair of the US branch of advertising firm Bartle Bogle Hegarty, and founder of the IfWeRanTheWorld and MakeLoveNotPorn companies is a brand or business icon. Cindy boils down complex topics in an elegant way right before slapping the listener with the honesty they need and deserve.  

Enjoy this Symphony Talent powered The Chad and Cheese interview where Cindy talks hiring individuals with disabilities, answers the question "Should white dudes just STFU?" and deploys advice to Daddy Cheese.  


INTRO (14s):

Hide your kids! Lock the doors! You're listening to HR’s most dangerous podcast. Chad Sowash and Joel Cheesman are here to punch the recruiting industry, right where it hurts! Complete with breaking news, brash opinion and loads of snark, buckle up boys and girls, it's time for the Chad and Cheese podcast.

Chad (31s):

It's time to pick the conversation back up with Cindy Gallop, founder and CEO of Make Love, Not Porn, founder and CEO of If We Ran the World. She's a business and marketing icon and if Make Love, Not Porn, wasn't ear catching enough, her slogan: "I like to blow shit up, I am the Michael Bay of business" should prepare you for part two of our two-part podcast series. Enjoy.

Cindy Gallop (1m 2s):

I want to pick up on the issue of hiring disabled people, okay? Because for too many companies, and again, this is both unconscious, but also conscious because we give way too much credit to unconscious bias and a ton of bias is conscious. The problem, at the moment, is that there is this extremely misguided thought that hiring disabled people is fundamentally charitable.

Cindy Gallop (1m 32s):

You're doing it out of the kindness of your heart, and that's absolute fucking bollocks. Every company should be falling over themselves to harder stabled people, because that is how you give yourselves a competitive business advantage. And, and the reason for that is disabled people are, you know, some of the most creative and ingenious and brilliantly talented people you will ever hire. Because as my friend, Elizabeth Jackson, who is a fantastic disability activist says, and instantly you can find her at her personal website, the Girl with the Purple Cane, as Liz Jackson says, disabled people are extraordinarily creative because let's put, said we have to hack life every single day.

Cindy Gallop (2m 19s):

Every single day, disabled people are finding creative ingenious, strategic ways to hack life just to exist, to be taken seriously and to be enabled to contribute the way they want to. And so that's point number one. Okay. You know, disabled talent is a huge pool of talent, that companies are feeling to tap into and leverage for better business outcomes. But that, but then secondly, there's a very key point here, which is when you embrace accessibility as not just a key corporate value, but a` fundamental corporate platform for how you operate and how you build and how you grow your business.

Cindy Gallop (2m 58s):

You make that business better for everybody. When you design accessibility into your company, in order to embrace the disabled talent, you actually enable all your people to work more productively and more happily. And you know, a very sort of basic example of that is what we're all experiencing right now, which is the necessity, but therefore, the ability to work from home. Which, and again, you would have absolutely seen the surveys that demonstrate the vast majority of employees do not want to go back into the office.

Cindy Gallop (3m 32s):

And that's not just because of the COVID risk. It's because you are able to work more effectively and create a better work life balance. When you have the flexibility of being able to work from home. Now, now, obviously this is something else and we can come on to talk about in the corporate world, but you know, not, you know, not when there is an inability to access childcare and, you know, elder care support and things like that. But broadly speaking, when you actively design to welcome in disabled talent into your company, you are, you are making your day to day working processes more accessible for everybody.

Cindy Gallop (4m 13s):

And you are creating a happier work environment for your employees as a whole, and therefore, a more productive working environment as well.

Joel (4m 19s):

Cindy, we've never had someone on that's so in tune with how media can change opinion and Chadwick Bozeman recently passed away of Black Panther fame. And as I was seeing, sort of the eulogies and recaps of his careers, many of the roles that I saw seemed very stereotypical to me. He was a football player. He played a entertainer, et cetera. And I'm curious your take on Hollywood's role in this, in this fight.

Joel (4m 49s):

Does Hollywood have a role to play with showing people of color and disabled folks in power positions and positions of starting companies, or are they just in the business to make money and they're not sort of, you know, responsible for anything that happens in this fight?

Cindy Gallop (5m 5s):

You're making the big mistake everybody does.

Joel (5m 8s):

As usual.

Cindy Gallop (5m 9s):

Of using the word showing, that's not what this is about. As I say, two companies to every area of popular culture, stop talking, diversity, stop creating inspirational, compelling campaigns and movies and TV series about diversity. Stop doing published and promotional stunts about diversity, just fucking be diverse. So, no, it's not about Hollywood showing diverse people. It's about when you have diverse talent, writing the scripts, creating the ads, casting the movies, the TV series, the advertising, producing the movies, the series, the advertising, running the series, the films, the ads, whatever is, and by the way, all this extends into publishing books, literature, news, et cetera.

Cindy Gallop (6m 12s):

You don't even have to worry about diversity because every single part of your creative output will be diverse, in the same way that I say, if you want to end stereotypes in every era of public culture, it's very simple., just have the people being stereotyped, create approve, direct, produce, run. Solved instantly. And by the way, again, I'm being very semantically precise note that I say create prove, because it doesn't matter if you are that brilliant black writer, in the writer's room, writing fantastic characters and scenes and exposition and dialogue.

Cindy Gallop (6m 47s):

If the white male head writer throws it out goes, no, no, no, no, no, make all these amendments. In the same way it doesn't matter if you are that brilliant young black female art director, copywriter team in the advertising agency, creative department, if the white male executive creative director says, yeah, girls, that's pretty good, but I think you should change this, write that in, make this blah, blah blah.

Cindy Gallop (7m 24s):

Only when you have diverse talent, not just creating, but approving, overseeing, funding, backing and green-lighting all of this do you then have output where you don't even have to think about what's shown because it just is diverse.

Chad (7m 26s):

You, I actually watched a video with you in Brad Grossman on Zeitguests on, on the Culture Class. And you guys were talking about racism and before it even started Piers Fawkes of PSFK sent Brad and I believe you to an email saying, you guys, aren't qualified to talk about this subject and the discussion smacks of white privilege. Your response was amazing first off. And you can share that with us, but I definitely want to unpack for a couple of white guys and also a bunch of people who want to be allies, but they hear this kind of shit from a white dude.

Chad (8m 1s):

And they think, wait a minute, maybe I should back up and not do a fucking thing.

Cindy Gallop (8m 5s):

Well, well, I don't think they'll think that once, once they've heard my response and, and for your audience go to YouTube search Cindy Gallop, Brad Grossman Zeitguide, and you will find my Culture Class interview with Brad on this. Basically, yu, you know, as you say, Piers said, you know, you are two white people talking about racism, this is appalling, you know, bring in people of color thinks it's disgusting. So I made two points in response, and I did this publicly at the start of my and Brad's conversation because I felt it was very important, that the audience hear this.

Cindy Gallop (8m 39s):

The first thing I said, was there is no other conversation anybody should be having right now, regardless of their racial skin color. Incidentally also just for your audience's awareness, I'm not white. My father's English, my mother is Chinese, but basically, you know, whatever discussion anybody has having, ending racism should be the only thing that any of us talk about in any environment, right now. And the second point I made, was, and it's especially important we all do because black people are fed up to death with having to have this conversation.

Cindy Gallop (9m 11s):

They're exhausted. They're fed up with having to educate people about racism. They're fed up with having to deal with white guilt. And, you know, the point also made was, don't you think that brilliant black writers like James Baldwin, would have so much rather have just directed their creative energies to do whatever they want to do, as opposed to having to take up the issue of social justice, because they were simply completely unable to do anything at all, under the yoke of racism?

Cindy Gallop (9m 43s):

And so that's why every one of us needs to be having this conversation as often as possible. And you know, I'm going to say the same thing about this with regard to racism as I do all the time to men, who say to me, Cindy, I really want to be an ally to women, what can I do? And it's very simple. You can do two things. And again, you know that this is what I've been saying with regard to men who want to help women in the face of sexism and sexual harassment. But this also applies to anybody who wants to end racism.

Cindy Gallop (10m 15s):

Number one, listen to women because you don't. Every day we are man-terupted, mansplained to, talked over, ignored, not listened to, not heard, and the same thing applies to black people. Listen to black people, really listen. And number two, believe women and believe black people. Believe us when we talk about our experience, because our experience is not your experience. And you would not believe the number of white men who explain women's experience back to us, explain black people's experience back to them.

Cindy Gallop (10m 51s):

Listen to us and believe us. And when you just do those two things, everything you need to do to help us falls out of those two things.

Chad (10m 59s):

Overall, and I'm going to paraphrase, white dudes should just shut the fuc.k up.

Cindy Gallop (11m 5s):

No, that is absolutely not what I said at all. The key thing is, as I said, listen, first of all, listen to that black woman. Really listen, really listen. Secondly, believe that black woman. And when you believe her, you know, ask her, what would you like me to do? And be as frank, as brutally frank, as you like. Okay. And so when you're listening to her and you're believing her and when you are, and when she sees that you've listened to her and you've believed her, she can then trust you. When you say to tell me what to do, because I want to do it. And so she will then feel able to say, please go to so and so and tell them that I've been waiting for promotion for three years, and I need to be given that promotion as soon as possible, and then go and do that.

Cindy Gallop (11m 47s):

And conversely, when that black woman is not in the room and somebody makes a racist joke, you call them out. If you're standing with a group of other white guys and somebody makes the racist joke, you say to them, listen, Bob, that was inappropriate. That was racist. Please. Don't say that again.

Joel (12m 5s):

What role, if any, does government have in this effort and particularly in the, in the K through 12 education realm, where I tend to think a lot of this stuff starts.

Cindy Gallop (12m 15s):

Well, you've asked two separate questions that what does government need to do? Government needs to welcome in as many women and black women and black talent generally as possible. And that's not what this government is doing currently, but, but that's what needs to happen everywhere. Because again, you know, once you have fully diverse government, the right policies get put in place and the right things happen, it's that simple.

Joel (12m 40s):

And education. Any, any opinion on that?

Cindy Gallop (12m 43s):

So first of all, if we had a female president, we would not have the situation we are with facing right now with COVID. But again, I go back to my point, women drive different policies, black men and women drive different policies, people of color drive different policies, LGBTQ people drive different policies, disabled people drive different policies. When you have the people who are most on the frontline, every single day of what white male policy means, whether it's the appalling lack of a universal childcare infrastructure or the appalling scenario that plays out at every level of education, including the funding of college education.

Cindy Gallop (13m 25s):

When you have the people who are on the sharp end of those policies, actually making them, you get a whole different world. And one that all of us will be far happier living and working and being educated.

Joel (13m 38s):

Yeah. One of the things that we talk about on the show is Google has a new effort in terms of certifying folks for education, and creating a system where education is inexpensive had done it at sort of a private level. You probably know of sites like Udemy, and a LinkedIn Learning where you can have classes and continuing education. And from my standpoint, it seems like the university system has become almost like a caste system where we're churning out folks that can afford college, that can get in and sort of feed into this whole system that you're talking about, where white guys are just replaced by new white guys that are turned out of college.

Joel (14m 17s):

Do you feel like the education system, as it is, is broken today? Or how can we fix it? And do you think that capitalism and commerce can help level the playing field with all, all levels of folks?

Cindy Gallop (14m 29s):

Yes, of course, it's broken. Don't ask the obvious. And so I, and I've said this in a number of interviews, but I wrote a piece about this for Quartz it's so the online publication Quartz asked a number of people, what we thought the future would be beyond the pandemic. And I'm a great believer in Alan Kay's saying, "in order to predict the future, you have to invent it." And so for me, that question should never be asked in the passive tense.

Cindy Gallop (14m 59s):

I'm all about inventing the future, as in decide what you want the future to be, and then make it happen. So I said that what I believe the future is beyond the pandemic is a complete rebalancing of the value equation. So, you know, in the early most horrifying stages of this pandemic here in New York and elsewhere in the country every night at seven o'clock, you know, everybody came out on their terraces, leaned out in their windows, stood on their stoops and cheered four essential workers, ihe people on the front lines, the hospital and the healthcare workers, the elder care workers, the grocery clerks, the first responders, and we all suddenly gained a new appreciation of the value of those people.

Cindy Gallop (15m 42s):

And so what I see the future being beyond the pandemic is a complete reverse of what has historically been the case, which is the people who have taken those jobs, because they care about other people that want to help. Somehow there has been the presumption that they should earn very little, whereas white men who don't give a shit about anybody and are sharks on Wall Street deserve to make appalling the colossally, huge amounts of money. So going forwards, I want to see a reverse of the value equation.

Cindy Gallop (16m 13s):

I want to see teachers make an absolute Goddam fucking shit ton of money. And I want to see those white men on Wall Street and Silicon Valley who made a shit ton of money not giving a shit about anybody absolutely see a reversal of fortune. And I especially want to see teachers paid a huge amount of money at every level, pre-k, every grade, college, and this is a total truism. Every one of us can identify that one teacher, if we're lucky more than one, but we can all identify that one teacher who believed in us, who believed in us when we were kids, when we were teenagers, when we have no belief in ourselves, there was that one teacher who saw our potential and inspired us to live up to it.

Cindy Gallop (16m 59s):

And by the way, that is what online learning does not give you. That's why online courses and online education will never replace IRL teaching because you need that personal interaction and that personal belief. And so, yes, I absolutely want to see a system where capitalism reinvents itself to reward the people who care about other people and have so much to do with how we all grew up and whether or not we are successful because they believed in us versus rewarding the people who don't give a shit about anybody and only care about making more money for themselves.

Chad (17m 34s):

But Cindy, that is capitalism. I mean, it really is.

Cindy Gallop (17m 37s):

And that's why you will see so many people. And they're using different terms of their, but whether it's called conscious capitalism, you know, but it's completely reinventing the concept of capitalism to create a new economy that is powered by very different things.

Chad (17m 58s):

We'll get back to the interview in a minute,

Symphony Talent (19m 47s):

Building a cult brand is not easy, which is why you need friends. Like Roopesh Nair CEO of Symphony Talent on your side, okay? OK Roopesh, hiring companies can't hire diverse candidates. If diverse candidates aren't applying for their jobs, what should hiring companies do differently to attract a more diverse candidate? So for diversity, specifically, companies should think about why do they want diversity in their organization and ensure that they are bringing that into the conversations about hiring diverse candidates, because that's how they can be genuine about diversity. Because just checking a box saying, I want to be hiring diverse candidates is not going to help. So the first thing is thinking about why do you want diversity? What are the different groups you are targeting as you think about diversity and then bringing those messages, which basically is going to resonate to that particular group of diverse candidates into your engagement, whether it is kind of, as you reach out in the mass media and target specific diverse groups, as you basically nurture these diverse groups once they have connection with you, is very important because to your point, you won't get a diverse candidate till you get in front of a candidate. And the only way you can do that is by figuring out what is the connection point between you and the diverse candidate. And it is very, very easy to kind of cast a net saying, I want diverse candidate, but the truth is there are many, many groups of that diverse candidate, and you need to be really clear on who exactly are you targeting, Let Symphony Talent help activate your brand and keep relationships at the heart of your talent strategy for more information, visit

Chad (19m 47s):

James Baldwin called it the value gap, what you're talking about. And I think we're seeing that value gap more than ever, just because of COVID and obviously with essential workers, but take a look at the value gap between Jeff Bezos and his workers who are on the front line. So that is pure capitalism. That will not fix itself. Capitalism is built to drive markets and make people rich.

Chad (20m 21s):

Socialism, we can say, as a government guardrail or whatever we want to call it, doesn't have to be socialism. Do we not have to have a more structured focus on government ensuring that those guardrails are in place, so that 12% of our population is not working poor? How do we get there?

Cindy Gallop (20m 43s):

And absolutely. So if you are asking me to solve government's problems for them, that's what you pay me for. I'm very happy to be hired by the government to solve this problem for them. And the other part of question, I just want to go back to what I said earlier on in this podcast, which is, this is why, again, I've been saying for literally decades, to women, black people, people of color, LGBTQ, that disabled, we need to build our own financial ecosystem because the white male one is not working for us. And all around me are, you know, a ton of different people coming at this in many, many different ways.

Cindy Gallop (21m 20s):

I would point you to the wonderful work that my friends, Arianne Shutter and Kathleen Utech are doing at their venture fund, which is called Core Capital because what they are funding are new reinvisionings of companies that operate, for example, payday loans, which you know, to have been looked down upon as the grubby side of the credit industry, are nevertheless extremely necessary for so many people in extraordinarily challenging financial circumstances.

Cindy Gallop (21m 56s):

And so, you know, Kathleen and Arianne are funding the people reinventing in that area. They are funding solutions for the unbanked. You know, there are many, many people rethinking every single aspect of all of this to create and build that new financial ecosystem that works for all of us.

Joel (22m 16s):

Cindy, last one from me, I'm the father of a young daughter. I have a 10 year old and I want her to be an absolute bad-ass like you, what advice would you give fathers like me and others who have young daughters to raise someone as strong and independent as you?

Cindy Gallop (22m 31s):

I would say two things. The first is, absolutely bring them up to not give a damn what anybody else thinks. Bring them up to really focus on knowing who they are, knowing their values, and living and working those values and knowing that as long as they are being true to themselves, that's all that matters and not what anybody else thinks. And then the second thing I would say, this is so crucially important, important to how you want your daughter to grow up, that you need to do this every day around you do everything you can to end sexual harassment.

Cindy Gallop (23m 5s):

Stop other men, sexually harassing. Stop other men, being inappropriate. Step in as a bystander every time you see anything like that happening. Actively speak out and end sexual harrassment every way you can. And the reason I'm telling you that is because, you know, I'm sorry to have to bring this in, but you know, that is the one thing that can make your daughter's life go completely off the rails. Okay. I did a call out to the advertising industry three years ago when the Harvey Weinstein saga broke in the New York Times.

Cindy Gallop (23m 41s):

You know, I have been speaking out about sexual harassment for years way before Me Too. And I spoke out about it publicly because nobody else would. And so I've been hearing from, you know, many women in my industry advertising, who've been sexually harassed. I'd always encourage them to report it, to speak out to the media and they were always too terrified to. Completely understandably. And so, in October 2017, when the Harvey Weinstein saga broke, I posted on Facebook and I said, women of the advertising industry, the time has finally come to name names.

Cindy Gallop (24m 13s):

You know, if these brave women could, with Harvey Weinstein, you know, the walls are breaking down, I will help you get those stories told. Email me, and I will put you in touch with trusted journalists to write those stories and an absolute avalanche hit my inbox. I have to say the next few months as this avalanche continues, were very, very depressing, but because I'd always known it was bad, I'd never known how bad it really was. And if your audience would like to get a sense of what I uncovered on YouTube search 3% conference, search Cindy Gallop, 2017, the talk is called Where the Money Is.

Cindy Gallop (24m 50s):

And it's a bit of a misnomer because what I did was I was scheduled to give the keynote at the 3% conference a few weeks later. And I was so horrified by my inbox that at the last minute I rewrote my talk and the first half of it is all about what I discovered. And that experience, as I say in the tool caused me to change my own thinking. Because for years, I'd been saying that the single biggest business issue facing the advertising industry was diversity. And I stood on the stage at 3% conference in November, 2017 and I said, it's not.

Cindy Gallop (25m 21s):

The single biggest business issue facing our industry and every other industry is sexual harassment. And that's because sexual harassment manages women out of every industry. Sexual harassment, derails women's careers, destroys women's ambitions, crushes women's dreams. Every industry has hemorrhaged vast amounts of female talent and creativity and leadership because of sexual harassment and sexual harassment has therefore kept out of leadership out of power and influence the female leaders who would make gender equality, diversity inclusion happen.

Cindy Gallop (25m 59s):

We don't solve anything until we solve sexual harassment and sexual harassment will derail your daughter's life, if you don't do everything you can to end it now. So it never, ever has to.

Joel (26m 11s):

Thank you.

Chad (26m 13s):

Thanks Cindy, Hey Cindy, we appreciate you taking the time and having these hard discussions, because again, if we're not having them, it seems like nobody's having them. So thank you so much for having them, and we appreciate you blowing shit up. If our listeners want to find out more about you, where should they go?

Cindy Gallop (26m 31s):

Sure. And by the way, I would like to highlight to your listeners that my services are available as a consultant and as a speaker to do everything that we've talked about in this episode. You can find me on LinkedIn, you can email me directly, you can follow me on Twitter @CindyGallop on Instagram @CindyGallop and on Facebook where I'm

Chad (26m 59s):

Thanks again for joining us.

Joel (26m 59s):


Cindy Gallop (26m 59s):

It was an absolute pleasure.

Joel (27m 1s):

We out.

Chad (27m 3s):

We out.

6 (27m 20s):

This has been the Chad and Cheese podcast, subscribe on iTunes, Google play or wherever you get your podcasts so you don't miss a single show and be sure to check out our sponsors because they make it all possible. For more visit Oh yeah. You're welcome.


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