Inclusive AF w/ Jackye

We've made significant progress making our workplaces more equitable, diverse, and inclusive, right?

Not so fast, says Jackye Clayton, DEI strategist at Seekout and cohost of the Inclusive AF podcast. The industry vet joins the boys for a reality check and a deep dive into what's wrong with the current infrastructure of corporate America.

This podcast is power by Sovren's AI, it's so human you'll want to take it to dinner.


Disability Solutions helps forward thinking employers create world class hiring and retention programs for people with disabilities.

Joel (0s):

Did the movie have anything to do with it?

Jackye (2s):

No, no, no, no. We were watching the first Footloose.

Chad (10s):

That is, yeah. That's about as white as you can get.

INTRO (14s):

Hide your kids! Lock the doors! You're listening to HR’s most dangerous podcast. Chad Sowash and Joel Cheeseman 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.

Joel (36s):

What's up everybody. This is Joel Cheeseman of your favorite podcast. The Chad and Cheese podcast joined as always by my cohost, Chad Sowash and today we are tickled pink to welcome Jackye Clayton.

Jackye (50s):


Joel (51s):

DEI Strategist at Seekout and podcaster to the show. Jackye, what up?

Jackye (57s):

Hey, I am so glad to be here. Thank you so much. I'm honored.

Joel (1m 0s):

Callin' in from Waco home of the new NCAA basketball champions. Is it just one big party there in Waco!

Jackye (1m 7s):


Joel (1m 8s):

Dr. Pepper and yeah. Party time. I love it. I love it. So, so for those listeners who don't know you, Jackye, give us the Twitter bio. What did I miss in the intro?

Jackye (1m 18s):

Yeah. So a cohost of Inclusive AF podcast. Love that. Trying to change the world one recruiter at a time through diversity and inclusion. That's kind of my shtick.

Joel (1m 29s):

Look at you with the AF being all dangerous.

Jackye (1m 32s):

I know, I know it's naughty. It's a little naughty,

Chad (1m 36s):

So it's a little naughty.

Jackye (1m 40s):

And it's hard to, we have to be inclusive. We have to still be inclusive. You mean even when you don't feel like it.

Chad (1m 46s):

Yeah. Yeah. So, well, in that being said, DEI seems to be the new AI everybody's talking about it. Everybody says they have it.

Joel (1m 56s):

Everybody's buying it.

Chad (1m 58s):

How does it feel to be the cool kid in the room?

Jackye (2m 1s):

Terrifying. I kind of liked it a little bit when people said, no, that's not important and people aren't gonna buy it. No, I mean, I'm the one hand it's good. But then on the other hand, it's scary because it's like so many people can do it wrong.

Chad (2m 17s):


Jackye (2m 17s):

Right? Same with recruiting. Right? It's like, Oh, get a recruiter. Right. If you remember, they are in the two thousands, like 2005, when everybody was opening their own recruiting firm.

Joel (2m 29s):

You're the garage band that's made it. And now all these people want to be Nirvana, but they're nowhere near the talent level. Right? So all these people that are getting into the profession and have no idea what the fuck is going on.

Jackye (2m 39s):

Absolutely. Yeah, so that's the scary part.

Joel (2m 42s):

You've been around a lot, Jackye at meaning the industry, not the other way around.

Jackye (2m 49s):

Thank you for clarifying.

Joel (2m 51s):

SeekOut. What are you doing for them specifically? Talk a little bit about your history cause I think it's relevant for a lot of the listeners.

Jackye (2m 58s):

Yes, so my background is in recruiting. So it started with talent acquisition and recruiting for a number of years. And, but I started writing about diversity in 2008, really because the way everybody was being trained on how to recruit diverse talent meant they weren't going to find me. Right. So they would say, Oh, look at HBCUs. It's like, okay, I didn't go to one or look at these sororities or, and I wasn't a member look at these clubs. And I was like, I'm never going to be on the list, based on those things. And I'm really, I really want to be a part of it. So I kept researching what the problem was or issues and concerns were.

Jackye (3m 38s):

And so it's always been kind of a part of what I do. I was mostly doing recruiting on the tech side. So you do kind of get a diverse/non-diverse background. You notice those kinds of gaps. And so I started with that. And so now really doing it on a full-time basis because I used to analyze tech as well. And as I was analyzing technology really was noticing the gaps or how is this going to work as we went into AI, how is that going to affect diversity and inclusion? So now, primarily I work with our clients that are trying to build out diversity strategies and letting them know, you know, how they can do it, what they need to do, if it's possible.

Jackye (4m 21s):

And then of course I work for a startup. So I do all the other things too.

Joel (4m 25s):

More of a consulting basis because I think when I thought of this, I thought, well, okay, she could help make the tech better. She could make hiring at Seek Out better and more inclusive. And a third thing you mentioned was you can consult with clients to help make their recruiter. Is it all those three? Or did, or am I overstepping in terms of your role there? Okay.

Jackye (4m 45s):

All those three, because one of the things, and this kind of goes with the fear is like they have all these tools that talk about diversity and inclusion, but really they're talking about gender and ethnicity, right. And leaving out all of these different groups. And it became very clear that if that's all we're going to do that's as far as organizations will go. And so you have to open that up so that people understand what it means and have access to our different ways of finding those people so you can start bringing them into the fold because it's a distraction for people who are trying to find top talent, if it's more difficult. And so if we can make, make it easier to find diverse talent, then we can incorporate more diverse talent.

Jackye (5m 28s):


Chad (5m 29s):

But Jackye, I'm just not convinced that corporate America really wants to be diverse.

Jackye (5m 35s):

They don't!

Chad (5m 35s):

I mean, do they really want to be equitable? I mean, seriously, we put Whitey on the moon in 1969, but we can't figure this shit out. So for me, you take a look at the DEI training segment, right? It's like a $9 billion industry. It's fucking enormous, but we don't see outcomes coming from that, from the hiring retention promotion, any of that stuff. So, I mean, I don't personally believe corporate America wants to be diverse. So that seems like an uphill battle for you, even though it's the cool thing. It's the cool thing. I don't believe that's what they want. Do you?

Jackye (6m 15s):

No, they don't. And the reason that I say that is because we're able to find the talent so quickly. So what's the problem. So I don't understand why there's still an issue and that's what we started looking into. Well, I started looking into years ago, but what's going into it. And that's, what's so interesting. I think about like, when we talk about the podcast with inclusive AI, like we look at some of these issues, like what's really the barrier, right? And I think that diversity and inclusion, all the people that are participating in it, one of the challenges is you get this nice to have a dream from your C-level executives. Right?

Chad (6m 51s):


Jackye (6m 52s):

But they didn't even talk to talent acquisition at all to see if it's possible.

Chad (6m 56s):

Because they never do.

Jackye (6m 57s):

For example, there's a place that is not, nowhere near Texas, but their CEOs that they were going to increase by 30% of people of color. But they only have 5% in the city. 5% people of color.

Chad (7m 11s):


Jackye (7m 12s):

So how are you going to do that? Where are these people coming from and what are you going to do? I mean, even more, we've already seen the gap when human resources went from nurturing personnel to protecting organizations and taking the human out. But they take the human out in diversity and inclusion because it becomes like they look at these like people as items, you know, as widgets, instead of understanding what goes into it. So I think we will, want to, but they just don't understand what it takes. It's like, you know what to expect when you're expecting or whatever. Like we all have kids, right. And then you read the book and you're like, Oh, is that going to happen? You're like, yeah,

Joel (7m 51s):

There's no conspiracy here to say, Oh, you know what? We're going to tell everyone we're going to up it by 30% and hope that no one checks us on that. You think it's more like, they just don't know. They say what they think is the right thing. But they don't really think about logistically, how are we going to do this?

Chad (8m 9s):

Which means they're not serious.

Jackye (8m 10s):

Hey, because they don't, they'll say that they want to have diverse talent. But what they don't say is we need to evenly distribute the power around our organization. Right?

Chad (8m 19s):


Jackye (8m 20s):

Or they'll say, Oh, we're diverse because we have 50% female. But if you look at what they pay out in salaries, I bet you, that's not 50% male/females. Right?

Joel (8m 29s):

Such a cynic.

Chad (8m 32s):

So, it's hard not to be a cynic because these companies aren't transparent. They don't actually show their workforce composition number one. Right? They don't show their pay equity. They don't show any of that stuff. And they could do it in large groups. They don't have to do it in a person by person basis. They're not being transparent with the market itself. And that's, it should be step one.

Jackye (8m 57s):

That absolutely has to be step one. And, I should say, I should back up and say, I think that people want it, but they don't want everything else that comes along with it. It's one of those we have to slow down in order to speed up.

Chad (9m 9s):

What comes with it though?

Jackye (9m 11s):

You have to admit your shortcomings, your failures, you know, you implemented maybe a company culture that wasn't the best, you know, and it takes away especially understanding that you're going to bring in conflict at the very beginning because people don't think the way you do.

Chad (9m 29s):

Oh yeah.

Joel (9m 29s):

So Jackye, we, we brought, we brought Cindy Gallop on the podcast and I don't know if you've heard that episode or not, but she's very adamant of saying that the only solution, ultimately, you know, the white C-suite is not really going to change what they are. And as a corporation, the only way to change this is to empower diverse folks, to create their own businesses and build their own companies. That's the only way they're going to do this. Do you agree with that? Or are there other, like, is it market forces? Does government need to get involved? Does, journalism need to do its job? Like, what is the solution? If, if what you're saying is sort of like people pay lip service, but nothing's really happening.

Jackye (10m 12s):

I think a lot of it has to do with really getting real with what's going on in the organization. Because I think what you have to do is get rid of the people that are getting in the way of diversity and inclusion. Right. Get rid of those people and then replace it with diverse talent.

Joel (10m 28s):

But that, I mean, that sounds good. But if, if you have a profitable company that shareholders love, and I mean, employees are happy. It's hard to justify getting rid of them, isn't it?