Moped Money

It's part 2 of our interview with Torin Ellis, DEI consultant, risk mitigator, and truth teller! We continue to exorcise our demons while having some moped money laughs at the expense of Google, Kroger, and a very lame and lazy U.S. Department of Labor.

The Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion force is strong in this one.


Also, are you adding text recruiting in to your DEI engagement strategy? Maybe you should check out NEXXT while your listening to another great interview.


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

Chad (0s):

We're back with the second half of our interview with Torin Ellis, the man, the myth, the legend. If you missed part one, it's called Exercising Our Demons. You can find it on or wherever you listen to podcasts. Let's get into the show.

Torin (17s):

I think it costs them about $3 million to do that. That's the same moped gas money that Google just paid to settle that suit that they had.

INTRO (29s):

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.

Chad (59s):

Have you seen since George Floyd, since you know, Ahmaud Arbery, Brianna Taylor, have you seen more white people starting to understand that sitting back on the bench, isn't not being a quote/unquote "racist" isn't enough. You have to be anti-racist you have to go after this and you have to voice this and actually focus on action.

Torin (1m 21s):

Yeah, absolutely. And again, I don't put it only on white men, you know, I absolutely feel like we need to put our voices out. You know, Superbowl Sunday was a couple of weeks ago and I put up a tweet, fuck the super bowl. And below that, I said, you know, I want to see justice for Brianna Taylor's family. I want to see Daniel Cameron, the AG removed from office. And I want to see a black coach hired in the NFL. I believe they hired one after that, but they had seven openings, seven! They had seven openings this past year. And you have to offensive coordinators that are black and neither one of them had had a conversation about being a head coach. But yet you would go hire a college coach.

Torin (2m 4s):

So I mean, the point to me is there are so many ways that we can make this thing better. It requires that all of us show up and I'm not, you know, critical of people who watch the Superbowl and enjoyed it. Fine, that's your thing. I'm not watching football. I'm not supportive of it, but that's just one of the actions that I take. Conversely, Chad, you mentioned being at a black lives matter rally. I've never been at a rally, so it's not that I'm better than, or any of that. It's not a comparison. This is not a competition. It's really about all of us being included in the conversation. And I don't care what microphone I hit. I'm never going to say that I don't want white men in the conversation.

Torin (2m 48s):

I'll certainly say every once in a while white men can just listen, it'll be good for you to listen and take in what's happening. But I'll never say that we should be doing this work excluding anybody's voice because that absolutely is counter to the inclusion and the representation that I talk about. The last thing that I'll say is I had a client reach out, well, a company reach out, wanted me to have a conversation for black history month. Cool. So I told them what we were going to talk about. I sent him to talk about the 1619 project. I'm going to talk about the book, The Color of Law. And I'm going to talk about how you can be a better, more inclusive individual in your organization. Those were the three points that I gave them.

Torin (3m 29s):

And then they sat on it for, I guess a week. Didn't know what the 1619 project was, so they went and did some research, came back to me and said, well, we prefer that you not talk about the 1619 project. We'd actually prefer that you don't bring up the book, the Color of Law, but you can talk about, you know, being a better and more inclusive employee. I said, well, I'd prefer if you not try to tell me what the fuck to talk about.

Chad (3m 57s):

You won't me to train, pretty much your training. Absolutely. And what they want and what they want to chat. All this was was let's be safe in conversation. Listen, people are hurting or people have been safe for too long. So all I'm saying to you is you got to trust me, if you are reaching out to me, you're reaching out because I know what I'm doing. You're reaching out off of the strength of a referral from somebody else who's already brought me in. So it's not as if this was just some random Google search. But, but the point is even if it was a random search, I'm not the dude that you're going to tell how to come into an organization and do the work that I've been doing for the better part of the last 20 years.

Torin (4m 37s):

There's absolutely no way you are going to put a silencer on the vocal authority that I have. You're not going to put a silencer on the experiences that I get to bring to the equation and share. You're not going to put a silencer on me, tapping into your audience, your employee base, share your experiences with me so that I can amplify them with other people, share those experiences with me. It may clash with my experience, but it'll be a beautiful piece of art. If we can have this conversation in front of everyone. So I'm not trying to necessarily plan it safe. I'm going to always show up professional. I'm going to always show up and be respectful, but I'm going to show up and be transparent, which is part of the reason why whenever I'm asked to speak, I don't send them slides.

Torin (5m 23s):

You know, I'm like, and when you get the slides, it's probably got like five words on it. Everything is up in the devil. And because I already know these folks are going to try to put all they can to clamp down, you know, how to kid, you know, releases and I'm not having it.

Joel (5m 35s):

You mentioned Torin. And this, this is a genuine question. You said that the rate on the Capitol was racist. Did I hear that correctly?

Torin (5m 44s):

You did.

Joel (5m 44s):

Okay. Help me understand in your, from your viewpoint, why it was racist? I mean, there was nothing in the words that they were talking about that was racist or racial and manner, it was, you know, it was "Stop the steal," it was, you know, "hang Mike Pence" or like me as a middle-aged white guy got no sort of, maybe there were undertones of racism just because of the whole Trump movement. But what about that rally was racist to you?

Torin (6m 13s):

Yeah, so actually that's a good call out on your part. And I wish that I had not described it in that particular way. It would have been one of the descriptors, because as you said, it was a portion of what we saw. I think the bigger portion, the bigger portion of what we saw was privilege. And that privilege will manifest if in fact for real, these individuals are not charged. So that really is what we saw.

Joel (6m 38s):


Torin (6m 39s):

I think the racist piece for me is, you know, certainly the language that we heard, if you caught some of the video that had been circulating around the internet, I've always felt like the Confederate flag is a symbol of racism. I mean, absolutely, absolutely feel like it's a symbol of racism and you're not going to tell me anything different. So to see that flag hung up and or fly in from the rafters, from the Portico, from the balcony or the steps, if you will, that's a piece of racism. So my characterization in the beginning of it being racist? No, it being more of an act of privilege. Yes.

3 (7m 17s):

Okay. Cause I, I certainly agree there were racist in the crowd and there was a lot of anti-Jewish sentiment as well. So I think that that was, that was on play as well. But I just, I wanted to understand your viewpoint on that and on why it was racist. So thank you for, thank you for clarifying that.

Torin (7m 32s):

Yeah, absolutely.

3 (7m 33s):

You mentioned Rooney rule and the Superbowl and Chad and I talked about a story about Activision, I think last week and the AFL CIO is sort of pushing the Rooney rule on corporate America. I assume that you have thoughts on that. Whether it's a good thing to do, whether it will be effective or not. I think you'll probably agree that it's been mostly a failure in football. And if it's been a failure in football, then won't it most likely be a failure in corporate America.

Torin (8m 2s):

Yeah. I categorize the Rooney Rule, Murphy's Law and unconscious bias training all in the same sandbox as performative. Murphy's Law is a version of Rooney rule for the legal profession and of course, unconscious bias training is what it is. And I feel like all of those things are mere curtains of complacency and mediocrity. We just check the box, let's put, you know, whatever. And in the lineup, if you will just, just because we'll shut them up, we'll make them feel good. We'll appease them and we'll keep on moving. So I absolutely think that is a waste of time. I want to get to the point Joel, where individuals are simply saying to themselves, wow, we don't have individuals that have a disability on our staff and they could be doing this work right here.

Torin (8m 49s):

Or we don't have a person that we know of that is out on the spectrum of LGBTQ and they are absolutely qualified to be in our executive ranks. The person with that disability is qualified to be in our executive ranks. I want it to be to the point where folks are comfortable saying, we're missing something so let's be more intentional and about either how we are grooming them, how we are, including them in our succession, planning, how we are initially sourcing for them, how we are inspiring and developing them. What are we doing intentionally, period, just look around and see what's missing and let's put action in place to just simply be human.

Torin (9m 32s):

That that's all I'm asking. I don't, I don't want a job to be given to a black person or a black woman or a Muslim individual, I don't want the job to just simply be given to them, but I do want them to be fairly considered. I don't want it to be performative.

Chad (9m 49s):

So workforce composition in itself and pay transparency. I mean, we see the NFL's workforce composition. I mean, it's small. You can see it. It's fairly simple, much like CEOs, right? We finally have a, is it one or two black female CEOs? I think it's one, in the fortune 500 over 500, 1 in 500. And, and overall it's less than 10, I believe females.

Torin (10m 14s):

Yes. I think, I think black CEO's right now is under five.