Roe v. Wade being overturned has caused a wave of political upheaval in the United States, and many employers are being impacted. It's a big deal, especially for those who hire and employ Millennials and Gen Zs. That's why the boys invited Dr. Tana M. Session, an award-winning consultant, speaker, performance coach and best-selling author to the show. We're breaking down the tough issues and challenges companies are facing with the issue of abortion rights, and even throw in a little pay transparency debate for good measure.
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Intro: 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.
Joel Cheesman: Oh, yeah. What's up everybody? It's your favorite guilty pleasure, AKA the Chad and Cheese Podcast. I'm your co-host, Joel Cheesman. Joined as always, the Roe to my Wade Chad Sowash.
Chad Sowash: Yes.
Joel Cheesman: And today we are just giddy to welcome Dr. Tana M. Session, an award-winning consultant, speaker, performance coach, bestselling author, and so much more. Dr. Tana, welcome to the podcast.
Dr. Tana Session: Thank you so much Joel and Chad. I'm so honored and excited to be here today.
Chad Sowash: We're excited to have you. This is... This is a...
Joel Cheesman: Let's ask her again at the end if she's still happy to be here.
Chad Sowash: Yes, yes, yeah let's do that. Well, this is a great topic, but before we get to that, you know, what did Joel miss in his intro? Tell us a little bit about Tana.
Dr. Tana Session: Sure. So over 30 years of human resources experience and 10 of those as the head of HR for different organizations and been in the diversity space since 2007 when the first millennials started graduating and entering the workforce. [laughter] So I had to wrap my head around that new workforce very quickly. And live here in Los Angeles with my husband and have two grown sons. So we've been empty nesters since 2013, which allowed us to take a sabbatical. Last year we took a month off and traveled through five countries of Africa and this year we took two months off and traveled through eight countries of Africa. We touched all four corners. Plus the very southern, the most southern tip of Africa. We were able to go and touch it.
Chad Sowash: Excellent, excellent, excellent.
Joel Cheesman: Do you have a good wilderness story? Something on the plains...
Dr. Tana Session: Yeah.
Joel Cheesman: I love a good bug fight. Was there any sort of lion takedown that you got to see?
Dr. Tana Session: I saw so much. [chuckle]
Joel Cheesman: Yeah.
Dr. Tana Session: It was... It was mating season for the lion, so we caught them on their honeymoon and for...
Chad Sowash: Hello.
Dr. Tana Session: Over a course of seven days they go at it. [laughter] Yes, absolutely. Over a course of seven days. They go at it about eight times a day. So we got to see six of those times.
Joel Cheesman: Hello.
Chad Sowash: Dang.
Dr. Tana Session: [laughter] And we also got to see two water buffaloes fighting it out for dominance over the herd. And we watched the fight for 30 minutes and they were still going at it. [laughter]
Chad Sowash: Oh yeah.
Joel Cheesman: Fighting and dancing in Africa.
Chad Sowash: That is amazing so...
Joel Cheesman: As if I needed a better excuse to go visit Africa.
Dr. Tana Session: Yeah.
Chad Sowash: What's your favorite area of Africa? If you go back and you only had like a week to spend, where would you go?
Dr. Tana Session: Zanzibar in Tanzania.
Joel Cheesman: And why?
Dr. Tana Session: The beach is by far one of the best. I always create my vacations around beaches.
Chad Sowash: Yes, Amen.
Dr. Tana Session: I'm a water person. I'm an Aquarius, so I'm a water person. And that Indian Ocean when you see the low tide where you can go walk out into the middle of the ocean, for about six hours a day, it's just unreal. Like something out of a movie and it's just a beautiful country and beautiful people.
Chad Sowash: Yes, I am excited. My, the first place that I wanna go is Morocco. We actually just bought...
Dr. Tana Session: Yeah.
Chad Sowash: A place in Portugal just right across, right...
Dr. Tana Session: Yep.
Chad Sowash: So we wanna hit that, but Zanzibar, I... That's on the list now.
Dr. Tana Session: Yeah. Well, we just... Actually just left Morocco, we were there for...
Chad Sowash: Nice.
Dr. Tana Session: Yeah. We were there for five days I think it was, and toured three different cities.
Chad Sowash: Excellent, excellent.
Joel Cheesman: Chad's gonna start with just the tip. He's gonna ease in to it.
Chad Sowash: Just... [laughter]
Dr. Tana Session: Okay.
Chad Sowash: All we do. That's what we do. It's all we do here. [laughter]
Dr. Tana Session: Okay.
Chad Sowash: Frame it up Cheesman.
Joel Cheesman: By the way, Dr. Tana hasn't heard our show before, so she's gonna be...
Dr. Tana Session: I'm a virgin.
Joel Cheesman: She's gonna hit it with a lot of stuff. We'll try to be gentle.
Dr. Tana Session: Please be gentle.
Chad Sowash: It's gonna be the pack of lions happening. [laughter]
Joel Cheesman: Anyway, [laughter] not going there based on what we just heard about the lions. All right. So we're here to talk about abortion, a legal precedent was recently overturned. I want you, because you are more abreast of this issue than we are. You're the expert. Set the table for our listeners. What happened, what's the current state of what's going on? And particularly we're talking about companies and the sort of where they're on the line on which side, or dancing on the line, or how that's working out from a corporate perspective. 'Cause our audience is mainly employers, recruiters and business folks.
Dr. Tana Session: We can take it back to the original case of Roe v. Wade, where the Supreme Court decided that a woman had a right to basically her own healthcare choices, which included the right to abortion. And what happened in 2022 was... Well, it's been on the docket for quite some time. But what happened in 2022 was that the Supreme Court heard the case again based on occurrence lawsuit, and they decided that they needed to return the right to the States. And then so what they felt was the overall opinion was that the previous Supreme Court had an overreach in making this basically a federal law and they've now turned it back over to the States. So with that individual states, all 50, 51 of them are now able to decide whether or not they want to have this as a codified law or if they want to change it in some way. And many of them took the chance to change it or eliminate it.
Joel Cheesman: And company's response was interesting to say the least. Talk a little bit about that.
Dr. Tana Session: Yeah, I mean, some companies chose not to make any statements at all, but there were some that were very bold in their statements very quickly. Which, you know, proved that A, they were paying attention to this and hopefully HR was behind that with the executives, the C-suite and some of them came forward and said, "Hey look, we have employees that are gonna be negatively impacted based on where they live, and as a result we want to extend or offer additional benefits so that this won't be a detriment to them." And other companies said, "We don't have a comment, we're gonna leave it up to the individual, and their medical professional to decide how this should be handled."
Joel Cheesman: And I know we here in Indiana, Eli Lilly is a major employer here in the state. And I know, they had even sort of alluded to the fact that they may have to open up shop in other states in order to sort of recruit and retain top talent. So that was another sort of initiative that a lot of companies took in light of this law.
Dr. Tana Session: Yeah. Definitely happened with a lot of companies based in Texas were very quick to say that as well.
Chad Sowash: You take, take a look at just companies, and again, they're kinda toeing the line. Some of them are saying nothing, they're being incredibly silent and some are actually speaking up. And according to Yale and their, their workforce analysis, they had a group of companies that they call pretty much early adopters, and tech companies were major supporters. 30% of companies that offer travel support, for the tech sector, where the average age of tech workers in the US are 35. 70% of companies were providing travel support and finance and 12% in the professional services. But here's the problem, the early movers only represent 101 companies and only nine of those companies are headquartered in red states. So to me, this feels more like political pandering than support. What are your thoughts around this?
Dr. Tana Session: Yeah, I agree with you, and I'm hoping that it's not performative and that's my concern. Even with some of my clients I've been talking to about this since this got overturned last... Late last summer, to ensure that whatever statement they make A, they're willing to commit to it, and is for the long-term. It's not something that's knee jerk or something that they feel they have to put out there just because their competitors have done something similar. So my hope is... And those numbers are concerning, my hope is that more companies over the time have started to consider what type of benefits do they want to offer their employees so that they aren't negatively impacted.
Chad Sowash: So, when it comes down to it from a company standpoint, we know travel support is important, right? But to me, it feels just like it's a band-aid. So what can companies do aside of moving out of the state?
Dr. Tana Session: Yeah, well, one are the things that I think would be helpful is the healthcare provider, so whoever their insurance is through. Let's say their insurance is through Anthem. I'm just gonna throw a name out there, Anthem. Don't be upset with me.
Chad Sowash: Sure. [laughter]
Dr. Tana Session: But let's say it's Anthem, working with their healthcare provider to see what, if any additional coverages they can offer their employees, that, again, is long-term sustainable, that still falls under HIPAA protection, where the employee's private business doesn't have to be exposed to the company. And that they can freely utilize this benefit, in the privacy of their own healthcare. So I think that's one of the first things to do, is to really partner with the healthcare providers to see what, if any, additional benefits or extension of benefits they can offer. And those healthcare providers may be limited as well, based on the law, based on where they're based, all of those different things. So it's somewhat of a ripple effect, but I think the conversation needs to start there. And I do agree with you, I think the travel benefits is a band-aid, but it's to start it, right? So you may have employees that need to leave Texas to come to California, let's say in order to perform a legal abortion.
Dr. Tana Session: My only concern with that is, who do they notify? Who's involved in that decision making process? Is it taxable income? Do they have to report it somehow? It's like so many questions that unfolds with that.
Chad Sowash: That's... Yeah that's amazing. And what about the states that don't allow travel? There are states that do not allow travel. So it seems like the individual and perspectively the company, their hands could be tied. Is that pretty much the feeling right now?
Dr. Tana Session: Yeah. But the federal law has come out basically and said, "Look, you can't stop employees or individuals from crossing state lines even for medical care." So whether this ends up in court is yet to be determined, but that was their counter to ensuring that employees did have the right to travel across state lines if necessary. And there has been reports that that has happened, right, over the last plus six months. So I don't think that that's going to permanently stop. What my concern is are neighbors reporting on other neighbors, or employees reporting or ratting out another employee? Because they get wind of the fact that this person took time off and, you know, came to California to get an abortion. So it's kinda like turning people against each other from that perspective, especially when they have a bounty out, which is what I call that reward. They have a bounty out of up to $10,000 in some states.
Joel Cheesman: Michael Jordan famously said, "Republicans buy tennis shoes as well," in regards to whether... Why he wasn't more politically active or verbal. And he still sort of takes that stance. My question is, companies who do come out, why do you think they do? Is it recruiting retention? Is it just a good headline? Is it virtue signalling? Do some... Like what percentage really do feel the way that they do? Are you cynical about this or do you think that that it's genuine?
Dr. Tana Session: I am cautiously optimistic. Much like I was back in the summer of 2020 when a lot of companies made statements about Black Lives Matter and, you know, wanting to be supportive of their Black and Brown employees and, you know, putting all these promises out there. Some have followed through with those promises. Some are still along the tailwind of following through and others fell off the radar. So I could see this being the same case here, especially again when politics do get involved. Because you have companies that either donate to certain political parties or perhaps receive some lobbying from certain political parties. So there's a certain sense of self-preservation I think in some cases with these companies where they can't necessarily be so aggressive in their statements or their promises to employees. The ones that have been, I feel like it's kind of like throwing caution to the wind.
Dr. Tana Session: It is about retention. It is about being able to recruit and hire the best talent because it is still a competitive label market right now. And ultimately wanting the employees to feel that this is a place where they can be psychologically safe, where they can feel completely inclusive, that they can be their true, authentic selves. All the things that fold into diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging as well. This is part of that, part of that in terms of equity is ensuring that you have benefits that are equitable for all employees.
Joel Cheesman: I appreciate the optimism.
Dr. Tana Session: Cautious. Cautious optimism.
Joel Cheesman: Cautious optimism. And the election that we just had here recently in the US. I'm guessing helps support that optimism. Talk about the red wave that didn't happen, the voting block of abortion rights activist that came out to maybe create that wave and into a ripple or not much of anything. I assume you were emboldened by the election. Talk about that night.
Dr. Tana Session: I tried not to pay too much attention to it only because we were getting ready to go to Africa. So my husband and I mailed in our ballots here in California. We were like, "We're out. Whatever happens, happens, right?" But we were pleasantly surprised. And I think when you think about the workforce, first of all, let's talk about the new group of people who are eligible to vote, 18 year olds. Gen Z. Gen Z are the most culturally, ethnically, and socially diverse group to ever enter the workforce. And 18-year-olds are empowered and emboldened by the mistakes of the previous generations. And I think Roe v. Wade pissed them off. And I think that they are much more vocal about these types of things, and they speak truth to power. And what they did was they used their vote to do that. I also think about the Gen Z and Gen Y, Gen Z workforce. They're over 50% of the workforce. So those are the childbearing ages of employees, right? I'm 53. I'm no longer thinking about childbearing, I'm not even thinking about grandparenting, grandchildren.
Joel Cheesman: Stop. You are not 53. Get out of here.
Dr. Tana Session: I'll be 54 next month. I'm proud to say.
Joel Cheesman: No, you stop, you look amazing.
Chad Sowash: Not a day over 30.
Dr. Tana Session: You know what they say? Black don't crack.
Joel Cheesman: I'm not gonna say it.
Dr. Tana Session: I'll say it. Black does not crack but no we are not... Apart of that I felt was this next generation of the workforce speaking truth to power and they used their vote to do so. They were angry, they were upset, they were appalled, they questioned why this was never a codified law. And so they used their vote to make certain that the right people got in office that would protect their rights. And that was for men and women within those groups.
Chad Sowash: Yeah, yeah. So Joel had a quote, I'm gonna go ahead and use a quote too.
Joel Cheesman: Oh boy.
Chad Sowash: This is one Joel's gonna love because even the monster himself, Milton Friedman wrote in 1970 an article where he acknowledges that quote, "It may well be in the long term interest of a corporation to devote resources to providing amenities to the community or to improving its government. That may make it easier to attract desirable employees." Now even the ultra monster capitalist Milton Friedman, understood.
Dr. Tana Session: I know.
Chad Sowash: That if you don't take care of your people and your community, that profits won't... 'Cause Milton Friedman didn't give two shits about anything but profits, right?
Dr. Tana Session: Right.
Chad Sowash: So if he's talking about this.
Dr. Tana Session: The people.
Chad Sowash: And he's talking about profits. Exactly. Why aren't more "capitalist organizations" actually focused on taking care of the people because they know it's going to lead to more profits.
Dr. Tana Session: I mean, that's the question of all time and especially me being in HR for as long as I have been, that was always one of the arguments I had sitting across the table from the C-suite executive, especially CFOs and CEOs. Helping them understand the importance of taking care of their people. Because if you don't take care of your people, they're not gonna take care of your customers or clients, and you won't receive the profit. And so your investors are gonna be upset, your shareholders, your board, it... Again, ripple effect. So helping them understand that and giving it to them in data and metrics that they can wrap their heads around because that's what they pay attention to is the dollars and the percentages. So that they understand that ultimately this is driven by the people that work here.
Dr. Tana Session: And yes, there's some that feel like people are replaceable. You should be thankful you have a job, like all of those things I've heard over the years, and still to this day, people still say... Say in and feeling, but it costs money to lose employees. It costs money to hire employees. So helping them understand, and this is where HR can really have that influence and that seat at the table, is to break that down for them in a way that helps them understand that if we don't provide the right benefits that are equitable to all employees, and this is the workforce that we're dealing with here, ultimately these individuals are going to leave because they'll find someone who will provide those benefits. And they... We'll have to start this whole process over again. So there's gonna be production, downtime, quality downtime, customers and clients are gonna be negatively impacted and ultimately we're not gonna see the numbers we're looking for.
Chad Sowash: Yeah, yeah. Well, what we've seen where... Amazon's actually done research where they are burning through.
Dr. Tana Session: Oh yeah.
Chad Sowash: The workforce in some of the areas where they have locations. Now let's get it to women in the workforce now, we've had problems getting women back into the workforce after the pandemic. Do you feel like some companies are using pro-Roe stances to lure female talent back into those open roles? Or maybe they should do more of that?
Dr. Tana Session: If they're smart, they could use that as one of their tools to put that out there and say, Hey, A it's awareness B we care and C, we're gonna do what we can to protect you as an employee and protect your HIPAA rights as well. So that way we're not all up in your business but yeah, during the pandemic we lost over two million women out of the workforce. Many of them were frontline employees. And part of the attraction now is how do we get them back in? How do we make it a place that is desirable that's flexible, that meets their needs as caregivers? Like all of those factors and part of being a caregiver is caring for themselves. And if they don't have the benefits that they need in order to do that so that they can make the right decisions for themselves and their families, then that's a negative for the company, so I think they have to think about the full life cycle of their female employees. And we can't leave out trans women as well, because they are also impacted by this as well as trans men.
Chad Sowash: So are enough companies taking a stand? I would say no. But if there was a wave, what do you think that could perspectively do to the actual talent coming back to work? Do you think that would actually spur females back to work? We saw the women's march. It was like when something happens that has impact there's a reaction. We saw from the not red wave there was impact.
Dr. Tana Session: True.
Chad Sowash: Do you think that companies actually in waive coming to support women would actually get them back into the workforce? 'Cause to be quite frank, that's incredibly important for our economy.
Dr. Tana Session: Yeah, yeah, it absolutely is because women tend to spend more of their income back into the communities than men through taking care of their households. So I think yes. Now are enough companies doing it, probably not. I also don't think that should be the only banner that they wave. Again, I think they need to think about the full life cycle and flexibility is another piece of that. So what women realized during the pandemic from 2022 up till now, is that not having to come into the office five days a week has also been an area that's important to them and has helped them to be viable, contributing members of the workforce. And companies that are adamant about people being back in the office five days a week I think are missing the mark there. In particular with these women who have caregiving responsibilities, they've proven that they could be just as a productive, if not more, and in many cases more, and put in more work hours without being paid for them as a result of having that flexibility.
Joel Cheesman: Alright, doctor, I gave you reason for optimism in my last question. I'm gonna give you reason for pessimism in this question. Go woke, go broke is a popular saying on the right, the conservative sector. With certain movies, shows, etcetera, that are left-leaning, failing, or doing poorly, either at the box office or in sales. You've had Bob Iger who recently took back control of Disney saying he's gonna turn the temperature down a little bit on the culture issues. For companies that are looking at that and saying, "Oh, we don't want to get into that, that's a little scary, we don't want to take that step." What would you tell them to help embolden them around this issue of abortion rights?
Dr. Tana Session: Well, first I would say they need to understand that woke has been weaponized by the right. And so what I mean by that is when we refer to woke, we being Black people, Brown people, people who are interested in true diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging. What we mean is that we are aware that there are certain systemic institutional barriers to success for certain groups in society, mostly marginalized groups. And so what we're saying is by recognizing that these are the changes that need to occur. They don't have to happen right now, but they need to at least be under consideration with some sort of action behind it so it's not performative.
Dr. Tana Session: And when I think about that, and I think about the weaponization of woke. I think companies are leaning into fear versus understanding. So people fear what they don't understand. Right? And so without having real qualitative and quantitative conversations with their employees, their investors, the communities in which they serve, to understand what particular barriers they as a company have in place. Whether it's through policy and procedure, through how they recruit, who they recruit, how they pay, who they pay, who they promote, all of these different factors that come into play. And if they don't have a true place of psychological safety for all employees, then have that conversation and not be afraid of leaning into where they can improve.
Dr. Tana Session: And so some companies have done a very good job at that over the last two and a half years, and again, I'm still somewhat cautiously optimistic they're gonna continue to do so. I think what's going to drive the behavior of these organizations are Gen Y and Gen Z especially the younger Gen Y and now Gen Z because they have zero tolerance for inequity. They have zero tolerance for any type of bias, racism, discrimination, and again, they're not afraid to speak truth to power, whereas my generation we kind of went along to get along. I'm Gen X.
Joel Cheesman: Digging a little bit into that, on the CEO level, and I found it really interesting. Logan Green, who is the CEO of Lyft, ride-sharing service which most of our listeners I'm sure know, received a letter from Texas legislators after he tweeted that the company would cover costs for employees who had to travel more than 100 miles for an abortion saying it would... The Legislators said it was a violation of a 1925 statute that prohibits facilitating abortions. What advice would you give CEOs in taking stances like this, what would you have advised him to reply to the state and this law?
Dr. Tana Session: Yeah, that's a challenging question because I'm not familiar with that statute, so I would wanna read it and see what's in there. By the way I'm in law school, it's my first semester... Well, second semester now. So there's that. But I would wanna see what the statute says before I advise them. But just taking it at a surface, I would challenge them with proving how the statute negatively impacts the employees there, and that may be the challenge that the legislators... Of course they will try to debate and go point by point by the different elements of that statute to say we're out of compliance as a company to offer this to staff. And then also referring back to the federal law that they put in place as kind of a band-aid until this goes to court to say you can't stop an employee from crossing state lines under any condition.
Joel Cheesman: I assume you would agree FUD, fear, uncertainty, and doubt is going to be a weapon by the states to scare CEOs into this action. At what point do the lawyers get involved?
Dr. Tana Session: I think they should get involved immediately.
Chad Sowash: I can guarantee you they are.
Dr. Tana Session: I'm sure, I would hope so.
Joel Cheesman: Which companies don't wanna go there, right? If they don't have to. But that seems like a certainty as we move on with this.
Dr. Tana Session: Yeah. Yeah. I think much like talking to their healthcare providers, they should also be talking to an employment lawyer. And remember this is all fluid, because it's still new, the laws haven't caught up with what's happening.
Chad Sowash: Yes.
Dr. Tana Session: We're waiting for certain cases to come out to mandate how the law will be applied, so I'm sure the courts are flooded with these types of things right now. And as well as attorneys, they're going through all the books trying to find statutes or certain cases that they could use to either refute or confirm what is being said by a legislators. So I think it's because it's so fluid is to me, especially being in law school, is somewhat exciting, but it is also frustrating.
Chad Sowash: I have to applaud your cautious optimism because I am definitely a cautious pessimist with regard to this. And the reason being is, as we take a look at this situation, which is horrible, taking away women's rights is ridiculous. But if you take a look at corporate America, we have huge wage inequity. We haven't been transparent, we've been horrible with DEIB, we spend billions of dollars every year for no outcomes and really no bumping of the needle whatsoever. So I guess since there is some optimism behind you, why do you think and why are you optimistic that these slow profiteering organizations even give two shits what happens to their employees in the first place?
Dr. Tana Session: Well, I think the proof's in the pudding. So when I think about certain... Like I have sometimes clients will say, "Well, what companies are getting the right?" I think there's companies that's on the right track, no one's checked the box yet, right?
Chad Sowash: Yeah.
Dr. Tana Session: And it's ever-evolving, ever-changing. So we'll never get to a point where we say, "Oh, we've completed diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging." It's always going to be here. So just wrapping their heads around that, that this is part of your strategy is not going anywhere. Just like your financial strategy, your people strategy, you have to have a DEIB strategy. And then the part that I think keeps me somewhat optimistic is because there are companies that understand that there is an impact. Now, can you say dollar for dollar return on investment? Perhaps, perhaps not depending on the industry, depending on how you are tracking these metrics. I tell people always look at again, your recruiting and where you're hiring from, look at who stays with the company, look at who's being promoted and why they're being promoted.
Dr. Tana Session: Yes, pay equity is important as well, that's one of the first things to look at. And I like the fact that a lot of states now are saying you have to be transparent like New York and California 'cause I think that's gonna help. It's gonna take time, and that's the thing I tell my clients, this is a journey. It's not a sprint, it's truly a marathon. So you have to be in it for the long run, and you have to be happy with the low-hanging wins. And you have to know that there are gonna be certain things that'll have a much longer runway. And those things, as long as you're paying attention to them, you'll start seeing some traction. You'll start seeing some success, but also the important part of it is communicating back out to the employees where you are, what successes you've had, talk about your journey. Talk about where you started and then where you are now. I think that's a huge piece of the story as well to tell.
Chad Sowash: So pay transparency, at least salary transparency, making sure that the salary's transparent on the job, or hopefully we'll get to pay transparency for the actual... The entire population. But that seems to have a big wave right now, and it's front and center, there's actually this legislation that's hitting the books. We've had Oregon that was already there, we've got California and New York, and we've got little New York City. We've got little New Jersey here and there so it's starting to pop up all over the place. Do you think that this could actually help the wave of these other employee-focused initiatives that we really need to focus on where it catches the wave as opposed to being their own singular waves.
Dr. Tana Session: I hope so. What I usually do is I look to see what... I'm from New York originally. So I look to see what New York is doing and California because they're opposite ends of the country, and they tend to follow each other. So, you know, New York kind of put it out there first and California went into effect this month. And so I think what will happen is as companies, again, are in this tight labour market and they're starting to either lose employees or possible recruits, they'll understand that this is something that the people are asking for. Again, Gen Y and Gen Z, I applaud them because they're the ones that are asking those hard questions. And I have clients that tell me all the time, like, "Oh, they're asking me questions I've never been asked before." Because they are aware, they do their research, they know again, what's fair and equitable, and they wanna make certain that they don't make the mistakes of the generations prior to them. And that includes starting with pay. Straight outta college they're asking these questions. So I would hope that the way will... Again, it'll be a slow process and there'll be some states that just will never come along. But within those states, I think there will be companies that will.
Chad Sowash: Okay, so that being said, you have a company like Netflix who actually just put out the pay range of $60,000 to $385,000 for a position. So they're playing games.
Dr. Tana Session: Yeah.
Chad Sowash: But that I think demonstrates that corporate America, you know, they're gonna do everything they can to fight these regulations. So once again, cautious optimism. Do you think the government enforcement will beat that back? Or do you feel like, it is just a... Again, this is just the start of a very long journey?
Dr. Tana Session: I think it's the start of a very long journey. I think a lot of these companies are doing what they have to do to be in compliance, and yes, they're giving these very broad ranges. I did peek through my email and saw some of these stories come out while I was away. But I think as lawsuits start to happen, they'll have to change that very quickly. So what will happen is, what I see is a potential employee not getting a job or being offered a salary that they feel is within the range. And they're gonna talk to someone who's in that same job doing the same duties, same or very similar background, and they're gonna find out they were underpaid. Right? Lawsuit. And so even though they were compliant and they posted the range, now they have to justify why I wasn't paid the same amount as my peer who's doing the exact same job, same background, similar background and education experience and qualifications. I think that's what's gonna really help push the needle in terms of making those ranges more realistic and fair and equitable to potential employees and current employees.
Joel Cheesman: Coming back to the abortion issue again, real quick. We talked about lawsuits. I wanna talk about lobbying. And to me, I get the sense in my experience that companies just want shit to go away. They wanna put head in the sand, like, let's just let this play out. And to me it feels like a federal law would just solve this whole issue. They could just say the feds, this is a federal law.
Dr. Tana Session: Yap.
Joel Cheesman: Like our hands are washed of this. Do you see any signs of lobbying by either the commercial interests or agencies in DC like pushing some sort of a law, whether it's a right-leaning or left-leaning, it feels like a federal law would clear everybody of wrongdoing and that they should be pushing that. Are you seeing any evidence of that? Or would you recommend that to companies?
Dr. Tana Session: I'm not seeing a whole lot of evidence of that, but granted, I've been on sabbatical for two months. I try not to pay too much attention to politics here in the states.
Chad Sowash: Good for you.
Dr. Tana Session: I didn't wanna ruin my vacation.
Chad Sowash: Yes.
Dr. Tana Session: But I think what will happen again is as these employees start to push their employers, it's going to again, for lack of a better word, be a ripple effect where the employers are saying, "Help us. We're trying to solve this problem. We don't know what to do. We need some guidance from federal government. Help us solve this problem in a way that's fair and equitable to our employees. That doesn't put us out of alignment with our competitors and that we don't have to worry about anymore." Right? Because we can point the finger at it's not us, it's them. So I am hopeful, and again, they are still looking at codifying this and you know, it's just a matter of time, hopefully before it gets back on the books and makes its way through the court system. But I do know that it's out there. Right? They're still trying to get it done. Will it happen in my lifetime? I hope so. Again, I think we have younger people working in government as well, and they're speaking to the people that they work for. They're more senior politicians and hopefully pushing the agenda, pushing the conversation and letting them know how important this is. 'Cause what I don't want them to do is get distracted by all the other stuff that's going on. And just forget all about Roe v Wade. And it's like, oh... You know, it's kind of what happened this time. It's like, how could you have not had this as an important topic to codify this years ago?
Chad Sowash: Yeah.
Dr. Tana Session: Like, why'd you waiting until now? Like the Republicans played the long game on this and they won.
Chad Sowash: Yes.
Dr. Tana Session: Right? Starting with the Supreme Court justices that they got in place. And that agenda behind them is saying, "This is important to us. We need to get this passed as soon as we can." And they did it. We did not play the long game. We took our eye off the ball. We being, I'm gonna say Democrats, even though I'm an independent. So that's what I think happened. Now I'm hoping that we don't lose sight of that anymore.
Joel Cheesman: So I'm gonna let you out on this. I'm gonna ask you to take your rose colored glasses off and not what you hope happens, but in five years, where is this issue gonna be?
Dr. Tana Session: Are you familiar with the Handmaid's Tale?
Chad Sowash: Yes.
Joel Cheesman: Yes.
Joel Cheesman: Is that where we're going?
Dr. Tana Session: That's where we're heading. In my heart of hearts, in my heart of hearts, seriously, like I tell my friends, I tell my clients, I'm like, "Are you familiar with Handmaid's Tale?" Like, that's where we're going. Like, just wrap your heads around that because it's happening, it's happening again because the long game is being played and this is where it's heading.
Joel Cheesman: Wow. Bring us back, Chad. Bring us back up to end this thing.
Chad Sowash: Doctor, I can't... We're gonna finish up on that one because that to me will settle in to all of our listeners and make them think. Dr. Tana M. Sessions, thank you so much for coming on the show. We appreciate it. Especially just coming right back from your sabbatical, you get thrown to the wolves, the Chad and Cheese wolves. If more people wanna find out more about you, and I know you do speaking, consulting, those types of things, where can they connect with you?
Dr. Tana Session: Sure. The best place will be my website, tanamsession.com. I'm also very, very active on LinkedIn, so a lot of people find me there. So Dr. Tana M. Session at LinkedIn and on Instagram and Facebook. I'm no longer on Twitter, so those are the places. But first foremost website, there's a Contact Me site there. My team takes very good care of people who put in submission requests, and then again on LinkedIn as well.
Joel Cheesman: Chad, I'm gonna do my best to get myself off the ledge after her last comments.
Joel Cheesman: Dr. Tana, thanks for joining us. Chad, that's another one in the books. We out.
Chad Sowash: We out.
Outro: Wow. Look at you. You made it through an entire episode of the Chad and Cheese Podcast. Or maybe you cheated and fast forwarded to the end. Either way, there's no doubt you wish you had that time back. Valuable time you could have used to buy in nutritious meal at Taco Bell. Enjoy a pour of your favorite whiskey. Or just watch big booty Latinas and bug fights on TikTok. No, you hung out with these two chuckleheads and stand. Now, go take a shower and wash off all the guilt, but save some soap because you'll be back like an awful train wreck. You can't look away. And like Chad's favorite Western, you can't quit them either. We out.