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Stop Pinkwashing Already

Over 8 million workers in the U.S. identify as LGBTQ+. Spoiler alert: That's a lot! Yet, corporate America isn't very hospitable to this influential demo when it comes to work. In fact, a recent UCLA survey found 50 percent of LGBTQ+ employees are not 'out' to their supervisors, and 34 percent of LGBT have left their job due to treatment by their employers. What's the problem? Never fear, we have answers. That's why we invited Sara Grossman, founder & CEO of CODE-MKTG, and Sabrina Kent, EVP of programs and external affairs for the National LGBT Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC) to come on the pod and set us straight. Did we learn a lot? You bet we did. And you will too.


INTRO (0s):

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 (21s):

Oh Yeah. What's up everybody? It's your favorite meatheads, aka the Chad and Cheese podcast. I'm your cohost, Joel Cheeseman. Joined as always, the Ed McCaffrey to my John Elway Chad Sowash is in the house and we are happy to welcome. We got two guests today, Chad, this might blow everyone's mind. Let's welcome Sara Grossman, founder and CEO of Code Marketing and Sabrina Kent, EVP of Programs and External Affairs for the National LGBT Chamber of Commerce or Chad is the cool kids call it the Neglect or whatever the NGLCC. I don't know.

Joel (1m 1s):

Ladies, welcome to the show.

Sara (1m 4s):

Thanks for having us. We're super excited to be here.

Sabrina (1m 6s):

Yeah, thank you so much.

Joel (1m 7s):

How's the Rocky Mountain State? You're both in Denver.

Sara (1m 10s):

The Rocky Mountain State is doing pretty well. The rain finally subsided. It is sunny and dry.

Sabrina (1m 17s):

See, Sara, I was gonna say the opposite. I was so thankful for the rain cuz it means another day that my house doesn't burn down, so

Chad (1m 23s):

Oh, that's always nice. Yes, that's a very, that's a very nice thing when your house does not burn down, especially these days.

Joel (1m 29s):

It's kinda a dark perspective on life. I'm glad my house isn't burning to hell.

Sara (1m 33s):

That's Sabrina for you.

Joel (1m 35s):

I've known Sara for over a decade and we're connected on LinkedIn and I got a point this out. I know that Sara was, but now I found out that both of you ladies were listed as LGBTQ plus leaders under 40 in Colorado. So congratulations on that recognition. Your mom and dads must be proud.

Sara (1m 60s):

Thank you so much. Yeah, my mom, you know, is my biggest fan and asked if I could send her the certificate so she could frame it and put it below the shrine of photos of me at her home. So

Joel (2m 13s):

Yeah, she have the kindergarten coloring pictures that you did then, and

Sara (2m 19s):

It's beyond that. There are photos of me from every age. It's just, it's a lot.

Joel (2m 26s):

That's a nice segue before we get into the, the hard-hitting Q and A that our show is known for, why don't you both give us sort of a Twitter bio about you? What makes you guys tick?

Sabrina (2m 37s):

I'm Sabrina Kent. I use she/her pronouns. I'm the Executive Vice President of Programs and External Affairs at NGLCC. I think that used up about half of my 280 words for Twitter.

Joel (2m 46s):

It's characters actually. And yes, you did, but keep going.

Sabrina (2m 49s):

Oh, okay. Well, you can see that I don't use Twitter, but I get the great privilege and luxury of working with LGBTQ owned businesses like Sara's in helping to connect them with contracting opportunities with corporate partners. So it's pretty exciting and rewarding work.

Joel (3m 4s):


Sara (3m 4s):

So I am on Twitter a lot. So here are my 280 characters. I, in addition to running code marketing, which is social impact and social media digital marketing for the LGBTQ community, their businesses and nonprofits. I also am on the board of the Dru Project, which is a nonprofit organization that we started shortly after the Pulse nightclub shooting to honor Drew Leinonen, who we lost there. We give out scholarships and grants to students going to college, as well as offer curriculum and money to help gay straight alliances across the country thrive.

Chad (3m 46s):

Wow. So quick question, Quick question. Do you guys, do you guys do any lobbying at all? I mean, what's the power behind the organization? I obviously helping the community is one thing, but also being able to press and educate our stupid ass legislators, that's something entirely different. Do you guys do that or do you work with organizations who do that?

Sabrina (4m 6s):

I'll jump in from the NGLCC side. We don't lobby, but we work with local, state and federal governments on LGBTQ issues. We also will ban together with other LGBTQ national organizations and our local affiliates. We've got 54 across the US on issues pertaining to the LGBT community and the LGBT business community, like the Equality Act and all those good things that we need to be fully functioning and recognized citizens in this country.

Joel (4m 37s):

Outstanding. So this show we're gonna deal a lot with employment, but I think it could veer into other areas as well. Just as a general question from an employment perspective and maybe just employment branding for Sara to jump in there as well, what are companies doing right and what are companies doing wrong from your perspective with recruiting and retention of employees?

Sara (4m 57s):

Sure. Well, I think it goes a little bit further than simply recruiting and retention. I think it has to do with branding and DEI as well. Things that companies are getting right are, they are showing up to, for instance, the NGLCC conference. They are putting themselves out there and ensuring that they are hiring and retaining contractors who are diverse. What companies are getting wrong, especially from the branding, communications and marketing side, is pink washing, which I'm not sure if Joel and Chad know or have heard of what pink washing is? But it's essentially when companies throw a rainbow over their logo for the month of June, do not donate or participate in anything PRIDE wise.

Sara (5m 47s):

Do not give anything to LGBT organizations in exchange for using our flag and simply just want to show out for PRIDE.

Chad (5m 56s):

What about the organizations even going beyond that? The organizations who do do pink wash, but then they also give to legislators who are against the community? I mean, we've seen a lot of that. We've seen big names.

Sara (6m 11s):


Chad (6m 12s):

They want to throw the colors out there. They want to throw their fist up in the air, but behind the scenes they're given money to, it feels like undermine the community. What has to happen? I mean, as again, a straight cisgender, you know, white dude, I can see this. So obviously you guys are living this, what needs to happen? Transparency. I mean, I don't know what we can do to get these assholes to stop.

Joel (6m 39s):

Shame, shame 'em.

Chad (6m 41s):


Sara (6m 42s):

Yeah. So, you know, politically that is a really big issue across the board. You see these companies and organizations giving hand over fist to people who are coming for our rights on the daily while also trying to, you know, turn around and sell things to the community to which they are harming. So that is definitely one of the things that folks are getting wrong and it's becoming transparent. There are non-profit organizations and even, you know, media outlets that keep track of this, that will put out charts and infographics every June on how much money say Walmart is giving to organizations and politicians who come for LGBTQ rights while also marching in the parade.

Sara (7m 37s):

Now, you know, from the perspective of somebody who does fundraising for these queer organizations in addition to communications, one of our thoughts can be, you know, I'll take money from the devil if it means one less queer kid getting beaten up. But at the same time, these companies really, they need to answer for why they're doing it both ways. You, we're kind of in a place in time right now where money and politics have become our morals and they're giving very, very mixed signals to those of us who are trying to move the needle forward for the community.

Sabrina (8m 18s):

I think if I, yeah, if I could just jump in? I think too, so often when we talk about the LGBTQ community broadly, not just on this issue, we talk a lot about the doom and gloom, but there are so many companies I think that are also standing up and doing the right thing. Those are the companies that, you know, we're proud to partner with at NGLCC, in the work that we do. And I think, you know, it also goes beyond employment protections, marketing to the LGBTQ community. But I kind of think of the ecosphere of business inclusion from the LGBTQ perspective being both of those things and also buying from our community, right? Like, it's fantastic to wave a rainbow flag during the month of Pride.

Sabrina (9m 1s):

Is that source from an LGBTQ vendor? Who's doing your marketing and storytelling for your pride marketing campaigns? Is it a company like Sara's or is it, you know, a non-diverse owned, non LGBTQ owned business? And where we also, you know, taking our dollars as these large companies and investing them back into the communities that we claim to support. So I think there are two sides of where this is sort of headed in the corporate world, folks that are pretending to walk the walk but they're not, and folks that are walking and talking.

Chad (9m 32s):

So are there any lists that are out there that, I don't know, maybe you guys create or somebody else creates that actually show the top 10 bad versus the top 10 goods so that we know who to buy from and who to celebrate and who not to buy from.

Joel (9m 46s):

And who to work for.

Chad (9m 46s):

Yeah. And who to work for. Yeah.

Sabrina (9m 48s):

Yeah, that's actually a fantastic question. So annually the Human Rights Campaign HRC publishes the corporate equality index and it basically rates companies down from the negatives. Meaning you are doing harm to the community all the way to 100, which means you're sort of the model of perfection in terms of LGBTQ inclusivity holistically, and supplier diversity. What I do is a standalone scored piece of the corporate equality index. So meaning if a company's not actually sourcing from the LGBTQ community or being intentional about sourcing from the community, they can't actually achieve that 100. So they, HRC corporate equality index is a great place to look. And then NGLCC also spearheads the National Business Inclusion Consortium, which is us and our sister diverse business organizations representing women, ethnic racial minorities, veterans, folks with disabilities, et cetera.

Sabrina (10m 38s):

And annually we honor the top 50 corporations for cross segment inclusion. They're called the best of the best corporations for inclusion, not just for the LGBTQ community, but across the board. Because obviously as LGBTQ folks, we're not just LGBTQ, we're women, we're people of color, veterans, folks with disabilities, et cetera.

Chad (10m 56s):

Intersectional, right?

Sabrina (10m 57s):

Yeah. Absolutely. So it's important to recognize that as well.

Joel (11m 0s):

What's your sense for how tuned in the community is to companies that are doing it right and doing it incorrectly. So in other words, are there conversations happening where you see a logo that's been rainbowed and saying, Oh, that's bullshit. They did X, Y, and Z last year, or companies that are friendly and you see the Rainbow logo saying, yeah, they, they fucking get it right. Or yes, I'm not, why would you work for them after they did X, Y, and Z? Are those conversations happening? How in tune is the community?

Sara (11m 29s):

Absolutely. These conversations are happening all the time, whether it's in a Facebook group or a group chat or somebody's blog, Twitter, anywhere on the internet. There are people who really, really keep track of and pay attention to this stuff and then disseminate the information to the rest of us.

Sabrina (11m 49s):

Yeah, I mean I think, I think Sara's spot on there. I'll also say, you know, I think sometimes too we're so quick to highlight the negative and it's important to do that because we need to understand what companies are doing and are they really putting their money where their mouths are. But it's important, I think that we have social media as a tool to be able to recognize when these things are happening. But I think the other side of it is, I would also like to recognize when companies are doing the right thing. And I think just like human beings, companies are entities in and of themselves and they mess up big time. And I'm by no means condoning any kind of discrimination or violence against our community. But I think it's also important that we take a look and see, okay, what have these companies done to correct these actions?

Sabrina (12m 31s):

Or have they done anything to correct these actions when they've been called to the carpet? Like are they learning their lessons?

Sara (12m 36s):

I wholeheartedly agree with that. In fact, a couple of weeks ago when we were in Las Vegas for the N G L C C conference, I was very surprised to see Barilla there, because there was a huge uproar when something homophobic came from their camp, I think back in like 2015. And it seems like they've really done the work and been very intentional in ensuring that they fixed that mistake and are bringing more folks in, especially from the community, which is fantastic.

Joel (13m 11s):

Sara, I think you mentioned, you know, everything's politicized and it's all about money now. And the pandemic has created a dynamic in the workforce that people are more mobile than ever. You have red states becoming redder than ever before. You have blue states becoming bluer and then there are purple states. How has that affected your community and how they select states to live? You know, companies that are in these states that take stands against legislators and laws. Are they aware of what's going on sort of nationally with states and making decisions to move to states and work for companies that are in locations that are friendly to them?

Sara (13m 48s):

Oh, 100%. So I used to work for the Matthew Shepherd Foundation before starting Code Marketing and Dennis Shepherd would always talk about the brain drain in Wyoming and talk about how as Wyoming became redder and redder and redder, they would see people leaving for opportunities in bluer states. They would see people who were smarter and more determined to make their businesses work, leave. Because as the younger generation is moving up into the workforce, they are more awake to the issues of discrimination and the issues of homophobia, et cetera.

Sara (14m 30s):

And so they don't wanna be in a state that is ruled by folks who are discriminating against them. They wanna be somewhere where they and their friends can be free to be whoever they want, love whoever they want.

Joel (14m 45s):

And their families want more and more.

Sara (14m 46s):

And their families. Exactly. If their families can't thrive, why would they stay?

Sabrina (14m 50s):

Sara? I mean, look at you and me. Sara and I both grew up in Florida. We are not, I mean, I'm not gonna speak for you Sara, but I think I can pretty confidently say unless there was a major, major shift in that state, which is highly unlikely, we are not going back there. 100%.

Sara (15m 6s):

To live.

Sabrina (15m 6s):

Yeah, our families might still be there, but we're not going back there. We're not going to contribute. Like when I go there, I do as much as I possibly can to not even put money back into the Florida economy, which sucks because there are people like my mom who are business owners in the state of Florida, who could benefit of people like me coming in and spending their money there. But I don't want to go back. And actually speaking of the conference, a recent report was released by one of our corporate partner, well I don it was actually publicly released, so I'm this anonymously on their behalf, but they've a comprehensive survey of LGBTQ across the country and talking about the talent drain and where people are headed.

Sabrina (15m 49s):

I was surprised to see that as of this year, Colorado actually has the highest LGBT population per capita at 11% here surpassing even California, which is 10 point something.

Joel (16m 1s):


Chad (16m 2s):


Sabrina (16m 2s):

Because we're leaving and we're going that are make us feel included where we can hold partners on the sidewalk, express our genders in a way that align for our identity and we're not going to stay in places that don't serve us in our community. And I think the other piece of that too, that's often left out is allies as well, right? I mean, if I'm the parent of a trans or queer child, I don't want my child if I can help it, if I have the means to be able to change that, I don't want my child to grow up in a place that teaches them that they're wrong or bad or makes them feel ashamed for who they are and my family members or whomever I care about in the LGBTQ community, I don't wanna participate in that. So I think it's a broader discussion too, rather than just focusing on, you know, the LGBTQ community.

Joel (16m 48s):

Sing it, sister, I'm ready to run to a brick wall after that. Can you get a good Cubano in Denver? That's the question. A good sandwich.

Sara (16m 56s):

Actually, I, yes, you're looking specifically for a Cuban sandwich. I just found this year a really delicious Cuban place that does the sandwiches and the pastries.

Chad (17m 11s):

Ooooo. That's what I'm talking about.

Sabrina (17m 14s):

Sara, have you, have you been to Cuba Cuba?

Sara (17m 16s):

I have. And this place is better.

Chad (17m 18s):


Sara (17m 19s):

It's a hole in the wall in Aurora. I'll have to take you when you get back from Burning Man.

Chad (17m 25s):

I also have to share, Joel and I work with a lot of different event companies and you know, they are one of two things. They might actually be going to a state or holding an event in a state that, you know, we, we just don't align with. So, you know, we've told event organizers Yeah, we're not gonna come right? Unless you find a state where we wanna spend our money. And I agree right, if you're, you know, whether you're a straight cisgender male and, but yet you are an ally, you gotta show it, right? And I think we're seeing a lot more of that. Now Kind of switching back, Joel talked a little bit about remote work earlier, but there's a new new story coming out from our friends over at JP Morgan Chase and Jamie Diamond actually said that returning to the office will aid in diversity.

Chad (18m 20s):

Now is this just a bunch of bullshit? Or did we feel like pre pandemic things were becoming more diverse organically because we were all in the office? What? Gimme gimme your your thoughts on that.

Sabrina (18m 36s):

Yeah, I'm just gonna say that I don't believe that that's the case. I think if we're talking about diversity, we're also talking about the types of people that make up our companies. If I'm a single parent for example, it might be a lot more advantageous for me to work from home. If I'm a person with different levels of ability, it might be necessary for me to work from home. So I think, you know, I don't know that I agree with that. And I will also say that NGLCC, we were a 95% in person office prior to the pandemic starting. And about halfway through 2020, we close our office space, we've leased it out, we're landlords now, and our team has never been more connected or more productive.

Sabrina (19m 20s):

And we're also able to source talent from around the country and not just, you know, the DC metropolitan area. I used to live in DC and then I lived in New York. Now I can live in Colorado, live my best life and also, you know, put my best foot forward in my work life. And I know that my talent pool isn't just limited to a small area. So I would disagree with that.

Chad (19m 41s):

Okay. Okay. Anything to add, Sara?

Sara (19m 43s):

No, I definitely agree with Sabrina on the fact that talent pools can only be more diverse and talented if you get to source from everywhere. Could you imagine being here today and only hiring people from your city for things that you need? That, I mean the, like forget about diversity. The talent pool is, you know, expanded a million-fold for the simple fact that you're able to work with people from around the country and around the world. I mean, I don't even have any clients in Denver right now.

Chad (20m 21s):

So Joel and I have this argument all the time that he believes that the iPhone could not have been created remotely by remote teams. And I don't believe that. I think remote teams are an evolution of what we should have been doing years ago. Do you believe that the iPhone in today's remote work environment, that the new innovations will happen just as fast as they did as when we were together?

Sabrina (20m 48s):

I mean, in the first four months of covid we experienced five years of digital transformation. So in short, I would say yes, I think you can still collaborate effectively. You can still put ideas together, you can still make things happen in a remote environment. That doesn't mean that there aren't essential roles that are required to be in person, right? I mean, we still need to see certain roles be in person or be in person part of the time. But I still think the innovation is there. I think the creativity is there and I also think the flexibility allows people to feed that energy more within themselves and bring that to work with them.

Chad (21m 24s):

Tell 'em Sabrina!

Sara (21m 26s):

I wholeheartedly agree with that by the way.

Joel (21m 30s):

Sara, you trader.

Sara (21m 32s):

I'm sorry. I firmly believe in a results only work environment.

Chad (21m 37s):


Sara (21m 37s):

I firmly believe that given flexibility, people are able to innovate and be more creative and, you know, when it comes to a typical nine to five, 48, 50 hour work week, I also very much believe that that's defunct because we have technology now. We aren't typing on typewriters.

Joel (21m 57s):

Speak for yourself.

Sara (21m 59s):

Yeah. Oh, oh, well, you know, I am on the 40 under 40 list. So,

Chad (22m 4s):

So, so it's interesting cuz we, we ask this question to a lot of people that we interview and mostly, and Joel correct me if I'm wrong, most of the responses we get from men are that no, they don't believe that the iPhone would've been created in, you know, this current environment, right? It's just not as innovative. We have to be together, right? But this is a more diverse kind of like, I think innovative thinking, I would say response that we've heard from you guys more so than the dudes. Don't you think?

Sabrina (22m 38s):

Well, I think tying this back into what we were just talking about previously as well, when you have a diverse and inclusive work environment, you actually have more innovative thought. There are studies that are published on this very topic, right? So, I mean, I'm not surprised, I'm going to assume that it's white cisgender men that you're talking about that are giving these responses that, you know, statistically speaking.

Chad (23m 1s):

The guys in charge, you mean the ones who want everybody back in the office.

Sara (23m 5s):

The Man.

Sabrina (23m 7s):

Statistically speaking, they are actually not the most innovative as it is. So like if you look at Silicon Valley, the percentage of trans people, Asian American people, other minority identified people, women working in the workforce there that are creating some of these incredible technologies that have changed our lives, they're not always the white men. And that's not to say that white men are not great love you guys, Joel and Chad, but, but you know, it takes all of us to play ball together to, to create the most innovative products, to create the most talented workforces and places and spaces that people wanna work and, and companies that are effectively changing the world.

Joel (23m 48s):

Cool. So I wanna stick with that sort of retention in the workplace topic. And in doing my homework for this show, I learned from a recent UCLA study that 50% of L G B T employees are not out to their supervisor. And I learned that 34% of L G B T have left their job due to treatment by their employer. What can companies do to create a more open environment? I know we've mentioned, you know, sort of lunch and learns or education, like give companies some tips to help cut that number down. Those are crazy percentages to me in 2022. What tips would you guys give for employers improving that number?

Sabrina (24m 27s):

Joel's stealing my stats over here. I just gotta say that, but Sara, you start and then I'll jump in.

Sara (24m 33s):

Okay, well I wanna point out first that currently in I think 28 states, you can be fired simply for being gay.

sfx (24m 42s):


Joel (24m 43s):

That's bad.

Sara (24m 44s):

Yeah, it's bad. So back when gay marriage was passed and made law of the land, Justice Kennedy said that everybody is now entitled to a constellation of benefits that marriage gives us. And that's all well and good in theory, but in practice that constellation is missing a lot of stars, particularly in the south and the Midwest, where these laws state that you can get married on Sunday, come into your desk on Monday and put a picture of your new Canadian wife and somebody can not like that and fire you point blank just because you're gay.

Sara (25m 28s):

And so I think that a lot of those statistics are coming out of those states where it's not safe to be yourself at work.

Sabrina (25m 34s):

I think I would just add and say, I mean it's a bottom line issue, right? Because I mean, you just talked about folks leaving, folks not feeling comfortable coming out at work. And part of, I believe it's also the UCLA study, over 30% of an LGBTQ employees productivity goes out the window when they can't bring their full selves to work, right? That's, I'm not just saying, Oh, you know, I can't use the bathroom that aligns with my gender identity, which is incredibly important that we do provide these spaces, but it's also things like, hey, we're standing around the water cooler, we're sending a Slack message back and forth on Monday morning and you're talking about what you and your opposite sex partner did over the weekend and I can't talk about my same sex partner or I can't talk about my trans child or whatever that may look like.

Sabrina (26m 22s):

And ultimately it's a human rights violation, but it's also a bottom line issue, right? So for people who are in charge of companies, that's 30% of your employees productivity, that's 30% of their time spent at work. It's a retention issue that means that you're gonna spend more money trying to train and develop these individuals who are going to be their ultimate replacements. So we know that, you know, places that are inclusive are seeing better results, are seeing employees sticking around for a longer term. And to answer the other part of your question, what does that look like? That does look like lunch and learns. That does look like creating space for conversations around diverse communities. But it also looks like me seeing as an LGBT associate in a company, LGBT folks in the higher ranks of the company, right?

Sabrina (27m 8s):

From managers to directors to C-suite and above. So it's not just a matter of, okay, we've got these people in place, it's a matter of what are we training our people on? Are we creating a culture and environment where people do feel safe to come out at work? Do they have somewhere to report any kind of discrimination? Do we have a culture of accountability? Are we investing back in the communities that we claim to support? I think these are all things that companies can look at outside of just the basic policies of inclusion that they practice.

Chad (27m 40s):

So talk a little bit more about that because we obviously saw, you know, ROE versus Wade struck down and those are rights that are taken away from, from females. I would assume many in the community feel like the right to actually being married could also be reversed and or struck down. If you're an employer, what do you do to try to help? Because these are things that are, that are incredibly distracting to your employees, obviously, because it's their life, right? What do they do to make it easier and better on them to to to let them know that they're behind them? I mean, this is a really, really big struggle that individuals are going through right now.

Chad (28m 22s):

How can employers help them?

Sabrina (28m 24s):

Yeah. The reproductive health conversation is so important and I think one of the big things that we saw companies do after the SCOTUS reversal on Roe was provide assistance to their employees to travel out of state if they were living in an area that they would be prosecuted for trying to seek an abortion and reproductive healthcare. I think that is a huge benefit that these companies are able to provide. And it's a huge stance against what I believe is an incredibly unjust ruling by the Supreme Court. I'll also say, you know, if we look back at the HB two bills in North Carolina, so many companies pulled their major operations out of North Carolina because of the discriminatory anti-trans bathroom bills.

Sabrina (29m 9s):

They said, Nope, we're not gonna spend our money here. Kind of like what you were talking about, we're not going to go to events and support places that are not inclusive to LGBTQ folks. And these companies said the NBA, Bank of America, huge companies said, we are not going to be investing in this state until this rule is reversed and that ultimately led to a lot of change. So outside of providing that support to employees, spaces for them to be able about these issues, but also to have support navigate these issues. Companies, ultimately you know, small businesses and large corporations drive this economy and therefore our politics as well. And so major companies have, I think, a huge responsibility to stand up against discriminatory bills policy, et cetera, to try and make good.

Chad (29m 59s):

So stand up in public, not just behind the scenes. That's that's awesome. Sara?

Sara (30m 4s):

Yeah, absolutely. I agree with that as well. We saw a lot of major companies and corporations come out after the Roe reversal and say that they support and will pay for and not penalize, et cetera, et cetera. But then again, this kind of goes back to the brain drain thing and the different laws in the different states. So now Colorado is essentially an island out here in the mountain west when it comes to protections. And it wasn't always that way, especially for LGBTQ folks. You know, we are talking about how Colorado is now the gold star state when it comes to laws for the community.

Sara (30m 49s):

But 25 years ago, 30 years ago, Colorado was the hate state and had very similar laws on the books that Florida does currently. That's definitely something to look at when it comes to the hope for change. We have come a very, very long way and it came from longstanding political action and ensuring that we had more progressive folks in our local government. But at the end of the day, the thing that we're really fighting against is the government is essentially trying to pit businesses versus law. At the end of the day, you know, you saw how it came down with Disney and DeSantis in Florida.

Sara (31m 29s):

I don't think that's the last time we're gonna see something like that.

Joel (31m 32s):

Let's talk some marketing. Sara, what do you say?

Sara (31m 34s):

Oh sure, my favorite.

Joel (31m 35s):

Sure. Okay. So in terms of recruitment marketing, you know, what tips would you give companies in terms of, you know, language on job descriptions, imagery or messaging on their career site? Maybe their social media presence? Because I would think it's a fine line between pandering and being sort of genuine. What tips would you give?

Sara (31m 56s):

Yeah, so definitely there is a very fine line between being genuine and pandering and that is intention. So it's little things like ensuring your graphics have diverse people in them, whether it's a pamphlet, your website, social media, et cetera. If you're only seeing white people and you're only seeing able bodied people and you're only seeing straight people, you might think, well maybe this isn't necessarily the environment for me to apply to.

Joel (32m 24s):

I'm guessing you'd say stay away from stock photos, however, there should actually be employees?

Sara (32m 31s):

You know? Yeah. Yes. And I do know that Adobe has an initiative to make their stock photos more diverse. I actually have a chat with them on Friday about it. So, but definitely stay away from stock photos anyway because like a woman eating a salad isn't necessarily going to relate to your job posting. In the job posting the language itself, there are places where companies make sure that their prospective employees know that they're specifically hiring and encouraging diverse folks, people of diverse abilities, sexualities, genders, races, religions, etc.

Sara (33m 16s):

to apply for these jobs. And I think that kind of language is incredibly important to keep up and to push forward and to encourage other businesses that are hiring employees to do the same.

Joel (33m 30s):

And how about social media?

Sara (33m 32s):

Social media, I always depends on, you know, the brand and the company. But similarly, there's calendars everywhere of the different celebrations within different communities that your social media manager should be aware of. And when you celebrate these things online, it's good to also celebrate them in person. Continue to walk the walk instead of just talk the talk and don't make it performative.

Joel (34m 3s):

Sabrina, any opinion on marketing?

Sabrina (34m 5s):

Yeah, I mean, I just would add to that and say in the job posting itself, we may not realize it, but we can use language that is very much skewed to gender or different ethnicities and so forth. And so there's actually tools out there to ensure that language in job postings becomes neutral and more welcome and friendly to all. Like for example, I think, I don't know the exact statistic, but for example, if your job has 10 requirements, a woman will probably read that and say, Okay, well I only meet seven of those, so I'm not gonna apply to that job. Whereas a man might meet four of those requirements and say, Great, I'm just gonna throw my hat in the ring and see what happens. So there are actually companies that you can work with to work on that language.

Sabrina (34m 48s):

And I think it's also important to put directly in there, you know, if you are a woman, person of color, minority, a differently-abled individual person of differing sexual orientation or gender identity, we strongly encourage you to apply. You know, put those values right up front so folks know that they're welcome to be there and can bring their full authentic selves to the interview process.

Joel (35m 9s):


Chad (35m 10s):

Excellent. Well, Sara, Sabrina, we appreciate you coming on and again, we, you know, need as much education as we can, not to mention our listeners. Yes, please help us. But if our listeners wanna find out more about you or I don't know, maybe even your organizations, where would you send them?

Sara (35m 28s):

You can find me anywhere online.

Joel (35m 30s):

I can vouch for that. I can vouch for that.

Sara (35m 35s):

On Twitter I'm SoSaraSaid. On Instagram, I'm SoSaraSaw. On Tinder I'm SoSaraSwiped. No, just kidding. I, you know, that's branding baby.

Joel (35m 51s):


Sara (35m 51s):

That is branding and Code Marketing is online everywhere at code C O D E-mktg.

Joel (35m 59s):

Excellent. Sabrina?

Sabrina (36m 1s): or NGLCC on all different social media platforms.

Joel (36m 7s):

Thank you ladies.

Sara (36m 9s):

Thank you so much for having us.

Joel (36m 10s):

Yep. Chad, another one in the can baby. I learned something. I know you probably didn't.

Chad (36m 14s):

Oh yeah.

Chad and Cheese (36m 14s):

We out. We out.

OUTRO (36m 16s):

Thank you for listening to, what's it called? The podcast with Chad, the Cheese. Brilliant. They talk about recruiting. They talk about technology, but most of all, they talk about nothing. Just a lot of Shout Outs of people, you don't even know and yet you're listening. It's incredible. And not one word about cheese, not one cheddar, blue, nacho, pepper jack, Swiss. So many cheeses and not one word. So weird. Any hoo be sure to subscribe today on iTunes, Spotify, Google play, or wherever you listen to your podcasts, that way you won't miss an episode.

OUTRO (37m 1s):

And while you're at it, visit just don't expect to find any recipes for grilled cheese. Is so weird. We out.


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