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Episode Five: Dr. Kristen Liesch and Tanya Bakalov chat about being female leaders and the biases that follow

HelloTeam is proud to welcome Dr. Kristen Liesch, co-CEO of Tidal Equality, on the Culture Corner Podcast! Listen as Dr. Kristen and Tanya discuss the starts of their careers, the unique issues women face as they make their way through the workplace, and the biases that Tidal Equity and Dr. Kristen help extinguish in other companies. Check it out on Spotify, Amazon Music and more!

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Podcast Guide

1:39 – Dr. Kristen on the beginning of her career – “I actually started my career in education as a junior high and high school teacher and in that space I encountered a lot of diverse experiences in the lives of my students, and saw exactly how impactful inequity can be on the trajectory of a person starting very young in life.”

3:08 – She discusses how she felt as she looked into the history of women’s inequality, “At the time, I was holding my infant daughter, and thinking, gosh, the challenges that women face 230 years ago, they really haven’t changed all that much like short, in some ways, we’ve advanced, but in a lot of ways, we’re saying the same thing. We’re fighting the same fight.”

8:48 – In response to a question from Tanya about when she decided she would fight DEI issues in workplaces, “ Well, I was very naïve… at that early stage, what I didn’t know, and what I have come to understand is there are a whole lot more other complex psychological things in play for leaders that prevent them from simply taking these measures.”

13:28 – Tanya makes an interesting note about the ways men and women apply for jobs, “…women typically apply for jobs only when they feel like they can meet 100% of the requirements, and men can do it when they feel like it’s 50 or 60%.”

15:47 – Dr. Kristen talks about the way her firm looked to solve hiring inequalities, “And it started by really listening to and learning from the experiences of the female associates at this firm… the people who observe and experience inequality in the workplace are the people with the greatest insight for how to solve those problems, really, and the problems that they face are going to be unique from one business to another.”

21:26 – She mentions a solution she came up with to help a sales client remove biases, ”When a partner requests something for marketing for client engagement, whether it’s a tee time or a booking for a restaurant/reservation, when that’s delivered to them, it also now comes with a printout for which associates are billing the most hours on that client file. So it’s no longer a question of “who’s shooting, who should I bring with me to the hockey game”, it goes, “who is working on this file the most, and therefore, possibly deserves to have the facetime with the client?”

24:21 – She continues, “if we care about interrupting the bias before it becomes discrimination, and inequity, we have to outsmart it. We can’t count on ourselves to interrupt these cycles. We have to build in systems and processes that basically support us in doing that.”

27:15 – In response to a question from Tanya on her typical demographic and the problems they face, “we thought it was a role or we thought it was a sector or an industry. And it turns out that actually, it’s a type… starting with the foundational values that we have, which are courage and curiosity. So we will end up working with people who are saying, ‘You know what, I’ve got the courage to both say things here in our business or in our team.’”

32:16 – Dr. Kristen discusses two of her favorite books to read, High Conflict by Amanda Ripley and The Master’s Tools Will Not Dismantle the Master’s House by Audre Lorde.

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