Fairness at Work Episode #6: Eradicating the Opportunity Gap for People of Color

Webinar recording

Aired December 15, 2020

Transcript

Maria Colacurcio: Thanks for joining us for Episode six of our fairness at work series. If you haven't joined us before, welcome.

Maria Colacurcio: I'll give you a quick overview of how these events work. And if you've been with us before. Thank you for coming back.

Maria Colacurcio: Today's episode focuses on eradicating the opportunity gap for people of color. If you haven't joined us for one of these series before

Maria Colacurcio: We like it to be really interactive. So these webinars are intentionally informal, we have a conversation with a panelists today. We are joined by Frederick groups, which I'll introduce in just a second.

Maria Colacurcio: But we love for the audience to participate as well. So please take a look down at the bottom of your screen. You've got a Q AMP a button there.

Maria Colacurcio: Please feel free to use it, ask questions throughout. We will be peppering those through so we don't wait till the end and squish five minutes of Q AMP. A and the last few minutes

Maria Colacurcio: We actually do it throughout the event itself. So please feel free to pipe in ask your questions, make your comments and observations would really love for these to be interactive.

Maria Colacurcio: Thanks for being with us today. We anticipate this to be about 50 to 55 minutes. But if we ended early will let you go and give you a bit of a gift of time. So with that, let's get started.

Maria Colacurcio: So today I'm joined by Frederick and Frederick. We are so happy to have you here today. He's a principal at storm ventures, but not only that he's co founder of black VC.

Maria Colacurcio: After finishing school. He spent two years as the CEO of the Stanford student enterprise which is SSE for short.

Maria Colacurcio: Was more than 100 employees in total assets excuse exceeding 18 million, including overseeing Stanford's accelerator program.

Maria Colacurcio: He's also a mentor with the each East Bay college fund with which works with minority college students coming from underprivileged communities throughout the East Bay.

Maria Colacurcio: So Frederick has many, many, many hats that he wears both at storm and that black VC and we're just so thrilled that you could be with us today. So thank you so much for joining me.

Frederik Groce: Thank you, Maria, for having me.

Maria Colacurcio: So we'll get into some q&a with Frederick in a minute. But again, the way these events work is will give kind of a high level overview about what we're talking about, please feel free to use that Q AMP. A and then we'll get into a conversation. So thanks for being here. Frederick

Maria Colacurcio: Alright, so let's do this.

Maria Colacurcio: So what are we talking about today.

Maria Colacurcio: really at the heart. We're talking about systematic racism and systematic racism in the workplace has created devastating pay and equities, people of color have an equal access to opportunity.

Maria Colacurcio: For high pain work and they get paid less than their peers doing similar work. So it's two ends of the spectrum that we're talking about pay equity equal work for equal pay, as well as the pay gap.

Maria Colacurcio: Which is a representation of distribution. So, where people distributed in a company or they distribute at the lower paying jobs or the higher paying jobs.

Maria Colacurcio: And unfortunately because of this systematic racism. There are devastating inequities on both ends of the spectrum.

Maria Colacurcio: So this is the pay gap. And it's really not getting better. It's creating more of a divide between between races over time.

Maria Colacurcio: So there's a couple of reasons why we've seen in research, why people of color are not represented in higher pain industries and roles and a couple of them are as we just said systematic and then a couple of them.

Maria Colacurcio: Are endemic to that continuing over time. So the first one is broader social issues. So educational opportunities incarceration housing and segregation. These are things that at their root

Maria Colacurcio: Are part of our culture and our society that continued to influence these issues over time. The second is hiring discrimination.

Maria Colacurcio: This perpetuates lack of representation within industries and also in leadership positions and this is still something that data shows is happening today current state.

Maria Colacurcio: The third is closed referral network. So this is one that you don't hear about as often. But employees connect to networks that are similar to them. So if you're doing an employee referral program that might seem like a really great way

Maria Colacurcio: To get referrals for high quality employees, but unfortunately it tends to perpetuate a homogenous. Look at what your company starts to look like as you grow.

Maria Colacurcio: predominantly white organizations will produce white referrals and I think this is something in the startup community that we see all the time. And we'll talk about this in a little bit.

Maria Colacurcio: So a couple of things by the numbers 56% of black people interviewed reported discrimination, while applying for jobs, that's over half. I know we all know what 56% is. But think about it for a minute that that is over half

Maria Colacurcio: Compared to white men, men of color were 26% less likely, and women of color were 35% less likely to receive a referral for a role. And if you flip back to

Maria Colacurcio: The first piece in terms of why aren't people of color represented it's again Kwame to that closed referral network. So if they're not receiving referrals for the role, they're not going to have that opportunity to get their foot in the door.

Maria Colacurcio: And in general, we're not talking about

Maria Colacurcio: Legislation as much. Today we're touching on the little bit but well all states have some form of bankruptcy laws covering gender and most have pay equity laws covering

Maria Colacurcio: Race, the laws are really weak, they put the responsibility on the employee, not the organization to find and resolve these disparities and pay. So this is another piece of what's happening behind the scenes.

Maria Colacurcio: So the gaps, the pay gap, as we said in the beginning, there's sort of two parts of this pay equity will pay for equal work and the pay gap. So the pay gap compares to average pay between two groups.

Maria Colacurcio: Such as all white workers and all non-white workers. And if you look at this chart. Just very quickly, I'll kind of

Maria Colacurcio: Socialize it to you. You've got the racial ethnic background on the left and then across you about men's weekly earnings women's weekly earnings

Maria Colacurcio: Men's earnings as a percentage of white men's earnings and then the same for women. So what you can see very quickly is that white and Asian employees have the highest weekly earnings in the US.

Maria Colacurcio: Intersection ality of race and gender resulting greater pay disparity. So if you look at that highlighted box in the middle of down at the bottom Hispanic women have the lowest weekly earnings

Maria Colacurcio: And according to the US Census Bureau American Community Survey data more than 90% of Native American workers make less than the national median income.

Maria Colacurcio: So, but pay gaps for Native American workers are under reported due to lack of available data. So that's the other thing that's happening here is that in some of these classifications of intersection ality there's just not a ton of data available.

Maria Colacurcio: But if you look at this across the broad spectrum of reports that we're consolidating here you can see that there are still massive issues.

Maria Colacurcio: So now let's talk a little bit about the opportunity gap. So the overall average pay for non white Americans is due in large part to this opportunity gap.

Maria Colacurcio: So non white Americans have not yet been given the same opportunities to advance and are therefore under represented in higher pain industries and higher pain leadership roles.

Maria Colacurcio: So if you look at representation and high pain fields non white workers more frequently work in jobs with lower pay potential

Maria Colacurcio: For example, black employees are most represented in the lower pain industries.

Maria Colacurcio: And just in case you're asking. We have a few questions about this already. We will be recording this session. So you'll have access to the recording after the fact. If you want the link, you want to send it out. You want to share it with

Maria Colacurcio: Various colleagues and you can also get access to the deck itself. So if you want access to some of these charts and graphs.

Maria Colacurcio: So if you look at that. That's exactly what we're seeing here. So take a peek at that lower right hand quadrant.

Maria Colacurcio: You have black workers most represented in healthcare support occupations made of low paying jobs.

Maria Colacurcio: Also more highly represented in occupations related to food preparation protective services and personal care which are low paying jobs. And not only that,

Maria Colacurcio: They are part of this essential workforce that is experiencing tremendous, tremendous unrest and potential for illness as we work through this national, international pandemic this global pandemic.

Maria Colacurcio: So as we're talking about that and we're talking about

Maria Colacurcio: What is the impact on communities of color. And this is something that Frederick cares a lot about. And we've talked a lot about in prior sessions. So we'll get into this in some of the discussion.

Maria Colacurcio: But it has varied impact across rates because of unequal healthcare access and medical discrimination.

Maria Colacurcio: Occupations that lead to move to to more exposure, I think, is what that supposed to say and less flexibility for sickly

Maria Colacurcio: And then housing access and multi generational families living together. So this is a CDC stat. And that just perpetuates this coven 19 spread and why we're seeing it.

Maria Colacurcio: More frequently hitting communities of color in a in a more drastic way so 72% of Latino household 60% of Black has households 55% of Native American households, a report reporting serious financial problems due to

Maria Colacurcio: And really, that's a stark statistic when you compare that to 27% of Asian households and 36%

Maria Colacurcio: Of white households and I think even lately, there's been more and more research and data coming out around coven 18 and the disparity, not only from a medical perspective, that's certainly

Maria Colacurcio: Really important to think about and the impact of this this pandemic from a health perspective, but also from a wealth perspective.

Maria Colacurcio: There's that side of this as well, which is impacting the types of workers who can work remotely the types of workers that do not have that ability or or option.

Maria Colacurcio: So here is what we will be discussing today, in addition to questions that come up from you in the audience.

Maria Colacurcio: Number one, the disconnect between frontline workers and headquarter employees in corporate America.

Maria Colacurcio: Number two, how recession recovery from the coven 19 pandemic will impact communities of color.

Maria Colacurcio: And number three, how we can leverage data to uncover the full picture of the innovation gap across industries and that's something Frederick's really passionate about has done a lot

Maria Colacurcio: Of thinking and work around. So I'm excited to hear from him on that. So let's jump right in.

Maria Colacurcio: So Frederick. Before we start, I would love for you to share with the audience just a little bit of the background that led you to co found Blackie see from your position at storm ventures and just tell the audience a little bit about your journey. I think they'll find that very interesting

Frederik Groce: Yeah, well, happy, happy to walk through that through a bit and add to what you've already thrown you know shared with the audience.

Frederik Groce: Um, you know, I, for me at least, you know, founding black VC was a you know a deeply personal, sort of, you know, venture for me and and really the reason ultimately stemmed out of

Frederik Groce: You know me after having been in venture for a year, looking across the ecosystem. And, you know, acknowledging and realizing there were a lot of people that look like me and starting to ask the question, why was that the case.

Frederik Groce: But also starting to realize hey you know in this whole innovation economy that we've built here in Silicon Valley, you know, the founders.

Frederik Groce: Part of the equation is just one part of the equation. You've also got to look at the funder piece.

Frederik Groce: And it seemed like there weren't a lot of conversations happening around the diversity on the venture side and how the lack thereof was impacting access for founders ultimately

Frederik Groce: And that's a really, really important thing to think about, and an ecosystem that's predicated on intros warm intros networks.

Frederik Groce: And it turns out you know that very problems to hack that I was sort of seeing playing out in venture, it permeates throughout all of corporate America all of industries white collar industries themselves explicitly

Frederik Groce: And and this is part of the work we were trying to sort of help change and bring light to. And so, you know,

Frederik Groce: Three and a half, almost four years ago, and we were founding black. You see, it was, you know, observing some of those elements, but also, you know, trying to figure out, hey, if I want to be in venture long

Frederik Groce: For the long term, I've got a network of people to help me be successful to learn from

Frederik Groce: And and I really wanted to develop that network of peers and folks who'd been, you know, just you know 567 years ahead of me to help me navigate my path.

Frederik Groce: And that's a big part of any sort of you know success as you're trying to grow professionally, you have to have networks willing to support you.

Frederik Groce: In that process and. And again, you know, I realized there wasn't that network that existed within the black community in a formalized capacity.

Frederik Groce: And so set out to build that. Now, it might seem. You know, non obvious as to, like, why I would go do that, you know, but if you you were to get to know me more, it starts to make sense. And you know my early experience in the workforce was running a nonprofit.

Frederik Groce: You know that that's function is really around helping support Stanford entrepreneurial ecosystems and so I already had a little bit of a bend around thinking about, you know, things that might be systemic that are preventing you know

Frederik Groce: Outcomes from coming together. And so you layer that previous or different election, along with the observations. I was making my first year of venture blackness team became the the output of that.

Frederik Groce: In many ways, alongside a, you know, an incredible group of founders founders, you know that helped us build that that program.

Frederik Groce: But also, you know, underneath this is and this sort of connects at this frontline worker question.

Frederik Groce: Is my own personal experiences, you know, for me, Stanford was this, you know, going to Stanford was this opening up a whole new world. You know, I grew up low FCS

Frederik Groce: You know, constantly moving. You know, my family was struggling, week after week to make you know make rent and everything.

Frederik Groce: And I think, you know, as I've moved into this, this new realm and new world I'm seeing in many ways how the structures themselves prevent access prevents

Frederik Groce: You know, equality or, you know, income equality starting to come out across the ecosystem. And so these are things I care a lot about, you know, my mom, you know, she works to this day she's almost 60 stocking shelves in a grocery store.

Frederik Groce: And you know, I see that the changes in dynamics and how there's a major divide and how corporate America is working and how frontline workers are are leaving their day to day experiences during you know it's been one of the hardest periods.

Frederik Groce: You know, for in recent history for for our country, as we navigate this coven

Frederik Groce: You know environment that we're in, even though the light, there is now at the end of the tunnel.

Maria Colacurcio: Yeah, thank you so much for that. I think the story about your mom leads perfectly into question one.

Maria Colacurcio: And this question is really talking about what are the leaders of companies need to understand about opportunity gap to know why more people of color front lines. If you think about your example.

Maria Colacurcio: There's a whole slew of headquarter HQ workers that are having a vastly different experience than those of the retailer store arm. So can you

Maria Colacurcio: Can you give us a sense of your experience obviously the personal experience with your mom and just with the people that you work with, what should we be saying to our leaders right now to understand what this gap looks like.

Frederik Groce: Yeah, I mean I think it starts with listening. You know, I think corporate leaders really be spending more times, you know, actually listening to frontline workers and what they need and how they're feeling through all of this, you know, we're

Frederik Groce: In this period where you know corporates corporations and you know HQ have done the right thing, you know, transition to working from home to protect their employees.

Frederik Groce: And that's not always possible. Obviously with frontline workers that you know are the bedrock by which these corporations actually operate and run successfully.

Frederik Groce: And in some instances like you know the grocery example you know some of these businesses are performing better than they've ever performed

Frederik Groce: And in this incredible time of hardship and we need to be listening to the challenges that you know people are seeing the fear that's happening, you know,

Frederik Groce: It's it's it's not okay that we we still struggle to talk about, you know, paid time off when people are getting sick and you know it's a problem. I think that, you know, we aren't building in systems to say, hey, look.

Frederik Groce: How do we compensate people fairly for the increased risk that they're taking as you know that the stakeholders that are driving keeping

Frederik Groce: The proverbial business lights on right now, even as the corporate you know managers are working from home and and it's a message that's

Frederik Groce: You know so visual right now that the difference in the value that organizations are putting

Frederik Groce: On on their workers, and I think we need to have a real conversation around how do we compensate you know employees during this period.

Frederik Groce: Not only for the work that's been done to this day because it can't just be looking forward, but also you know how this drives a conversation around how you know HQ.

Frederik Groce: You know, engage with frontline workers and making sure ultimately to that we're creating pathways for frontline workers to move into HQ as well.

Frederik Groce: Because that's certainly something that you know doesn't happen you know it at a high enough rate and it means is a divided culturally that starts to build between us organizations and that

Frederik Groce: Stems into drives into a lot of unhappiness and and it's a problem because that isn't happening and and you know a meaningfully orchestrated way sufficiently across most organizations yet.

Maria Colacurcio: Yeah, I think that's, I think that's spot on, and it rolls right into question too. So should companies be compensating frontline workers with more pay during the pandemic and after

Maria Colacurcio: And what business processes should employers be looking at to find the root cause of opportunity gaps and pay gaps where should they start

Maria Colacurcio: I think you know we talk to customers all the time. So I don't even know if I introduced myself so usually forget, but I'm the CEO become Nelson, do we put on this series.

Maria Colacurcio: And we licensed software that helps companies, analyze and result pay gaps due to gender, race of the city and we we approach it from both sides. So looking at disparities that are unlawful.

Maria Colacurcio: That are pay equity issues, but then also looking to help companies address the opportunity gap and set work for schools that are achievable.

Maria Colacurcio: To help get a better distribution and representation across their company. So I think from that perspective.

Maria Colacurcio: You know, the, the question to here on compensation is a great question for economists

Maria Colacurcio: But, you know, there are many who say, the greater the divide between frontline and HQ, the more unstable our economy. So that's it's one thing that you're sort of saying there.

Maria Colacurcio: And, you know, for example, we look at the latest news from Starbucks, they're going to raise the minimum wage to $15 nationally

Maria Colacurcio: And that's really interesting being here in Seattle, where I am, because I remember there was a time, not so long ago was just a few years ago where

Maria Colacurcio: A $15 minimum wage was seen as bonkers. It was seen as terrible bottom line. And I think what's happening is that companies are starting to disprove that a bit. And so I think I'd be curious on your perspective in terms of this compensation piece. Obviously, we're not at least I'm on

Maria Colacurcio: The pitches observations are things that you're seeing or or ideas that you have on this point.

Frederik Groce: Yeah, look, I agree. You know, I think, look, we absolutely should be compensating people during the, during this period, more for the hazard and the risk. They're taking like if it's too dangerous for

Frederik Groce: You know, seven corporate employees, you know, in HQ to come together in a conference room.

Frederik Groce: You know, it's probably then similarly dangerous for us to have 30 employees in you know in our grocery stores and our warehouses and any of these physical places.

Frederik Groce: And yet we need them, and we should be compensating for the greater risk that they're taking during this period.

Frederik Groce: And you know, I think our organizations have to be mindful of that. And we need to be built building out hazard.

Frederik Groce: Now now moving forward. I think where this discussion needs to really move to is a discussion around like our companies providing and paying a livable wage is fundamentally for these

Frederik Groce: frontline employees themselves because, you know, this isn't a new problem. This is a problem that's only getting worse.

Frederik Groce: And Maria, you mentioned that you know that as that pay gap you know widens the creates instability in companies.

Frederik Groce: But I would posit you know that's that's that that is a big part of the problem, but I'm worried about the instability of happening in society.

Frederik Groce: As we continue to see this pay gap exists, you know, stomach lead throughout, you know, communities of color throughout, you know,

Frederik Groce: A lot of different organizations across sectors right and and we're beginning to see i think you know those stress fracture structures show up. You know, I think a lot of the

Frederik Groce: conversations around black lives matter that we had this year, you know, in no small part come from these conversations. A lot of the conversations corporations were having as day

Frederik Groce: You know, I like to think about it had this awakening moment after the tragedy of George Floyd

Frederik Groce: You know, people started to realize hey I'm may personally not be racist, but that doesn't mean that the structures that are in place on perpetuating

Frederik Groce: Disparities that you know our historical nature and it's this shift towards thinking about things as anti racist. How can I be anti racist more proactive.

Frederik Groce: In dismantling those infrastructures and we need to do that across the board, whether that's health care, making sure you know the employees most at risk, have

Frederik Groce: You know, meaningful health care benefits to protect them, but also protect their co workers at the end of the day, as well.

Frederik Groce: And I think, you know, the 20 20th showcase and brought you know put a spotlight on the fact we aren't building systems, you know, in an equitable way and there's a lot we can continue to do

Frederik Groce: And those pay raises you know are incredibly, incredibly, I think, meaningful, not only

Frederik Groce: You know, for, for the lived experiences of those individuals and that feeling of value and worth. They have because a lot of these employees don't feel like they are valued as as people in these organizations, a lot of the time.

Frederik Groce: But also, they're important. When we think about wealth accumulation and the ability for these communities to actually build wealth.

Frederik Groce: You know today and through the next 510 years especially on the backdrop of the Great Recession, which many of these communities. We're just beginning.

Frederik Groce: To see economic, you know, read you're coming back out of

Frederik Groce: The economic downfall, that the Great Recession put in a lot of these communities and so

Frederik Groce: You know, I think we need to be leaning more aggressively and in terms of what can we be doing it. It starts with analysis. It starts with partnering with companies like Cydia

Frederik Groce: To evaluate where are our gaps. What are the problems themselves and we have to be honest with them because if we aren't willing to have an honest conversation we certainly can't drive towards a path that gets us in a more equitable and product that we, I think all want to have hopefully

Maria Colacurcio: Yeah, I think you're exactly right. I mean, we see tremendous opportunity around this thing called the opportunity gap which is what we're talking about.

Maria Colacurcio: So companies need help. And this is a product that we have is called up EQ, but they really need help figuring out

Maria Colacurcio: What do we look like today. A lot of companies don't even know that in terms of distribution and representation by gender, race and ethnicity and what should we look like

Maria Colacurcio: And the key for us in terms of how we help our customers is to set goals that are rooted in metrics and methodology that reflect the reality is the workplace, because I think

Maria Colacurcio: To your earlier point, this is another place where we're really falling down as a country is that we're setting aspirational goals that aren't rooted in any sort of reality.

Maria Colacurcio: And if you say, I want to be 25% non white in my senior vice president sweet by 2026 but you don't know what you look like today. You have no idea how you're going to get there.

Maria Colacurcio: That's just an aspirational garbage goal. I mean, you're not going to do it. You're going to kick the can down the road you maybe you'll

Maria Colacurcio: You're sort of planning for when you're not in your role anymore. So you figure, it'll be someone else's problem.

Maria Colacurcio: But I think I think companies should be identifying whether they're unintentional systematic barriers to certain groups and the best companies are already doing this. So they're looking at

Maria Colacurcio: Looking at the job codes of their open roles and matching those to the deal database and figuring out what is our opportunity in these various

Maria Colacurcio: cities where we're recruiting, how can we systematically again rooted in methodology and data, put our resources in the right place for

Maria Colacurcio: development and promotion within our company so that we can actually get to the point where we're looking the way that we want to look. But again, that's all that all starts with knowing where you are today. So I think it's

Frederik Groce: Very you said something that I think is so important.

Frederik Groce: Which is, it's a big part of this is how do we develop the talent we already have right and and

Frederik Groce: And so often you know that's that's that's a big part of the early things we can be doing right I think

Frederik Groce: You know so much of the VP and you know C suite hiring and happens it's externally focused, but a lot of times is great talent that we can develop and making sure we're developing those pathways to

Frederik Groce: Raise you know a diverse set of leaders in an organization is just is just as important as trying to look externally.

Frederik Groce: And then when you are looking externally. It's about, you know, looking at the the world for something different. It should make you a little

Frederik Groce: You know, nervous. If you're looking to diversify and build something out because the end of the day, you know, we need to be hunting and looking at different ecosystems of talent. Right.

Frederik Groce: That we can't just only go back to the exact same wells and expect something new and suddenly more diverse to come out of it. And the reality is, you know, a lot of the pipeline, you know,

Frederik Groce: Narrative around, they're not being sufficient pipeline of diverse talent that can work across these these different roles.

Frederik Groce: You know it's largely a myth. And it's something we'd like to see, I've really been trying to to clearly get, you know, in the heads of the venture capitalists and venture firms.

Frederik Groce: You know that make this industry operate is that there is no pipeline.

Frederik Groce: Problem, there's really a an effort problem in terms of how much work do you want to do in terms of finding where that talent exists because diverse talent just

Frederik Groce: Goes through their academics and job, you know, sort of prospects somewhat differently than a lot of, you know, the traditional talent pathways.

Frederik Groce: And that isn't to say that they can't do this, this, this job. They can't do the work. They just may not look the exact same as everyone else around the room and that's what diversity is supposed to be.

Frederik Groce: That everyone shouldn't look the exact same just, you know, you know, just just just with different racial or gender breakups

Maria Colacurcio: Yeah, oh I you're, you're exactly right. I think we say all the time to our customers as they're looking at. There's two sides of the coin.

Maria Colacurcio: There's you're qualified applicant pool and then there's there's retention and it's so much easier to retain your way to greater diversity and retain and develop every time.

Maria Colacurcio: Is better than get me more external pipeline, because as you're saying there are so many misconceptions about the pipeline problem and if you shift that focus to

Maria Colacurcio: Okay, it's easier to retain my way to this diversity will or to these workforce goals, you're going to take a different tact on where you put those resources and quite frankly what we've seen is you'll achieve those goals. Much, much sooner.

Maria Colacurcio: And on the flip side, on the pipeline recruiting side and one of the main barriers we see with our customers to opportunity.

Maria Colacurcio: Is a failure to post jobs. I mean you miss out on the hundred percent of the candidates that you never

Maria Colacurcio: That you never consider and you can aspire to look like America, but you must look like your applicant pool. So that's internal and external

Maria Colacurcio: I think setting goals is really, really critical. From this perspective, because if you're not setting goals again rooted in data and methodology and what you actually look like you're going to miss.

Maria Colacurcio: I want to throw out a audience question really quickly and then this is an interesting one. And then we can segue into the next set of questions.

Maria Colacurcio: This attendee says do you think comparing pay only across race and gender tells the whole story with things like education time in the workforce and the careers chosen

Maria Colacurcio: Have any impact on pay disparity when you control for those things. How much does your research show the pay gap has closed.

Maria Colacurcio: So I can answer that, from our perspective. And then I'm really curious what you think in terms of you know the story, what, what are the things look like.

Maria Colacurcio: I I think what's interesting about this is this is exactly what we do. So those early the earlier data that you're citing in here. We're called the uncontrolled gap which reflects the distribution of people across jobs.

Maria Colacurcio: And pay equity is the controls gap. And so today, we're really talking about the opportunity gap which is the former, not the latter. So we're not necessarily talking about equal pay for equal work in this particular discussion we're talking more about

Maria Colacurcio: The, the uncontrolled gap which again is that reflection of opportunity and how people are moving through an organization with promotions and opportunities to get in the right level and things like that. But I'm curious, Frederick. What will you think about

Maria Colacurcio: The background of what this question is asking, So education time than workforce career what what how those have impact.

Frederik Groce: Even controlling for that we're going to see a gap. Every, every step of the way. Unfortunately, and because it's more nuanced, it's more complicated right and and this is why we see the the continued wealth gap in this country right i mean within

Frederik Groce: The black community, you know, your average wealth is one 10th of that in the white community and and and these things have you know trickle down sort of domino effects. Right. So, you know, yes, if you, you know, try to to to

Frederik Groce: Basically standardized across all these different areas, you're still going to see these gaps you know and and you know it's it's interesting, right, because

Frederik Groce: People don't realize decisions get made differently in

Frederik Groce: diverse communities. So a great example would be college selection, right, like say you're even

Frederik Groce: You know, knowing the college is the right path to go. How do you choose which school to go to, you know, many folks like myself, you know, coming from a low S Yes, I chose the cheapest school I got into

Frederik Groce: That happened to be Stanford, but had it had I not gotten into Stanford I would have been spending quite a bit of money every single year, and I got, you know, full ride an academic scholarship. So it was phenomenal. But

Frederik Groce: That isn't true for the majority of folks, you know, that are going to school. So they rack up debts.

Frederik Groce: And then they end up in the workforce and they have a responsibility off in times, you know, even if they transcend an economic threshold, you know, so moving up

Frederik Groce: That pay ecosystem, they oftentimes have more constraints on economics right there supporting parents, they're supporting family members through that journey and that then

Frederik Groce: Creates different risk profiles and how they think about how they can manage their career. The types of risks they can do the kinds of jumps, they can make

Frederik Groce: And that over time leads to a lack of, you know, fast economic mobility or jumping to bigger and better roles.

Frederik Groce: And again they compound across different areas. So, you know, to give a very personal inserted example with venture

Frederik Groce: You know, what we see is, you know, granted in there isn't a lot of, you know, numbers right black individuals represent sub 3% of the venture community today.

Frederik Groce: In terms of investing roles and sub percent if you actually look at like folks who have, you know, the ability to write a check and actually invest in a company. But if you were them to look at where those folks are at firms there you know all almost all at smaller venture funds.

Frederik Groce: And then they make less money so they may be VCs, but their salaries are smaller because those funds are smaller and that's based on the way funds venture funds themselves are

Frederik Groce: Paid and how they get compensated for the work they're doing on behalf of limited partners, but suffice to say that across different beers and roll types. You know, you still see, you know, an economic

Frederik Groce: Difference between communities of color and not even when you think about education attainment, even when you think about years in the workforce.

Frederik Groce: And so it persists and that's why organizations have to do this work at every level to figure that out.

Frederik Groce: And understand what's happening and and I think a big part of the reason organizations don't realize it is there, aren't those stakeholders in the room as these

Frederik Groce: conversations happening. And so they're not green forward their, their lived experiences and folks think oh, we're doing a great job.

Frederik Groce: And and and it's just, you know, it plays out. Unfortunately, and really negative ways for for women and communities of color, generally. So all these underrepresented groups.

Maria Colacurcio: Yeah, it's so interesting that you know when you start talking about controls.

Maria Colacurcio: Because I wrote a blog post this a while back about the pay equity choosers and these were people that were adamant that there is no pay gap, whether it's pay gap or pay equity issues.

Maria Colacurcio: And what I always found interesting is that one of the main arguments of this group is that when you control for education tenure, all these things.

Maria Colacurcio: It's reduced to something like this is a gender stat, not a, not a white non white stack but the gender pay gap is reduced to something like 2%

Maria Colacurcio: And that was always a very strange arguments me because basically what what people are saying is that when you control for all these factors like education tenure.

Maria Colacurcio: That the gap is reduced to just 2% because of your gender. And I think the the broader question that we all are asking is. Is that okay, is it okay that there's still a gap that persists because of gender, race or ethnicity, even after controlling for all these things. That's still

Maria Colacurcio: A gap that exists because of something that is unlawful. So I think that's always been an interesting

Maria Colacurcio: An interesting argument from from the side that's trying to say that, you know, controls are so important. They absolutely are. And they can account for differences.

Maria Colacurcio: Now, there's no, there's nothing illegal about paying people differently as long as it is, you can explain it. It's a neutral job related factor but but but I always found that very strange a strange argument.

Frederik Groce: I think one last point I'd make two is the type of pay, right. I think that's another thing we have to talk about when it comes to the distinction between frontline

Frederik Groce: And corporate HQ right like corporate HQ often has equity components right dead stock plans.

Frederik Groce: And frontline workers are often not able to access those sorts of plans aren't given that part of their compensation and ultimately over time, those stock plans are what drive long term wealth accumulation in different communities and have meaningful additions to

Frederik Groce: To do compensation and and there's been a shift that's happened in corporate America over the last 3040 years where stock plans and become more and more important.

Frederik Groce: And they're taxed at a different rate obviously right from a long term capital gains versus your income tax stance and so you know these things. We also have to think about when we're doing an effective analysis on you know the gap that's that exists within organizations and companies.

Maria Colacurcio: Yeah, I agree. In fact, this is a great plug because our next episode, which is happening in January. I don't know if we have the date set yet. Usually we put that up.

Maria Colacurcio: At the end, but we are addressing specifically stock options and incentive pay and we call them the hidden corners of pain, equity, because you're absolutely right. Those are where things no discretion across large populations.

Maria Colacurcio: Increases the gap. And those are things that are highly, highly just full of discretion and how they're allocated.

Maria Colacurcio: Let's go to the next slide and and talk a little bit more about what's happening in terms of recovery and and not knowing

Maria Colacurcio: So the first question is we keep talking about not knowing what will happen in the recovery. But are there any lessons we can take from 2007 to pretend a catastrophe and wealth creation for communities of color, so would love your, your thoughts and sounds fun.

Frederik Groce: Yeah, I mean, like, there's lots of data on how can you use a color were impacted after the Great Recession. Right. And in fact, you know, if you if you do a little research, you'll find that

Frederik Groce: You know, communities of color, particularly the black community really was just recovering, as unfortunately you know Cove, it really started to hit an impact the economy again with another sort of recessionary element.

Frederik Groce: And so what you're finding is sort of this this double, triple whammy happening where you know these communities were just, you know, took them.

Frederik Groce: You know 10 years, more than 10 years actually come out of the challenges from that, you know, the economically saw because of the Great Recession.

Frederik Groce: Then they're hit you know with another recession that's impacting you know particularly frontline workers disproportionately

Frederik Groce: And you add in them. The health dynamics that you know obviously been you know negatively impact music color.

Frederik Groce: And then you throw in there you know the the you know the discontent that's happening society or on BLM throw in there. The you know record amounts of educational debt that these comedians are taking on

Frederik Groce: From university as they are doing the, the very things that we've been telling these community have to do go to college get degrees but you know

Frederik Groce: Obviously today. That means a much very different economic sort of Proposition than it did 20 3040 years ago.

Frederik Groce: And and these communities. You know, I've been just drastically hit hard

Frederik Groce: And so, you know, since the coven 19 economic you know situation. That's it. I mean, Black owned small businesses and small businesses have been hit disproportionate hard, you know, last surveys, I was reading over half

Frederik Groce: A Black owned small businesses have been permanently shut

Frederik Groce: And that's not going to suddenly disappear. You know, in the middle of 2020 unless we're building systems to ensure that we can allow these Founders these innovators these entrepreneurs, whether their tech or not be able to fail forward and get them back in the saddle.

Frederik Groce: And and every single step of current processes still hurt these communities, right, whether that was PPP

Frederik Groce: And you didn't have banking relationships. You didn't get access to those dollars the black community Atlantic's community disproportionately did not see

Frederik Groce: Access to those sorts of economic dollars coming to support these businesses.

Frederik Groce: And and these just create you know environments that you know are really detrimental. And so this notion that things are just going to come back online quickly.

Frederik Groce: I think it just isn't true. And we can look back to history and see that you know when you have economic you know the

Frederik Groce: You know recessionary influences. It takes a lot longer for these companies to bounce back and again

Frederik Groce: A big reason for that is the lack of wealth that's ultimately in there. There isn't the same you know ability to go two months without

Frederik Groce: Pay coming in or you know when your businesses are being forced to be closed by the government and regulations that are happening.

Frederik Groce: And and that really starts to play out you know in this that we're seeing right now kind of playing out in pernicious ways. And so, because we can look back and we know these communities are going to be hit harder. We need to be then pushing

Frederik Groce: You know, resources, these communities and a proactive fashion that needs to be front and center in these conversations. Otherwise, we're going to play the same exact

Frederik Groce: playbook where it's going to take another 10 years before these communities are out.

Frederik Groce: And unfortunately, on the back of the great recession that may be such a negative impact that from a generational perspective, we may not see much movement happen economically in terms of mobility.

Frederik Groce: Other than I'm very small subset, like myself, that, you know, won the proverbial lottery to get into an incredible school that opened up and you pass indoors, because of the networks that I was provided

Frederik Groce: And opened up to and so. So absolutely. I mean, that's what I worry about when I look and I don't think we're spending enough time as a country as policymakers reflecting on what happened during the Great Recession.

Maria Colacurcio: Yeah, I think, also, to Adams what you're saying, you know, we're talking about what lessons we can take from 2007 it's that leadership is defined during hardship.

Maria Colacurcio: So leaders are thinking about if they want to be remembered as a progressive leader that did not let fairness, take a backseat. When survival was priority one mean that is how companies. A lot of them are feeling right now.

Maria Colacurcio: It's this is an opportunity. This is an opportunity to show and value and model really great leadership by prioritizing fairness and prioritizing making sure that employees are valued and taken care of. So I think

Maria Colacurcio: I think that's another thing that we can take from 2007 is looking at which companies really did create and start to to come out with a brand.

Maria Colacurcio: And an employer brand and an identity that that showed, they were fair and I think those leaders really do stand apart because they took it not took advantage but they they grabbed that opportunity.

Maria Colacurcio: And made sure that they were able to show themselves as a leader who prioritize their people. So I think that's

Frederik Groce: An area. And that's going to be so important because, you know, don't we have to remember that on the backdrop of all of this. We're seeing a country change, you know, the demographics of the United States are evolving.

Frederik Groce: It's so easy to think about these conversations as being oh well it's a small percentage of our employee base.

Frederik Groce: That might be true today. It shouldn't be true, but, you know, over the next 30 years America pivots and becomes a majority minority country.

Frederik Groce: Over the next 60 years you know like these businesses are going to transform and look different.

Frederik Groce: And if they don't, that will then showcase and even bigger, you know, terrifying narrative around how you know we think about, you know, fairness, meritocracy, all these things that

Frederik Groce: You know, sometimes prevent us from leaning in and thinking about these things. But these are becoming front and center and

Frederik Groce: You know, I think a lot of you know C suites and boards are beginning to realize that like these are things we need to be thinking about, so that we can continue to win.

Frederik Groce: From you know hiring the best and brightest talent out there and be able to cater to our customers, which is, you know, the American population at the end of the day.

Maria Colacurcio: Yeah, there's a there's a great question here for you in terms of lacking pipeline and your commentary about that.

Maria Colacurcio: So the question is, there's a huge gap in the biotech sector were African American talent is low or somewhat non existent appreciate your comments and how companies should address this gap.

Frederik Groce: Mm hmm. Yeah. I mean, I think, you know, in highly technical areas or fields. Right. You know, the historical gap. You know, does come you know it is a question of like how do we

Frederik Groce: Create a pathway and opportunities earlier on, for people to know that there are roles and that there's jobs and that people can go down that path right so much it is, I think, taken for granted by a lot in these conversations that like

Frederik Groce: communities of color, just have knowledge around all the fields that are possible.

Frederik Groce: I had no idea what venture capital even was until I was a graduate of Stanford, which you know might sound crazy, but it's true, even in the batch Dennis look about because my focus was just on heads down

Frederik Groce: And you know, I think, for a long time, a lot of communities of color, you know the the exit strategies to economically get mobility. We're often

Frederik Groce: Talked about as go become an attorney go become a doctor.

Frederik Groce: And that's starting to, you know, evolve as you know we're. We've put a lot more emphasis on STEM education, letting people, you know, be aware of these these these fields that they exist.

Frederik Groce: And I think we got to continue to invest in those pathways and pipelines.

Frederik Groce: And I think a lot of that investment actually happens at universities that happens also, you know, at, you know, the, you know, the state schools across the country. The community colleges. The

Frederik Groce: You know, regional private schools versus always thinking about, you know, the biggest schools, the Harvard or Stanford or, you know, just looking only at like, you know, high secondary education in high school.

Frederik Groce: Certainly there's work to be done, you know, and a lot of those ecosystem, particularly given you know that you know public education is funded on you know you know that the tax base of

Frederik Groce: Landowners usually and obviously in community color property values are lower. So the tax base and collections are lower. So the schools get less funding.

Frederik Groce: But it's a systemic issue and I think a lot of it is pathways people being made aware

Frederik Groce: But part of it. Also, I think, is these fields acknowledging hey this lack of diversity is creating these sorts of

Frederik Groce: Problems and we need to be aware of those problems and then start to invest to make sure we're bringing, bringing talent up to help us solve these problems. And there's a lot of work that allow these fields consists do around acknowledging even that piece of the of the equation.

Maria Colacurcio: I think there's more essay here around networks. So let's talk about that a little bit more because they think I think that network piece that we talked about at the very beginning as being one of

Maria Colacurcio: Sort of the systematic discrimination points, which is the networks and the referrals and

Maria Colacurcio: And talk a little bit more about your, your findings in your thoughts and observations there because I do think this plays a massive role specifically probably in a really specialized field like biotech

Frederik Groce: Yeah well and you know from what from what I have experienced and seen as we've started to dig into some of these questions across different you know areas that you know we as a firm invest in, but also

Frederik Groce: Obviously, you know, in the venture industry itself, you know, the ugly truth, unfortunately, is that networks still are the first place people go to anything of hiring.

Frederik Groce: And unfortunately what they're thinking. And they're looking at, you know, networks tend to drive people and individuals that look like you, you know, the people you know

Frederik Groce: Naturally, just sort of congregate and, you know, flying networks that are

Frederik Groce: To some extent homogenous and and in today's social, you know, social media world. We've only started to see that you know perpetuate and get even more difficult to get out of those networks themselves and, you know,

Frederik Groce: The reality is hiring today starts there. People ask, who do they know and who do their networks know and

Frederik Groce: A lot of is built on like references. People who they trust and like I trust john because I've known john for 10 YEARS, AND SO WHEN JOHN makes a recommendation that goes to the top of my list. I'm going to start there. Well, by its very nature.

Frederik Groce: If you don't know if you don't have a diverse network of individuals. You don't pretend years you're not then getting

Frederik Groce: The recommendations from those diverse networks and so you either then have to proactively develop those relationships or partner with groups and organizations that do that work.

Frederik Groce: And in the venture industry that's kind of what we're building a black VC to help support and enable that.

Frederik Groce: But we need those kind of structural pathways and organizations built to combat those structural sort of pathways. They've been built

Frederik Groce: Historically already right and you're not going to solve this without building something without building a new structure in an organization.

Frederik Groce: And in certain, you know, a very specialized field you know these things get even harder and harder because as those communities gets smaller and smaller.

Frederik Groce: Those networks inherently becomes smaller and smaller. And so we have to do more work to gain access to a broader set of talent and networks and and again

Frederik Groce: You know there is not the problem is not that there aren't diverse people in these fields and areas. It's that they just don't have access to the organizations that might be hiring a given point in time and

Frederik Groce: To make this even more tragic, you know, the commentary that these communities are told, left and right, is you have to be two times better. You have to work twice as hard. You have to put your head down.

Frederik Groce: To just to keep your spot.

Frederik Groce: But if your head is down if you're just doing the work. That means you're not doing the networking part and that networking part is the piece that gets you then to that next level to that next career trajectory

Frederik Groce: And so we're almost sort of like telling these communities, you know, to do some action that invariably will actually prevent them from gaining access to the very

Frederik Groce: Next realms that you know drive the decision making and have a lot of the power organizations. And so, you know, we need to be doing more work to

Frederik Groce: Be realistic with the way jobs and things are actually done and move throughout the economy.

Frederik Groce: And, you know, from what I've seen you know the the business world is built on networks. I mean that's why business school is such an important part of you know that business world, it's because you've developed a network, very quickly, but

Frederik Groce: We can't leverage business schools or Ivy League schools as the network grower for diversity because those in. There's a lot of things that prevent diversity in those institutions.

Frederik Groce: And that can be the metric that we're going to use or the enabler that's going to allow diversification of a lot of these fields.

Maria Colacurcio: Yeah, that's, that's really interesting. I like that observation of the guidance.

Maria Colacurcio: Is actually pulling from what may potentially be the useful the useful piece. So like if you are heads down doing all the work you're taking away from

Maria Colacurcio: That networking piece that's so important. It's a really interesting observation. So while we're on the coven topic and we'll move. We'll move forward.

Maria Colacurcio: Quickly. There's a question that says, how do you combat the argument that coven 19 is forcing leadership to not be able to give raises or prioritize fair and equitable salaries across the staff.

Maria Colacurcio: So I'll, I'll take this one quickly, you know, personally, no offense to the question asked her, because I don't think you're saying this.

Maria Colacurcio: But I really believe that's a false choice specifically a false choice of leadership. It's not about fair raises versus unfair raises or equity.

Maria Colacurcio: It's about priorities. It's about choices and priorities fairness and lawful distribution of raises meaning ensure there's no disparity by race or gender should always be among leadership priorities. Full stop.

Maria Colacurcio: You know, there's no if you're thinking from a legal perspective and you're thinking about the Civil Rights Act or Title seven. There's no clause or exception that says, Oh, well, the economy was bad, so it's

Maria Colacurcio: It is when things are most difficult that we we test leadership. So to me it's a false choice. I don't know. Frederick what your thoughts are on that.

Frederik Groce: No, I think that's true. You know, I think there is never a, you know, bad time to do what's right right at the end of the day, we have to be doing.

Frederik Groce: You know, the moral character of a people of a country gets most you know shown

Frederik Groce: During hardship, and I think this is the time for us to be be putting our, you know, our money where our mouth is, if this is the country and the ideals that we think are important that we need to be investing against those

Frederik Groce: You know aggressively as a country, as a business as corporate leaders.

Frederik Groce: And I do think you know it is so easy again to forget that you know those folks who are, you know, most experiencing these hardships, you know, they are most needing

Frederik Groce: Of that capital of that pay of that that that raised, and we should not forget that, you know,

Frederik Groce: That that hundred you know that that 5% raise to your low you know your your frontline workers is infinitely more valuable.

Frederik Groce: And then a 5% raise to your HQ. It's just more meaningful all around and and we need to be thinking about that. That way you know it's it's shocking still

Frederik Groce: How little connectivity to the lived experiences. I think so many of us in corporate have when it comes to these other employees, like the understanding of like the meaning and the value of $100

Frederik Groce: It isn't felt the same way.

Frederik Groce: And it is really something I think we could spend a lot more time trying to just build that empathy layer.

Frederik Groce: Because people aren't you know I don't think people are bad. If you don't understand the situation and how bad it really is.

Frederik Groce: And that you know that job. You know, you might be thinking of corporate policy of shifting people from 40 hours to 30 hours.

Frederik Groce: And that make a lot of sense organization is you sum it up.

Frederik Groce: But what that doesn't show that on happiness. It's going to happen that second job that someone's going to have to work the other constraints that they're going to happen, how that could lead you

Frederik Groce: To building people are now late consistently and if you have a stringent late POLICY. GUESS WHAT

Frederik Groce: Wow, you're not creating environment that just makes people's lives infinitely horrible. And I don't think that's the intentions right intentions and

Frederik Groce: You know what, what people what the effects are aren't always align and we just need to be empathetic and spend time really listening to those employees at the front lines right now.

Maria Colacurcio: Yeah. Yeah, I agree. Okay, let's move forward because I really want to give you an opportunity to talk about the innovation gap but

Maria Colacurcio: We're going to spend two minutes. I think I can cluster, a bunch of these audience questions will spend two minutes on that. And then I want to give you a chance to talk about innovation. So I think that's a key part of this.

Maria Colacurcio: So I would say there's a couple of questions here in the in the line of thinking around how do you help leadership understand

Maria Colacurcio: So one is heading up leadership understand the uncontrollable pay gap. The other one is, what are some suggestions to working with leadership.

Maria Colacurcio: Where leadership appears to be open to discuss topics about culture and di and things like that. But you, you hit roadblocks when you start talking about

Maria Colacurcio: Actually truly

Maria Colacurcio: operationalize in some of these things. So, I think. And then there's a third question just around sort of the similar topics we've done an entire series on this. So I think it was a couple series ago if you go to send you a.com and go to Resources or events, there's

Maria Colacurcio: The fairs that work series, we didn't entire session on how to communicate and persuade your board on these topics and

Maria Colacurcio: I think, I think the important thing that I would say, and then Frederick. I'm curious to your perspective is what we talked about in that prior webinars that

Maria Colacurcio: This is a prolonged effort. This isn't something that's solved in a quarter or, you know, one fiscal year in terms of a budgeting bucket. It's

Maria Colacurcio: If we look at Starbucks even and that I worked at Starbucks prior to coming to send you

Maria Colacurcio: This was a decade plus long effort to get to the point where they have a female black CEO now mellody Hobson, as chairman of the board. This was this wasn't something that happened overnight. It happened because of a concerted dedicated effort.

Maria Colacurcio: That again was driven by a data driven approach and methodology where they truly are looking at setting workforce goals, based on what they look like, what they should look like and how to get there. So,

Maria Colacurcio: To me the number one thing is a CEO commitment and then the second part is just go get started. Start taking steps, but part of, I'm curious to your thoughts on

Maria Colacurcio: You know, how can people start working with our leadership teams or persuading them to to not just talk about this in a performative way but actually take action.

Frederik Groce: Yeah well i think i think you know some of the most harm that happens is it this is talked about and it becomes theatrical I have a good friend who coined this term diversity theater.

Frederik Groce: It's only going to be theater and it's not going to drive long impacts. It's going to be frustrating and and the only way you ensure that it's not just going to be theaters, you have to get executive by and CEO, up and down, particularly, I think this the senior

Frederik Groce: Management leadership has to be, you know, involved in the conversation. It can't be, you know, a project is being done, you know, as a silo.

Frederik Groce: That's going to maybe report to somebody who happens to report to somebody who reports, the CEO, right. Like, if it's not at the CEO or, you know, executive teams sort of

Frederik Groce: At least awareness level, which today should be. Then we have a problem.

Frederik Groce: I think you know you've said this Maria before it starts with data, you know, I think you know what I have found works really effectively is a balance of the quality that the qualitative

Frederik Groce: You know the lived experiences. So, you know, grabbing the, the experiences of the community within the company to share that so that people here and

Frederik Groce: You know, drive a personal component

Frederik Groce: To, you know, the narrative. And what we're talking about. And then, you know, so that's sort of the, the jab. And then the, the actual punch is the data that you have behind it right so now you marry the qualitative lived experience with the quantitative data.

Frederik Groce: And then we have to try to like you said a long term plan. It's not like we're going to come to the board and say, Okay, we're, we're going to do this tomorrow and we're suddenly going to

Frederik Groce: Blow up you know our expense load. We have to think about this in a structured way over a period of time, but also we have to hold people accountable, like the has to be meaningful change happening, you know,

Frederik Groce: Consistently quarterly within the company because if it's not, and you're not jumping on that and you're not creating momentum.

Frederik Groce: In the change driving you're trying to get done, then it can also just get you know clogged by corporate everything that slows anything down and and risk management. And so, you know, I urge people to think about what can be a quick win.

Frederik Groce: That helps change some of these paths and then continue to think about that quick win in the context of a longer you know you know journey to to evolve.

Frederik Groce: And again, all of this is rooted in my viewpoint and economics, you know, this is about winning and building a team and a company that can continue to hire and retain great talent.

Frederik Groce: Which, you know, is by its very nature diversity makes you know fundamentally how we have that talent, so that we can make the best decisions.

Frederik Groce: As an organization and then ultimately also you know how that diverse organization. You know, when we get to that final place will perform better against the competition.

Frederik Groce: And drive that diversity, you know, faster, fundamentally, and I think, you know, in today's world, we need any competitive edge we can have and

Frederik Groce: You know, diversity inclusion is going to be, and is already proving to be

Frederik Groce: With study after study a competitive edge to outperform those who are not and you're going to continue to see, I think.

Frederik Groce: You know, if you're a corporate you know publicly traded company you're gonna continue to see

Frederik Groce: You know, investors institutional investors start to ask questions around the diversity of your C suite. The diversity of your company.

Frederik Groce: How you're thinking about the board itself as these become material questions to evaluate whether or not we should invest in the business.

Frederik Groce: As this comes material to, you know, he has questions that organizations are thinking through, and so you know i this pressure isn't going to go away. And so, as such, you need a plan in place and hopefully you know your executive leadership, you know, is becoming aware of that very fact

Maria Colacurcio: I, yeah, I love the term diversity theater. And that's exactly what we have developed in this up EQ product is really helping

Maria Colacurcio: Leadership understands from a data driven way exactly what you just said. What is your opportunity. Where do you need to allocate your resources.

Maria Colacurcio: And then how do you stay on top of those trends over time to make sure that you're incrementally getting there. So we have two minutes left.

Maria Colacurcio: I want to make sure that you get a speed round on the innovation gap. So we're going to combine all these questions into one. And you're just going to take sort of the last. This is your summary moment.

Maria Colacurcio: around innovation gap and black. We see how are you trying to do the things you're trying to do with your data sets and what you're hoping to achieve with this data analysis and

Maria Colacurcio: Business, Innovation gap in general. So, so why don't you summarize for us sure that topic and share any last thoughts that you may have.

Frederik Groce: Yeah, you know, so, you know, we talked a little bit of the value and the importance of networks and how networks really actually drive a lot of

Frederik Groce: You know, a lot of business in the world. And I think in here in tech that's actually never been more true you know you have a very small set of networks that you know are basically making decision of, you know, who gets to

Frederik Groce: Be the deciders of how technology influence society in the world and and not fortunately it's not a diverse set of people making these decisions.

Frederik Groce: And and who is making these decisions invariably that determines who gets access to to the money that we have and and i when i look you know across a lot of systemic problems that exist.

Frederik Groce: It ultimate gets boiled down to, you know, communities, not be you know us as a country not be willing to invest in the same way against you know

Frederik Groce: People who look different, you know, that are diverse, by their very nature, we're willing to invest in the physical spaces.

Frederik Groce: That diversity live in and we see that playing out with gentrification happening in a lot of different places across this country.

Frederik Groce: But when it comes down to investing in the person and what they're able to build that same sort of willingness doesn't exist. And that's driving today.

Frederik Groce: A gap where, you know, if you're a woman. If you're you know intersecting identities, a black woman Atlantic's woman. You certainly do not have the same opportunity to get

Frederik Groce: 345 million dollars to go build a business that could positively impact your community could impact you know any community out there.

Frederik Groce: And and that's really, really important when you layer in the fact that tech is today driving meaningful and the most new wealth.

Frederik Groce: In the world right now is certainly in the United States, but in the world as well. And what we're building right now. Unfortunately, as a system that will only perpetuate the wealth and you know pain. APPLAUSE We've seen

Frederik Groce: Now what we're building with black VCs and attempt to say, okay, hey, look, this is a problem but

Frederik Groce: There's ways to fix this. Let's start to drive to drive more diversity inclusion in the very roles that exist in venture capital. So we create pathways for people that are diverse, to get in to venture

Frederik Groce: But then, let's also make sure that we don't have, then a churn problem or people exit the industry because they don't have the mentorship because they don't have the guidance to help them be successful in their careers.

Frederik Groce: And so we do a lot as a community as an organization, nonprofit to develop that talent pool as they get in

Frederik Groce: And ultimately, put the pressure here because our viewpoint is if you want to meaningfully create opportunities for more diverse founders to get funded.

Frederik Groce: We fix that first by ensuring there's diversity in the very asset and then very allocators OF THE FUNDING ITSELF. And that will drive

Frederik Groce: You know, sort of, you know, effects that are networked out fundamentally throughout the ecosystem and I think

Frederik Groce: You know this is something we have to be looking at as a community because technology is going to influence you know how decisions get made, whether that's your, you know, your loan that you want to get whether that's your, you know, the sentence.

Frederik Groce: Or how much probation, you might get if you go to a trial technologies influencing that left and right.

Frederik Groce: When it determines you know how someone reacts when the police get called and you know whether there's a greater risk factor and the mindset that an officer is walking in technologies influencing all of this.

Frederik Groce: Let alone machine learning and all of the data sets that today you know aren't particularly diverse and the unfortunate outcomes that happened when we start pushing these models out to the entire population.

Frederik Groce: And they don't you know and these models are based on historical data and that data itself is biased because we've had a bias system.

Frederik Groce: The outputs will continue to sustain that. And these are all things that are you know in my viewpoint existential threats to our country and our attempts isn't country to become more equitable

Frederik Groce: On this path that we've been on, you know, since the very foundation and formation of this country. And so, you know, these are the things we need to look at

Frederik Groce: The all of this starts with data. And so, you know, one of the things we're doing is black PCs, creating collecting and analyzing all the data that looks at the experiences people as black investors as black

Frederik Groce: And brown founders and as operators within you know companies in and around tech because the reality is, people move through these different ecosystems fluidly

Frederik Groce: And if you only look at one part of it, you missed the broader picture and we need to be looking at the broader picture when it comes to these sorts of issues because you can't just look at

Frederik Groce: The pay gap. You can't just think about that, without also thinking about the wealth gap that exists and how the pay gap then makes the wealth gap even more, you know,

Frederik Groce: You know, a pernicious problem over time and we have to layer in that government regulation and how government has informed any of these these things as well. And so

Frederik Groce: You know, we'll continue to do that work as black. You see, but it's going to take all of us as a community to think about these things.

Frederik Groce: And and if we aren't thinking about this at the front of our minds, you know, we see things like the PPP play out where you know we have great intentions to support

Frederik Groce: Our communities of small businesses that are hurting, but we didn't think about race and inclusion in the way that money was being sort of doled out

Frederik Groce: And then it didn't go out in an equitable way. So those very people who need it most. And get the support

Frederik Groce: And and that's the reality is our communities of color are the most vulnerable right now and have been and will continue to be, and so we need to be thinking about them in a more proactive fashion.

Maria Colacurcio: I think that is exactly right. Frederick, and I am so grateful for the time that you spent with us today. I think we could go on and on. We could go on for another hour

Maria Colacurcio: At least, maybe I'll say

Maria Colacurcio: But I really appreciate you taking the time to share your thoughts and observations with us and just for everybody that's on the call the recording will be available afterwards, we'll send that out in a link. You can also get access to the deck. We, in addition, have

Maria Colacurcio: A white paper on racial disparity that we will put out as well as a link so that if you want to dig deeper into this topic. A lot of the steps I showed at the beginning are encompassed in that white paper.

Maria Colacurcio: But again, this is a really important time that we continue the momentum and continue the pressure on business leaders to be thinking about these topics and I just thank everyone who attended for your time and Frederick again, many, many thanks for taking the time with us today.

Frederik Groce: Thank you for for all the work you do.

Frederik Groce: Maria and for, you know, really building, you know, an incredible company that's trying to be the the changer and bring the data to that the corporate leaders that they want to drive the change. So, so thank you for all the work that you're doing as well. You're welcome.

Maria Colacurcio: Okay, take care. Thanks everyone.