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Creating a Positive Culture in Organizations: Kim Flanery-Rye-Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Updated: Aug 26, 2023


EPISODE SUMMARY


Kimferis a creative executive turned diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) expert. We discuss the talent pipeline "leaky" for women, the World Economic Forum, and why more women are leaving their jobs to start their own businesses. They also dive into the importance of organizational culture, male allies in advocacy and sponsorship, and how DEI should be approached as a systemic issue rather than a separate program. Don't miss out on valuable insights into creating a diverse, equitable, and inclusive workplace.


Kimfer is a DEI and culture practitioner with a diverse background in creative fields and industry. She obtained her BFA and worked as a painter before transitioning into marketing and eventually specializing in DEI and culture. Her focus on inclusive and diverse perspectives in advertising stems from her experiences with poverty in both South Korea and the Midwest farm community in Iowa. Kimfer's unique path has given her a well-rounded perspective to help organizations build better cultures and promote diversity and inclusion.



PODCAST TRANSCRIPT OVERVIEW


[00:00] INTRO [Jump to section]

[01:46] Non-linear career path, diverse perspective, DEI practitioner [Jump to section]

[05:23] Culture over strategy for startup success. [Jump to section]

[08:56] "DEI and culture intertwined, managers as allies." [Jump to section]

[12:36] Set culture early, especially parental leave needs.[Jump to section]

[15:53] "Sponsorship opens doors for women's success." [Jump to section]

[20:45] Challenges women face in leadership roles.[Jump to section]

[25:22] Gender gap in promotion and pay. Sponsorship important.[Jump to section]

[29:30] Women leaving mid-level jobs for entrepreneurship.[Jump to section]

[31:49] World Economic Forum discusses change and wealth. [Jump to section]

[36:48] "Collective ideas have huge impact quickly" [Jump to section]

[40:12] Focus on culture, advocate for women.[Jump to section]






PODCAST DETAILED TRANSCRIPT


[00:00] INTRO


Sirisha

Hello everyone and welcome to the Women, Career and Life podcast. This is your host, Dr. Sirisha Kuchumanchi, a former tech executive at Texas Instruments, a Fortune 200 company, a speaker, a working mom and an avid reader. In this podcast, you will hear stories and practical advice for you to achieve your career and life goals. I also want to say a big thank you to our listeners for continuing to support this podcast and making it in the top 30% of Spotify podcasts. If you want to continue to support this indie produced show, you can either buy me a cup of chai. I am not a coffee drinker or you can become a monthly or annual subscriber. You will find more information in the show notes. I also love listening to other podcasts and you to recommend these shows because I think it will just expand what you might like listening to. Take a listen as the host describes what they do in their show. I'm so excited to have Kimpher Flannery-Rye. She's joining us from Seattle and she looks amazing. I just love her look right now. And we connected over LinkedIn and other avenues and I've heard her speak in other forums, including Minda Hart's LinkedIn Live sessions. A seat at the table. So, Kimpher, thank you for being here. I wanted to dive in and really learn about what your journey has been, because you are a big advocate for the DE&I space. You have what you call your Kimsisms and you have your idea ways of doing processes and basically systems for organizations to onboard and be sort of very effective in the DE&I space.



[01:46] Non-linear career path, diverse perspective, DEI practitioner


Kimfer

So give me some backstory and how you got here. Yeah, thank you so much for inviting me to speak with you today. I think, you know, for me, my background is pretty interesting in the sense that I did not have a linear process in how I got here. I have had experiences in creative fields. I actually have my background in my BFA, Bachelor of Fine Arts, and was a painter in the past. And, But my career path was always interesting that while my artist, artistry was happening, my career path was definitely more in, I would say, industry. I worked for places like T-Mobile. I've been a Vice President and executive creative director for a B2B digital marketing agency. That last bit, I think is what really helped transition me into what I am today, which is a DEI and culture practitioner. Especially when I was In that agency, I was really focused on creating culture for my team. We had a really phenomenal founders that were really focused on that. And I had the opportunity to really build a creative team from the ground up. And during that process, really looking at diversity as an important aspect. And also if we're putting together marketing and PR and all of that area of advertising, making sure that we're not tokenizing people and that we're really looking at it from an inclusive and diverse perspective. And so switching from that as a primary being a creative first and then looking at from culture and DEI as a lens And flipping that to now being DEI as the primary and really looking at brands and culture and organizations was a pretty easy shift for me. And as someone who also have experienced poverty twice in my lifetime before I was in the age of 15, from the first time in South Korea, before I was adopted into the Midwest farm community here in Iowa and experienced the farm crisis in the early 80s. So I think that just helped me look at all these different intersections from what it's like to be not only


Sirisha

someone who looks like me, but have had various experiences and intersections in my life. Yeah, it's a very transitional journey right through what you experience as a young adult, a child, and then going through all the transitions you've had. You touched on something that I thought was very important. You know, you talked about organization cultures. There's a lot of discussion around cultures. Leaving aside that there's layoffs going on and people are incredibly impacted, especially people, I think, who are from here, who are on visas, you know, a lot of change going through. But I think during COVID, you know, cultures like Uber and, you know, with Tesla and Twitter, there's a lot of culture pieces going on and how leaders show up, how they engage their organizations, how they just set up systems that support them. I think it would be insightful to see how from 2 aspects, like if you have a very massive organization, what small changes can you make so that that trickles down? And for someone who's starting up, thinking of say starting a company or on their founders or entrepreneur journey, what should they be thinking right off the bat? Because I think oftentimes we think of culture as a later aspect when I grow, but in some ways you need to do it right from your first hire so that you set that up. So what is some guidance you have on that space?



[05:23] Culture over strategy for startup success.


Kimfer

Yeah, absolutely. I love this phrase that's probably many people are familiar with, but it's called Culture Eats Strategy for Breakfast. And I've seen that over and over and over again in organizations where they may have the strongest strategies, may have really strong metrics and things like that, but the culture of the organization and leaders who understand that culture is an important aspect that you have to be really mindful of it, really shows up differently, I think from organization to organization. And for me, I would say if you are a startup, it's the most opportune time to really think about it from the start. Oftentimes when you are a startup, you are busy wearing so many hats and you're a small team. So you often think like, Oh, I don't have to worry about that, right? Culture is something that you have to do when you're really large, like you referenced. But that actually is not true. It is really thoughtfully have to be done because culture has its mind of its own, is what I say. If you aren't really thoughtful about how you approach your culture, it will be implicit culture rather than explicit culture. It's what people pick up and how they decide to show up and do things that makes it what it ends up being. And so I would say smaller organization, it is definitely way easier to see because your C level often will have such a strong impact on that organization. As you get into a bigger organization, you're talking about like the large enterprises, like the Microsofts and the Amazons and things like that in the world. And especially me being in Seattle, those are 2 of the biggest organizations here. You do see that leadership can make a big difference. Satya, when he came over in Microsoft several years ago, it was pretty amazing to watch a huge ship like Microsoft making its shifts because of that leader. But what's interesting with these large enterprises is that every people manager creates microcultures. Again, intentionally or not intentionally. And so it's more dependent sometimes, obviously, the leader, the CEO, they have to have intentional culture approach. And that strength of that has to just reverberate down through each of the different business units, the leadership within them. Without it, then you do, you end up creating fractured microcultures that do not represent what you want as a whole, as a company.


Sirisha

Very true. I, you know, there's this saying that goes, right, you join a job for a company, but you often leave it because of your boss or your culture, microculture, as you described. That's what defines us because that's all we get to see. I mean, you rarely interface, depending on which level you are with that CEO, you hear them probably at your quarterly broadcast or some article that shows up in the news, but your touch points are so infrequent. It's, it's the microcosm that you live in. And it's very important for what you said. So what can people in this microcosm, both as individuals and like management, do when they're doing this?



[08:56] "DEI and culture intertwined, managers as allies."


Kimfer

Yeah, well, it definitely depends on if you are thinking about it with culture in mind. And for me, culture and DEI are intricately combined. They're not something, I think oftentimes people confuse diversity, equity and inclusion as a program, something that you do on the side, But everything about culture is impacted by all the things that you do. And you can't just leave DEI over there just saying, hey, it's a personal learning journey. And that's what we do. You have to think about it really in a systemic way and systems-based way within an organization. And for managers and people, well, people leaders in general, I think it's really important to understand that intersection of DEI, the more you understand that and then have really strong emotional intelligence, right? EQ and that idea that you bring all of that together is really what looks at culture from the start. So what you were talking about, people leave because of the managers that they have. So how are you showing up as an advocate for your employees? I say that managers inherently have to be allies. And so how are you showing up as an ally for your people? And how thoughtfully are you really thinking about cultivating your culture and how it's aligning to the company's mission and vision and values?


Sirisha

Yes, and you touched on something because the manager controls it in, control is not the right word, but sets the tone in so many ways because it can be in that meeting and the staff meeting when someone tries to speak up and they're not heard and you're not advocating for them or giving them their space or reinforcing the idea. Or maybe the idea isn't what you think it should be, but you could have that conversation offline. It's how you come across the tone of voice, the language you use, that people see you showing up. And sometimes it's nipping it in the bud when someone doesn't behave with what you think is the right cultural aspect so that it's dealt with and people see it because there's always this fine line you walk, right? About doing it in public versus private and each is a nuanced approach. Totally, I get that. But sometimes you have to make certain stances in certain forums just because people understand what the culture of the organization is, while being incredibly respectful of everybody and everybody,


Kimfer

the systems around you, because you can easily forget that. Yeah, absolutely. And that's the main thing about culture is like, yes, You can have the most beautiful values written and you have posters all around your organization, but if no one's following them because of implicit culture, so explicit culture, like I said, it would be on your, maybe your handbooks and your values and all of that, but the implicit culture is what you're just talking about. Culture is where people identify a situation, they will correct someone. And then because they're corrected, they will mimic, and then they will turn around and coach someone else, correct their behavior, etc. So it's like the circular thing that happens that could be positive, right? What you were just talking about, hey, stopping a meeting if something is not going in the right direction and things like that and being an advocate for someone, Or you could be where they're the ones who shush, you know, the women in the room or things like that. So it can be mimicked in a positive or a negative way. But that's literally what happens. People watch. It's that parental things people talk about. It's not what you say. It's what you do really impacts in organizations.



[12:36] Set culture early, especially parental leave needs.


Sirisha

Yeah, very true. I think there's a lot of parallels in that, like how you run at home and at work in a lot of ways. I had a guest, Elena Percival. She's a CEO, co-founder of Women Who Code. And she made the same comment about setting your culture early on. Like the example she used is, when you're making those first hires and someone needs parental leave or is having a child, you need to have those sort of policies already thought of, because you can't wait to scale and think about it. Because otherwise you're thinking about it on the fly, and you haven't set the tone. Because there's so much. I mean, it's great, a lot of the conversations that are going on. Because obviously, when I started my corporate journey, there weren't those conversations. And to be frank, those thoughts didn't strike me then either. It's as I step away from it that I see more and more of what's going on and I'm glad to hear them and be part of those changes. So when you're thinking of culture I think it's for anyone listening I think if you're starting something think of how you want to set it up and to your systems and processes that you are suggesting as well on setting up, not just a guidebook, which you obviously need, but setting the tone and that conversation constantly.


Kimfer

Absolutely. And the earlier you can start, the better, which is why if you think about some of the newer organizations that, if you think about it from a very DEI perspective, right? So companies who started maybe post-George Floyd's murder have been better set up in how they think about anti-racism in their organization versus organizations that have to go backwards and go, OK, what is our stance? What are we doing? How do we do it? And then how do we change our systems? This, you know, it's something that's been set for however many years is so much harder to go backwards to correct than it is to just have it as a standard moving forward. And So I think that's the difference between companies that are just now starting. Think about all of these things now helps you to really be set up to be successful.


Sirisha

Very true. And it's something for us all to think about. But also, if you're being long established, it's never too late to correct. And I think to your point, D&I is sort of like the spine of your organization. It should be very much the core of it, the culture. It's not an initiative, which seems to be what's making the headlines now as an initiative. It's not a sidebar note that you write in your footnotes and your cliff notes. Something that you should make it very much an integral part. So when you're talking about supporting, I think you brought this up, there is women supporting women and men supporting women. Allyship in both ways, but it does very often manifest itself very differently because I think there's this notion, and maybe I'm sure there may be some truth to it, that not all women support women because we feel like we're fighting for 1 seat at that table that's there, instead of the other 9 seats that are there. So what can we do to sort of manifest this? And how do we show up? Because I think it's an all in the little things that we do. Like you recommend your friend for the job that you heard about, but you are not maybe the right fit for and how do you advocate for them and put in a good word or whatever other ways you think it works itself.



[15:53] "Sponsorship opens doors for women's success."


Kimfer

Yeah, sponsorship I think is extremely important. So I know there are people talk about women need, we need mentorship obviously, but we need more than just mentorship. We need sponsorship. And the main difference between that is mentoring is this relationship that you have one-on-one with someone. Maybe you have multiple relationships, but It's really that one-on-one and helping that individual sponsorship is then taking that relationship that you have and then speaking about them, opening doors for them when they're not in that room with you. I think that is such an important aspect. So understanding what sponsorship looks like And knowing that it's not that whole idea of it's, you know, once you take 1 slice, then that pie gets smaller. There's, that's not actually true. We have to, have to, have to have abundance mindset. So if you are a woman who fought their way, which often we do, fought your way to that 1 seat, rather than trying to push women back so that they don't take your seat. What can you do really to advocate? Like you said, the other 9 seats that are there. How can you get more seats open for those women? I think it's a lot easier if you haven't had to fight so hard in the past. Again, same thing about organizations starting now versus older, you can change any time during the whole process of your history. But think about it now is, you know, are you mentoring people? And are you doing more than mentoring? Are you sponsoring people? Because then it is really important then to make sure that kind of environment and culture of women supporting women, I think is super important. And what's interesting, like you talked about, our counterparts, maybe our male allies, also sometimes even more important because they often have the more power and position power. There's more of them. And so having them to really understand what their advocacy and their sponsorship can look like and showing up, I think is extremely important to make sure that we have more seats for women and hopefully 1 of these days get some gender parity out there. And that's a really important aspect. And then I say also, if you're a mentor, I mentor lots of different women. And 1 of the things that I require out of them is are you able to commit to mentor and sponsor others when we're done with our relationship? That you have to give back, that mentality of giving back. I'm, hopefully I'm providing you that time and energy. You will not need me the whole time because you will also grow and will become peers. We can be peer mentors, but that means you have to give back and find mentors of your own and sponsoring them into the next level.


Sirisha

Yeah, it's a great way to pass your own knowledge and pass, I guess, leave a legacy behind as well, right? I mean, in some ways that is, and you're setting the culture because you are setting the expectations. So that's what they, that's what they implicitly know that they have to do. And then it just goes forth going like that as they move forward. And when I think about it, the other aspect I'm thinking of it is when we're talking about these 9 seats and 1 seat, actually, frankly, I do not wanna have this conversation or even have to host this podcast, right? Because then the conversation is completely unnecessary to have. That would be great. You know, I talk myself out of this podcasting I do. I'm okay with that if it all reaches gender parity. And I think there's this concept of the leaky pipeline or this leaky faucet that's moving because I think colleges, everything in the statistics shows that colleges, women are around 50% of the graduates, but as obviously as you go down the chain or go up the chain, as you wanna look at it, it keeps reducing 40%, 20%, 3%, just the gender parity decreases for various reasons. 1 is as life changes and situations come for support and other reasons, they may make the decision. Some of it is driven by pay gap discussions in a very broad way because they're trying to make child care or pay decisions saying is it worth going back to work. Parental leave support, I mean there are so many other things we don't obviously think about beyond just hey I want to take care of my children which might be the only aspect or there might be other nuanced approaches driving these decisions. So how do we, I think individuals can do some of it, but really what do organizations do? Like how do they audit? How do they look at what it looks like when they're doing these hiring practices or



[20:45] Challenges women face in leadership roles.


Kimfer

growing the leadership pipeline as they look at it? Yeah, the leaky talent pipeline is, I mean, it is a reality. We know this. If you think about the women in the world, we actually outnumber technically by men, but we know that about 80%, I think, of jobs out there are really, men, 80% of men are in the talent pool while only about 50-ish percent of women are in the talent pool and leaving. And we know right now too with that's been going on, they are leaving that mid-level to high-level women in organizations are leaving faster, especially post pandemic. I think, yeah, childcare is definitely 1 of those area, but I think assuming that childcare is the only reason, I think is also a disservice to women in general. There's so many systemic issues within organizations that have been set up for women to not succeed. And it was built that way, right? The old boys network, clubs, what have you. And also if you think about it in the sense of when women were allowed, and I'm gonna use that word allowed to enter the job fields that were beyond rudimentary, we don't have as long of a history as men have to set up that network and doing all of that. So we're talking about, From a systems perspective, when I come into organizations, there are a couple of different things I look at. So when we're talking about from a hiring, so let's start with the hiring perspective, I look at it as where are the choke points coming through because there is, we know there's biases that get built in. So when we're looking at it, I'm going to use just general numbers for right now. Let's say 80% of your new position and submissions that are coming in are men and 20% are women. Great. Okay. Not great, but I'm going to use that as an example. So that's what's happening in the first line of coming into a company's job pool. Then what you look at in the next round is, okay, so who makes it past that first round? Is it still 80-20%? Or did it become 90-10? And then past that into the final rounds, are you still at 80-20? Or are you at 99 and 1%? That's how you know that there's something happening at a systemic level within your organizations. So looking at those kind of data, because most organizations have data to know who came in, who they said no to, and who finally were provided a role. And then from the other perspective, once you're in the organization, again, from an auditing perspective looking at organizations, you can look at an employee lifecycle reporting. When were they hired? When were they provided a promotion? Was it, you're looking for deltas. Were women having a slower progression in their career with that promotion? What about, again, the salary gap and wage gap? If you're thinking about every time someone was provided a salary increase, what was the delta between the male counterpart and the female counterpart, right, if we're just looking at the binary of the 2 for right now. And so those kinds of reporting is really important to know not only the frequency of the gender that's being moved forward and the difference in pay in which that's happening. So when you're looking at the data, it can tell you, oh wow, we have, for example, promoted Joe 3 times in the 5 years, while we promoted Jane once in that 5 years. Why? Let's look at that. Maybe it was individual, but is it systemic? Is it happening across the board in the gender divide? Thinking about, oh, okay, so we look at our male counterparts and say, they have an average of 5 percent increase annually, while the women are getting 3% increase. That you can look at it from a more broad, systemic way in an organization. That's how you really check organizational approach in a system's perspective of knowing is equity actually at play, which is the DEI.



[25:22] Gender gap in promotion and pay. Sponsorship important.


Sirisha

Right. And the statistics show what men get promoted like every year and a half and a woman, I think every 2 to 3 years. So it's a double thing, right? Like you said, first of all, you're not getting the promotion. And your pay gap has 2 ways. 1 is if you're not paid equally, but every time that person gets promoted, they get a hike. So the delta keeps growing from a different aspect. It's not just a promotion, it's the opportunity and the sort of the revenue, the impact also in that standpoint that's constantly creating this bigger and bigger gap. Absolutely. That's where the sponsorship, like you said, comes in because if you're not talking about the women and advocating for them, or even thinking about it intentionally, then it's something that you might miss. And just to be clear, I think people often mistake that when we're saying D&I that we want the women to get sort of this fairness bonus thing. No, that's not what we're saying. You're saying they're already incredibly capable and doing so many things. Are you looking at everything they're doing? Because I met someone recently, often they're very engaged in DNI initiatives and other things and outreach things, recruiting, you know, other avenues for companies that they forget to value that time that is taken for the organization but not helping that microcosm that they're working in and not to leave that impact outside so you are measuring the right things. And you're looking at advocacy and who is the right person and where are they manifesting their leadership and their impact, not just in this role, but in other avenues that might still benefit you.


Kimfer

Yeah, I mean, women in general tend to do a lot more of the non-promotional work, which often is called the office housework. And so part of that is how organizations often set up, What do you value in your employees and their contribution to the organization? Which is why also from a systems perspective, when you're looking at most companies have annual reviews, what's on those annual reviews? Is it only job goal related or do you have value recognition in there? And what kind of activity are they also doing? And women tend to join more ERG groups. They tend to do more organizing of events for the company, they tend to take on more of the DEI kind of efforts in general, but it all helps an organization, but it's never really looked at as if it is in an annual review process, as if it's something that is valuable. It's valued, and people want them to do it, but is it valuable in the way, is it valuable and valued in the same way when it comes to those job annual processes, quarterly processes, or whatever the systems in which it's been created?


Sirisha

Right, during compensation time and promotion time we're talking about. Yeah, I say, yeah, I just recently recorded an interview with Brenda Pazer. She's a professor who they wrote the book, the no club, which is talking about non promotable work. Yeah, something for us to think about. So For those who may be listening, think about, you know, it would be good to audit your processes because some of what Kimfer is saying is it's not all under your case to audit because there's organizations, but you can see what work you're doing and making sure you're getting credit for it. And maybe even think about asking if you're getting paid equally. I think it's still okay, because I know those are awkward conversations. I've had some of them myself. But I think it is valuable to see if you're getting compensated because you are spending a lot of time at work and making sure that that is a fair and equitable place to have that. There was a comment you made. You said a lot of mid-level women are leaving the workforce. Why do you think they're leaving the workforce?



[29:30] Women leaving mid-level jobs for entrepreneurship.


Kimfer

There's multiple reasons that are out there. There's lots of studies that's happening right now. And especially we have seen it more and more because of post-pandemic. Part of it is the 1, we're talking about the leaky pipeline again. So There is a glass ceiling that we hit at mid-level and it is really hard to break through. And so there are more women that leave the job force to start their own business. There are more startups created by women than there are by men. They are trying to create their own opportunities and to, because they're tired of playing in that field of whatever it is that they need to do to crawl up the ladder, right? And fight for every inch. The idea of also, again, from a systemic perspective, if you are a caretaker, and I don't mean just mothers, I mean, if you're a caretaker for family members, that tend to still land on the women. And so women are often then the more, the higher you go up in the ladder, the more oftentimes the demands of the work takes from you, more hours, more all of that, even though we all talk about work-life balance, that stuff is really hard in general. I think the further you are up on that ladder and more expectations for women in general. And so there's part of that that's happening. They're getting ultimately exhausted. It's like, why fight against that? Why fight against that if I can go do my own thing? I think that's oftentimes what's happening. Yeah, a lot of burnout as well and other aspects.


Sirisha

So I see that you go to the World Economic Forum and have discussions around D&I space. So I wonder what the conversation is at that level because that's sort of the, in some ways the intellectual capital, the power capital, a lot of conversations with these people who are deciding either government policy, company policies, or setting up the stage for the future. So what is that going on and How are you helping direct some of that conversation and what can we expect in the future?



[31:49] World Economic Forum discusses change and wealth.


Kimfer

Yeah, what's interesting about, I think, the World Economic Forum in Davos, it's there's a juxtaposition that happens. There are lots of people that are trying to do great things for the world, right? They're trying to hit all of the SDG goals and thinking about poverty and lots of climate change right now, lots of climate change conversation. And how do we do it in a way that actually makes sense for the world, but also you don't have to do it just purely at a philanthropic way. You can make money at it. That was the biggest thing that was happening, which was, I found fascinating. Or when people are talking about, because of the climate change And talking about how, for example, fashion industry is 1 of the largest contributor right of destroying the world right now. But people are doing that while they're showing up in their high-end fashionable items on. So I find it to be a very interesting juxtaposition of this wealth and people talking about the ideas of change and then how change actually is happening. But what's fascinating is that when you go to the World Economic Forum, there's obviously this massive Congress that's happening. And those are the ones that are making the big world decisions that you're talking about. And then there is this part of the ethos of the World Economic Forum, where there's other thousands of people that come that are outside of the Congress that are trying to make those changes happen in real time. And what's fascinating about that is all the conversations that are happening around gender equity, about climate change, about poverty, about justice, all of these things that are happening. What I found really, really, what I found phenomenal is that, yes, there's lots of talks there, but there's a lot of action that are happening. I'm still having meetings with people and this happened in January, right? So even though it happened in January, there's still meetings happening now about talking with people, how they're trying to make changes happen, how we're trying to make those changes happen and continuously do so. So it's a little bit of a interesting place to be, Because again, back to the climate change, we were talking about how do we look at our carbon footprint while people are flying into this place and obviously, you know what flying happens and people bringing their personal jets. And so It's an interesting place to be to have this conversation. And it was my second year this year. And yeah, I still find that to be somewhat unsettling, but also very much energized.


Sirisha

Yes, and you touched on something that I was gonna ask you because I was reading up on it as well. And it's interesting. I think it's a contradiction in terms when you're talking about climate change and sustainability. And then you have thousands of private planes flying into this tiny part of the world when you're talking about the same thing about saving the planet. And it's like, wait, you just said that, but why are you flying these thousands of private jets in here? And you're talking about fast fashion and expensive fashion and not recycling. Maybe they should have a theme saying you just have to upcycle your clothes and show up or something. Yeah, Absolutely. So like that, I just found it really, it's such a juxtaposition.


Kimfer

That's the best word I can come up with is that is a lot of high fashion. And a lot of showing up. And also a lot of just showing up to do things. So I just found it really intriguing. And there are groups that are called like the ondavos, that are people that are doing different kind of side conversations and things like that. And so I think you will find pretty much what I like the best though, you find very much like-minded people who really do want to make the change happen. How they're going about it, interesting sometimes. But there is something to be said when you put like-minded people in a singular place there is something that's a multiplier effect that happens. Lots of energy. You can just feel it, feel the thought, the innovation, the conversations and the way that people were really wanting to move through the large, large, big, audacious, large problems that they're trying to solve in the world.



[36:48] "Collective ideas have huge impact quickly"


Sirisha

And in some ways it really helps that everyone is in 1 place. So when you're having these ideas, you have access to the people who are going to help drive some of that. So it's, it's, you know, it's a collective as you called it. I mean, it's a powerful force. It's a powerful forum. It has a huge impact. There are some juxtaposition contradictions that happen. But I mean, for something so massive, we have to kind of understand and, you know, I won't say deal with it, but I'm sure someone will work with it. But the evocative change they can drive is so impactful. It would be nice to see as it continues to flow through what that looks like. I mean, we don't have a lot of leeway to make those decisions slowly, so they have to happen pretty quickly. So absolutely, absolutely. Driving that. So as we're getting close to wrapping up, this is a question I ask every guest. What advice would you give your 21-year-old


Kimfer

self? Yeah, I, you know, I think for me, I would say, hey, Kim, just keep on following, following your dreams, following your passion. Follow people that are, you find that are empowering, because you'll get to a point where you're gonna lead. And it happens, life happens for a reason. And For me, I think telling my 20-year-old, that's a really important thing. There's lots happened for me as a youth and know that all of that, no matter how hard it might've been to swallow at the time, it happens, it happens and you're okay, You're okay.


Sirisha

Very true. And you don't quite know all those, um, I wouldn't miss steps of things that didn't go your way. I think will turn out for the most part. Okay. And it'll teach you something. It's hard to deal with it. I not try to whitewash some things that people might really struggle with, but for the most part, the thing that you desperately wanted, but you didn't say pass the exam or something. You'll find another path that really works out because that's where it is.


Kimfer

And what is the 1 word you would use to describe yourself? Oh, interesting. I've recently asked my close, close people that are closest to me, I call them chosen family. And the 1 of the consistent words that came out was that I, I would say the word is empath, that I have really strong empathy for the others and just feel I feel all the feels. So I think that probably translates to being an empath.


Sirisha

Very nice, because that really ties into everything you do, right, and what impact you're driving, and what the path that you're taking as well. Yeah. And Kim, if someone wants to reach out to you, how do they connect with you? Oh, yeah. Thank you for asking. Um,


Kimfer

obviously you can connect with me on LinkedIn. You can find me literally if you probably put in Kim for, I'm, I think the only Kim for that shows up in such a huge platform, uh, inclusion equals, uh, is my handle for Instagram, I would say LinkedIn and Instagram are 2 main areas. And then of course, our website, inclusion equals.com.



[40:12] Focus on culture, advocate for women.


Sirisha

Very good. Thank you. This has been a very fascinating conversation, not just talking so much about individuals, but I think a lot of focus on culture and organizations and sort of how we impacted in a microcosm and in our macrocosms as we work through. And for those of you listening, as Kimpha was saying, think about how you're showing up, how you advocate for yourself, how you set up the space around you, whether you are an individual contributor or a leader, because everyone is watching and learning, and setting up that culture as you're growing together, and having that, as you steer that ship, because everything starts with small change, and it's very intentional, and making space for others, because this is a very women-focused podcast, Just making sure that you're advocating and lifting other women up and being there to sponsor them and making sure that you have access to sponsors as well because we always get over mentored under sponsored. So asking for what you want. I think we are at that time where we should we shouldn't wait for someone to come and give us the opportunity as much as ask and seize it ourselves. So thank you so much, Kim for here for being here today. Oh my gosh. Thank you so much for the conversation. Really appreciate it.


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Thank you


Guest: Kimfer

LinkedIn | lhttps://www.linkedin.com/in/kimflaneryrye/


Host: Sirisha

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