How did the pandemic expose social inequities?

February 28, 2023

The pandemic exposed and exacerbated broad inequalities across the globe, including systemic injustice and discrimination against Black, Asian and minority ethnic people. LaFawn Davis, Indeed's VP of Diversity, Inclusion & Belonging, works with her team to raise awareness, grow allyship and create an open and supportive environment for all employees. In this best of episode, Indeed’s CEO, Chris Hyams, talks with LaFawn about what living Indeed’s core value of Inclusion & Belonging means, the importance of diversity and how we can normalize difficult conversations about racism, privilege and fragility.

- Welcome everyone. I am Chris Hyams, the CEO of Indeed, and welcome to the next installment of Here To Help. This is our look at how Indeed has been navigating the global impact of COVID-19. Today is June 8th and we are on day 97 of global work from home. But today's discussion will be a little different than our previous episodes. Two weeks ago today, George Floyd, was killed in Minneapolis, Minnesota by a police officer, Derek Chauvin, while three other officers sat by his side. Millions of people have watched the horrifying video. And over the past two weeks, we've seen demonstrations and protests in major U.S. cities, and also in smaller communities across the country where these might be the first ever in support of the Black Lives Matter movement. We've also seen thousands of people in countries all over the world stand together and supported the Black community. So today I'd like to welcome, LaFawn Davis, Indeed's Vice President of Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging.

- Thanks for having me, Chris.

- LaFawn, has worked in the field of DI&B for over 15 years at Google, Yahoo, eBay, PayPal, and most recently Twilio. LaFawn, was recently named to the Fast Company Queer 50, Fast Company's first ever list of the top 50 LGBTQ women and non-binary innovators in business and tech. LaFawn, joined Indeed just a year ago this month, and I am very grateful to be joined by her for today's discussion. A couple of quick caveats. First, the issues that we have to talk about today can barely be summarized in an hour. We'll do our best to start the conversation and we'll leave out or just skim the surface on many aspects. This is an ongoing dialogue, so today is just one small part. Also, we haven't had to do this in previous conversations, but I will start with a content warning. The following discussion will address issues of racism, murder, police brutality, and may be triggering. So with that welcome, LaFawn, and let's start where I always start these conversations though, with another caveat that I know that asking this question right now is loaded in a number of ways. So tell us, how are you doing right now?

- That is a very, very loaded question, especially for me in the role that I have and also who I am as a person. So I'd like to actually answer this question with intersectionality, and for those of you who haven't heard that term before, it is the concept that we all have layers and those layers have us experience things differently, right? So none of us are binary identity. I am Black, I am queer, I am a woman. I am over 40, I have an adult child, so I'm also a parent. I have a soon to be 98 year old grandmother, so also a caregiver and 72 year old parents. So all of those things actually impact how I am experiencing work, life around me, my community and everything else. So because of those layers, I also want to say happy Pride Month. I am queer, so I'm on the, in the LGBTQ plus community. And most people forget that Pride just isn't celebrations and floats, and sprinkles and rainbows. Pride started because of the Stonewall protests and riots, fighting against police brutality and civil rights was what P ride is actually all about. So very much connected for me right now that this is Pride Month and also what is happening around Black Lives Matter. There's also another layer, that layer I talked about being a mother, and the mother of a Black son. Understanding that I have to have conversations with my son that other parents probably don't. So other parents, especially that aren't Black, probably don't. So instead of have a good time, you know, make sure you get in before curfew or anything like that, I'm telling my son stay safe, stay alive. I am talking to my son about how to interact if he gets pulled over by the police or interacts with the police. If he interacts with people who are racist or people who believe that because of the color of his skin, he is lesser than. Those are the conversations that I'm having with my child, that other parents and caregivers might not be. I also am looking at my veterans and military personnel right now, seeing some of them deployed into reserves and deployed into our communities, and some of the struggle that some of them might be facing right now, in wanting to support a movement for equality, but also serving and doing their duty. I see you too, right? And that also weighs on me as we talk about all the things that are happening right now. So just lots of layers, give me a different perspective on the space. And that's why it's such a complicated and loaded question. I could just say fine, but we all know that, that's not deep enough. So those are the kinds of outlooks I have and just kind of weighing between fatigue and wanting to be active, and also wanting to decompress and take space. So I know it's a long, complicated answer, but these are really complicated feelings and very complicated times.

- Yeah, I don't think any part of this discussion will have short uncomplicated answers. So let's talk a little bit just about your role and the field that you're in, which is a field of work that didn't exist a couple of decades ago, and you've been involved really almost as long as people have been talking about these issues, certainly in tech. Can you just talk a little bit about your background and how you got to be where you are? I think it's a helpful lens for the rest of the conversation.

- Absolutely and Chris, you're right. I would say about 20 years ago, this was not a topic of conversation. My career actually started during the first dot-com bubble and burst. This was not really a topic of discussion and even growing up, I didn't really realize that diversity work was a thing. I definitely realized that people, I was surrounding, that surrounded me at work, didn't necessarily look like me, but I was kind of used to that, I grew up in a very diverse city. But my parents and my family was all in Oakland, California. We were the only ones that moved down to San Jose. And so not really understanding when I became an adult, but I was being kind of trained for this my whole life. You know, we weren't learning any other history, but European history in school. And so my parents would supplement that with Black History Month board games and comic books. And, you know, we would talk about more than just the one paragraph on Martin Luther the King that was in my history book. We would talk through things that surrounded us. Like my dad taught us we had to be bilingual. And what he really meant was code switching. It wasn't really another language, it was more a different tone. And that was a survival tactic, right? You know, understanding that representation matters and the things that we watched and the music that we listened to and the culture that surrounded us. Chris, you and I had a conversation, I think last week where I was telling you my first interaction with a racist behavior was actually in first grade. I was in first grade swinging on the swing, playing with all of my friends, when I was called the N word by one of my friends. Clearly too young to know what that really meant or where that was. But I ran home to my family and didn't really understand why my friend would say something that felt so bad and so horrible. So all my life I've been going through these things. And then I ended up in tech where I noticed, it wasn't just the lack of people that look like me, it was also knowing that people couldn't really get into tech very easily. It was definitely a gap between folks I saw in my community and the people that were in tech. And I know that talent is evenly distributed, right? But that was my real life example that opportunity is not. And so I started really understanding that work needed to happen and not just at the surface level, hire someone here, do a program there, but real true systemic infrastructure, you know, legislative issues needed to occur. So that was just kind of through my upbringing, and then at tech, I actually became an ERG leader, you know, ERG is employee resource groups. We call them IRGs at Indeed, inclusion resource groups, but I became a founding member of one of those groups and actually saw the strategic work that could happen. And through that lens, you know, got a lot of experience and ended up being a business partner, ended up, you know, taking on roles to lead it for companies. So it's really been kind of a journey from who I am as a person, what I learned from my family, the things that have happened in the country that I've lived in that has evolved into the work that I now want to do to create real long term systemic change.

- So let's talk a little bit about what's going on in the world right now. And before we get to even the last couple of weeks, we are a few months now into the global pandemic. And we've seen on multiple different dimensions, how this has, you know, exposed and even exacerbated many inequalities that already exist here. Black Americans are far more likely to contract coronavirus, they're more likely to die from it. Nursing homes that are predominantly Black and Brown have much higher incidents of contraction and death, unemployment and who in fact are the people who are like us, safely working from home and those who are the essential workers on the front lines. And in the middle of all of that also we've had, Ahmaud Arbery and Breonna Taylor. So even before we got here, can you talk a little bit about just what's been going on during the COVID-19 outbreak within the community and in terms of awareness and exposure?

- Absolutely, thanks, Chris. So, you know, this is kind of like going through the pandemic of 1918, the great depression of 1929 and then the 1968 race riots all at the same time, right? I think when we go through things like a global pandemic and also an economic crisis, the things that are... Structural, systemic start to come even more to light, right? All of those things that you mentioned about the Black community are true. Unemployment has been lower than the general population for the Black community. There has been systemic racism happening. There have been too many names to name on this podcast, we would spend the entire hour, probably just naming the names of people who have been killed in police custody, or during police brutality. So it's not new, what is happening, it's just that this pandemic and the economic crisis are really bubbling up all of the issues that were already there. And we have countries around the world, around the world that are waking up to what is going on, right? There, as you mentioned, there are protests happening everywhere. There've been protest in all 50 states in the U.S. and 18 plus countries around the world. So it's not just an American thing. It's not even just a Black community thing. People are waking up to police brutality. They're waking up to systemic racism and wrapping it around support for a community that is really hurting right now. And that's been a beautiful thing, like watching that support and watching people kind of wake up around that. So the activity that we're seeing it's not that it's new, it's that people are starting to watch and see it. Gil Scott Heron, said, "The revolution will not be televised." It's being televised now. It's not new, but people are able to watch it, they're able to see it, people are recording it. So history is not actually just being told by the victors or by the oppressors, history is unfolding in front of everyone, right? So there's no way to turn a blind eye. There's no way to gaslight people. And for those of you who don't know, gaslighting is making someone question their sanity. That's not really happening. That's not what's going on. You just need to pull yourself up by your bootstraps. There's no systemic racism. That's what used to happen. And now I think we're starting to see something a little bit different. So what's coming to light is unfortunately on the backs of what happened with George Floyd, but all of those other names, hopefully will be brought to light as well and recognized.

- You know, we've spent a lot of time, it's amazing, actually, I was just sitting down to get started here and looking at the calendar, realizing it was just two weeks ago, when the current... focus from, George Floyd, really started. And you touched on this before but, the George Floyd case is really on the surface, the same as Eric Garner, what we saw with on Ahmaud Arbery is, the same as Trayvon Martin. Why is it just COVID-19 that's making all of this sort of... raise the global awareness to the level that it is right now. There other things that just like, why is the last two weeks different than everything else that's happened before, given as you said, how not new any of this is?

- Yeah, I think it's because everything else just exacerbates the issues that are there. You're right, it wasn't different than those deaths that have happened before, but there's so much unemployment, right? There's people who are out of work. They're already angry. Folks are looking at change to happen, and they are again, waking up that we're not in this bubble, where bad things don't happen, right? They can see it because the world is already kind of on fire. So it's people recognizing now. And again, the global outpouring means that we can't just turn a blind eye, right? It's this momentum to say, no, this is not good enough. And I have to say that Generation Z is coming out in full force. Generation Z is saying, nope, not our generation. This is not okay. And we are going to fight for it. There is a different feeling. Our ancestors, our grandparents, all of those fought for these same rights we're fighting for right now. But there is this renewed outcry, that this is no longer acceptable. And it doesn't matter what other narrative is being spun, people are staying on track to make sure that we dismantle the systems that have been put in place so long ago.

- Let's talk a little bit about your job. And so, as you touched on in the beginning, you're a Black woman personally, you're trying to make sense of the world and be there for your friends and family, take care of yourself. At the same time, your job at Indeed is to help lead how we, as a business, make sense of the world and navigate how we show up for 10,000 employees who are all looking to you for answers that you don't have all of, because nobody can have. As well as millions of customers, hundreds of millions of job seekers and the world around us. So just walk us through your work life in the last couple of weeks.

- So I have to tell you, I, and every colleague I have that does this kind of role at a company is exhausted. We are thoroughly exhausted. You know, great work is happening and everyone wants to do, tends to want to do the right thing, but there is a lot of energy coming from a lot of different places. And as you mentioned, I am also a human and a person. So making sure that I take time to process the real feelings that I have with all of the layers that I talked about earlier. We're also in this space where we've been asking for companies to wake up about this for a long time now. I've been doing this work for 15 years and what I've been shouting from the mountain tops hasn't changed. And so there's a lot of this, like, oh, finally getting some recognition about this work that needs to change. For us at Indeed, I think for the first time put a message of solidarity on the homepage, also did a logo color change to Black from blue, we did an external statement of support. Internally we are doing much more storytelling because I fundamentally believe storytelling is really what helps connect people around these experiences. We're doing brave spaces. We had one last week, we have one today right after this, to really dive into the psychological things that happen, with racism and other isms and phobias, including a six week, we're going to start doing six week boot camps for marginalized communities, not only to talk about kind of where we are now, but really start to unpack, like the generational trauma that actually occurs with racism, with isms and phobias. We're going to do company-wide town halls. We are doing manager guides. There's one that just came out this morning about leading through uncertain times. And we're also going to do more leadership actions. What do they need to know? What do they need to say? What do they need to do? So I think that work has started to come together very quickly because of the time that we're in. But it's great to see the momentum of not only employees and leaders, and managers, and people waking up, but also companies starting to understand what they need to do to actually create change. And, you know, there are some people that are upset about things and want things to either stay the same or don't believe what's occurring systemically. And I will say this, accountability feels like an attack when you're not ready to acknowledge your behavior and how it harms others. So the best thing that we can all do, even in this work is start to examine ourselves. And that's everyone. When I'm talking about all the isms and phobias, this is not White people against Black people. I know I've said this before, this is everyone against racism. This is everyone against the isms and phobias. So it's examining ourselves and I'm including in that, it's examining ourselves and making sure that our behavior is not harmful to others. So I don't do this work alone. I couldn't do this work alone. I've definitely been in positions where I was supposed to do this work alone, but I am so lucky to have an amazing team. So I have a team that's comprised of DI&B business partners, that's diversity inclusion and belonging, business partners, IRG program managers. So IRGs are inclusion resource groups. Sometimes even internally that acronym is like, wait, what is that, what's going on? I have a team that's looking over the employee life cycle. So looking at how we attract, recruit, retain, and develop our employees, We have a PMO and an operations team that's really trying to help us be more accountable as a company and look at our collective impact. Communications and storytelling, which I mentioned before, storytelling is a great way to really connect communities. And we also have accessibility and product inclusion. And the reason that that work is really important is around three different things. It's not just about having an HR program that sits in the corner. You know, the reason I came to Indeed is to impact the world, and not through a consumer kind of product, but through helping people get jobs, right? I fundamentally believe that that's life changing. And we've already talked about, Chris, you and I a couple of times that talent is evenly distributed, opportunity is not. So one of the greatest ways I think we can accomplish that on my team and through the company is to remove bias and barriers. And that is making sure that our workforce reflects the diversity of communities and where we operate, but also making sure that we have an unbiased recruiting process, that we continue our commitment to equal pay and promotion opportunities, that we are removing barriers to entry by hiring people with nontraditional backgrounds and helping other companies do the same. We get requests all the time from our sales teams asking if we'll talk to certain companies who are asking, how can I actually hire a more diverse force? What do I need to do? What things do I need to have in place? We also need to focus on building inclusive teams and products, right? Having a diverse set of perspectives on product teams will allow us to create products that serve the world and continue to create an environment of respect, collaboration, psychological safety, where the richness of all of these ideas and backgrounds and perspectives really are what make innovation possible. And that includes accessibility, right? If we focus on accessibility in our products, we can help all people get jobs. And then the last thing is creating a sense of belonging and that term belonging is newer in this space, but that's really about being a part of a community. It's the people and experiences that make us feel connected. So whether that's through our IRGs or the team that someone is on, the office that we're in now, none of us are in offices, so we should all be feeling a sense of belonging in that case. But it's us feeling connected. And so through those three different things, I think that's the work that my team is doubling down on and looking at this work differently. So I think before I got here, a lot of the work that we did at Indeed was around the inclusion resource groups, starting them, showing them up, supporting them, and they have done amazing, amazing work. I view IRGs as an extension of my core team. And my core team is now here to really double down on the strategic efforts.

- We've had a lot of work over the last year, since you've been here. These are things that we started laying the groundwork on and working on for a few years. It's also really clear that there's a lot of work to do. So I mean, you rattled off a whole bunch of stuff, and that sounds great. And I would love to say, you know, congratulations. Indeed, we're doing amazing here. We still have so much work to do. You know, one thing you said that other companies have been reaching out to us and to you to ask about this, you know, I think about this, Andrew Hudson, our CTO, he likes to say, you know, "The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. "The second best time is today." I think there are a lot of companies out there who are just really, because of what's happening in the world right this instant, trying to figure out how to get started. And obviously, it would have been better to be thinking about these things before, but if you are just tackling this or coming to realize that there's work to be done, do you have advice for other companies who are just trying to figure out how do I even get started here?

- Yes I do. So I get it. I get the desire to do something very quickly, to do something right now. There's a lot of momentum, a lot of energy about making change. I think companies need to focus on longterm systemic change. It's not just about a message of support. It's not just about, you know, maybe donating to a cause one time. It's not just about, you know, telling your Black employees that you appreciate them and you want them to be safe. It is much more longterm, right? It is when we come out of all of the energy that is happening now, what impact are you going to make? So those things in a company is really taking a look at your own systems. How you hire people, how you grow them within an organization, the opportunities that they have. Are you removing bias from things like that, from your hiring process, from a succession planning and talent reviews, is it one of your core values where you are asking your employees and your leaders and your managers to make decisions based on inclusion and belonging, are you actively working towards change? And that means you're going to have to take a really hard look at yourself from the board members on down throughout the organization. And be accountable to the way things are, recognize where things are in your company and actively work to make change. All of the other things that people want to do out of support are great, but not focusing on the longterm is actually going to be detrimental to real change. So that is my recommendation, is get started, right? 'Cause some companies reach out saying, they don't have anybody that's looking at this work. They looked up and all of a sudden their company looks a particular way or they're recognizing kind of shortfalls that they had in the systems that they set up. And so it starts somewhere, right? Really take a look at what you're doing and start to make those changes. One of the changes that we're looking at here, or do we take a look at rubric hiring and make sure that the things we're hiring for are as objective as possible. That way you don't have all of the bias that creeps in when people are all evaluating on something different. So there are small things that a company can do to get started. And if they already have programs in place, it's really analyzing those programs to make sure that they're making an impact. So that's normally the advice that we're giving to other companies. The other thing that they can do is not just focus on hiring, but also focus on employees, right? So we know that the impact of racism on mental health is that employees, not just employees, people in general feel disconnected and lonely. You start second guessing yourself and other things. There's this decreased hope in the future, in justice, in your government, wherever you are. There's an increased survival mode, which is actually the opposite of psychological safety. You're doing whatever it takes to survive. Decreased trust in those around you, you are worried, you have feelings of powerlessness, right? So that's the feeling that you can do the right thing and still end up with a horrific outcome. An increased risk of depression and anxiety, trauma and trauma is anything that is intolerable to you. It's not just, you know, you fell off a ladder or you got in a car accident, it's anything that's intolerable. So looking at the trauma from the present and also that past trauma or generational trauma, you start to do some existential questioning, right? So how could the world be so cruel? How can my community hate me based on the color of my skin? How can the world, how can this really be happening? How do I protect my children from a world that's like this, right? You start to have those questions and then you also start to panic. And so companies recognizing that the impact that that has on employees is an employee's productivity goes down, their innovation capacity, morale goes down, their engagement, performance sense of belonging, that psychological safety I've been talking about, all of those things decline because when you're holding all of that, that I mentioned before, how do you have 100% left for all of the things that you want to do in your job? Like that's not possible. It's not possible to hold on to all of that emotional labor and also be 100% productive for the company that you work for. And so it is now time that companies wake up to that fact and really start to look at building that culture of inclusion and belonging within their company, on the teams, their employees day to day for things to actually change.

- It's very clear that there's a whole bunch of deeply... Problematic things that can be improved when you can create a sense of inclusion and belonging, when you can increase the diversity of your workforce. But a lot of what you were talking about earlier and what has drawn us, I think to this work, in addition to just creating a better workplace is really becoming a better business, right? There's tons and tons, and tons of research about the fact that more diverse teams are just simply more innovative, that bringing different ideas and experiences to the same problem comes up with more novel solutions to those problems. The ability to actually look at market opportunities differently. And there's tons and tons of studies of how companies look at a consumer in through one narrow lens, because it's what they know. And when they start thinking about what those other lenses might be that can open up new opportunity. And then in our case, because as you touched on our mission as a business, is that we help people get jobs. And so one of the things that for me has been really vital in this conversation is obviously how can we be aware of what's going on and how people are being affected. But part of that powerlessness for a whole bunch of people is just looking at a problem and saying, I can't do anything about this. And I guess we have this, you know, maybe irrational, but really core belief that we can do something, and that economic disparity is really a core foundation of any other solution to any of these systemic problems. It's not the whole system itself, but without true economic equality, none of the other things that we want to happen can happen. And so we're spending this time trying to figure out how we can bring a different perspective, a novel set of ideas to addressing these problems and... Lowering those barriers and reducing bias and things like that. So maybe you could talk really briefly, I think you sort of touched on this before, but even just the idea of the product council that we put together, you know, it was a really novel one because a lot of companies like ours would sit around and say, well, we're not diverse enough yet really to have on every single team, these different perspectives to help us look at these problems differently. And we did come up with, I think, a novel approach to that. I'd love to have you talk a little bit about it.

- Thanks, Chris. Absolutely, so part of the product inclusion work that we're doing along those lines, because we don't always have all the perspectives necessary on our products teams, on our UX teams, just as we're looking at changing some of the systems that I talked about earlier, we started an IRG, which again is inclusion resource group, global product advisory council. And the goal of that product advisory council is really to provide that perspective to product teams before we launch new features, new products, just thinking about, you know, making sure that we are serving all of the communities, that exist in our world. And it started off with just product, but it's also brand and marketing, and making sure that things will land in the right way with different communities. It is also taking a look at ethics, AI ethics bias across the board as well. There is that product element and also taking a look at accessibility. And this, this allows our IRGs to go from just building community to really making business impact. We do things like usability studies and surveys, we have folks in that group, in the IRG GPAC, we have them testing things, just providing feedback, sometimes in a different perspective, saying, hey, if you actually did it in this way it would make more sense for everyone. And it's been phenomenal to see the IRG members that are part of it, I think we have a little over 100 folks that are part of that GPAC that help all the product teams and the marketing teams as well. And so to me, it was a way to really get the voices of communities together and really help us be a better company. And they're providing valuable feedback. It's not just, here's how I feel. It's also, here's some data, here's some research, here's what you may not know or how this may land. And it's just been phenomenal to see the IRGs use their voice in that way to make real impact to real change in the company

- With all of the attention and awareness that has been generated again, just in the last couple of weeks, it's still astounding that it's only been a couple of weeks, there are millions of people all over the world who are wondering what they can do to support the Black community. Obviously we've spent a lot of time at Indeed in the last couple of weeks exploring those questions, and you talked about safe spaces and brave spaces, and things like that. Can you talk a little bit about the role of allyship and especially, you know, for people who have this intention that they want to be helpful, they want to be useful, but they don't know where to start. What is the role of an ally and what can people do?

- Yeah, I, you know, I've talked to a lot of allies who are kind of frozen into inaction right now. There's a lot of fear along with all the other complicated emotions of recognizing one own behavior or privilege or anything like that. So one, don't be afraid to be wrong. There are going to be people who want to talk about this, there are going to be others that don't, and that should be okay for them. There are going to be folks that do want to talk about it. There's going to be folks that want to talk about what to do, and that should be okay to. Don't be afraid to be wrong, right? Because you're trying, and I think that's the important part of all of this. The second one that I shared was that marginalized people are not required to educate you as an ally. It is not their job. So in the case of what's happening with the Black community, don't reach out to your Black friends and colleagues, and peers, and ask them what you should do. They're already holding a heavy burden of their own feelings through this and protecting themselves through this. So the best thing you can do is educate yourself. Google is your friend. In terms of internally, we've also provided, you know, with managers, a lot of different resources where you can educate yourself, but just kind of Googling things around anti-racism is a great start. The third one I'll say is get uncomfortable, right? And welcome to the party, allies. Get uncomfortable. Marginalized people are uncomfortable every single day, trying to figure out how to maneuver and wade through everything about this work and what they have to do, and what they have to accomplish. So get uncomfortable, right? Think about what your contribution should be. It may be money and contributing to a cause, but it may also be making sure that you're amplifying voices of marginalized communities, amplify Black voices, contribute things like art and time and opportunities, and making sure that if there's a job you're hiring for that, you really do consider a diverse hiring slate. Creating opportunities is one of the best ways that you can contribute. The fifth one is use your privilege. You don't ever have to apologize for who you are. And privilege is something that you have that you didn't earn. You don't get privileged because you're a great person, right? You get privileged because of the systems around you, that are historical, that were put into place a long time ago, but that you get to enjoy today. So use that privilege for lots of reasons. It could be voting. It could be, you know, there are ways that allies are putting themselves in front of, you know, protesters or, you know, the Black community, they're putting themselves first when it comes to shielding them from police brutality, when it comes to being treated wrong and saying something, using your voice to say something in that moment is a great way for active change. Destroy the myth. So don't gaslight saying things aren't happening. Don't make people question their reality and their sanity, listen to experiences that you may never have had and may never have. Listen and really start to understand that. And that goes for any community. Again, this is not White and Black, this is everyone really understanding the experiences. And then lastly, you know, amplifying, and I mentioned this a little bit before, but sharing stories, sharing voices, sharing opportunities in this time and beyond. So again, like really working through systemic change and longterm change is the best thing that allies can do, and not just in this moment.

- To wrap things up again, just for today's conversation, 'cause we're not wrapping anything up at all here. You know, this series is here to help, interview series that we started, was originally started a few months ago with this focus on COVID-19. And, you know, what has changed and you know, how we're navigating this change, and I usually wrap up these conversations with the acknowledgement that this pandemic and the economic crisis have been terrible on every single dimension. But at the same time crisis, you know, huge immovable obstacles force us into a new sense of perspective and to look at things differently. And so, you know, again, that these underlying issues of systemic racism, inequality, police brutality, there's nothing new about those, but from the past few months, and then especially the last couple of weeks, you know, what new perspective do you have on, on all of this and where do you think we might go from here?

- Yeah, I, you know, I have to have hope, right? These issues are not new, but I think the global awakening is new. I am seeing more and more allies using their voices and their resources for good than before. And honestly, that's what we need. You know, when you're in the Black community and things like systemic racism is happening around you, which it does all the time, it's not on us to fix the problem. We can't fix the problem. We need that allyship. We need people to step in that have privilege in order to make things better for everyone. And so what I'm starting to see is an awakening of that. There are countries protesting that would have never protested before or where these types of topics are really taboo. And to see them out in full force using their voice, to see them, you know, correcting people and saying, no, this is happening, and no, it's not okay, and we're going to make change. I think that's been the biggest difference for me, and that's what gives me hope. All of those things that I mentioned and the feeling that marginalized communities get, the feelings that Black communities are getting, all of those things are very real and very heavy, but when we have also the recognition that it's real, when we have the allyship and support, when we have companies waking up to their role in making this change, I think that's what I'm starting to see, and that's what's given me hope here. I really, really do think we can make change if we focus on the longterm systemic things that are important. And that's what I'm seeing. I'm seeing that around the world. I'm seeing that people are actually taking action. And so I'm hoping we come out of this horrible time, with all the pandemic and economic crisis and murder hornets and cicadas running from the ground and locust, and all the other things that are happening. I hope we rise out of this, just a better people and a better world. So education alone doesn't solve any of these problems, but it is a necessary precursor. And you know, of all the things that we've seen and you and I have been talking about this for the last couple of weeks about who's making statements and who's showing up at protests, and people that you haven't seen, as well as just individual conversations with people that I know who've never asked questions before asking these questions, but to me the most telling thing, we were both noting last, that as of last week on Amazon, that, "How to Be an Antiracist" by Ibram Kendi, "White Fragility" and "The New Jim Crow" are all sold out in paperback. And that's some empirical evidence that people are paying attention in a different way. So it is nice to have a little bit of hope in the face of all this. Thank you so much, LaFawn, for taking the time again, just to start this conversation, we have a lot more to talk about. We'll wind up a little early because you have another conversation to get ready for right now. But thank you for everything that you do for Indeed, for the world and for me personally. You have been a tremendous influence and support and have really helped me change the way that I look at the world even just in this last year in a really profound and meaningful way. So I want to thank you for that. I also, I left this out of the front, so I'm just going to say this at the end. I also just wanted to offer congratulations. It went around for a number of other people, but LaFawn, was just recognized a little over a week ago by Fast Company Magazine as one of the Queer 50. So the Top 50 Queer Women and Non-Binary Innovators around the world. And with all the stuff going on, it's nice to actually have a moment to take a step back and recognize that, and applaud everything that you've done. So thank you for all of that, LaFawn.

- Thank you so much, Chris. I appreciate that.