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April 14, 2020 49 min
Diversity Matters with Oscar Holmes IV Season 1 Episode 2 Episode Title: The Work of Chief Diversity Officers  Guest: Lloyd Freeman   Diversity Matters with Oscar Holmes IV is a podcast that explores all things diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) related. In each episode, Oscar and his guests have lively discussions around DEI topics, explore the latest research on the topic, and discuss the implications so that listeners will be more knowledgeable about the topics and be able to apply the insights to their lives.   Show Summary: In this episode, Lloyd Freeman, a partner, and Chief Diversity Officer at Archer Law Firm shares how he started his journey on diversity and inclusion programming & how he ended up being a Chief Diversity Officer. He tells what roles his position entails & qualities one must possess to be a Diversity Professional.   As a successful attorney, he explains how challenging this role is. Being an impatient person tested him but he knew that CHANGE TAKES TIME. He tells how decisions won't give you favorable results in a short period.   He emphasizes how important it is to write your job description & goals as CEOs because your strategic plan starts from there and it helps you deal with significant role changes.   Description: This episode talks about the story of a Chief Diversity Officer. It will give you a preview of what’s a day like for a Diversity Professional and what mindset & attitude you should have in handling changes and different roles in an organization.   Change doesn't happen overnight. It takes time. If you want to be successful in your chosen career, you have to work hard for it day in and out. Be willing and patient to wait for the right time to reap the fruits of your labor.   Guest Contact & Promos:  3 Value Bombs:     You can be the person who sits back and observes or you can be the person who drives that change.   You're in this for the long term, you're in this for the long run, you cannot think that you're going to be able to make some decisions today and that you're going to be able to see that change tomorrow, it is going to take some time. You need to gain the respect of the others around the table. You are the new face at the table, so you need to show that you deserve to be there. Show Highlights:    What is Lloyd’s journey as a Chief Diversity Officer? What does his role entail? What is a typical day like for Lloyd?   2:41 Lloyd    Sure. So the role of chief diversity officer is not one that I was actually seeking. It came to me and it's because there had been a trend in law firm for about the last three to five years in naming chief diversity officers and our firm president, he literally just came to my office one day & talk to me about wanting to kind of reorganize the firm and to create this new position and I was the man for the job.   Do CDOs have real latitude to make changes or are there boundaries within which they have to operate, thus significantly limiting their effectiveness in organizations?   11:34 Lloyd   Well, of course, there are boundaries. Number one, you have to remember, of course, again, that it is a business and that there may be budgetary restrictions. So with this being a new role for many organizations, or even a new line item, not having any kind of past performance for how these diversity programs do may impact whether or not you're written into the budget and so you may have all these grandiose ideas as to programs you want to launch and things like You want to do or speakers you want to bring in, but you're constrained financially. What is his advice to those people who are not in a law firm setting & not necessarily at the C-suite level in their organizations but are the Chief Diversity Officer to navigate those roles?   15:20 Lloyd   Well, I wouldn't really, you know, I wouldn't quibble about the actual title, unless you are noticing that there's not the level of respect that you are being able to attain from the individuals in your organization, I would really look at the interplay that you already have, because you likely already have a set of directors, right, you likely have a director of HR or you have a director of marketing and really see how people take direction from those individuals.   We're all trying to go out and get our own clients and work on our book of business, you don't really have this huge hierarchical setup in the organization. And so it's kind of like you've got the management and then you've just got everybody else. And so I think it's really important for you to examine kind of how your organization is structured to find out whether the other people who are driving change in the way that the organization is managed, are they C suite level, or are they directors,   What is his advice to CDOs in terms of creating the D&I strategic plan for their organizations and dealing with the significant role changes that many of them stated occurred after they took on the job?   24:40  Lloyd   I would say to really push for writing your own job description. As if you can write your own job description that really that's your goal for what you're going to do and what you need to accomplish in your job. And then your strategic plan, I believe can flow from that. So yes, it has to be fluid.   I think that it can be tied directly into what it is that you're supposed to be responsible for every single day. And how you carry out that job description is just exactly into what the bullets are in your strategic plan.   When should a CDO be fired?   42:04 Lloyd    I don't know, I don't know if I know how to answer that. I do know how to hold them accountable through. You know, the chief diversity officer should be held in front of the organization that they are leading. And they should have to talk about how we are improving, how have the new ideas, these innovative ideas that we've come up with, how have they helped our organization?   How does he deal with the argument that diversity initiatives themselves are racist, separatist, or segregationist?   45:03 Lloyd   It's flawed reasoning. I am a proud graduate of a historically black college. And I've heard that before even in talking about HBCUs. Right? My gosh, you know, de facto HBCUs. You know, our segregation is so because you're just putting all the black people over one corner, racism and segregation, they make the playing field uneven. Call to Action: Subscribe to Diversity Matters and get exclusive access to all episodes of Beyond the Mill, which is my live diversity dialogues talk show that I host on campus at Rutgers University-Camden.    Episode Sponsor Links:    Producer Links: Host Social Media Links:   Subscribe to Diversity Matters  , , , , , , , and  
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