Work and Life with Stew Friedman

3/5/2021

Ep 196. Martin Davidson: The End of Diversity as We Know It

Martin Davidson is the Johnson & Higgins Professor of Business Administration at the University of Virginia's Darden School of Business and he currently serves as their senior associate dean and global chief diversity officer. He holds degrees from both Harvard and Stanford and was on the faculty at the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth prior to arriving at Darden in 1998. His book, The End of Diversity as We Know It: Why Diversity Efforts Fail and How Leveraging Difference Can Succeed, introduces a research-driven roadmap to help leaders more effectively create and capitalize on diversity in organizationsIn this episode, Stew and Martin discuss the reasons the diversity and inclusion efforts often fail. Martin reviews ways that leaders can create diverse and inclusive organizations that work by, among other things, embracing the weird. He describes a proven, practical model for seeing real sources of difference, understanding them, and engaging in experimentation to create positive change that benefits collective interests. It can be done! And, as two bass players, they talk about how the purposes served by that musical instrument are analogous to those pursued by people striving to create meaningful dialogue and growth in organizations.Here then is an invitation, a challenge, for you, once you’ve listened to the conversation. Ask yourself this question: What’s the most critical fissure in the social life of your work team or organization; what, in other words, really divides members in ways that subvert your collective goals? And what would you need to do to better understand the implications of that source of disconnection? Share your ideas and any reactions to this episode by writing to Stew at friedman@wharton.upenn.edu or via LinkedIn.
2/12/2021

Ep 194. Lindsey Cameron: The Gig Economy and the Pandemic

Lindsey Cameron is an Assistant Professor of Management at Wharton whose research focuses on how changes in the modern workplace -- as algorithms/machine learning, short-term employment contracts, and variable pay -- affect work and workers. She recently completed a four-year ethnography of the largest employer in the gig economy, exploring how algorithms are reshaping the nature of managerial control and how workers navigate this new workplace.Previously, Lindsey spent over a decade in the U.S. intelligence and diplomatic communities as a technical and political analyst and completed several overseas assignments in the Middle East, Africa, and Europe. She holds a PhD in Management from the University of Michigan, an MS in Engineering Management from the George Washington University, and an SB from Harvard University in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. She also studied Arabic intensively at the American University of Cairo.In this episode, Stew and Lindsey discuss the gig economy; how the pandemic has affected gig workers both on the job and in the other parts of their lives; the factors that influence employment choices gig workers make; what they (Stew and Lindsey) learned from their experiences as NYC taxi driver and janitor, respectively; and more.Here then is an invitation, a challenge, for you, once you’ve listened to the conversation. What might you do differently the next time you interact with a service provider operating in the gig economy? Share your ideas and any reactions to this episode by writing to Stew at friedman@wharton.upenn.edu or via LinkedIn.
2/5/2021

Ep 193. Kristen Shockley: Impact of the Rapid Shift to Remote Work

Dr. Kristen Shockley is Associate Professor of Psychology at the University of Georgia. She has been studying how companies adapted during the pandemic, or how they haven’t adjusted, to meet the needs of worker productivity and well-being. She’s also been looking at how couples forced to handle childcare, housework, and their day jobs have divided the responsibilities. Kristen has conducted research aimed at understanding organizational initiatives to help employees manage competing life demands (like flexible work arrangements); the relationship between work-family conflict and health outcomes, including eating behaviors and physiological indicators of health; and understanding how dual-earner couples balance work and family roles. She also studies career development, mentoring, definitions of career success, and the consequences of career compromise. She received her BS in Psychology from the University of Georgia and has an MS and PhD in Industrial/Organizational Psychology from the University of South Florida.In this episode, Stew and Kristen talk about how the rapid shift to remote work caused by the pandemic has affected well-being and performance. Her research reveals critical factors that influence the success or failure of the adjustments that individuals, families, and organizations have had to make. They discuss some practical implications for how to manage Zoom fatigue (which is a bigger problem for women than for men, according to her findings), how couples should communicate to enable bounded and focused attention by both, and how to reduce the debilitating effects of social isolation.Here then is an invitation, a challenge, for you, once you’ve listened to the conversation. Start your next Zoom call by asking each participant to write a word or phrase in response to this question: How are you feeling right now? Share your ideas about what you discover, and any reactions to this episode, by writing to Stew at friedman@wharton.upenn.edu or via LinkedIn.
1/29/2021

Ep 192. Eve Rodsky: Creating an Egalitarian Partnership with Fair Play

Eve Rodsky is the author of Fair Play: A Game-Changing Solution for When You Have Too Much to Do (And More Life to Live). She received her B.A. in economics and anthropology from the University of Michigan, and her J.D. from Harvard Law School. After working at J.P. Morgan, she founded the Philanthropy Advisory Group to advise high-net worth families and charitable foundations. In her work with hundreds of families over a decade, she realized that her expertise in family mediation, strategy, and organizational management could be applied to a problem closer to home – a system for couples seeking balance, efficiency, and peace in their home. Eve was born and raised by a single mom in New York City and now lives in Los Angeles with her husband and their three children.In this episode, Stew and Eve talk about what led her to create a practical, now widely-used solution to the ubiquitous problem of inequality in our home lives, our most important organization, as Eve reminds us. They talk about how couples can figure out what’s important to them as individuals and as a partnership and then -- in concrete, specific, and fun ways -- how they can take small steps to more closely hew to their values. They discuss the sources of resistance to change, common mistakes couples make, useful tips for how to overcome these anticipated obstacles, and what it means to live in your “unicorn space.”Here then is an invitation, a challenge, for you, once you’ve listened to the conversation. Take a minute to think about how you might be undervaluing the attention required by your partner to do what they do. Then consider what small step you might take to make your partnership a bit more fair. Share your ideas, and your reactions to this episode, by writing to Stew at friedman@wharton.upenn.edu or via LinkedIn.
1/22/2021

Ep 191. Amina Gautier: A Writer's Work and Life

Dr. Amina Gautier is an associate professor in the Master of Fine Arts program at the University of Miami. Professor Gautier is a graduate of Stanford University and the University of Pennsylvania. She’s taught at Penn as well as Marquette University, Saint Joseph’s University, Washington University in St. Louis, and DePaul University. She’s published one hundred and twenty-nine short stories, including three award-winning short story collections -- Now We Will Be Happy, The Loss of All Lost Things, and At-Risk: Stories. Among her many honors, she’s been the recipient of writing awards, prizes, and fellowships. Her critical reviews and essays on 19th-century writers have been published broadly. Amina is a Brooklyn-born native New Yorker who currently divides her time between Chicago and Miami.In this episode, Stew and Amina talk about how her impoverished childhood, in which she split time living in two different parts of Brooklyn, affected her decision to become a writer. Amina describes her early obsession with writing and how, in a fateful conversation with a poetry professor, she realized her calling was as a writer of stories, not poems. She talks about her creative process, especially the importance of managing boundaries that enable her to focus on producing her art, and how her relationships with both students and readers enrich the meaning of her work. Hers is a compelling illustration of what it means to strive for harmony among the different parts of life and the benefits of doing so.Here then is an invitation, a challenge, for you, once you’ve listened to the conversation, near the end of which Amina offers advice for would-be writers. Among this wisdom, she quotes John Gardner’s Art of Fiction: “If there is good to be said, the writer should say it. If there is bad to be said, he should say it in a way that reflects the truth that, though we see the evil, we choose to continue among the living.” If you are aspiring to a creative career, of any sort, or know someone who is, how might you use her advice? Share your ideas, and your reactions to this episode, by writing to Stew at friedman@wharton.upenn.edu or via LinkedIn.
1/15/2021

Ep 190. Jay Moldenhauer-Salazar: A Chief People Officer in Pandemic Times

Jay Moldenhauer-Salazar is Chief People Officer for Minted.com. He oversees and manages Minted’s People team, which includes human resources and facilities. After several years running a research lab in Silicon Valley, he went on to lead HR in multiple industries and various scales, from hyper-growth start-up to global Fortune 500, including stints at Sun Microsystems, Taco Bell, BlackRock, Gap and Old Navy, Starbucks, and Riot Games. Prior to his corporate career, he received his Ph.D. in organizational psychology from the University of Michigan, with his dissertation on organizational change and diversity. Jay considers himself a closet creative and maintains a weekly writer’s group and dusty art portfolio. He is an internationally lauded game strategist with a particularly large following in the Magic the Gathering community.In this episode, Stew and Jay talk about lessons he’s learned from decades of experience in cultivating meaningful Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion initiatives; the disruptive impact of the pandemic on Minted’s business and people operations and how the senior team is responding to those challenges, especially in having to downsize and develop new revenue streams; the hurdles facing women in the gaming industry; how his experience as a self-described gaming nerd has influenced his career; and much more.Here then is an invitation, a challenge, for you, once you’ve listened to the conversation. How has your most significant non-work passion influenced your career and how might you teach what you’ve discovered about infusing your work with that passion from another part of your life? Share your ideas, and your reactions to this episode, by writing to Stew at friedman@wharton.upenn.edu or via LinkedIn.
1/8/2021

Ep 189. Jessica Calarco: COVID-19's Impact on Mother's and How To Mitigate It

Jessica Calarco is Associate Professor of Sociology at Indiana University Bloomington. She earned her master’s and her PhD in sociology here at the University of Pennsylvania. Jessica’s research examines inequalities in education and family life, and she’s written about these inequalities for the New York Times, the Atlantic, Inside Higher Ed, and the Conversation. She’s the author of two books, A Field Guide to Grad School: Uncovering the Hidden Curriculum, which has just been published, and Negotiating Opportunities: How the Middle Class Secures Advantages in Schools, which received a 2019 Scholarly Achievement Award for Best Book by the North Central Sociological Association.In this episode, Stew and Jessica talk about her latest research, which is about how the pandemic and its impact on childcare arrangements and schooling is having a disparate impact on mothers, compared to fathers. Jessica describes the emotional and financial costs for working women and the negative impact on their relationships with their partners as well. They discuss how to turn rage into action and some of the possible solutions -- at the individual, corporate, and societal levels -- women need to ensure they don’t lose the ground they’ve gained in the workforce.Here then is an invitation, a challenge, for you, once you’ve listened to the conversation. Try taking some action that might help to make clear the structural or systemic forces that are causing distress for the working mothers in your life that results from the feeling of self-blame for failure to live up to impossible standards in pandemic times. Share your ideas, and your reactions to this episode, by writing to Stew at friedman@wharton.upenn.edu or via LinkedIn.
12/11/2020

Ep 188. Carol Cone: Purpose Drives Performance

Carol Cone, Founder and CEO of Carol Cone ON PURPOSE, is internationally recognized for her work in social purpose and corporate social responsibility. Carol was a pioneer in the field of social purpose in the 1980s. Her work has built global movements, garnered hundreds of awards, and raised billions of dollars for a variety of worthy causes. She was the Founder, CEO and Chairman of Cone, Inc., recognized as the nation’s leading Cause Branding consultancy. PRWeek called her “arguably the most powerful and visible figure in the world of Cause Branding.” Her book, Breakthrough NonProfit Branding, was published in 2010.In this episode, Stew and Carol talk about the history of incorporating social causes in corporate strategies and her role in it, which grew out of her engagement in social action in the 1960s and 1970s. Carol shares insider insights about Reebok’s role in Amnesty International, PNC Financial’s sponsorship of early childhood education, Aflac’s support for pediatric cancer patients, and more. They discuss what it took to overcome resistance to the idea of embracing social causes in the corporate world, how individuals and organizations today can take positive social action through business, and why it’s so important to do so.Here then is an invitation, a challenge, for you, once you’ve listened to the conversation. Come up with an idea for some action you can take, no matter how small, that you expect would result in your work being more meaningful because its social purpose is more clear to you. Share your ideas, and your reactions to this episode, by writing to Stew at friedman@wharton.upenn.edu or via LinkedIn.