Work and Life with Stew Friedman


Ep 173. Stefanie Johnson: Inclusify -- The Power of Uniqueness and Belonging

Stefanie Johnson is an associate professor at the University of Colorado Boulder’s Leeds School of Business and her new book is Inclusify: The Power of Uniqueness and Belonging to Build Innovative Teams. Professor Johnson studies the intersection of leadership and diversity, focusing on how unconscious bias affects the evaluation of leaders and on strategies that leaders can use to mitigate bias.  She draws on her own experience as a Latina who grew up poor to inform her research. She is a member of the MG 100 Coaches, was selected for the 2020 Thinkers50 Radar List, and has presented her work at over 170 meetings around the world, including at the White House for a 2016 summit on diversity in corporate America on National Equal Pay Day.

In this episode, Stew and Stefanie talk about how she has evolved in her thoughts and feelings about what it takes to create cultures that both celebrate individual differences and build a sense of belonging among members.  Stefanie draws an important distinction between “diversity” and “inclusion” and she describes the various styles of leadership as they relate to the challenge of leading diverse, inclusive organizations.  Based on her extensive research, Stefanie offers suggestions for what leaders at all levels can do to overcome the hurdles that stand in the way of inclusifying work organizations. 

Here then is an invitation, a challenge, for you, once you’ve listened to the conversation.  Take the inclusify quiz here and find out which one of the leadership types suits you best.  Then, try one of the recommended actions.  What do you discover?  Write to Stew Friedman to let him know, at, or connect with him on LinkedIn.  While you’re at it, share your thoughts with Stew on this episode and your ideas for people you’d like to hear on future shows.  

More Episodes


Ep 229. Diana Kapp: Girls Who Green the World

Diana Kapp is the author of Girls Who Run the World and now Girls Who Green the World; Thirty-Four Rebel Women Out To Save Our Planet. Her work as a journalist has taken her inside San Quentin prison and to deepest Afghanistan. She’s covered teen suicide clusters in Palo Alto, apps and bots to fight depression, and her father falling headlong in love at 85. She’s also worked for a senator and a biotech start-up, made ads for Nike, and helped launch women’s sportswear retailer Lucy. She’s got an MBA from Stanford, loves the Sawtooth Mountains, Neil Young, her 5am running club, and climbing mountains. She’s also a wannabe “rancher.” This episode, which is about the biggest work/life issue we can imagine, starts with Diana talking about her father’s finding love at 85, after her mother’s death, and how this demonstrated hope for the future emerging from the despondency of loss.  This heartwarming story sounded the keynote of Stew’s conversation with Diana about the inspiring stories of how the women profiled in her book are, in the face of our rapidly failing natural environment, taking action to make things better.  These powerful narratives not only tell us about the creative experiments abounding in our midst, they offer empowering ideas for how each and every one of us can do something good for our world. Here then is an invitation for you, a challenge, after you’ve had a chance to listen to this episode.  Find one small thing you can do to reduce your carbon footprint and tell someone else about what you did, why you did it, and what you’re going to do next.  Share your reactions and suggestions for future shows with Stew by writing to him at or via LinkedIn. 

Ep 228. Amy Beacom: The Parental Leave Playbook

Dr. Amy Beacom is the founder and CEO of the Center for Parental Leave Leadership, the first consultancy in the US to focus exclusively on parental leave, and the author of The Parental Leave Playbook: Ten Touchpoints to Transition Smoothly, Strengthen Your Family, and Continue Growing Your Career.  She is recognized as the United States’ premiere expert on the personal and professional interplay around parental leave for employers and employees. Amy created the first evidence-based parental leave transition coaching model. She has trained and supervised parental leave coaches both in the US and Australia and the manager-focused training program she created can be found in over 80 countries around the world.In this episode, Stew talks with Amy about her evidence-based model for how to manage parental leave, as a working parent and as a manager or co-worker.  They talk through the three phases of preparing for leave (which is mostly about work), during leave (about parenting), and returning (about being a working parent).  Amy describes the crucial touch points in each of these phases and offers practical advice for anyone experiencing the joys and trials of taking time from work to care for children and for all those who support working parents.  Here then is an invitation for you, a challenge, after you’ve had a chance to listen to this episode, if you’re a manager of someone approaching parental leave or a person about to take one yourself:  What’s your vision of how you want things to be upon return?  Share your reactions and suggestions for future shows with Stew by writing to him at or via LinkedIn.