BTOES Insights Official
April 26, 2021

IT Infrastructure & Cloud Strategies Live - SPEAKER SPOTLIGHT: Building an Inclusive Culture

Courtesy of VMWare's Nicole Scheffler, below is a transcript of his speaking session on 'Building an Inclusive Culture' to Build a Thriving Enterprise that took place at IT Infrastructure & Cloud Strategies Live.



Session Information:

Building an Inclusive Culture

Are you looking to grow a more inclusive culture? Learn how you can own your diversity strategy and benefit from this diverse team you create.

Now more than ever we are seeing an increase of digital acceleration along with covid pushing more women out of the workforce.

Supported by data that shows how diverse teams drive productivity, profitability, innovation, and help attract top talent, this session will review a four-step success framework to guide your own personal success and help you build a truly inclusive team culture.

Open your mind on how you approach diversity and embed that into your own success strategy.

In this session, we will discover:

  • Value of diverse teams Impact of COVID on the stats
  • Success in relationship to you and your teams
  • 5 Best Practices as a Diversity Champion
  • Diversity Champion Checklist

Session Transcript:

Now, I'm very excited about our next speaker. She is coming from v.m-ware to share just that big component of, that we've talked about. That is so critical for successful transformations culture, and building an inclusive inclusive culture, nicco Scheffler is going to be with us, I want to let everybody know that Nicole is going to be on audio only, so you're not gonna see her camera is not, a niche is not a, is not an effect on your broadcast, is just that we we?

she was not able to get her camera working for this session, but She is going to go through through an audio presentation and with this with the slides at the same time. So just so that you know that that is normal, There is nothing wrong with the broadcast. Now, Nicole is a taxi driver with for almost 20 years professionally, as a programmer, an engineer.

By day she leads on the Enterprise Engineering Team for v.m-ware, worth her head in the clouds, and that night she puts on Heart Cape to help sparks success for super women in technology. We've heard Tech Diverse Success collection. She has two best-selling books, one of those with Jack Canfield, to podcasts for women in tech and it speaks frequently on both technology topics and diversity. I am thrilled to have you with us and they call it's a great privilege to have you and looking forward for you to share your your insights with our global audience today.

Thank you so much, Jose, and I really appreciate this platform.

The nerdy, futurist, and Me would be very excited to be telling everybody about multi cloud and strategies of going to the Cloud. And there's lots of great content on that today. However, I'm going to divert from my technology futurist cap to talk about something much more important that will unlock innovation, and that is building an inclusive culture. So, I'm really grateful for everyone sticking around. This is going to be a wonderful session. I'm honored to be a part of the event today.

This is the first step to progress, being here, and being in the moment, and listening to this session, I guarantee you, I have crafted something that you will walk away with learning. It's data pack, data driven.

And it's going to help you improve your performance.

If you're having diverse teams, we can improve your performance, if you're a leader, or really for anyone on this call, anyone out there who's looking to grow a more inclusive culture. So, please, use the chat, I will keep a look at that. I know that I'm not on video. I miss seeing all of you. Luckily, I have a YouTube channel, and I would be happy to engage more with you. So please give me a follow. I am on Twitter, as you can see, Tech, Underscore, Nicole, or Technical. And of course, the hashtag for the event is hashtag B, T O E. Strategies.

So would love if you want to drop any nugget nuggets there and like you said, I am a, Tech Diva with a mission to spark success and others by leading and serving. And I've done a lot of work, clearly, for women in Tech. I've been involved with the Global Board of Women of Cisco, and my previous employer. And now I'm highly involved with the women pod, the people of difference organization within v.m-ware.

So what I'm going to do is going to expand beyond just gender today, because there's many fundamental steps that we can take to be advocates for full spectrum diversity at and within our organizations. All right, so let's dig in. If everyone's excited, please feel free, again, to use the chat. I will be watching that.

And the engineer in me is going to start by looking at data. So we're gonna look at how diverse teams drive real value, and then I'm going to share my own four steps Success Framework Learned from my mentor Jack Canfield, that's going to help you guide not only your personal success but help you build a truly inclusive team culture and mindset.

Screenshot - 2021-04-26T150822.767You're gonna leave this today with five or many more, but at least five best practices that you can take action on immediately to be a diversity champion.

So again, very happy to be here, but the alarms are going off.

And Corporate America coven 19 and the pandemic has disproportionately impacted women, including that of my own. I lost my own job from my previous employer during the pandemic and before women were holding just a little more jobs than men for the first time, since 2010.

So I wanted to point out that a year later, the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that women have lost one million more jobs than men during the pandemic.

This is a problem. We were already struggling with gender, equity alone prior to the pandemic, but the stress of work-life balance and kids being back home and school being canceled and caring for people in our family was too much. And we have a lot of work to do.

Even though we make up only 39% of employment, we account for over 54% of overall job losses.

So that's why my topic is always important around diversity, which includes more than just gender, but this makes it absolutely critical that we take a look at women because they have been more displaced than ever before. In fact, there was an interesting study. This is the 2021 study here at the bottom referenced on the Tech Workplace for Women in the Pandemic. And this shows that women that are a higher rate of being burnt out is those that have male bosses. So I assume many of you, majority, I would guess, from my studies are men on this call. And that's why this is even more important for you, because we want to keep everyone in tech, and everyone happy.

But why?

Because there's data behind all of this, where we have to start with the why. In my book, I go into this at a detail. I'll share the link at my end of my presentation so that you can read into it.

But after so many years of being in the industry and speaking on this topic, I wanted to be able to show the benefits of these diverse teams, right? So let's take a look.

Here, we're looking at several great benefits, three main benefits, in fact, that are wonderful about diversity.

Now, the first is that Team diversity boosts productivity and profitability, and Tabak this up.

I did a study of 22 thousand companies, and 91 of those companies were used for this case. All right.

So let's take a look, again, at these three that start with the attracting top talent, 78%.

OK, so over three fourths American adults consider gender diversity in the workplace important. So Catalyst is a very popular research platform especially for these types of issues.

Btog CTAAnd they show that when one company feels fair and inclusive, women and underrepresented groups are happier and more likely to thrive.

So, moving towards equal gender representation alone will reduce things like workplace harassment and just allow the culture to feel better.

So, attracting top talent is one of the biggest benefits of really having a diverse work culture.

People talk, bad stories get out there. We all know about some of the websites out there where you can rate your rate, your employers, and these are the types of things that people are talking about. So, although today, I want to expand beyond just this gender and give you these fundamental steps of being a full spectrum diversity advocate. I believe that just women and underrepresented groups are loan are key.

So, in a 2016 study, two thirds of people, employees, felt that just respectful treatment of all employees was an important factor.

So, let's take everything else off the table and just say, let's just have respect as a file, a foundation.

And all employees believe that the more psychologically safe they feel at work, the more likely they are to feel included.

So, psychological safety is very key to attracting this top talent and that they feel safe to kind of come as they are, be who they are, and these are just some of the benefits that allow you to: to attract top talent.

Now, we can also make more money.

This is the study that I talked about, right, 22,000 companies, and it shows that if you have 30% women, in leadership, there's a 6% greater net profit margin.

Now, give or take some points here. It just basically pays to have women in tech. All of older data can correlate higher stock values and profitability. And that's really the problem.

It's really hard to pin a nail on exactly a data point for something intangible, like psychological safety, but, thankfully, to the rise of social justice over the last year and more conversations around equality, diversity, this has been more important than ever before. So that's a very exciting time for us.

In addition, diversity could improve global output by one quarter.

This is for some companies like Norway that require gender diversity, and in general mixed gender boards outperform all male board. So you can see here that we want to get more money, and we want to get more profitability. But let's go to my favorites.

Innovation, right? Because all of the things we're talking about at the summit today have to do with innovation. Whether you're building out your multi cloud strategy, or you're figuring out how to run modern apps, on prem and off prem, whatever it may be for you.

And diverse teams drive deeper, customer engagement.

They drive better development.

In fact, I was reading one study that said, if there's AI, as we develop AI, if there aren't enough women behind driving the AI, the actual intelligence itself, will be biased by the nature of how it was designed.

Really, really, crazy study.

So, in this case, teams are 158%, more likely to understand the customer when they have one trait in common with their customers, race, gender, age, ***, or culture.

So, the earlier study even shows that diversity and management earned 38% more revenue from those, with innovative products and services in the last three years. So managing diverse teams also matters.

So, as you can see here, there are three strong reasons why diversity is so, So important, And unlocking innovation can be done hand in hand with the following few lists of things, right?

Ensuring everyone has heard, making a safe place to share ideas, Giving your team members authority, the credit, when it's due, the feedback, when they need it.

And, in general, that will allow you to maximize their innovation potential, so that we can really get to where we need to go.

Now, Although we see all these great benefits, this idea of full spectrum diversity, and let me define that. For some of you that may be new to this term, it's really recognizing that we are different from each other, and more ways, than just our ethnicity, or gender.

That we can build bridges with these traditional diversity concepts, like women in tech, but widen acceptance. You're hearing about neurodiversity, which is so great, to take, in the different things we can't see, that are going on inside our geographic diversity. In fact, there's two types of diversity if you want to learn a fun fact today.

It's inherent diversity. Those are things that you're born with, an acquired diversity. Those are things that you gain from working abroad, selling to diverse genders, your life experiences. And the combination of those in the diversity world is often called two D diversity and when you have two-dimensional diversity, you can outperform others.

And do that, innovation, or locking, but unfortunately yeah, when we pulled McKinsey now at the time and torn in 20 12, say, the number of companies that were actually committed to gender diversity was 56%, 20 12.

We're good that we're at 87% of companies say, it's important.

C suite diversity has increased 24% from 20 15 to 20 19.

Take a look at this. Look at the story, I'm telling y'all.

The gender and racial diversity was rated as a 67 to 70% top priority by senior leaders, OK? We're getting it.

So, are you taking action?

45% to 47 are taking action, but when we go down to the managers themselves, only 13 to 19% of the actual managers are taking action.

So, there's a problem there at the ground level that people don't know what to do or how to do it, that's what we're going to hit the second half of the presentation.

14But I would be of doing a disservice to you, if I didn't give you some real meat behind why this is so important to innovation. As we are all futurists and innovators on this call looking to build the next generation of transformation from you.

and also building Pipeline, in my studies, I found that the broken Wrung of diversity is really that first level manager.

So 26%, you know, we know that it's only one fourth of women in computing. And the turnover rate is high. So, it really comes down to doing more than just checking the box. We can't just say it's important, we have to take responsibility for it. So let's get into how we drive that success during the second half here of the presentation.

I have a four step success framework. This is when it's gonna get good, these are really the things that are going to change you y'all.

So, not only is it going to change you, and, you can apply all of these to your life, your personal life. I use it as a parent all the time, as a wife, as a friend, as an in my own career.

But, in diversity, and then, building these cultures, I'm going to show you how these things work.

So, the first is that we all have to take responsibility for leading our teams with this cultural values. We're embracing these values that make people feel like the environment is fair and inclusive.

And, in order to do that, there's a formula. I also feel like this is a little bit of the secret of life. If you know, Jack Canfield, you know this but it's I just love this, right? Because the outcomes we're getting today are not working. I just showed that in the data. What's happening today is not working.

So, we have to use this E plus R equals oh formula to help accelerate the outcomes that we want, which is that fair, inclusive, psychologically safe culture that unlocks innovation.

So, as events, things happen, Something set in a meeting, Someone doesn't ask the same thing of a woman as they do a man.

They invite the men to golf. They don't invite the women, whatever may be happening.

And there's a reaction to that.

And that reaction is something that you own, as events happen to you all day.

You see things take place, you're part of conversations, you have opportunities to raise people up to build this culture that we're talking about, and that is what's going to give you the outcome.

So I just challenge you today, even going through your next day, when you see something, and something happens to you, what kind of response can you give to give that outcome that you really want?

And when we start reverse engineering it and knowing that we all want this inclusive outcome, how can we change some of our reactions? Because that's all we can control.

We can't control our events. We can only control the thoughts, the actions, the feelings we have when things are happening through our reactions.

So not only is that great for life to get prophetic here, but it's also going to help us in leading these cultures.

And knowing that feedback is a gift, we have to get feedback on where we stand.

So that we can have a barometer too, that outcome to know what we need to change and how we need to change our reactions to give the outcome that we need.

So, we want to be enlightened there.

So, let's take full responsibility while embracing feedback.

Then, we need to set goals and take action.

Alright, we want to always align our strengths and passion and pull that from our teams.

That's part of what isn't just great culture, that's great leadership, right? Pulling the best from our teams, knowing what they love to do, and helping them do more of it.

And we can apply that to this end close, inclusive culture mindset.

I heard a manager on a call, say, this week, I have a goal to really ensure we're being, and bringing more diversity into our teams.

Wow, great, So someone is stating that as a goal out loud to a wide group, then that allows us to start to hold more accountability.

So, what can we do? We could set targets and share our metrics.

We could say that we're going to have X number of women on, on the interview in the process.

X number of women in the panel underrepresented groups, you know, if we have, for example, white males, and that's the only people interviewing people and the only candidates we have in the pool, we're not being very diverse.

And so we really need to challenge the system and set those goals at all levels. This isn't just the responsibility of a D&I leader. This is everyone's responsibility to make sure that we're doing what we need to do to take action.

And as we heard earlier, it's not, it's, it's taking action at all levels is key. So not just saying, we're going to do things and saying it's important, but taking action on these things, simple as doing that unconscious bias training that they offer.

Although, I do think that there's way more beyond that, and it comes into just looking at where the system is broken. As a technologist, I really see things in data. So I believe that if you really dig into the data, you could start to see where things are broken. And make sure you're building that pipeline for those higher levels of leadership, women that are excellent masters of their craft, and their, their job, and understand your business, and can drive those successful teams.

Screenshot (4)All right, the next step is to visualize the achievements you desire.

Activate that subconscious mind. Imagine a team that has that open, positive, inclusive culture vibe and focus on the positive things.

one of my employees asked me this week, you know, what can I do to help you?

And I honestly didn't have much back for them, other than just staying really positive, taking care of their goals that they've set, because they've taken time to do them. And something as simple as that is easily missed, unfortunately. So we want to visualize this environment. We talked about earlier this, you know, profitable environment, this innovative environment.

That could be through supportive managers. Working through our challenges better, and really just getting 1% better every day. And finding sponsorship to where, you know, where it's needed, Sponsoring people ended up.

And finding your tribe and giving back.

There's a lot of power to community here, and finding people that have shared experiences is why the Employee Resource Groups, arrow's, or so, valuable as well. And this type of support is really important when you layer on different things. Because if we take gender alone and we peel that out, that's one piece, man and woman.

But everyone has these unique experiences that layer on top of that. And as you start to build these multi layered issues, it's harder to find people who've dealt with those and who can help you with your response, with your dealing of these things. And it's these steps that we can all take together that are the secret egg we can crack. Now, nonetheless, to promote diversity.

I'm gonna give a quick story. You know, when we start opening the conversation, as we've done in 20 20 about many issues like this, people are gonna come to you.

I had an issue during the beginning of ..., where I felt compelled to tell leadership, Hey, we're doing a lot of happy hours, and it was a simple consideration, like, I'd really like to just make sure if we could change it to trivia night, or just be sensitive to those. That may be dealing with alcohol recovery because we don't know who those people are or they don't really self identify. And I feel like this is a really tough time for people. You know, being locked in your house for a year.

and dealing with the pandemic itself that maybe we could be more sensitive.

And it was feedback, right? So, you're gonna get things like that. So what did leadership do?

They had a choice to make it a mountain or a molehill.

And, that's the choices you're going to make. all the time. People are going to come to you and said, Hey, this should have been done better in the meeting.

This was an issue and what you have to decide is what you're going to make of it and this is really important.

A lot of times like my example of alcoholism and watching the Happy Hour Nomenclature.

That example, all I wanted them to do was say, you're right, Nicole, We can make a little twist and see where we can make those changes and be sensitive to that, right? I didn't need a policy.

I didn't needed an announcement. I didn't need an HR case.

I didn't need a mountain here, I needed a Molehill, I needed a Molehill that just said, great, let's stop it out.

Let's take our new mindset to get us those new results. Because if she's feeling this way, someone else might be feeling this way.

So, instead, you have that, and you don't need to take everything to HR, because someone's who's a woman, makes a comment.

You need to ask those other questions and really dive into that.

Right, so, let's get to the checklists. Let's get to the good stuff. I know, I'm so sorry, I'm not on video. I wish I could see all of your beautiful chats. I don't see much going on here in the chat, but be ready, because I am going to be open to some questions. So, let's see what the best practices are to be an inclusive leader, so that you walk away today. Now, knowing why it matters, the three things we've talked about. Culture, productivity, innovation.

How to do it, how to take these steps. I hope that you gain from them, as well, your personal, you know, motivation today.

But, how can we be this diversity champion one?

You can promote and encourage discovery and participation in the employee resource organizations, in your group, in your community, and understand who's involved.

Do you know what your company has to offer?

How many, know, what kind of things do they offer? Are you sharing those with your team, or are you supporting those?

Do you even know who's involved in your team So that you can maybe have them give updates on what's happening?

You can look for different diversity events that are open to all, or maybe local youth stem events. You would be surprised if you're out there representing yourself and in the amazing gifts that you have. Someone's gonna see that same man if they could do it.

Screenshot - 2021-04-26T150822.767So could I, You're gonna change lives when you start to do this. That's exactly why I'm speaking today on this so passionately because I love multi-cloud.

And I love Cloud strategies as well, and infrastructure, and I could talk about that all day, But where I really get excited is really how we can change this, because this is how we're going to get more innovation, open, design thinking, and things like that, and culture.

Right? So, look for those events. Encourage diverse hiring practices like a candidate pool review like, who's in the pool? And the panel's, not just who's coming to the table, who's in the panel, and how are we building that pipeline throughout the organization.

Obviously you hear this a lot in leadership. I'm going to re-iterate it.

Mentoring and sponsorships, all right, very, very important, and above all, it's that mindset. You have to embrace the right mindset to see things with this diversity lens.

I personally, for example, don't have a deep struggle with alcoholism, but you know what I did. I used a lens of someone else. I use the lens of how that will look like and how that would feel to be someone not in my shoes.

That's how we get better as a planet, by the way, but also as inverse inclusive cultures.

It's all about that emotional intelligence, being informed, as well, about social issues that impact other cultures, and being empathetic, being empathetic.

But most of all, being an ally, speaking up, that's exactly what I did.

And the example I gave, I was just an ally to those that may be having those deeper struggles.

Because when you speak out, you're a louder voice and you're more powerful voice, because you're speaking for them, you're speaking for other people, and you're making a wave of change. So I do encourage you to be an ally as well.

All right, again, my purpose here is to spark a passion in you that can help lead to this inclusive culture regardless of title. Every single one of you hearing this message today has a chance to make a beautiful, wonderful difference in your careers, in your cultures, in your communities. So, what can we do? Here's the checklist. Take a screenshot right now, Please, save it, share it, send it to the world. This is how we're going to make a difference.

Ask your HR organization, what they can do. Get educated.

Share your resources with your team, constantly, keep that in the back of your mind.

Search for different, you can search for different Facebook events, meet-ups, Event Bright's locally. Look for keywords like diversity and inclusion.

Check tech groups for opportunities. Understand how to get involved.

I understand, Hey, people come to me all the time and say, Hey, Nicole, I don't know how to get involved with women, of a v.m-ware with the women py. Like, I'm not a woman, and I want to support it. I want to support the culture. And I don't know how.

How many of you have felt that like, you just don't know, like, I personally support our black pod?

How does that look like in reality? When you've got to have, again, that emotional intelligence, and you could simply say, what events would be best support best for me to attend to support something like Connected Black Professionals?

If you wanna get involved and you take the first step, all you have to do is ask that organizer.

It will be very clear when something is not open to everybody, but in my history, I have found, most organizations are open to all people getting involved.

Because that's the only way we're going to have that lens of diversity when you're sitting with people who share that value.

So, of course, ask, Don't be afraid, right? Like I said, you may or may not know, because I'm not in a video, but I am a white woman. And I consider myself an advocate for African Americans for all kinds of people, because it takes all of us to speak up for each other.

Check with your hiring manager. Again, how can you influence that diverse hiring pool?

If you are from a, say, a woman, or you're from an underrepresented of minority or underrepresented group, then please ask how you could be a part of those panels. Because you could see something in people that other people want, because we come from different backgrounds when you're doing interviewing. So maybe you could be a part of that process. Always keep an eye open to, you know, be a connector. Provide value, share things that are happening in and outside your organization with your team.

And just be the bridge to make everyone feel like they're part of the team, and know that your actions, your actions, what you do, not the unconscious bias training, not the checking the box, right? It's what you do and take action on and who you are that's going to build that culture. That's going to speak way, way, way, louder than words. It's your actions.

So living these values will make you a better person in the world, and in the workplace, and it will make everyone feel connected and part of a team, which ultimately is going to drive that success and satisfaction that we talked about.

So let's spark success together.

I would love to talk to you about future topics as far as where v.m-ware is going in the cloud, how are securing workloads, creating, you know, modern application platforms and a wonderful end user experience, as we have for 20 years. But I will be happy as well, to spark success together.

I have a whole collection out there, Tech Diva Success. I'm all over the socials, everything is out there. And with that, I would love questions from everyone today.

And I do have just this quick references, if anyone was really passionate about where I got the data, and I will now also enter in the chat where you could perhaps, well, actually, it looks like it's just organizers.

So I'll figure out how to get that over to you all where you can download the chapter of my book that is for free. And you can read the in-depth study on all of this.

14So back over to you, Josie. And I just appreciate this opportunity to speak about something that is the underlying driver for everything we're trying to accomplish today as we talk about the other innovations within the agenda.

Thank you so much. Fantastic, Nicole, fantastic, because you're not on Kim. I'm gonna ask you to keep sharing your presentation. And the go ahead and put on the first page that you had there, because you have a bit of an avatar, or a pictorial there of yourself. So, I think that would be a great background for the audience to have, it's whoever Did that artwork. I think they did a really good job, by the way, it looks like fiber, it's all about smart outsourcing.

So listen, I know.

I don't see right now, So if you can show your screen, if you can row Launch it again and then click show a screen so that the audience can see that perfect right there, right?

So Nicole, I don't think you can see the same things that I can see in terms of the chat and the conversation That's going on in the background, So I'm just going to relate to some of the things that are being discussed and that let's start with one of the themes that has emerged has to do with how? how?

How do you get Women to be more interests and engage in tech? What are some of the suggestions that use, that you have for that? Because, as you know, very well, you know, it's still heavily dominated by males and the, and the curious about your perspectives on how we can make stem really, more relevant and more interesting to women?

Yeah, absolutely. Thank you for that question. It starts young.

It starts with the toys that we put in front of them when they're very young.

I have to aspiring tech Divas myself in my life and it comes down to explaining things that oftentimes we reserved for little boys explaining how things work, the science of things, picking toys that are not always dolls, or like in my house have barbee. troubleshoot the internet going down, because they can't get to YouTube.

So, it starts there. We also see, I'm gonna kinda go through a few phases, very quickly, between sixth and eighth grade women in stem fields, right? Science, technology, engineering, math, they start to get more shy about asking questions. I believe it has to do somewhat with no more consciousness about how they appear in front of their male peers. How they look more, you know, cultural, You know, boyfriend, girlfriend, part of society, right? So isolating women at that age between sixth to eighth grade. I've seen a lot of successful tutoring programs that bring young girls in that age out so that they can thrive in the fundamental stem fields that are needed to bring more women into tech.

And then as you get into high school and college, you know, you would be surprised if you're out here and you're working in the field of technology, which I hope many of you are on this call. You know, tell your neighbors. Tell your nieces what you do. If you're updating our report, a website, you're doing something cool that might be remotely interesting.

Share it with them, because in many cases, it's a neighbor, a friend, someone who shares with them, an event that could change someone's life. I'm telling you, I have changed the lives of the events that have like two people at it. It takes one person at a time, so a lot of times, people are influenced. Hey, you should go be a doctor. There's gonna be a lot of need for medical, will be the one who says, hey, we need engineers. And you can take something you're passionate about.

and this is the final thing, is to tell young women that whatever you're passionate about if you're passionate about fashion, guess what? BC BG needs a website and they need the designs to have a great user experience so people can order that designer shirt.

So, let them know, that, whatever they're passionate about, they can find a career that has to do with that, in technology, but I guarantee you, you cannot find a career that doesn't have to do with technology, in some way, shape, or form, in today's age. So I hope that was a TL DR version of that answer. But I think it starts young, and it goes into all ages, and that's why mentoring and sponsorship was called out as an Action, to take, to continue to encourage women once a year, in the career space, so that we can get those numbers up.

Thank you.

I love that Nicole, those are great insights, starting early, starting, you know, there's a lot of research that says, that, even from an academic perspective, you know, you have, hit the kids in elementary and middle school, age two, to start having those, those insights and interests that, that you just mentioned. Some of the questions that really, from the audience have to do it with interest. Sit in your own journey. How, how did Nicole, the turn out to be a Tech Diva? I mean, what made you go into this direction as as a young lady? and what were the influences that you had?

I love this because I have such a fun story. I don't know how many of you out. There are music lovers.

I love music, and I was gonna go into education and when I went to college, way back in the day, and I quickly learned about the opportunities of the financial benefits of being in a technology career, that is another great way to talk to women about being a technology. Because if they want nice things and they want money, then they could get into technology and make that money But I started, I was in the music. I was in the, you know, seeing going out listening to live music in Texas and University of North Texas actually in Denton. It's a great music school and I was seeing a lot of male DJs.

And I saw him, and I thought, You know what, I can do this, like, I saw what they were doing and I actually just jumped right in, self taught myself, got my own turntables, my vinyl record collection was built up and I started playing gigs and when you're connecting the ones and twos and you're networking that.

You have to have the same types of things that we need in a network, right? You have to have a sound, and it needs to sound good, and it needs to be continuous, and guess what? That's like internet. We gotta have our connection, we got over land link up.

And, I guess, I just learned a lot of fundamentals there. That one, you could do anything you put your mind to and be successful in a male dominated field.

And to my passion for technology, my confidence and my ability to make it in a male dominated field was there. So I was actually DJ ing that got me into the industry. And now during the pandemic I said a little goal and now I do stream and I'm back in the music scene streaming on Twitch. Just plan music and kind of have some fun, so, it just shows you that you can really take anything and it can lead you to a fruitful career in technology just by having the confidence. Which is another huge, huge thing for women to be successful in tech, is to build their confidence. Let them know what they're doing, right? But still make sure they're able to take that feedback. Thanks for the question.

That's awesome. That's what I want a great experience in. The, in the story there.

On that, on the On how, How, how things, in our environment shape, you know, some of the choices that we make and the interests that we develop, That's a great example of that.

Screenshot (4)Oh, I have a bit of a commentary and then a follow up question on that with you. I have for nearly three decades, we have accelerated excellence and innovation for value creation with grade and during organizations, more than 100 cross industry organizations all over the world. And, and what we have observed, which is quite has been quite interesting, is that And I must say, right off, right off the bat, Nicole, our goal was never to really emphasize diversity and inclusion was never to really aim for a quality of outcomes at any level. It wasn't that at all, We're looking to accelerate excellence and innovation for value creation. And the mechanism for doing that that we saw that worked really well was to create a meritocracy of ideas with very clear execution mechanisms for innovation, for value creation in an organization.

So that was kind of the, the, the, the, the operational mode, if you will, and them.

And while we have seen is that these organizations that we work with, honestly a lot of heavy heavy on energy, technology and manufacturing, which were like, on average, 80% males 20% females in the groups in the original groups.

While we have seen is that when there is a meritocracy of ideas in the organization with clue your execution mechanisms and the emphasis on collaborative leadership and innovation execution.

What we see is that when these systems exist, nearly 50% of all successful innovations for value creation were led by women.

And what we were perplexed by the data because you like you get from population that's 80 duany, and now you have nearly a 50, 50 in terms of successful innovation implementation. And were perplexed by that by that, by the outcome, because we never aim for that.

But we got that when we had meritocracy of ideas with clear execution mechanisms.

I'm curious about, uh, what your hypothesis would be on why. Something like this happened when we have clear execution mechanisms for innovation, meritocracy of ideas, and a bit of an emphasis on collaborative leadership.

Why do women do disproportionally better in those settings? I'm I'm curious about what your thoughts would be on that.

Oh, I love this, and you're absolutely right.

And I think that with what we call it, I mean, it's just free, freethought, respect, right?

In the systems that you just spoke about, are absolutely part of it, Right? I may call it design thinking. Right, where I'm using these open platforms.

I think it's because we see the results, because women have a voice, and like you can take different considerations and kind of put all your cards on the table.

That's how I see it.

Everyone's putting their cards on the table, and it's not necessarily easy to dictate who's cards or what, and what happens is when you have a group of people who are like, they're gonna come up with a lot of the same cards.

So, maybe the innovation, 50, 50 comes from the fact that the woman card is different, and, as they say that it isn't, it's going insane is doing the same thing over and over, and expecting different results. So, a lot of times, when we look at innovation, we have to do things differently, approach things differently, to get a different outcome to accelerate digital, you know, innovation and things like that. So, I think what it comes down to is having that place where everyone can be heard.

And things can be taken, the best ideas can be discussed and built on. Because it's not necessarily always the woman's idea. It's the seed that's planted to think about things differently in ways that you would have never solved problems before. And then everyone builds on it. So I think that that's the beauty of it, is that, it really becomes everyone's idea. Everyone feels heard.

Everyone feels respected, and the outcomes that you get is the ability to collaborate on the, what's best for that challenge. What's the best outcome that you can get with, with what you're dealing with? So, that's why I think it's so important in technology to use these methods to follow things like excellence and innovation, best practices that you have, because even the things I talk about today, we can link those to business improvement.

But without them, we really aren't going to get as far in a one track mind organization. So that's some of the thought that I had behind that. That makes sense. I think you absolutely nail. And I'll say there was an allergy leader, male allergy leader, who, at one point came to me and says, well, I should say you have this cultural transformation that we have been going through to accelerate innovation organization.

You have really emphasized that the essence of innovation is the ability to take a different perspective at a problem.

And then, And then he follow up by saying, and honestly, we have, Diversity and inclusion works really well with that.

Because now, you're bringing this women into an energy field. Specifically in that context. There had been designed and developed with mostly, man thinking about how to do things for decades. And then this women were bringing the essence of new perspectives. And the, and, and those new perspectives were creating value in the, in that context. So, view, you absolutely nailed that, that, that, yeah, that's really why I do this work. Like, I'm a technologist, I love the geeky things, I love the, the progress. But we can't do it without diversity, so I love connecting innovation to diversity 100%, in fact, that's the premise of my book.

That is fantastic. Nicole, we could talk about this for hours. I personally believe that this decade that's coming upon us will be the decade of women in leadership and for the reasons that you have mentioned. And by the way, I think we all going to benefit society. Men, and women, and all of us will benefit from this great inclusion, from these new perspectives coming to this fields. And the, that will allow value to be created for everyone. So I want to say thank you so much for taking the time to be here with us. Hope to get you back on the future event, as well, with your camera on, and have all of the energy Visualize, as well. But thank you so much, for sharing your expertise with nearly 2000 of our global participants today.

Yes, I invite them all to come on and visit me on YouTube, Tech Diva Success. You can see my pretty shiny, smiley face there. Advocating for many, many of these things, thank you for the opportunity. And again, take action, people, be an ally, and don't just check the box, whatever you do, go above and beyond. Thank you again.

Thank you, thank you, Ladies and gentlemen. That's Nicole Schaeffler, Tech Diva and Enterprise Engineering Leader for v.m-ware, sharing her journey of diversity and inclusion, and the great impact of women leadership.

And in our fields, for years to come. So, we're going to wrap this session up now. Again, go ahead and connect with us on LinkedIn. You know, post, comments, share. Ask additional questions that you haven't had a chance to prose in this today. And get ready for our final session. That's going to come at the top of the hour, and we're going to be welcoming hydro Gomez. Hydro Gomez is the Senior Leader for Infrastructure and Acknowledge for a very, very interesting organization. He is a senior leader again for the Association of Certified Anti Money Laundering Specialists, a CMS.

So, come back at the top of the hour, and here, the journey of this specialists, and this association related to infrastructure and technology with hydrogel me. So, I'll see you back at the top of the hour.


About the Author

more-Apr-26-2021-10-19-57-37-AMNicole Scheffler,
Enterprise Engineering Leader,

Nicole Scheffler is a Tech Diva dedicated to sparking success by leading engineering teams and serving women in technology with the Tech Diva Success collection. She has a track record leading engineering teams at a Fortune 100 company where she witnesses the fast past of digital acceleration post covid as well as the need for diversity.

Nicole also speaks often on proven success principles to help define your aspirations, goals, and building diverse cultures. Applying more than 16 years’ experience in a fast-paced technology career, the wisdom featured in her best-selling “Pillars of Success” book with Jack Canfield, and hundreds of hours interviewing women in tech on her podcasts, Nicole provides a clear success framework for building diverse cultures and empowering women. Her courses, content, and speaking, help tech divas fires burn brighter while her leadership drives customer success for Enterprise customers.


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