Summary

Why are some workplaces so homogenous?  What are the risks of only hiring ‘culture fit’ candidates?  In this episode, Fiona interviews Tiffany Nicolow on her experience of ‘like hires like’ and what that’s meant for women and people of color in the workplace.  In this emotional and thought proviking episode, they explore how we can challenge and change this issue, recognizing that we know what to do, we just need to step forward and choose to do it.  They also talk about their friendship, how to build strong relationships with people from other backgrounds, advocate for one another…and maintain grace in the face of injustice.  

Get the newest Leading Ladies Of…Podcast episodes delivered directly to you – Subscribe here

Watch the episode here

Listen to the episode here

Read the Show Notes Here: Like Hires Like: Barriers To Employment, with Tiffany Nicolow

Welcome back everybody to another exciting episode of the Leading Ladies of the podcast I hope you’ve really been enjoying our first episodes so far.  I’m really, really excited to launch this and I’m already getting lots and lots of suggestions from other awesome women for you to hear from. And today I am really, really pleased to introduce you to a good friend of mine Tiffany Nicolow.  A friend who’s really taught me how to be graceful and strong at the same time.  She’s a beautiful human being.   Tiffany is an experienced Human Resources professional and is a strong proponent of supporting the human aspect of employment in all directions, for the purpose of building stronger organizations with the most elegant efficient and prosperous teams.  Tiffany is currently with Western Forest Products and has worked in a wide range of industries including aerospace with Orion and Toray Composites, and also in the health and beauty aids industry where she gained recognition for building effective teams.  Tiffany’s experience encompasses executive coaching employee relations, organizational development and recruiting, and she also serves as the Legislative Director at the Puget Sound chapter of the Society of Human Resources Management (SHRM), so welcome Tiffany!

Well good morning, thank you so much, that was beautiful.

So, Tiffany, aside from your rather impressive resume, is there anything else that you would like our audience to know about you?

I think for the purposes of this podcast it’s important for people to know that, on top of our professional lives, I’m a wife and a mother to a 13 year old, which is an exciting journey of its own.  And that I have things that I love, being outdoors in the Pacific Northwest and we’ve just moved into a new home and I have a garden that I’ve inherited that desperately needs my attention.

I have half an acre so I can appreciate that!  Well Tiffany, we’re here today to talk about a whole range of issues but as   the topic of this this whole movement, podcast, series, whatever we’re calling it. is around encouraging more women to get out there and break that glass ceiling.  So, what are your thoughts on the glass ceiling, do you think is still exists?

I definitely think it exists my thoughts on it is that.  We indeed need to do exactly what you’re setting forth and that is to just break it down.  It’s like any other wall or barrier to one’s ability to be the best that they can be right. so, there shouldn’t be anything that is serves as resistance to that, and that’s for the betterment of humankind, it’s just not for one race or for one gender but.  We if we can all be that and grow ourselves to be exactly what we want and need to be then again that is for the betterment of humankind.  So, glass ceilings be gone.

Absolutely! And one of the things that I spoke about in a recent podcast with one of our guests is the fact that the glass ceiling is both external to us and internal to us.  So, there’s lots of different ways to get out there and smash it, and I just feel really blessed that we can share some of our thoughts on this with women around the world.  So Tiffany, today we’re here to talk about the topic like hires like, and this came about from a conversation that you and I were having about the lack of diversity in aerospace and our views on the systemic reasons behind it.  And I was reading a Harvard Business Review article on this; what is causing it why, why does it look so similar whatever conference you go to, or whatever.  And we are talking specifically about aerospace, but it relates to a lot of other industries and in this Harvard Business Review article I was reading that a lot of people, often subconsciously, are hiring people that are the same race, education level, gender, economic status, personality traits…and it’s a much more significant factor in hiring than people think.  And it’s because people are looking for points of similarity, because similarity keeps you safe.  And so, I’m curious to know what were your thoughts on this, what is this, what has your experience of like hires like been?

Well, where to begin.  It is a real thing, it is, it is true, something that I definitely have experienced.  I know other African Americans who have experienced, or think they have experienced, like hires like.   It can be very obvious when it’s happening in an interview, and people may not realize that, but it is it is actually obvious.  And I’ve been in a room where I was with a hiring manager, myself and the candidate, and could see immediately.  I got so good at doing this, and this is in aerospace, where I knew automatically when a person, when a hiring manager would say yes and when they would say no.  And again, it didn’t have anything to do with the resume, no it didn’t have anything to do with experience and it had to do with color of skin, simply.  I’ve watched darker skinned, males particularly in aerospace, have a much harder time than very light-skinned males and there’s, and I know it seems so cliched, especially in the  African-American community the light and dark skin question.  But I think that it’s a comfort level and it can be uncomfortable, it’s uncomfortable for me to talk about right now in fact.  But it is a truth and it is my experience, so I guess I want people to know that it is real, it does happen. And no, it’s not always that someone isn’t able to do the work, not just able, but qualified to do so.

Yes definitely.  I really appreciate what you just said about it being difficult to talk about; it is uncomfortable.  Personally, I haven’t been through it from a person of color point of view, obviously, but I have some experience with gender and I just really appreciate you being willing to bring this important topic to us.  I’m curious what kind of conversations have you have you had with people in those companies when you’ve seen that show up, and how has it been received?

Well I made the mistake of trusting the companies – some of them – that I’ve worked with, and when they say that they’re interested in diversity, and this is not simply aerospace workplaces, honestly.  I work for an agency at the state and I think there was the biggest issue was with hiring there.  I once said.  I’m the only  African-American in the entire agency that’s never – that’s not accurate – I was the only  African-American female at that time in the entire agency and I asked, ‘could we please hire to reflect at least the percentages within Washington State.  And I was told, ‘we don’t cater to that population.’ So, for me all I could think was, ‘oh, I know plenty of brown people who go outside and enjoy the outdoors and all the beauty that our state has to offer.  But it’s, again, it’s a real thing.  It’s difficult and it’s uncomfortable and it’s real.

Absolutely…I’m dealing with a lot of emotion right now.  I’ve had a lot of conversations with people about hiring much more diverse teams, and one of the one of the answers that I often get back is, ‘we’ll hire the best person for the job.’ And the answer annoys me so much, because I know that the subconscious bias is there, so who you think is the best person for the job may not be the best person for the job…and sometimes I feel like people are just placing too much value on what’s on paper, in terms of oh how many degrees they have, how many big companies they’ve worked for.  Sometimes actual real-life experience and struggles and some of the challenges that people have to go through, and the extra barriers to get to that the same level; I really feel passionately that that needs to be appreciated.  But I haven’t yet figured out how to communicate that gracefully.  And that’s one of the things that I really respect about you, it’s the level of grace that you bring to some of these conversations.  So how do you do that, how do you maintain this this composure and this grace in the face of injustice? 

I’m glad it feels like grace and graceful.  I think I definitely have learned that.  My mom taught me that sometimes things just need to be said. And it doesn’t matter who says them.  If I’m in a room and I’m in a place and I have a platform to help with some type of injustice, for me it’s either being a woman, or being a black woman, or being black in America.  Those are the platforms that not everyone has on that.  So being human, we all have that platform, we can all understand things.  And so when we when I’m explaining something, or trying to get someone, not to agree with me, that’s not important always, it is, ‘can you just see or understand, or really subscribe to a different thought, a different idea.  You don’t have to agree with it, you don’t even have to action it out or anything, but can you bring yourself to that understanding?  And to do that.  Human beings tend to respond better to call, respond better to rationally, respond better to logical.  And so I really try to do that, I really attempt to put myself in somebody else’s shoes to understand where are they coming from  with this particular topic and then how, given that place, how can I share with them what I think needs to be shared.  And that becomes what’s important. What I’ve taught been taught is it is an emotional hit, that getting angry and riled up and – and sometimes that’s appropriate, and sometimes that’s the vehicle that is needed – but doing it in a measured way, doing it in a way that doesn’t lose track of the outcome. I mean, ‘what do I want for myself in this situation,’ or, ‘what do I want for my community, for my family, for my team?’ So then that becomes the focus and it helps.

Yes, beautiful.  What I love about this it that it’s almost like you have a thought process this is bigger than me yourself.  It was the question, ‘what do I want for my family, what do I want from my team?’  Essentially it brings you outside of your body, looking in on your emotions.  But what about those times when maybe those emotions are really strong, what do you do to bring them down before having those conversations? Any tips for our listeners?

Oxygen.  For me it’s oxygen and just breathing, and really trying to go within myself.  And then I just have to ask myself those same questions, ‘what do I want out of this, what do I want for my team?’  It becomes second nature, and it has become second nature.  Even given what’s going on in the world – and not even the world – what’s going on two hours up the road from me in Seattle today – this very moment, and the things that have happened in our country.  Recently people have asked, ‘are you angry, or upset?’  I’m not angry, I’m not angry.  But the thing that I needed to do was to really see it in a deeper order and ‘what does that mean? Where’s this coming from ? What are the pros and the cons that can come from this? Where do I want to sit with the outcome years down the road, when my teenager says, ‘what did you think about all that What did you do? What was the response?’’  One of the things that I want to be able to say is, ‘I did take action.’  And one of the things I’ve done thus far was, you mentioned that I sit on the board at the South Puget Sound SHRM chapter and there were emails going out asking, ‘what do we do, what do we do?’  And I said, ‘we’re human resources, we know exactly what to do.  You have to hire more diverse teams. So, look at your organizations, look at your companies; where do you need diversity? And hire for that.’  It’s not good enough to say, ‘oh, they don’t apply.’  Well find them, they’re here, out there looking for jobs, so we know what to do.  And so, I can look back and say that was within lining my scope within my expertise, and I could do that and absolutely that’s what’s happened.’

I love that phrase, ‘we know what to do.’ Yes, we know what to do, we know that we need to get out there and reach more people, we know that we need to tackle those things.  What do you think has held people hold back until now? Not everybody, I just want to acknowledge that.

In in my life, I hope that it’s still short even though I’ve been on the planet for a little bit, I’ve seen a few of these what I’ll call rounds right now.  Going back to that glass ceiling, we’ve busted through a ceiling and only to find another, busted through a ceiling and only to find another.  I think you’re right; I think we’re finding the further on we go the glass isn’t getting thinner.  As we move forward, in what I call rounds, this time in the ring, this round, what are the important items? And we do the same thing, we tend to say, ‘okay we need to listen, and somebody needs to talk to us, and we need to train, and we need to hire someone to train us, and we need to… ‘ And we do that every single round.  When I say, ‘we know what to do,’ there may be some talking that needs to happen, there may be some listening that needs to happen, but we already know what to do.  We know how to hire men at the executive level, why would that be different than hiring women at the executive level? We know how to do that, we know how to hire men and women at the middle management level, and why can’t we do that for all different shades of human? We know what to do and we know how to do it, we choose actively not to and then we build a case around why we can’t, or why we shouldn’t.  And part of that is that, ‘we’re going to hire the best person.’  It’s part of that wall or that ceiling.  It’s stone, it’s tempered into the glass itself, the, ‘we’re going to hire the best person.’

Absolutely, and I think it is recognizing that hiring the best person for the job is completely subjective.  And I remember reading once about how somebody was looking at how doing interviews that were faceless, kind of like in The Voice, but not even just faceless, also actually using – I don’t know if it’s the right word, but – animatronics or whatever, it’s where you actually use computerized voices that nobody could judge.  And I’d be really curious to actually see that come to life.  The hopeful part of me has hoped that with everything going on right now, today is Juneteenth and we’re right at the height of recent events, and the protests, and the demonstrations, and in the middle of coronavirus and my hope is that as we emerge from this we are a more evolved society and we’re consciously tackling some of these things. I mean am I just I just dreaming here? What are your thoughts?

We have to make that choice, and if that’s what we want to be, that’s what we can be, I hope this might be our moment.  So, I have thoughts about that, and Black Lives Matter and the Democratic Party.  There’s many things, especially during this time that I find that I – I don’t know if it’s unique, but people don’t expect it from me now and – that is that over the last few years I’ve grown into a Trump supporter and it’s interesting.  However, if I share what it is that’s important right what’s important to me right now, I really subscribe to the fact that I do think that our country has been attacked by something, I do.  I can’t put my finger on what that is and I and it’s a shame that I can’t, but I can’t right now. And I think that we’ve been attacked in two of our weakest places.  One, if I were an enemy and I wanted to attack I would take out the economic system.  That’s been done, so I won’t go into that any further.  But then secondly, if I want to weaken a community, or if I want a weakened society, I will hit them in their weakest place; for the United States our weakest place happens to be our race relations.  So, for me it’s this time around seems like racism, but it’s not racism as in racism as usual.  To me this is a strategic move to incite an emotion.  So, when I step back from it and really look at it, yes in the United States we have racial issues, we have gender issues that need to be dealt with.  And my hope is that at the end of this, just like you say, we begin to do that.  Truly, we begin to, since we know what to do and we know how to act and what actions to take to help heal some of those things.  I hope that we choose to do that for the betterment of all. In the meantime, there’s this other thing that seems to be going on that I don’t want to lose track of, and I think I’m going within myself and being able to just again see things beyond me.  My country is in need of help and assistance right now and burning down my city isn’t going to help my country right now.  So that is how I see the current situation.  And what I looked into – I’m a researcher, so when I looked into – Black Lives Matter and found out that the majority of those millions of dollars, hundreds of millions dollars, don’t really see black communities at all.  But there’s a company – I wish I had the name; it is blue something – I encourage your listeners to look into Black Lives Matter and see who quote-unquote ‘owns’ it.  And the money that goes to black lives matter goes directly to the Democratic Party, which I am embarrassed to say I have been a part of up until I really did the research and found out what the Democratic Party is truly all about.  But that does not make me a Republican, it just makes me more aware, gives me more information with which to make decisions this time.  And so I think that moving forward and into the future and healing means having good information for which to make decisions; so when we have those good statistics and we can realize that, yes, we know how to hire women and how not to treat people poorly, and we know how to hire people of all different colors and backgrounds.  We realize we know how to do that, and we just do it.  And we know there’s been justices that have happened and if we choose not to be unjust then we can do that too.

So, what I’m hearing is, ‘get educated.’

Yes, get bigger, get beyond yourself and get in the other person’s shoes.

And coming down to a more a more tactical level, you and I are different in many ways.  We look different.  I’m feisty, you’re graceful.  We have lots of different views on lots of different things, from politics to where we should live and how to approach the world, but we still have this is connection that I really, really appreciate.  What can women like you and I, that are so different, what could we be doing together to be part of driving this change and making things different this time? 

There’s an old saying that ‘by their fruit you will know them,’ and our world moves so fast.  However, when you and I were first introduced to each other, and even to this day, no part of our building a relationship has gone by fast.  It takes time, there are many months when we don’t speak to each other.  But then I know that when it’s important we do and when it’s joyful we do, when there’s an event coming or something we do, and we have that’s the connection.  It’s very human, it’s very natural and when those things occur, we know exactly what to do and we do right.  So, treating each other with respect, grace, feistiness.  Bringing to the table what we have to bring to the table.  I shared with you that I think having a podcast would be fantastic and there’s some things that I would love to talk about, and I thank for you that feistiness in that you made that happen for your life, and then that has touched my life and allowed me to participate in this.  So, there’s a human connection. So what can we do? Again, what we can do is be our best selves and when we need to act and can act do so.  You were struck very strongly to do this by an event in your life, and so you did it, and that’s affecting the world.  What if someone told you, what if someone said ‘no, you can’t have that podcast?’ So again, going to breaking those glass ceilings is really important bringing them down, let’s redefine when we use and how we use know the word ‘no’ and how we can use ‘no’ better.

I love that you say that because ‘No’ has been my biggest motivator in life.  I don’t know why, I don’t where it came from.  But just be just being told ‘No.’  I remember when I was in high school, I didn’t misbehave, but I was definitely one of those mothy kids who’d like to challenge the teachers.  And I remember my principal asked, ‘which university do you want to go to? And I told him Oxford, and then he told me I was setting my sights too high and should be looking a little bit lower, they had head girls they haven’t got in.   And I decided, ‘right, you tell me no, then I will show you!’ And I guess that just shows up for me again and again and again.  I even have this shirt that says, ‘underestimate, I dare you!  What are some of the things that keep you going, what motivates you? Is there something, is there a particular experience, or a particular phrase for you that became, ‘yeah, I’m gonna do this!’?

I tend to say myself, ‘oh that’s not for me,’ and I’ve had that since I was a child. I had an experience where I was sitting in a classroom and we had a visitor and someone had an internship, or something like that, an internship yeah.  And I really wanted to do it, but that little voice in my head said, ‘oh that’s not for you ,’ and then I didn’t let anyone know that I wanted to participate in that program. And I got mad at myself really, just upset and disappointed.  And then what came next was my saying, which was, ‘why not me, why not me?  And it’s a very simple thing and I know people said it before, and maybe even now it’s cliché, but that for me is one of the biggest motivators.  Now it’s one of my biggest motivators for believing in myself, like, ‘what makes me so special that I can’t, why can others but I can’t? And I just don’t believe I’m that special, I think that I’m very much like others and if it can be done by them, then I am capable of doing it too.  Maya Angelou quoted Terence – Terence was a freed slave and playwright – and he said, ‘because I am man nothing human can be foreign to me.’  And she changed it, she said, ‘because I am human nothing human can be foreign to me.’  And I believe that if a human can do it, I know I can.  I mean, I don’t want to take that to extremes, I’m not going to be – I’m five foot three – a basketball star now, but I can learn how to shoot,  So, I think for me it’s that question of if it’s something that I want to do then ‘why not, why not me why not me?’

I love that, I love it, ‘why not me?’  I think that’s something that all of our listeners could take on, not just for themselves, but for everybody in their life, when their friends and family say stuff like that, come back and say, like up come out and say, ‘why not me,’ and, ‘why not you?’  

And also looking at our society, in the places where especially women are told ‘no.’  I remember my father; I was 20 years old and I was going to move from Michigan to Arizona.  And I was driving, and my father did not believe – and refused to believe – that I was going to drive my car by myself from Michigan to Arizona.  I didn’t know how long I was going to stay there, but I had my little car filled with all my belongings, and I wasn’t coming back.  And he just wouldn’t believe it.  And I believe until the day he passed he thought that one of my male friends had; thought for certain that Josh got in the car and drove with me to Arizona.  And it just boggles my mind, then and it does now, that there are things that human beings think that other human beings can’t do because of gender, or because of race; it’s such a strange concept for me.

Well I’m glad we share that.  And as you said, I love what you said earlier about it being a long-term investment. And what I love about our relationship is that it’s always been raw and real.  We don’t just speak about the good stuff; for our audience, I have been to Tiffany when I am broken, heartbroken, some of my most awful experiences, because I just value her opinion so much.  And I think the humaneness and the ability to get real is just, it’s crucial. and I never really thought about it until now.  I really appreciate that about you.  

So, and you can see from the logo we have the steps on the shoe, and to me that that step is, it essentially represents reaching back to the woman that are essentially behind us on the journey and pulling them through.  I don’t want to see any more people getting through that glass ceiling and being like, ‘oh yeah I can rest now.’  Celebrate your success, but you stick your hand back through that glass then you keep going.  And I’m curious on two fronts.  First of all, what can we be doing to help the women behind us…but I wanted to take it a step further and ask  what is it that that women like me, white women, what can we be doing to better appreciate the struggles that women of color go through and actually been a true ally, not a performative ally.

Again, we know what to do.  We know when we’re in situations to help other human beings, help other human beings that are in need, whether that is, regardless who it is.  We already know how to do it.  The moment we stop and say, ‘well I’m not going to help that person because…’ and anything can come up.  Usually we feel it may be a threat in our professional circles, it may be a threat to ourselves and to where we stand.   I’ve experienced that quite a bit, where if I know something, or if I have information, or someone assist me in some kind of way or, I assist them then that’s a threat.  That person can’t be seen to….  I had a horrible manager once and she literally told me that she didn’t want me to build relationships with the managers.  Well, as a senior HR consultant at the time, that was my job, and I was the only one being told, ‘don’t build those relationships with those managers.’  It happens to be something that I do really well, I want to know what their needs are and then I wanted to deliver.  They are my customers and I want to deliver what they need, and that builds relationship.  And I was being told not to do that, and I was being chastised for doing that.  Of course, I’m no longer there, and that’s because I could no longer, I couldn’t work under those circumstance.  I think that what we can do, all of us, again we don’t have to go outside of ourselves, there’s nothing special we need to do, but we need to be ourselves and quote/unquote ‘treat everyone equally.’ And that’s it, that’s all it is.   I had a facial, I vowed to do more self-care during this time.  So, I had a facial and then the woman who saved my face – I call her the face saver – she watched a comedian regarding and the awful atrocities that happened to George Floyd.  And this comedian said some things that triggered her. She’s a white woman and she said, ‘what do I want to do with that?’ I said, ‘well, I watched that scene and comedian – and he’s one of my favorites, I really enjoy him – but about two minutes into what he was saying I realized he was not there to entertain me.  He’s a black man about the same shade and build as the man that we saw there pressed into the concrete, and he was having a visceral experience.  And he was using his craft.  In my mind, he was using his craft to heal himself.  And I was perfectly willing to sit there and listen to what he had to say, and to watch was pain as he tried to entertain.  And so I said to her – there was a story that he told in the segment that was particularly disturbing to her as a white woman, and something he had said, it wasn’t about you though, it was about what happened to the person because of what the other woman did.   And this is his response to the entire thing, not as a not as a comedian, not as a person who we all enjoy and laugh with, and he gets paid for.   But this is just simply him as a human being who was mirrored, with an atrocity he saw himself in.  So let’s look at things in a deeper order, let’s really think things through, let’s really put ourselves in other people’s shoes, and put ourselves in other people’s minds and really try to work out what are our intentions.   And know our own intent, I think those are the things that we can do, all of us, not just white women, everyone can. To make it better.

I’m hearing a lot around allowing the human experience.  Sometimes people might be saying something or explaining something to us it makes us feel uncomfortable, but it it’s allowing them to process what they’ve been through.  And I think a lot of a lot of people can actually identify with that, like when you watch the media and movies and stuff, that emotion is often because we can resonate, and it’s no different with day to day and experiences that people go through. And so and what I’m hearing is to really give people space to experience what they’re going through, and rather than our defensiveness from being offended, we need to actually sit back and ask, ‘where is this coming from , what is it, if I get some altitude here, what is the experience, what is this person trying to do, and how can I connect with this person?

Yes, I ask a question to do I want to engage?  but I still want to know., If I’m drawn to a situation, I still want to use all of my faculties to find out, ‘do I want to participate?’ And maybe I don’t, and that’s okay too.  And I might understand someone clearly – and they may not be a good person, it doesn’t mean I want to engage, but it also doesn’t mean I need to judge.  Now there are people who absolutely hate, with all of their being women, and who hate, with all of their being, black people.  Those people exist, and that has to be okay.  I don’t need to judge that; I need to mind how I’m living my own life.

I’m just I’m going quiet here because I’m like, ‘hmm, how do I not judge those people?’ And I just love what you say there about, ‘hey this is about my life and I’ll control what I can control.’

Well I really, really appreciate you being willing to dive in so deeply and so broad and in such a raw way and in these big topics, sharing your experiences.  I’m a true believer that the more we talk about these things, and get them out in the open, the more and more we understand it.   Even, as you say, if people are completely opposite to your own beliefs then the first thing to understand.  So, I really appreciate you being willing to share these things with our audience.

Thank you for having me, I’m just so blessed to know you and to watch your feistiness, go and release it to the world.  My hope for you is that you bust through all of the glass ceilings in your mind and then definitely destroy all of the ceilings that are on the outside of you as well, and you are well on your way to doing that. You’ve been doing you were born to do, and it’s happening, and you have all the skills and the ability and heart to make that happen and better our world for all.  I mean, really, the work that you’re doing, that you’re drawn to do, right, is making the entire world a better place.  Asking us to think deeper on, ‘why do we have these ceilings anyway?’  You asked what women can do to reach back through, and I think yes, we need to reach back through.  But at the same time, we need to be chipping away; our daily work is to chip away at the ceiling in general and make we came through bigger and bigger and bigger, so that eventually it doesn’t even exist.  And this is where I would call on male allies.  We as women didn’t built that ceiling, I promise you. So male allies, get rid of the ceiling, stop calling us troublemakers when we’re asking questions or we are saying something’s not right, or that we’ve been treated in a certain way.  Stop doing that, stop spreading that, stop spreading, ‘oh did you hear that’s a troublemaker.’  You’re not doing that to your male counterpart so don’t do it to your female counterparts.

It definitely seems to be a theme that’s come up in in the podcasts so far, around double standards.  If you’re behaving in a way that is not just being quiet keeping your head down, I feel like women are far more likely to be to be labeled.  And I ask the question, would you say that if I was a man?  And sometimes the answer is yes, but sometimes, when we step outside of the stereotypical gender behaviors, it can be really tough for women.

So why not get rid of that thought altogether?  So once again, we know what to do, we know how to have a world without ceilings, for white males in particular, so why can’t we have a world without ceilings for everything?  What kind of world would that be, if everyone was allowed to be their absolute best?

And recognize that if somebody is passionate about something they’re speaking out, and perhaps it is louder than you want them to be, or they are having conversations that you’re uncomfortable with, maybe it’s a question of saying, ‘hey,   what is this about, there must be something underneath this if that is if that person is touched to their very core to speak out about this there, there is something in it.  Yes, I’m gonna stop and listen and learn.’  You triggered a lot of emotion in me right now, I’m one of those people that has been labeled and it really hurts, it does, it hurts.  Especially when your heart is in the right place and you want to do the right thing and you’re trying.   And so, I look what you say about thinking twice before giving people labels.

Thank you so much for having me, I just had a ball.

I could talk to you all day long Tiffany and I look forward to having you back at some point because I know that our journey together isn’t in over and there’s just so much beauty that you can share with the world.  and I’m just so honored that today our audience has got to learn about you And for everybody that is listening right now, remember if you go to the show notes at McKayUnlimited.com and you can read more about Tiffany, you can find out more about the things we talked about today, it will be in the show notes.  So please go to the website give us your feedback, what did you enjoy about today, what could we do better, who do you want to hear from in the future?  We’re here to create this community together and the more you tell us about what you want to know, the more we will get more and more people on the show and we’ll be breaking that glass ceiling faster.  Thanks everybody for dialing in and having this really important conversation.

Welcome back everybody to another exciting episode of the Leading Ladies of the podcast I hope you’ve really been enjoying our first episodes so far.  I’m really, really excited to launch this and I’m already getting lots and lots of suggestions from other awesome women for you to hear from. And today I am really, really pleased to introduce you to a good friend of mine Tiffany Nicolow.  A friend who’s really taught me how to be graceful and strong at the same time.  She’s a beautiful human being.   Tiffany is an experienced Human Resources professional and is a strong proponent of supporting the human aspect of employment in all directions, for the purpose of building stronger organizations with the most elegant efficient and prosperous teams.  Tiffany is currently with Western Forest Products and has worked in a wide range of industries including aerospace with Orion and Toray Composites, and also in the health and beauty aids industry where she gained recognition for building effective teams.  Tiffany’s experience encompasses executive coaching employee relations, organizational development and recruiting, and she also serves as the Legislative Director at the Puget Sound chapter of the Society of Human Resources Management (SHRM), so welcome Tiffany!

Well good morning, thank you so much, that was beautiful.

So, Tiffany, aside from your rather impressive resume, is there anything else that you would like our audience to know about you?

I think for the purposes of this podcast it’s important for people to know that, on top of our professional lives, I’m a wife and a mother to a 13 year old, which is an exciting journey of its own.  And that I have things that I love, being outdoors in the Pacific Northwest and we’ve just moved into a new home and I have a garden that I’ve inherited that desperately needs my attention.

I have half an acre so I can appreciate that!  Well Tiffany, we’re here today to talk about a whole range of issues but as   the topic of this this whole movement, podcast, series, whatever we’re calling it. is around encouraging more women to get out there and break that glass ceiling.  So, what are your thoughts on the glass ceiling, do you think is still exists?

I definitely think it exists my thoughts on it is that.  We indeed need to do exactly what you’re setting forth and that is to just break it down.  It’s like any other wall or barrier to one’s ability to be the best that they can be right. so, there shouldn’t be anything that is serves as resistance to that, and that’s for the betterment of humankind, it’s just not for one race or for one gender but.  We if we can all be that and grow ourselves to be exactly what we want and need to be then again that is for the betterment of humankind.  So, glass ceilings be gone.

Absolutely! And one of the things that I spoke about in a recent podcast with one of our guests is the fact that the glass ceiling is both external to us and internal to us.  So, there’s lots of different ways to get out there and smash it, and I just feel really blessed that we can share some of our thoughts on this with women around the world.  So Tiffany, today we’re here to talk about the topic like hires like, and this came about from a conversation that you and I were having about the lack of diversity in aerospace and our views on the systemic reasons behind it.  And I was reading a Harvard Business Review article on this; what is causing it why, why does it look so similar whatever conference you go to, or whatever.  And we are talking specifically about aerospace, but it relates to a lot of other industries and in this Harvard Business Review article I was reading that a lot of people, often subconsciously, are hiring people that are the same race, education level, gender, economic status, personality traits…and it’s a much more significant factor in hiring than people think.  And it’s because people are looking for points of similarity, because similarity keeps you safe.  And so, I’m curious to know what were your thoughts on this, what is this, what has your experience of like hires like been?

Well, where to begin.  It is a real thing, it is, it is true, something that I definitely have experienced.  I know other African Americans who have experienced, or think they have experienced, like hires like.   It can be very obvious when it’s happening in an interview, and people may not realize that, but it is it is actually obvious.  And I’ve been in a room where I was with a hiring manager, myself and the candidate, and could see immediately.  I got so good at doing this, and this is in aerospace, where I knew automatically when a person, when a hiring manager would say yes and when they would say no.  And again, it didn’t have anything to do with the resume, no it didn’t have anything to do with experience and it had to do with color of skin, simply.  I’ve watched darker skinned, males particularly in aerospace, have a much harder time than very light-skinned males and there’s, and I know it seems so cliched, especially in the  African-American community the light and dark skin question.  But I think that it’s a comfort level and it can be uncomfortable, it’s uncomfortable for me to talk about right now in fact.  But it is a truth and it is my experience, so I guess I want people to know that it is real, it does happen. And no, it’s not always that someone isn’t able to do the work, not just able, but qualified to do so.

Yes definitely.  I really appreciate what you just said about it being difficult to talk about; it is uncomfortable.  Personally, I haven’t been through it from a person of color point of view, obviously, but I have some experience with gender and I just really appreciate you being willing to bring this important topic to us.  I’m curious what kind of conversations have you have you had with people in those companies when you’ve seen that show up, and how has it been received?

Well I made the mistake of trusting the companies – some of them – that I’ve worked with, and when they say that they’re interested in diversity, and this is not simply aerospace workplaces, honestly.  I work for an agency at the state and I think there was the biggest issue was with hiring there.  I once said.  I’m the only  African-American in the entire agency that’s never – that’s not accurate – I was the only  African-American female at that time in the entire agency and I asked, ‘could we please hire to reflect at least the percentages within Washington State.  And I was told, ‘we don’t cater to that population.’ So, for me all I could think was, ‘oh, I know plenty of brown people who go outside and enjoy the outdoors and all the beauty that our state has to offer.  But it’s, again, it’s a real thing.  It’s difficult and it’s uncomfortable and it’s real.

Absolutely…I’m dealing with a lot of emotion right now.  I’ve had a lot of conversations with people about hiring much more diverse teams, and one of the one of the answers that I often get back is, ‘we’ll hire the best person for the job.’ And the answer annoys me so much, because I know that the subconscious bias is there, so who you think is the best person for the job may not be the best person for the job…and sometimes I feel like people are just placing too much value on what’s on paper, in terms of oh how many degrees they have, how many big companies they’ve worked for.  Sometimes actual real-life experience and struggles and some of the challenges that people have to go through, and the extra barriers to get to that the same level; I really feel passionately that that needs to be appreciated.  But I haven’t yet figured out how to communicate that gracefully.  And that’s one of the things that I really respect about you, it’s the level of grace that you bring to some of these conversations.  So how do you do that, how do you maintain this this composure and this grace in the face of injustice? 

I’m glad it feels like grace and graceful.  I think I definitely have learned that.  My mom taught me that sometimes things just need to be said. And it doesn’t matter who says them.  If I’m in a room and I’m in a place and I have a platform to help with some type of injustice, for me it’s either being a woman, or being a black woman, or being black in America.  Those are the platforms that not everyone has on that.  So being human, we all have that platform, we can all understand things.  And so when we when I’m explaining something, or trying to get someone, not to agree with me, that’s not important always, it is, ‘can you just see or understand, or really subscribe to a different thought, a different idea.  You don’t have to agree with it, you don’t even have to action it out or anything, but can you bring yourself to that understanding?  And to do that.  Human beings tend to respond better to call, respond better to rationally, respond better to logical.  And so I really try to do that, I really attempt to put myself in somebody else’s shoes to understand where are they coming from  with this particular topic and then how, given that place, how can I share with them what I think needs to be shared.  And that becomes what’s important. What I’ve taught been taught is it is an emotional hit, that getting angry and riled up and – and sometimes that’s appropriate, and sometimes that’s the vehicle that is needed – but doing it in a measured way, doing it in a way that doesn’t lose track of the outcome. I mean, ‘what do I want for myself in this situation,’ or, ‘what do I want for my community, for my family, for my team?’ So then that becomes the focus and it helps.

Yes, beautiful.  What I love about this it that it’s almost like you have a thought process this is bigger than me yourself.  It was the question, ‘what do I want for my family, what do I want from my team?’  Essentially it brings you outside of your body, looking in on your emotions.  But what about those times when maybe those emotions are really strong, what do you do to bring them down before having those conversations? Any tips for our listeners?

Oxygen.  For me it’s oxygen and just breathing, and really trying to go within myself.  And then I just have to ask myself those same questions, ‘what do I want out of this, what do I want for my team?’  It becomes second nature, and it has become second nature.  Even given what’s going on in the world – and not even the world – what’s going on two hours up the road from me in Seattle today – this very moment, and the things that have happened in our country.  Recently people have asked, ‘are you angry, or upset?’  I’m not angry, I’m not angry.  But the thing that I needed to do was to really see it in a deeper order and ‘what does that mean? Where’s this coming from ? What are the pros and the cons that can come from this? Where do I want to sit with the outcome years down the road, when my teenager says, ‘what did you think about all that What did you do? What was the response?’’  One of the things that I want to be able to say is, ‘I did take action.’  And one of the things I’ve done thus far was, you mentioned that I sit on the board at the South Puget Sound SHRM chapter and there were emails going out asking, ‘what do we do, what do we do?’  And I said, ‘we’re human resources, we know exactly what to do.  You have to hire more diverse teams. So, look at your organizations, look at your companies; where do you need diversity? And hire for that.’  It’s not good enough to say, ‘oh, they don’t apply.’  Well find them, they’re here, out there looking for jobs, so we know what to do.  And so, I can look back and say that was within lining my scope within my expertise, and I could do that and absolutely that’s what’s happened.’

I love that phrase, ‘we know what to do.’ Yes, we know what to do, we know that we need to get out there and reach more people, we know that we need to tackle those things.  What do you think has held people hold back until now? Not everybody, I just want to acknowledge that.

In in my life, I hope that it’s still short even though I’ve been on the planet for a little bit, I’ve seen a few of these what I’ll call rounds right now.  Going back to that glass ceiling, we’ve busted through a ceiling and only to find another, busted through a ceiling and only to find another.  I think you’re right; I think we’re finding the further on we go the glass isn’t getting thinner.  As we move forward, in what I call rounds, this time in the ring, this round, what are the important items? And we do the same thing, we tend to say, ‘okay we need to listen, and somebody needs to talk to us, and we need to train, and we need to hire someone to train us, and we need to… ‘ And we do that every single round.  When I say, ‘we know what to do,’ there may be some talking that needs to happen, there may be some listening that needs to happen, but we already know what to do.  We know how to hire men at the executive level, why would that be different than hiring women at the executive level? We know how to do that, we know how to hire men and women at the middle management level, and why can’t we do that for all different shades of human? We know what to do and we know how to do it, we choose actively not to and then we build a case around why we can’t, or why we shouldn’t.  And part of that is that, ‘we’re going to hire the best person.’  It’s part of that wall or that ceiling.  It’s stone, it’s tempered into the glass itself, the, ‘we’re going to hire the best person.’

Absolutely, and I think it is recognizing that hiring the best person for the job is completely subjective.  And I remember reading once about how somebody was looking at how doing interviews that were faceless, kind of like in The Voice, but not even just faceless, also actually using – I don’t know if it’s the right word, but – animatronics or whatever, it’s where you actually use computerized voices that nobody could judge.  And I’d be really curious to actually see that come to life.  The hopeful part of me has hoped that with everything going on right now, today is Juneteenth and we’re right at the height of recent events, and the protests, and the demonstrations, and in the middle of coronavirus and my hope is that as we emerge from this we are a more evolved society and we’re consciously tackling some of these things. I mean am I just I just dreaming here? What are your thoughts?

We have to make that choice, and if that’s what we want to be, that’s what we can be, I hope this might be our moment.  So, I have thoughts about that, and Black Lives Matter and the Democratic Party.  There’s many things, especially during this time that I find that I – I don’t know if it’s unique, but people don’t expect it from me now and – that is that over the last few years I’ve grown into a Trump supporter and it’s interesting.  However, if I share what it is that’s important right what’s important to me right now, I really subscribe to the fact that I do think that our country has been attacked by something, I do.  I can’t put my finger on what that is and I and it’s a shame that I can’t, but I can’t right now. And I think that we’ve been attacked in two of our weakest places.  One, if I were an enemy and I wanted to attack I would take out the economic system.  That’s been done, so I won’t go into that any further.  But then secondly, if I want to weaken a community, or if I want a weakened society, I will hit them in their weakest place; for the United States our weakest place happens to be our race relations.  So, for me it’s this time around seems like racism, but it’s not racism as in racism as usual.  To me this is a strategic move to incite an emotion.  So, when I step back from it and really look at it, yes in the United States we have racial issues, we have gender issues that need to be dealt with.  And my hope is that at the end of this, just like you say, we begin to do that.  Truly, we begin to, since we know what to do and we know how to act and what actions to take to help heal some of those things.  I hope that we choose to do that for the betterment of all. In the meantime, there’s this other thing that seems to be going on that I don’t want to lose track of, and I think I’m going within myself and being able to just again see things beyond me.  My country is in need of help and assistance right now and burning down my city isn’t going to help my country right now.  So that is how I see the current situation.  And what I looked into – I’m a researcher, so when I looked into – Black Lives Matter and found out that the majority of those millions of dollars, hundreds of millions dollars, don’t really see black communities at all.  But there’s a company – I wish I had the name; it is blue something – I encourage your listeners to look into Black Lives Matter and see who quote-unquote ‘owns’ it.  And the money that goes to black lives matter goes directly to the Democratic Party, which I am embarrassed to say I have been a part of up until I really did the research and found out what the Democratic Party is truly all about.  But that does not make me a Republican, it just makes me more aware, gives me more information with which to make decisions this time.  And so I think that moving forward and into the future and healing means having good information for which to make decisions; so when we have those good statistics and we can realize that, yes, we know how to hire women and how not to treat people poorly, and we know how to hire people of all different colors and backgrounds.  We realize we know how to do that, and we just do it.  And we know there’s been justices that have happened and if we choose not to be unjust then we can do that too.

So, what I’m hearing is, ‘get educated.’

Yes, get bigger, get beyond yourself and get in the other person’s shoes.

And coming down to a more a more tactical level, you and I are different in many ways.  We look different.  I’m feisty, you’re graceful.  We have lots of different views on lots of different things, from politics to where we should live and how to approach the world, but we still have this is connection that I really, really appreciate.  What can women like you and I, that are so different, what could we be doing together to be part of driving this change and making things different this time? 

There’s an old saying that ‘by their fruit you will know them,’ and our world moves so fast.  However, when you and I were first introduced to each other, and even to this day, no part of our building a relationship has gone by fast.  It takes time, there are many months when we don’t speak to each other.  But then I know that when it’s important we do and when it’s joyful we do, when there’s an event coming or something we do, and we have that’s the connection.  It’s very human, it’s very natural and when those things occur, we know exactly what to do and we do right.  So, treating each other with respect, grace, feistiness.  Bringing to the table what we have to bring to the table.  I shared with you that I think having a podcast would be fantastic and there’s some things that I would love to talk about, and I thank for you that feistiness in that you made that happen for your life, and then that has touched my life and allowed me to participate in this.  So, there’s a human connection. So what can we do? Again, what we can do is be our best selves and when we need to act and can act do so.  You were struck very strongly to do this by an event in your life, and so you did it, and that’s affecting the world.  What if someone told you, what if someone said ‘no, you can’t have that podcast?’ So again, going to breaking those glass ceilings is really important bringing them down, let’s redefine when we use and how we use know the word ‘no’ and how we can use ‘no’ better.

I love that you say that because ‘No’ has been my biggest motivator in life.  I don’t know why, I don’t where it came from.  But just be just being told ‘No.’  I remember when I was in high school, I didn’t misbehave, but I was definitely one of those mothy kids who’d like to challenge the teachers.  And I remember my principal asked, ‘which university do you want to go to? And I told him Oxford, and then he told me I was setting my sights too high and should be looking a little bit lower, they had head girls they haven’t got in.   And I decided, ‘right, you tell me no, then I will show you!’ And I guess that just shows up for me again and again and again.  I even have this shirt that says, ‘underestimate, I dare you!  What are some of the things that keep you going, what motivates you? Is there something, is there a particular experience, or a particular phrase for you that became, ‘yeah, I’m gonna do this!’?

I tend to say myself, ‘oh that’s not for me,’ and I’ve had that since I was a child. I had an experience where I was sitting in a classroom and we had a visitor and someone had an internship, or something like that, an internship yeah.  And I really wanted to do it, but that little voice in my head said, ‘oh that’s not for you ,’ and then I didn’t let anyone know that I wanted to participate in that program. And I got mad at myself really, just upset and disappointed.  And then what came next was my saying, which was, ‘why not me, why not me?  And it’s a very simple thing and I know people said it before, and maybe even now it’s cliché, but that for me is one of the biggest motivators.  Now it’s one of my biggest motivators for believing in myself, like, ‘what makes me so special that I can’t, why can others but I can’t? And I just don’t believe I’m that special, I think that I’m very much like others and if it can be done by them, then I am capable of doing it too.  Maya Angelou quoted Terence – Terence was a freed slave and playwright – and he said, ‘because I am man nothing human can be foreign to me.’  And she changed it, she said, ‘because I am human nothing human can be foreign to me.’  And I believe that if a human can do it, I know I can.  I mean, I don’t want to take that to extremes, I’m not going to be – I’m five foot three – a basketball star now, but I can learn how to shoot,  So, I think for me it’s that question of if it’s something that I want to do then ‘why not, why not me why not me?’

I love that, I love it, ‘why not me?’  I think that’s something that all of our listeners could take on, not just for themselves, but for everybody in their life, when their friends and family say stuff like that, come back and say, like up come out and say, ‘why not me,’ and, ‘why not you?’  

And also looking at our society, in the places where especially women are told ‘no.’  I remember my father; I was 20 years old and I was going to move from Michigan to Arizona.  And I was driving, and my father did not believe – and refused to believe – that I was going to drive my car by myself from Michigan to Arizona.  I didn’t know how long I was going to stay there, but I had my little car filled with all my belongings, and I wasn’t coming back.  And he just wouldn’t believe it.  And I believe until the day he passed he thought that one of my male friends had; thought for certain that Josh got in the car and drove with me to Arizona.  And it just boggles my mind, then and it does now, that there are things that human beings think that other human beings can’t do because of gender, or because of race; it’s such a strange concept for me.

Well I’m glad we share that.  And as you said, I love what you said earlier about it being a long-term investment. And what I love about our relationship is that it’s always been raw and real.  We don’t just speak about the good stuff; for our audience, I have been to Tiffany when I am broken, heartbroken, some of my most awful experiences, because I just value her opinion so much.  And I think the humaneness and the ability to get real is just, it’s crucial. and I never really thought about it until now.  I really appreciate that about you.  

So, and you can see from the logo we have the steps on the shoe, and to me that that step is, it essentially represents reaching back to the woman that are essentially behind us on the journey and pulling them through.  I don’t want to see any more people getting through that glass ceiling and being like, ‘oh yeah I can rest now.’  Celebrate your success, but you stick your hand back through that glass then you keep going.  And I’m curious on two fronts.  First of all, what can we be doing to help the women behind us…but I wanted to take it a step further and ask  what is it that that women like me, white women, what can we be doing to better appreciate the struggles that women of color go through and actually been a true ally, not a performative ally.

Again, we know what to do.  We know when we’re in situations to help other human beings, help other human beings that are in need, whether that is, regardless who it is.  We already know how to do it.  The moment we stop and say, ‘well I’m not going to help that person because…’ and anything can come up.  Usually we feel it may be a threat in our professional circles, it may be a threat to ourselves and to where we stand.   I’ve experienced that quite a bit, where if I know something, or if I have information, or someone assist me in some kind of way or, I assist them then that’s a threat.  That person can’t be seen to….  I had a horrible manager once and she literally told me that she didn’t want me to build relationships with the managers.  Well, as a senior HR consultant at the time, that was my job, and I was the only one being told, ‘don’t build those relationships with those managers.’  It happens to be something that I do really well, I want to know what their needs are and then I wanted to deliver.  They are my customers and I want to deliver what they need, and that builds relationship.  And I was being told not to do that, and I was being chastised for doing that.  Of course, I’m no longer there, and that’s because I could no longer, I couldn’t work under those circumstance.  I think that what we can do, all of us, again we don’t have to go outside of ourselves, there’s nothing special we need to do, but we need to be ourselves and quote/unquote ‘treat everyone equally.’ And that’s it, that’s all it is.   I had a facial, I vowed to do more self-care during this time.  So, I had a facial and then the woman who saved my face – I call her the face saver – she watched a comedian regarding and the awful atrocities that happened to George Floyd.  And this comedian said some things that triggered her. She’s a white woman and she said, ‘what do I want to do with that?’ I said, ‘well, I watched that scene and comedian – and he’s one of my favorites, I really enjoy him – but about two minutes into what he was saying I realized he was not there to entertain me.  He’s a black man about the same shade and build as the man that we saw there pressed into the concrete, and he was having a visceral experience.  And he was using his craft.  In my mind, he was using his craft to heal himself.  And I was perfectly willing to sit there and listen to what he had to say, and to watch was pain as he tried to entertain.  And so I said to her – there was a story that he told in the segment that was particularly disturbing to her as a white woman, and something he had said, it wasn’t about you though, it was about what happened to the person because of what the other woman did.   And this is his response to the entire thing, not as a not as a comedian, not as a person who we all enjoy and laugh with, and he gets paid for.   But this is just simply him as a human being who was mirrored, with an atrocity he saw himself in.  So let’s look at things in a deeper order, let’s really think things through, let’s really put ourselves in other people’s shoes, and put ourselves in other people’s minds and really try to work out what are our intentions.   And know our own intent, I think those are the things that we can do, all of us, not just white women, everyone can. To make it better.

I’m hearing a lot around allowing the human experience.  Sometimes people might be saying something or explaining something to us it makes us feel uncomfortable, but it it’s allowing them to process what they’ve been through.  And I think a lot of a lot of people can actually identify with that, like when you watch the media and movies and stuff, that emotion is often because we can resonate, and it’s no different with day to day and experiences that people go through. And so and what I’m hearing is to really give people space to experience what they’re going through, and rather than our defensiveness from being offended, we need to actually sit back and ask, ‘where is this coming from , what is it, if I get some altitude here, what is the experience, what is this person trying to do, and how can I connect with this person?

Yes, I ask a question to do I want to engage?  but I still want to know., If I’m drawn to a situation, I still want to use all of my faculties to find out, ‘do I want to participate?’ And maybe I don’t, and that’s okay too.  And I might understand someone clearly – and they may not be a good person, it doesn’t mean I want to engage, but it also doesn’t mean I need to judge.  Now there are people who absolutely hate, with all of their being women, and who hate, with all of their being, black people.  Those people exist, and that has to be okay.  I don’t need to judge that; I need to mind how I’m living my own life.

I’m just I’m going quiet here because I’m like, ‘hmm, how do I not judge those people?’ And I just love what you say there about, ‘hey this is about my life and I’ll control what I can control.’

Well I really, really appreciate you being willing to dive in so deeply and so broad and in such a raw way and in these big topics, sharing your experiences.  I’m a true believer that the more we talk about these things, and get them out in the open, the more and more we understand it.   Even, as you say, if people are completely opposite to your own beliefs then the first thing to understand.  So, I really appreciate you being willing to share these things with our audience.

Thank you for having me, I’m just so blessed to know you and to watch your feistiness, go and release it to the world.  My hope for you is that you bust through all of the glass ceilings in your mind and then definitely destroy all of the ceilings that are on the outside of you as well, and you are well on your way to doing that. You’ve been doing you were born to do, and it’s happening, and you have all the skills and the ability and heart to make that happen and better our world for all.  I mean, really, the work that you’re doing, that you’re drawn to do, right, is making the entire world a better place.  Asking us to think deeper on, ‘why do we have these ceilings anyway?’  You asked what women can do to reach back through, and I think yes, we need to reach back through.  But at the same time, we need to be chipping away; our daily work is to chip away at the ceiling in general and make we came through bigger and bigger and bigger, so that eventually it doesn’t even exist.  And this is where I would call on male allies.  We as women didn’t built that ceiling, I promise you. So male allies, get rid of the ceiling, stop calling us troublemakers when we’re asking questions or we are saying something’s not right, or that we’ve been treated in a certain way.  Stop doing that, stop spreading that, stop spreading, ‘oh did you hear that’s a troublemaker.’  You’re not doing that to your male counterpart so don’t do it to your female counterparts.

It definitely seems to be a theme that’s come up in in the podcasts so far, around double standards.  If you’re behaving in a way that is not just being quiet keeping your head down, I feel like women are far more likely to be to be labeled.  And I ask the question, would you say that if I was a man?  And sometimes the answer is yes, but sometimes, when we step outside of the stereotypical gender behaviors, it can be really tough for women.

So why not get rid of that thought altogether?  So once again, we know what to do, we know how to have a world without ceilings, for white males in particular, so why can’t we have a world without ceilings for everything?  What kind of world would that be, if everyone was allowed to be their absolute best?

And recognize that if somebody is passionate about something they’re speaking out, and perhaps it is louder than you want them to be, or they are having conversations that you’re uncomfortable with, maybe it’s a question of saying, ‘hey,   what is this about, there must be something underneath this if that is if that person is touched to their very core to speak out about this there, there is something in it.  Yes, I’m gonna stop and listen and learn.’  You triggered a lot of emotion in me right now, I’m one of those people that has been labeled and it really hurts, it does, it hurts.  Especially when your heart is in the right place and you want to do the right thing and you’re trying.   And so, I look what you say about thinking twice before giving people labels.

Thank you so much for having me, I just had a ball.

I could talk to you all day long Tiffany and I look forward to having you back at some point because I know that our journey together isn’t in over and there’s just so much beauty that you can share with the world.  and I’m just so honored that today our audience has got to learn about you And for everybody that is listening right now, remember if you go to the show notes at McKayUnlimited.com and you can read more about Tiffany, you can find out more about the things we talked about today, it will be in the show notes.  So please go to the website give us your feedback, what did you enjoy about today, what could we do better, who do you want to hear from in the future?  We’re here to create this community together and the more you tell us about what you want to know, the more we will get more and more people on the show and we’ll be breaking that glass ceiling faster.  Thanks everybody for dialing in and having this really important conversation.

About Tiffany

Tiffany Nicolow is a Human Resources Business Partner at Western Forest Products.   Tiffany previously worked with the Department of Natural Resources and previously had a career in aerospace, working for Orion and Toray Composites. Tiffany’s experience with human resources encompasses executive coaching, employee relations, organizational development and recruiting, and has gained recognition for building effective teams. Ms. Nicolow is a strong proponent of supporting the human aspect of employment in all directions for the purpose of building strong organizations that have the most elegant, efficient and prosperous teams. She actively serves as the Legislative Director for the South Puget Sound SHRM Board.

0 Comments

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *