Thursday, April 25, 2019

Diversity - AT THE TOP!

I just read an article in the WSJ which was an interview with PwC U.S. Chairman Tim Ryan.  Great read!  The article basically touches on the efforts of Mr. Ryan to force leadership and all employees into discussion about race relationships within the organization as well as a focus on diversity.  These efforts were born out of tragedy after Botham Jean, a 26-year-old PricewaterhouseCoopers senior associate, was shot to death by an off-duty police officer while watching football in his Dallas apartment.  The article / interview goes deeper into the efforts of PwC to focus on diversity at the cultural level as well as institute employee empowerment programs designed to sharpen the skillset of employees.

Tim Ryan: CEO - PwC
It was a great read but left me feeling like something was missing… like Ryan and PwC were falling short.  I’ll explain shortly. 

I like the fact PwC leadership decided to support and promote discussions about race and diversity.  They also did so on an internal level where the focus was truly about the employees and the company culture.  It was established as an opportunity for the people from all levels of PwC to learn about each other and understand different perspectives. Simply having diversity focus is more than just hiring diversity; its sharing a diverse culture.  PwC gets this. 

In an article written for the Harvard Business Review, David Thomas and Robin Ely noted, “…diversity goes beyond increasing the number of different identity-group affiliations on the payroll to recognizing that such an effort is merely the first step in managing a diverse workforce for the organization’s utmost benefit. Diversity should be understood as the varied perspectives and approaches to work that members of different identity groups bring….  Women, Hispanics, Asian Americans, African Americans, Native Americans—these groups and others outside the mainstream of corporate America don’t bring with them just their “insider information.” They bring different, important, and competitively relevant knowledge and perspectives about how to actually do work—how to design processes, reach goals, frame tasks, create effective teams, communicate ideas, and lead. When allowed to, members of these groups can help companies grow and improve by challenging basic assumptions about an organization’s functions, strategies, operations, practices, and procedures. And in doing so, they are able to bring more of their whole selves to the workplace and identify more fully with the work they do, setting in motion a virtuous circle.” 

So Mr. Ryan got this one right.  He not only works on bridging a gap of understanding between different races and cultures; he does so at the employee-to-senior management levels, establishing a true culture that focuses on the heart of diversity; diversity in thought and focus on true differences and how these can be celebrated, shared and embraced.  Though it took a tragedy to spark this conversation at such a level, the result is a win for the people and culture of PwC.

An article in Chief Executive Magazine published a story on his efforts to address diversity and inclusion and noted the following.  “Ryan didn’t just take stock of where PwC was in the area of diversity and inclusion, he looked at the business world at large. What he saw was a lot of room for improvement. A lot of companies went the safe route and didn’t scratch the surface. As such, Ryan helped launch CEO Action for Diversity and Inclusion in 2017, an initiative aimed at getting CEOs to advance diversity and inclusion initiatives at their companies.  More than 550 CEOs have signed the organization’s diversity pledge since last year and many led their companies in December’s “Day of Understanding,” where employees convened to discuss bias in the workplace. CEO Action for Diversity and Inclusion has also published more than 450 best practices and already had three closed door/CEO only meetings on how they can expand and improve diversity and inclusion efforts across the business community.

I also liked Mr. Ryan’s thinking and comments about wanting people to be with PwC in both mind and body, and as such not only promote the discussion of inclusion and diversity but also focus on "upskilling"; putting in place programs to develop skills and foster personal growth for the employees.  Mr. Ryan’s move not only does the obvious “saw sharpening” to increase employee production; he presents programs to assist those who don’t have the skills necessary to advance where others climb freely… programs which can narrow the chasm of developed skill sets which exists between races (a point of merit in the discussion of “white privilege” and systematic minority suppression).  

As noted by Mr. Ryan in his WSJ interview, “To win the war for talent, part of the proposition has to be, ’Come for our culture, come for your career growth opportunities, come because you’re going to be constantly invested in to make sure you stay relevant.”  Successful organizations understand this and are acting accordingly.  Employee Engagement at its finest.  BRAVO PwC!

Understand… PwC is not alone regarding employee engagement.  Employee engagement is definitely on the rise.  A recent Gallup poll published in August 2018 noted three undeniable trends and facts:
  • 34% of U.S. workers are engaged, tying highest in Gallup's history
  • "Actively disengaged" percentage is down to 13%, a new low
  • Engagement is highly related to positive business outcomes

So what was missing?  THE NEXT STEP!  

In many industries, there is a serious lack of diversity in senior leadership though there are many organizations within these industries promoting diversity in hiring practices, cultural awareness and assimilation, and employee training and skill development.  

Here is a statistic for you:   According to a recent publication produced by BCG, “Among Fortune 500 CEOs at the time of publication, only 24 are women (less than 5% of the total), only three are black, and only three are openly gay, including just one lesbian…. Most company leaders—primarily white, heterosexual males—still underestimate the challenges diverse employees face. These leaders control budgets and decide which diversity programs to pursue. If they lack a clear understanding of the problem, they can’t design effective solutions.

Diversity in leadership is a necessity!  There is also true value in ensuring diversity in leadership roles.  The Ladders recently published an article by Sharon E. Jones which focused on the value of diversity in leadership and link in senior leadership diversity to greater financial returns.  Some of the major benefits noted were…
  • Diverse teams produce better solutions to complex problems; 
  • Diversity in leadership can help with retention of diverse staff
  • Diverse leaders can serve as mentors and sponsors to diverse professionals and others and build multi-cultural competencies within the organization

Her conclusion: "One of the best investments that a company can make is to be intentional about increasing the diversity in leadership by recruiting, retaining, and promoting diverse professionals."  And she is dead-on!

So what about the board room?  PwC’s 2018 Annual Corporate Directors Survey shows that directors are listening more, learning more and engaging more. One of the top findings from the survey - "Board diversity has been a hot topic for years, and directors seem to be getting the message. Most recognize the value that diversity adds. Nearly all agree that it brings unique perspectives to the boardroom, and the majority say it enhances board performance. Most also say diversity improves relationships with investors—those who have been strong supporters of it. While 91% of directors say their boards are taking steps to increase diversity, many directors seem cynical: more than half say board diversity efforts are driven by political correctness. And nearly half think shareholders are too preoccupied with the topic. Some also hint that it’s just a “check-the-box” exercise."

Herein lies the heart of the problem. 

So my question to Mr. Ryan – “Do you value diversity in leadership? Does your board?  

PwC Board Of Directors:  
  • 20 Members.  
  • 15 White Men
  • 5 White Women
  • No minorities
Where is the diversity? It looks like PwC didn’t even check the box!

And don’t get me wrong… I am not attacking Mr. Ryan for the lack of diversity on the PwC Board.  I applaud Mr. Ryan for championing the issue and forcing C-level executives and senior management to face the issue.  He didn’t chose his board; they chose him.  In a perfect world, the PwC board would reflect the goals of diversity Mr. Ryan preaches (and practices).  If more leaders address diversity issues like Mr. Ryan has, this will happen in  time. 

So if diversity in leadership should be a goal for all organizations to strive for, how do we ensure we not only establish programs that discuss diversity and foster employee development but also shape tomorrows leaders… tomorrows senior leadership? Tomorrow’s Boards?  There must be a focus on 1- ensuring a diverse senior leadership team and board of directors, and 2- developing and implementing leadership development programs for the workforce in preparation for tomorrow’s senior leadership roles.  

Though there is a definite difference in the skill sets and core competencies possessed by senior leadership, management and the employee work force, there are many employees joining organizations at the entry level who possess the core competencies needed to be an exceptional leader.  They are the diamond in the rough of the company human capital pool.  However, prior to joining the organization, they may not have experienced the opportunities to develop their skill sets or show what they can accomplish.  They go un-noticed with their potential untapped.  Organizations who truly want to reach diversity milestones must consider instituting leadership programs designed to identify and develop diverse senior leadership from within!  IT is more than just developing talent into successful and productive team members . It is about effectively growing a diverse group of leaders from within... Leaders of tomorrow who get the company culture of diversity and the benefits it brings for the entire organization!

Let’s see Mr. Ryan take this on as well.  Maybe others will follow. 


WSJ Article: “This Boss Is Making Race Relations a Business Matter: PWC’s U.S. chief talks about discussing race, gun violence and justice with employees after a colleague was shot by a police officer”  Published March 13, 2019.  By Vanessa Fuhrmans.  Website Source:

For more information on PwC Chairman Tim Ryan:

Boston Consulting Group (BCG): Article – “Fixing the Flawed Approach to Diversity”,  Published JANUARY 17, 2019.  Authors Matt Krentz , Justin Dean , Jennifer Garcia-Alonso , Frances Brooks Taplett , Miki Tsusaka, and Elliot Vaughn.  Website Source:

SHRM (Society for Human Resource Management) Website:  Article “Development Employee Career Paths and Ladders”.  Author Unknown.  Date Published Unknown.  Website Source:

Gallup:  “Employee Engagement on the Rise in the US”; By Jim Harter.  Aug 26, 2018.  Website Source:

Forbes: “How To Lead The Push For Diversity in the Workplace”, by Monica Thakrar; June 9, 2017.  Website Source:

Harvard Business Review. “Making Differences Matter: A New Paradigm for Managing Idversity”.  By David A. Thomas and Robin J. Fly.  Sept-Oct 1996 Issue.  Website Source:

The Ladders.  “The Value of Diversity In Leadership Roles”, by Sharon E. Jones.  November 12, 2018. Website Source:

PwC United States.  “The Evelving Boardroom: Signs of Change”.  PwC’s 2018 Annual Corporate Directors Survey.  Website Source:

Chief Executive.  “Why PwC Chairman Tim Ryan’s Top Priority is Diversity And Race”.  By Gabriel Perna.  Jan 9, 2019.  Website Source:

PwC Board of Directors Website Source:

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Kavanaugh - revisited.

Notice the democratic candidates for president?  Notice something many have in common?  

Here’s a little food for thought.  

I thought I would publish an email I posted last September on the subject of Brett Kavanaugh.  Just re-reading this reminds me of the coordinated efforts of the left to destroy the republicans at any cost.  The Kavanaugh fiasco was political warfare at its greatest, waged by the left in an effort to sway public opinion and stop the confirmation at any cost. 

They ALL said they would do it before it happened.  They continue to do this today.  The left will stop at nothing to regain power and ensure nothing can come of the Republican agenda.  And I am not a republican (more of a centrist or libertarian)... I didn't vote for Trump.  But what the left is doing is much scarier than Trump.  These coordinated attacks on anything “not democrat” are dangerous.  It isn't just Kavanaugh... it is also Russian Collusion; when this didn't work, Obstruction of Justice... now its Taxes.  They will not stop.  They will not govern.  They will not legislate.  They will ONLY focus on 1 thing... removing Trump at all costs.   Yet he was legally voted in by the people of the Republic of the United States of America.   This, my friends, IS scary!

So on the subject of Kavanaugh...  a family member recently sent me a copy of the following article entitled "Male Entitlement".  (Here is the link: The article attempts to establish male privilege and white privilege as the underlying qualifications of Justice Brett Kavanaugh and attempts to use these perspectives as support for opposing Kavanaugh, provide support the claims of Prof Christine Basely Ford and further the cries of injustice to his confirmation. Furthermore, it attempts to align the harsh tone and reaction of Justice Kavanaugh with a secret admission of guilt.  

I had to reply.   

So (name redacted), this article is complete crap and you know it.  Where is the white male entitlement in this?  Are you seriously trying to say his anger and heated response to the attacks he faced were exemplary of white / male privilege?  That he was angry because he was challenged of something he believed was rightfully his due to his privileged life, culture, skin color and sex? 

Kavanaugh was angry (rightfully so) because of the fact he had been labeled guilty of an act simply based on a person’s accusations with no proof or ability to substantiate.  I would be as well!  He was partisan in his counter attack because the initial attack on him was partisan.  Good on him for calling them out!

The Democrats have gone out of their way to ensure he is convicted in the court of public opinion for something he may not have done. It’s a power grab by the dems and an attempt to block this confirmation at any cost… something they all said they would do prior to the hearings! And it’s disgusting.

Kavanaugh doesn't deserve this opportunity because of his race, sex, class or status.  He is simply extremely qualified for the Supreme Court.  Let’s look at his resume (from Judicial Review):

  • Clerk for Judge Walter Stapleton, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit (1990-91) and Judge Alex Kozinski, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit (1991-92)
  • Attorney in the Office of the Solicitor General (1992-93)
  • Clerk for Justice Anthony Kennedy of the United States Supreme Court (1993-94).
  • Associate Counsel in the Office of Independent Counsel (1994-97, 1998).
  • Partner at Kirkland & Ellis (1997-98, 1999-2001).
  • Associate Counsel and then Senior Associate Counsel to the President (2001-03).
  • Assistant to the President and Staff Secretary to the President (2003-06).
  • Has argued cases before the Supreme Court of the United States and other appellate courts.
  • Has taught full-term courses on Separation of Powers at Harvard Law School (each year from 2008 to 2015), on the Supreme Court at Harvard Law School (2014, 2016, 2017, 2018), on National Security and Foreign Relations Law at Yale Law School (2011), and on Constitutional Interpretation at Georgetown University Law Center (2007).
  • Has published articles in the Yale Law Journal, the Georgetown Law Journal, the Harvard Law Review, the Notre Dame Law Review, the Minnesota Law Review, the Catholic University Law Review, the Marquette Lawyer, the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, and Lawfare, among other publications.

This resume is factual and substantiated. (BTW - Ford’s claims are not.)

The move to discredit Kavanaugh in the public eye is a ploy by the dems. It is a partisan attack which was planned prior to confirmation hearings and prior to the claim by Ford… and Judge K is calling them out.

The list of Senate Dems who called for blocking Kavanaugh on the day he was announced is well documented. The list of Dems who noted they would do whatever it takes to stop the nomination is well documented. This is a political witch hunt to stop conservative ideology from taking over the Supreme Court.

Upon nomination, prior to accusations by Ford....

Saving the Supreme Court from Trump’s clutches has always involved a very complicated two-step: first, block Kavanaugh, then fight like hell to win back the Senate,” said Brian Fallon, a 2016 campaign adviser to Hillary Clinton who helped start a group called Demand Justice to fight conservative judicial nominations. “If Kavanaugh drops out, we’re halfway there. If Democrats are able to win back the Senate, we’d have a path to blocking Trump from picking any of the arch-conservatives on his shortlist.” (From NYT)

Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer declared an all-out battle to block the confirmation of President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh — who could become the court’s decisive conservative vote — as Kavanaugh began making the rounds Tuesday on Capitol Hill. The Senate minority leader, stood with Democratic Judiciary Committee members and vowed, “I’m going to fight this nomination with everything I’ve got.” 

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) said she would oppose Kavanaugh because “he is so ultraconservative, so far right from the mainstream, that he would move our court in a direction, that, truly, New Yorkers don't support, for 20, 30 years.” 

There are battles worth fighting, regardless of the outcome” Sen. Mazie Hirono, D-Hawaii

"We are in this fight together,” said Richard Blumenthal, Democrat of Connecticut, implying that the oft-warring factions of the liberal establishment are ready to unite in trying to stop Kavanaugh’s ascension to the court.

Here’s what some had to say on Twitter:

Elizabeth Warren: “Brett Kavanaugh's record as a judge and lawyer is clear: hostile to health care for millions, opposed to the CFPB & corporate accountability, thinks Presidents like Trump are above the law – and conservatives are confident that he would overturn Roe v. Wade. I'll be voting no.

Chris Murphy: “Brett Kavanaugh is a true Second Amendment radical. He believes assault weapon bans are unconstitutional, a position way out of the judicial mainstream, far to the right of even late Justice Scalia.

Cory Booker:  “The fact that Kavanaugh believes that a President should not be subject to civil litigation or criminal investigation while in office means that Trump just nominated a justice who has already reached conclusions on these serious questions. That should raise enormous red flags.

Bernie Sanders:  “If Brett Kavanaugh is confirmed to the Supreme Court it will have a profoundly negative effect on workers' rights, women's rights and voting rights for decades to come. We must do everything we can to stop this nomination.”

Dianne Feinstein: “Brett Kavanaugh's views are far outside the mainstream when it comes to health care, executive power, privacy and gun safety. We need a nominee who understands that the court must protect the rights of all Americans, not just political interest groups and the powerful.

Chuck Schumer: “I will oppose Judge Kavanaugh’s nomination with everything I have, and I hope a bipartisan majority will do the same. The stakes are simply too high for anything less.

Kirsten Gillibrand: “We all know what’s at stake with Kavanaugh’s nomination: The freedom for women to make our own choices. Equal rights. Civil rights. All of the values we hold most dear. Stopping this will take all of us, fighting as hard as we can, raising our voices again and again.”

Kamala Harris: “Trump’s Supreme Court Justice nominee, Judge Kavanaugh, represents a direct and fundamental threat to the rights and health care of hundreds of millions of Americans. I will oppose his nomination to the Supreme Court.”

Patty Murray:  “President Trump, more than any President I’ve seen, has been explicit about what he expects from a nominee—and based on everything I know about Judge Kavanaugh, he is exactly what President Trump is looking for. So, I oppose this nomination.

And then there is NANCY PELOSI....

Pelosi Statement on Trump Nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the U.S. Supreme Court - JULY 10, 2018:  Washington, D.C. – 

Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi issued this statement after President Trump nominated Judge Brett Kavanaugh of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit to fill the Supreme Court seat left vacant by Anthony Kennedy:

“The President’s selection is a clear and disrespectful assault on the fundamental rights of women and on the quality, affordable health care of the American people.  Judge Kavanaugh’s long history of opposition to the full, fundamental right of every woman to make her own decisions about her body, family and health care poses a grave threat to women’s rights and to our Founders’ promise of liberty and justice for all.  If he proves as eager an executor of the President’s bitter campaign to overturn Roe v. Wade and sabotage Americans’ health care as his record suggests, a woman’s right to choose will be repealed and the health coverage and economic security of 130 million Americans with pre-existing conditions will be in grave peril. Once again, the President is using his nomination as a destructive tool on a generation of progress for workers, women, LGBTQ Americans, communities of color and families, and to radically reverse the course of American justice and democracy. The Senate must subject the Kavanaugh nomination to rigorous scrutiny before holding a vote on sending him to the highest court in the land.  We stand with the American people in opposing any efforts to install a radical vote against women’s freedom and families’ health care on the Court.”

And after all of this, here is what the prosecutor had to say about Ford’s testimony:

Do people realize FORD has over $600k in go fund me accounts? Guess where it’s coming from. The lawyer representing Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh’s accuser is a leader in an organization that has been directly funded by George Soros’s Open Society Foundation, reports say. 

It was reported Ford suffers from dementia. Debra Katz and Lisa Banks (Fords attorneys) stated there was “no way the senate judiciary committee could review Ford’s medical records” to review her mental capacity and state.

Now after the FBI completed a 7th review of Kavanaugh due to the Ford and Democrat claims, a report is produced AGAIN stating NOTHING can be supported.... no claims corroborated.

At first I felt there could be some truth to her story. Now, barring some new evidence or substantial new claim with supporting evidence emerging, I believe either she is suffering from mental illness and memory issues or is a paid operative by the dems.

Let’s see.... have women filed false rape accusations before? Of course... and given Ford has a liberal past and is supported by a group of dems that has vowed to stop at nothing in blocking Kavanaugh, she would be more motivated than... let’s say.... the Perry & Counts case....

What about Duke Lacrosse? Univ of Virginia fang rape? List is pretty long.

I believe we should be able to ACCUSE Dr. Ford of intentionally filing a false report with the Senate. Accusations are truth, correct?

Here’s better info on the phenomenon.

What do studies say about why women file false claims? Here is a great article giving you 13 reasons! Look at #4. Didn’t we already establish Ford’s attorneys (DNC lead council) are blocking requests by the senate judiciary committee and fbi to see her medical files? Here’s that list: 

I feel sorry for Kavanaugh’s wife and children. This is not a race issue and is not about someone throwing a tantrum over not getting what he believes is his (white/male) privilege. Just a pissed off man who called out the dems for exactly what they have done.... slander his name to get public opinion against him and effect the votes of senators confirming him. What a sham.

Investigate the accusers. Who knows. Maybe if they are telling the truth, evidence would present itself that would warrant impeachment of a sitting Supreme Court Justice. It’s been done before... though it was 1804.