With business entering the digital world, we need to start looking into alternate populations to begin hiring from. Sure there are people of different skin colors or sexes, but what about individuals with physical disabilities or people from the autistic population.

Sometimes to tackle certain situations, a different point of view can be highly beneficial.

Not only can business reach out and bring in employees from different walks of life, but companies can also look into how to treat their employees equitably. For some employees a flexible schedule would be helpful, or perhaps a cafeteria type benefits plan may work better for your employee base.

Julie Thompson joins us today on the Jamming with Jason podcast to discuss positive ways that industry can change in many ways for the better!

Listen in at: http://www.jasonmefford.com/jammingwithjason/

00:00:01.110 –> 00:00:13.500
Jason Mefford: Welcome to another episode of jamming with Jay said hey everybody I am excited today we have a great show in store for you i’m talking to Julie Thompson.

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Jason Mefford: And we’re going to go some places in this in this podcast that we obviously need to talk about.

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Jason Mefford: Julie, has a great background and so i’m excited to get into this because we’re going to talk a little bit about her career path.

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Jason Mefford: And how you know career paths are not necessarily typical career path so an example of how you can get to where you are in your career.

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Jason Mefford: But also we’re going to jump in and talk about some other topics around Corporate Social Responsibility diversity equity and inclusion which are some hot topics right now.

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Jason Mefford: That your organization needs to be considering so you don’t end up having some risks pop up that she had don’t want to have pop up and cost you millions of dollars so with that let’s rowley episode.

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Jason Mefford: hey Julie welcome.

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00:01:05.940 –> 00:01:07.020
Jason Mefford: i’m having me.

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Jason Mefford: Well i’m excited I know you know we usually we have the benefit of the green room beforehand that so I know a little bit about what is coming and i’m excited because it’s.

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Jason Mefford: tangentially our careers kind of crossed a little bit because I was responsible for some of the stuff around the h&s.

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Jason Mefford: CSR kind of stuff as part of my career to something i’m pretty passionate about as well, but I know you know when we were talking, you said you you you you didn’t take the the typical career path.

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Jason Mefford: And so you know a lot of people listening, they could be an internal audit or you know a lot of people do listen to that, I mean some people may not be an internal audit anyway.

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Jason Mefford: But I think it’s always interesting to kind of hear what someone’s career path is so that nobody who’s listening thinks oh my gosh i’m locked in, and this is all that I can do.

00:02:04.350 –> 00:02:14.520
Jason Mefford: No folks career path can take you anywhere in fact most of us end up someplace that we never would have expected ready I think that’s kind of what happened to you right Julie.

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Julie Thompson: Absolutely and well said.

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Julie Thompson: Yet, and actually we also had a little bit of a discussion, you mentioned that when we’re all young and we’re thinking about what we’re going to do when we grow up.

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Julie Thompson: You know it’s the firemen policemen the teacher the nurse, you know, maybe it’s a stay at home mom whatever that might be, but I never even heard of an internal auditor, when I was young.

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Julie Thompson: So that clearly was not on my radar However, I did end up going to the University of Kentucky where I received a bachelor’s degree in accounting.

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Julie Thompson: And this was back in yes, I will admit it 1983 and that date will only become important because of some specific requirements that fortunately for some of the younger listeners, are no longer in place.

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Julie Thompson: But when I was in college the typical career path was you graduated you got a job in an accounting firm.

00:03:09.540 –> 00:03:19.140
Julie Thompson: Hopefully, for most people they were looking to go into one of the at that time big eight accounting firms and, if not it’s fine if you ended up in in someplace else, but it was typically.

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Julie Thompson: Accounting to do auditing, no less, and then from there you found the perfect client and you ended up with a job there, and it was going to be in some sort of finance or accounting role and then away your for your went to rose to the top.

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Julie Thompson: Well, in my case I didn’t leave that job in public accounting when I first got out of school.

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Julie Thompson: It turned out to be good news, though, because I did land a job in lexington where my family still was so i’m still able to live with mom and dad for a period of time.

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Julie Thompson: In a company called I recall company, so I wanted to work instead of in public accounting in corporate accounting.

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Julie Thompson: And that was a wonderful education for me and I was exposed to auditing because of the external auditors and internal auditors, I still had to work with them, as I was doing some of the more mundane accounting activities.

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Julie Thompson: And then, what happened was I passed the CPA exam.

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Julie Thompson: Well that’s when that 1983 date comes back into play in those days, once you pass the CPA exam you had to get two years of not just accounting experience but public accounting experience.

00:04:26.670 –> 00:04:38.040
Julie Thompson: that’s not me then on the path of finding a job in public accounting I narrowed down a few cities long and the short of it, I ended up working for pete Mitchell in Dallas Texas.

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Julie Thompson: So, then, I was doing you know the typical auditing, but it would have been third party auditing working too many hours a week, then I want to even admit now.

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Jason Mefford: But there were still again there are better and many people on this call either have been or will be.

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Julie Thompson: going through the same thing, but I was exposed to a lot of different industries, the hope again was that I would then jump back on that typical track find the perfect client and up there.

00:05:06.720 –> 00:05:19.620
Julie Thompson: That did not happen again, and instead I got a call from a headhunter and I ended up with a job at Ryder truck rental in Miami Florida, who had nothing to do with people mutual in Dallas.

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Julie Thompson: and ended up going into their internal audit department spent about four years there was asked to do their very first audit of the environmental function.

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Julie Thompson: And in those days, it was early days, so I basically had a blank sheet of paper.

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Julie Thompson: That by itself, I found very intriguing and it took me less than 24 hours after receiving that assignment, I was literally on the phone calling my parents saying you will not believe what I get to do.

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Julie Thompson: And, most people thought that was not, by the way, including all the managers of the department, none of them wanted this job because they had some sort of an idea of.

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Julie Thompson: having to read environmental regulations, the rest of it is pretty much history, I stayed there in that position for a little over five years.

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Julie Thompson: And I moved away from there when Ryder truck rental wanted me to go back into the accounting function, for you know, an upward movement.

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Julie Thompson: I gave it a shot and found I just simply wasn’t happy and I really missed the environmental side of things so.

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Julie Thompson: I just went off and started my own company knew I was taking a little bit of a risk, but thought you know i’m still young there’s plenty of time and if it doesn’t work out guess what i’m still a CPA.

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Julie Thompson: So I had a backup plan i’ve never had used the backup plan, but I have still kept it all these years just.

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Julie Thompson: Handing.

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Jason Mefford: And I think I think that’s important because you know.

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Jason Mefford: Again, a lot of people who listened to this are you know they’re earlier in their career and they’re trying to figure out where to go, but a couple things that you said there that are that are important right you had a backup plan you were a CPA.

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Jason Mefford: You know, one of the reasons why I got an accounting degree and a CPA was the same reason right, you can always get a job as a CPA.

00:07:05.400 –> 00:07:10.980
Jason Mefford: So there’s always something to fall back on to you know I have that plus my father was a general contractor.

00:07:11.490 –> 00:07:15.810
Jason Mefford: So I grew up on job sites, I mean if I needed to I could strap on.

00:07:16.170 –> 00:07:23.550
Jason Mefford: That work belt again and go build houses, because I know how to do that now again just like you said, luckily.

00:07:24.150 –> 00:07:33.270
Jason Mefford: i’ve never had to build houses I haven’t had to go back and be a CPA right since since I kind of left the accounting area but.

00:07:33.780 –> 00:07:47.250
Jason Mefford: there’s kind of a takeaway for everybody who’s listening right, yes, as you’re going through your career, whatever it looks like you’re going to be accruing i’m using an accounting term there just to be funny haha.

00:07:48.870 –> 00:08:05.460
Jason Mefford: Different skill sets that will serve you or allow you to fall back on to them, even if it doesn’t work out right like you said, if it doesn’t work out I can always go back, but for you, it worked out because you’ve been doing it for over 20 years now right.

00:08:06.060 –> 00:08:24.630
Julie Thompson: Yes, it has worked out very well the other thing I would like to add to what you said is even my nieces and nephews I recommend to each of them, as they are growing up when they get to the College level I don’t care what your interest is you need to take at least one accounting class.

00:08:25.260 –> 00:08:31.920
Julie Thompson: You need to understand numbers it doesn’t matter what business you’re in it doesn’t matter if you own your own business, whether you work for someone else.

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Julie Thompson: You need to understand the numbers yeah then it like in my case because of this switch over you know she was starting an environmental, I mean that’s very technical.

00:08:43.050 –> 00:08:50.610
Julie Thompson: I was fortunate that writer when I moved into their environmental department, they provided a lot of training, but once I got on my own.

00:08:51.060 –> 00:09:00.270
Julie Thompson: me understanding numbers and being able to talk to people from a technical perspective as well that opened up doors that would never have been opened up, had I not know the numbers.

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Jason Mefford: yeah very.

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Jason Mefford: very true.

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Jason Mefford: Well now, maybe let’s kind of transition, because there’s some there’s some three letter acronyms that I want to throw out there.

00:09:10.440 –> 00:09:17.400
Jason Mefford: that’ll that’ll just kind of get us talking right so again there’s there’s acronyms and they change over time, but we’re gonna.

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Jason Mefford: we’re gonna say some things so I just want to kind of help define them for people right so you’ve already used eh and S right so eh and s environmental, health and safety right.

00:09:29.340 –> 00:09:34.410
Jason Mefford: Right right Okay, make sure I should that’s an old term that i’m familiar with.

00:09:34.650 –> 00:09:44.970
Jason Mefford: Right so we’ll we’ll talk a little bit about that now there’s a new term that people are throwing out there, E s G right So what is it yes G stands for.

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Julie Thompson: E, F G is environment, social and governance.

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Jason Mefford: Okay, environmental, social and governance so that’s a newer term that a lot of people previously had been referring to as CSR I think right corporate social responsibility.

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Julie Thompson: Well CSR would typically fall under probably the S and or the the GPS.

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Julie Thompson: because CSR corporate social.

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Julie Thompson: Responsibility and so you would have the social aspects, but CSR goes beyond into that governance piece as well.

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Julie Thompson: So, you would have some overlap in both the S and.

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Jason Mefford: The G OK, so the SG is really kind of pulling together the concepts from eh and S and CSR under the same umbrella.

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Jason Mefford: Yes, Okay, so you everybody i’m getting educated to because.

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Jason Mefford: I grew up doing and managing you know in leading edge Jeunesse and CSR functions, but now they would be called E, F G, so if if you hear that term.

00:10:56.130 –> 00:11:07.590
Jason Mefford: that’s what it means now a third term that I think you know as we talked before kind of ties under this is a new one that I hadn’t heard but D I right D.

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Jason Mefford: What does that stand for, and how does that tie into everything to.

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Julie Thompson: Sure, so dei is diversity equity and inclusion.

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Julie Thompson: And some of this is not going to be new as far as what it represents, but it is kind of a new term, much of which has come out of what has been going on in this country and around the world, obviously, for years, but particularly in the last year.

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Julie Thompson: With racial injustice, but it goes beyond just racial injustice and so it’s a concept that businesses and other organizations are adopting.

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Julie Thompson: That they are really focusing in on making sure that their workforce is in fact diverse and that could be diverse, though not only from skin color.

00:11:50.640 –> 00:12:01.140
Julie Thompson: It includes physical characteristics your religion your sexual orientation or gender physical disabilities and then a new term i’ve learned recently is neuro disabilities.

00:12:01.800 –> 00:12:13.590
Julie Thompson: Which just as a reference to people’s brains work differently, which is actually quite an interesting Funk idea, even though it sounds very simplistic so.

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Jason Mefford: Because it’s interesting that you say that because it’s not actually I mean the word disable you know it’s like handy capable i’m not handicapped and handy capable.

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Jason Mefford: Because I know temple grandin who has autism she has been big on this for a long time of trying to help you know severely autistic people.

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Jason Mefford: integrate more into some of these areas because, again, she says look our brains work different and so there’s certain problems or certain challenges that autistic person.

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Jason Mefford: can see from a difference, a different way of looking at it, then the rest of us can that can have a huge impact, and I mean I love that woman, because she she has been an example of that in her own life and some of the the changes in you know.

00:13:08.130 –> 00:13:19.140
Jason Mefford: agribusiness you know cattle cattle slaughtering other stuff like that have more humane ways of actually harvesting animals for food.

00:13:20.220 –> 00:13:27.540
Jason Mefford: that she came up with because again her brain works different than other people so she could solve a problem.

00:13:27.930 –> 00:13:42.180
Jason Mefford: that other people couldn’t solve, but if she wasn’t included in the process, we would never have that right, and a lot of these great inventions great process changes are done by the people that most of us think are a little crazy.

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Jason Mefford: So we need more crazies around.

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Julie Thompson: You we do, and I think there’s a huge opportunity and I don’t know we hadn’t planned on going off on this tangent but i’m going to head there.

00:13:54.480 –> 00:13:57.270
Jason Mefford: Anyway, just go, we can go wherever we want to go.

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Julie Thompson: Yes, so one of the things i’ve been thinking a lot about diversity equity inclusion for many, many, many months and very specifically with respect to the eye and auditing.

00:14:09.360 –> 00:14:13.830
Julie Thompson: And then you take it another level, but the I in the just auditing.

00:14:14.640 –> 00:14:22.620
Julie Thompson: Because there’s a big difference between financial auditing and you would know this, but some of your listeners probably won’t but there’s a big difference between financial auditing.

00:14:23.040 –> 00:14:27.390
Julie Thompson: And ehs auditing there’s actually a number of differences, but some of the bigger things.

00:14:27.960 –> 00:14:37.080
Julie Thompson: Are that you tend to spend less time looking at documentation on a vhs audit and spend a lot more time with what they call boots on the ground.

00:14:37.530 –> 00:14:44.610
Julie Thompson: So you are walking through facilities, whether that’s a manufacturing facility, whether it’s an agribusiness whether it is.

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Julie Thompson: You know i’ve been on tankers that are holding oil and brown water and on bridges that are 200 feet above a river, I mean there’s a lot more of getting out and you’re you’re, not just in the arena with people in offices that’s you don’t spend some time there.

00:15:00.870 –> 00:15:05.010
Julie Thompson: So now we’ve been forced into this virtual audit environment.

00:15:06.210 –> 00:15:14.100
Julie Thompson: And my thinking has been are we slowly missing this opportunity, as we get back to business with respect to.

00:15:14.520 –> 00:15:26.520
Julie Thompson: People that may fit into that dei category, but not based on their skin color or their religion, but on the disability side so either with a physical disability or potentially a neuro disability.

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Julie Thompson: So the example you gave autism, is one that I have been thinking about there are many autistic people that are just brilliant.

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Julie Thompson: And the way that they think and the things that they can they see but they may have some struggles with or not be as good as other people with their social skills, well, maybe they can be part of an audit because they don’t have to do the interviewing.

00:15:50.940 –> 00:15:59.430
Julie Thompson: Instead, they can be looking at the processes, the procedures and how the things are really put together and how they work and come back and give their perspective.

00:16:00.240 –> 00:16:09.300
Julie Thompson: The same thing with people with physical disabilities, you know I in my career and I just had this discussion, the other day with someone so i’ve been auditing now for three decades.

00:16:09.600 –> 00:16:16.710
Julie Thompson: In three decades, I have worked with one person that had a physical disability one person in 30 years.

00:16:17.460 –> 00:16:26.370
Julie Thompson: Now I think again with this virtual world, this is the time to be thinking about are there, people with physical disabilities, that we can welcome into this.

00:16:26.700 –> 00:16:35.160
Julie Thompson: And even start looking at the College level education of encouraging them and saying hey, this is a career, that would be open to you.

00:16:35.820 –> 00:16:52.410
Julie Thompson: Because they can do parts of the audit, you know virtually I think the hybrid audit virtual virtual in part in person it’s here to stay and, in some areas, it may be solely virtual five or 10 years from now, so that’s that’s where my brain has been going with.

00:16:52.980 –> 00:16:56.730
Jason Mefford: What you guys will know and let’s let’s go down that further too right.

00:16:56.730 –> 00:16:58.320
Jason Mefford: Yes, again it’s the.

00:16:59.760 –> 00:17:08.280
Jason Mefford: auditor’s as a group, tend to be rather homogenous right we’re all alike in a lot of ways, and like you said you know the.

00:17:08.880 –> 00:17:30.030
Jason Mefford: The typical career path for somebody to come into auditing you know, like you said accounting degree CPA big big for experience right so so there’s a lot of people that have had kind of some of the same same experiences, there is a lot of you know, again.

00:17:31.110 –> 00:17:44.670
Jason Mefford: In always it’s it’s a rather homogenous from a personality perspective as well right because it attracts people that have a certain personality and so a lot of people with that personality.

00:17:45.090 –> 00:17:51.090
Jason Mefford: tend to gravitate to this job, but you know, again, are we doing ourselves a disservice.

00:17:51.810 –> 00:18:10.200
Jason Mefford: By not trying to be more inclusive right of people with different personalities, with different backgrounds, with different you know whether they’re neuro or physical you know disabilities in a way, because, like like you said you know it’s you know.

00:18:11.280 –> 00:18:17.430
Jason Mefford: Just because somebody’s blind or somebody can’t hear or someone’s confined to a.

00:18:17.430 –> 00:18:22.590
Jason Mefford: wheelchair doesn’t mean they can’t do most of the work that’s done right.

00:18:22.980 –> 00:18:23.730
Jason Mefford: I mean, yes.

00:18:24.090 –> 00:18:30.510
Jason Mefford: If a person is bound to a wheelchair you’re not going to ask him to climb up on top of a grain silo and stick their head in.

00:18:31.260 –> 00:18:34.710
Jason Mefford: Right, but you could probably use a drone now.

00:18:36.390 –> 00:18:44.610
Jason Mefford: I mean, technically, we could write it, they could be sitting down there and fly a drone up and look down in right that’s a lot better than sticking my head and like I used to have to do.

00:18:45.090 –> 00:18:45.540
Jason Mefford: Especially.

00:18:45.690 –> 00:18:48.360
Jason Mefford: Some of the things like fish soluble tanks oh man.

00:18:48.420 –> 00:18:49.410
Jason Mefford: You gotta wrap.

00:18:50.190 –> 00:19:02.670
Jason Mefford: But, but I think that’s a great point is our, how can we be more diverse provide more equity right and equity can be pay.

00:19:03.270 –> 00:19:15.150
Jason Mefford: Other different things as well, and how can we be more inclusive because I mean we know there’s lots of research, the teams that are more diverse and more inclusive they perform better than other teams.

00:19:15.720 –> 00:19:24.900
Julie Thompson: Absolutely, and both the equity and inclusion piece I don’t want to shortchange those because they are are just as important, and probably everybody’s mind.

00:19:25.440 –> 00:19:30.510
Julie Thompson: So, going back to the passivity, so it isn’t just enough to have people that look different.

00:19:30.810 –> 00:19:43.080
Julie Thompson: or think differently on your team you do need to make efforts to make sure they are included and included doesn’t mean they’re just sitting around a table, you know, while everybody else is talking, it is meaning soliciting the ideas from them.

00:19:43.830 –> 00:19:51.540
Julie Thompson: And they are going to be able to contribute a perspective that the others in the room, are not willing to be able to to you know, keep them engaged.

00:19:52.230 –> 00:19:59.070
Julie Thompson: To talk to them do they feel like they are being included do they feel like they’re being excluded and other things and.

00:19:59.700 –> 00:20:08.460
Julie Thompson: I just think that we’ve got some real opportunities there, but it is important to make sure that people on both sides feel comfortable having the discussions.

00:20:08.790 –> 00:20:16.980
Julie Thompson: and making adjustments to improve that and then on the equity side, as you said, it’s not just about pay it’s about things like.

00:20:17.610 –> 00:20:21.210
Julie Thompson: You know, do do does everybody have the same opportunities.

00:20:21.990 –> 00:20:28.950
Julie Thompson: And maybe they don’t but maybe it’s because of something you’re not even aware of so maybe your organization offers to pay for college.

00:20:29.340 –> 00:20:40.290
Julie Thompson: Well, the single mom of three kids that are in grade school and you know that that woman or man may not be able to find the time to do it so.

00:20:40.950 –> 00:20:51.630
Julie Thompson: Is that really a benefit to them and how can you work with them are there other adjustments at work that you might be able to provide to help them take advantage of things like that so equity.

00:20:51.990 –> 00:20:58.740
Julie Thompson: is much bigger than I think even when I went into it, I was thinking, well, it would be pretty easy to adjust everybody’s pay right well.

00:20:59.100 –> 00:21:00.810
Jason Mefford: it’s far Oh, it is not.

00:21:01.290 –> 00:21:02.940
Julie Thompson: I ya.

00:21:03.390 –> 00:21:16.110
Jason Mefford: Know cuz I know I actually had a person on my team female she came in, with less experience so obviously you know HR said, this is the the pay level where she needs to be okay.

00:21:18.090 –> 00:21:33.240
Jason Mefford: put her in at that level but very quickly, she rose up and was performing much, much better than the rest of her peers, the problem was I was handcuffed by HR I was not allowed.

00:21:33.780 –> 00:21:46.710
Jason Mefford: To pay her what her value was at the time, because it exceeded the stupid pay requirements that HR had right and that’s an example of equity, you know from the pay side.

00:21:47.070 –> 00:21:50.670
Jason Mefford: And every everybody who is who’s managing people and doing stuff.

00:21:50.760 –> 00:22:01.590
Jason Mefford: You know, it is a fact Okay, you can argue all you want, but it is a fact that women earn less than men and minority groups earn less than.

00:22:02.400 –> 00:22:17.850
Jason Mefford: whites okay it’s just a fact, and that is something that we need to fix because equal work should be equal pay, so if that’s not what’s happening in your group i’m preaching a little bit because it does piss me off.

00:22:18.630 –> 00:22:21.960
Jason Mefford: If it’s not that way in your organization try to get that fixed.

00:22:21.990 –> 00:22:35.130
Jason Mefford: But, but I love what you said to about there’s other parts of equity and and what we’ve tried to do for so long is treat everyone exactly the same.

00:22:35.820 –> 00:22:50.070
Jason Mefford: But we are not all exactly the same, and so again, maybe it’s you know again equitable, for you know hey if somebody can do the work that everybody else does in 30 hours that normal.

00:22:50.730 –> 00:22:57.570
Jason Mefford: Normally would take 40 hours wouldn’t it be okay to just only make them work 40 or 30 hours but Pam for the 40.

00:22:58.230 –> 00:23:02.280
Jason Mefford: or like you said if you’ve got the single parent with little kids at home.

00:23:02.850 –> 00:23:13.560
Jason Mefford: wouldn’t it be equitable to allow them to have a flexible schedule, yes, right and be compassionate and loving towards that person and allow them to.

00:23:14.010 –> 00:23:23.730
Jason Mefford: Take care of their responsibilities and again everybody’s different right so Oh, we offer great benefits but are those benefits good benefits for everybody.

00:23:24.240 –> 00:23:29.850
Jason Mefford: Or is kind of the cafeteria plan you know, like you can pick this and pick that some people would just rather have the cash.

00:23:30.840 –> 00:23:38.940
Jason Mefford: and other people would prefer to have the benefits So hopefully some of these discussions will get organizations to finally pull their head out.

00:23:39.540 –> 00:23:53.760
Jason Mefford: And maybe offer more more of a menu of benefits for people that is more equitable for each person and not necessarily the same across the whole thing yeah all right i’m off my soapbox let’s go back let’s talk.

00:23:55.620 –> 00:23:59.040
Julie Thompson: I enjoyed that we need people on their soapboxes from time to time so.

00:23:59.190 –> 00:24:13.500
Jason Mefford: Good well because it is, I think it’s you know and as we talked before to some people might kind of poo poo this and say all this is just you know, the latest fad thing it’ll go away.

00:24:14.610 –> 00:24:17.220
Jason Mefford: it’s not going away.

00:24:17.820 –> 00:24:22.380
Jason Mefford: And if you don’t address it, it will cost your company millions.

00:24:22.440 –> 00:24:36.870
Jason Mefford: and millions of dollars Okay, so this is a real risk that needs to be addressed right, this is, and this is what one of the reasons why we’re talking about it today because I don’t know that enough people actually are.

00:24:38.460 –> 00:24:47.760
Julie Thompson: Yes, no I agree it is most definitely a risk, I mean you’ve got your first of all you’ve got the risk that if you are not addressing it within your organization.

00:24:48.810 –> 00:24:53.550
Julie Thompson: People are aware of these issues where are you going to get the ones to work for you.

00:24:54.390 –> 00:25:00.030
Julie Thompson: So you’re going to lose the best talent, because they’re going to go to the organizations that are addressing this.

00:25:00.600 –> 00:25:08.040
Julie Thompson: And then, secondly, if you don’t have the the right work environment, you will find yourself at the wrong end of a lawsuit now whether.

00:25:08.370 –> 00:25:22.500
Julie Thompson: you’re successful or the other party is successful, think of that the time the money, the energy that is spent on that that impact should be spent on activities that actually make money we’re auditing so.

00:25:22.710 –> 00:25:23.910
Jason Mefford: Give me out of there’s more money.

00:25:24.690 –> 00:25:33.060
Jason Mefford: that’s right, but I think it’s interesting, so you know, again, I mean we kind of talked about yesterday and and the whole you know the older CSR.

00:25:33.150 –> 00:25:34.080
Jason Mefford: eh and ass.

00:25:34.710 –> 00:25:38.880
Jason Mefford: And I know it, you know again we’re old enough that we remember this to.

00:25:39.600 –> 00:25:48.120
Jason Mefford: Where people would say oh that’s poo poo kind of stuff as well right, this will go away environmental is not that big of a deal in fact I used to work for a guy and.

00:25:48.840 –> 00:25:53.700
Jason Mefford: And the numbers okay in the 1930s right for him to do this because we didn’t know.

00:25:54.210 –> 00:26:02.430
Jason Mefford: But you know, he said at one point it’s like you know why I built all my factories next to the rivers, so I could dump all my crap in them right because that’s just what everybody did.

00:26:02.880 –> 00:26:13.080
Jason Mefford: Back in the 20s and 30s now, then we realized it wasn’t Okay, but a lot of people then thought well we can’t afford to do this right.

00:26:13.560 –> 00:26:21.990
Jason Mefford: Both from a CSR eh and S standpoint, but what did we learn it actually costs last in the long run to do it right.

00:26:22.950 –> 00:26:34.410
Jason Mefford: Then, then, to do it, what we think is cheap and then have to pay afterwards right and again you spent decades in this in this area, so is that is that right, am I thinking about this right.

00:26:34.710 –> 00:26:40.770
Julie Thompson: You are thinking about it absolutely correctly and I think first of all, over time, I think some costs have.

00:26:41.280 –> 00:26:50.910
Julie Thompson: come down as demand, just as you would expect, typical supply and demand as there’s greater demand, then the costs come down and some of those have been a little bit easier on the decision making.

00:26:51.570 –> 00:27:02.370
Julie Thompson: But it goes beyond just your pure the cost going in now there’s a big emphasis on taking a look at your suppliers your customers are looking at you as well.

00:27:02.700 –> 00:27:16.200
Julie Thompson: So if you go back to the the suppliers, do you want to be doing business with someone who is not doing the right thing from an environmental, health, safety, social diverse, I mean you throw them all of that in there.

00:27:17.010 –> 00:27:25.740
Julie Thompson: If you are a supplier to other businesses, you can expect, for your customers to be looking at you, and whether.

00:27:26.250 –> 00:27:33.330
Julie Thompson: you like it or not, you should be looking at your suppliers for those same traits as well to be doing the right thing in all of those areas.

00:27:33.990 –> 00:27:43.140
Julie Thompson: Particularly as the next generation is coming up, they are very aware of these issues from you know they’re worried about, and they should be.

00:27:43.440 –> 00:27:51.720
Julie Thompson: about what kind of world that we are leaving them, and is it too late, they don’t think it’s too late, I don’t think it’s too late, I hope, we’re all right.

00:27:52.020 –> 00:28:02.610
Julie Thompson: But it’s going to be too late, if we don’t you know, make the right efforts, but those are the customers of the future, those are going to be the suppliers of the future, they are far more knowledgeable than I will ever be.

00:28:03.090 –> 00:28:11.190
Julie Thompson: On this, they are making much more sophisticated decisions in their not only their their buying choices, but their career choices.

00:28:11.700 –> 00:28:26.970
Julie Thompson: So you will lose the top talent if you’re not doing the right things, because they are asking the questions when they’re interviewing for a job and the interviews don’t last very long, if you don’t have the right answers because that’s not who they want to work for so it will cost you.

00:28:27.960 –> 00:28:46.260
Jason Mefford: Well, and it’s interesting because really all of these all of these acronyms that we’ve been thrown out here today right is a lot of them started off being regulatory driven Okay, you know when the EPA was set up some of the different you know.

00:28:47.280 –> 00:28:51.390
Jason Mefford: environmental regulations safety regulations you know.

00:28:53.160 –> 00:29:03.180
Jason Mefford: kind of came from the government of saying look companies, you know you’re you’re hurting your employees your employees are dying you’re polluting the rivers, whatever right.

00:29:03.780 –> 00:29:15.060
Jason Mefford: So we’re going to legislate or regulate, you know how you do business, and so there there’s always been I mean for a long time that regulatory pressure.

00:29:15.480 –> 00:29:24.240
Jason Mefford: To do the right thing you know if we don’t if we’re bad actors long enough, then the laws change and you can’t do that anymore.

00:29:24.810 –> 00:29:34.620
Jason Mefford: what’s interesting now, we still have that regulatory pressure, but just like you said now we’re starting to have some demand driven stuff from.

00:29:35.220 –> 00:29:45.840
Jason Mefford: Our employees from our customers from our suppliers that they’re also requesting, and I think they’re probably moving faster.

00:29:46.350 –> 00:29:53.640
Jason Mefford: than the regulations will too, and that at the end of the day, again, you can ignore this go ahead and ignore it, if you want to.

00:29:54.330 –> 00:30:07.080
Jason Mefford: But a lot of people aren’t going to want to work for you or with you or buy from you going forward and there’s enough, you know watch groups NGO non governmental organizations out there.

00:30:07.680 –> 00:30:21.330
Jason Mefford: That are blowing the whistle on on some of these things so don’t think you can hide, because in the day of the Internet and everything else everything eventually becomes made public, one way or the other.

00:30:22.080 –> 00:30:30.210
Julie Thompson: Absolutely absolutely and I do well i’m thinking about it on the east side you know we tended to talk about you know environment.

00:30:32.010 –> 00:30:43.140
Julie Thompson: Social and then the government side for those that aren’t really interested in a career say to be out walking around, so it is because some people might might not want to walk across that bridge that’s 200 feet over a.

00:30:43.470 –> 00:30:45.120
Jason Mefford: rush I love doing that so.

00:30:46.110 –> 00:30:55.290
Julie Thompson: Well, I do i’m scared of heights and my client didn’t tell me beforehand, but that was going to be part of the job I managed to get through it, but I think I held my breath and.

00:30:55.770 –> 00:31:08.100
Julie Thompson: walking cross and watching the railing but anyway, with SG one of the big things is there is an effort, not just an effort we’re past never I mean it’s it’s an ongoing effort would be a better way to put it.

00:31:08.580 –> 00:31:25.710
Julie Thompson: Where we’re trying to put numbers to these things so we’re quantifying them and there’s a number of organizations, I mean ISIS is working on something gra global reporting initiative which has historically dealt with environmental and you know.

00:31:27.210 –> 00:31:30.330
Julie Thompson: Social kinds of things fall under like their umbrella.

00:31:30.720 –> 00:31:41.010
Julie Thompson: So if you’ve got an accounting degree you’re whether you’re interested in auditing or not you very well could find yourself in a job when you are looking at these things and trying to quantify them.

00:31:41.520 –> 00:31:49.290
Julie Thompson: You will also see ESP is become very big on Wall Street some of the big investment firms are putting out their own.

00:31:49.860 –> 00:31:59.370
Julie Thompson: models for how do you evaluate yesterday you know what are the specific components How did we measure you know, on a scale of something.

00:31:59.820 –> 00:32:08.610
Julie Thompson: Whether they were good or bad, and then, how should that impact your investing decisions as either on an individual investor or a much larger and institutional investor.

00:32:09.300 –> 00:32:18.900
Julie Thompson: What is happening right now is those are not all in alignment So if you look at something that fidelity puts out versus you know somebody else.

00:32:19.560 –> 00:32:29.010
Julie Thompson: State street or blackstone black rock I mean they’re all looking at this, they all have their different models and which does make it difficult to say okay well.

00:32:29.670 –> 00:32:34.560
Julie Thompson: This investment firm says this and this one says that and how do they compare it’s almost impossible.

00:32:35.190 –> 00:32:44.850
Julie Thompson: But we’re heading in a direction where, at some point that’s probably going to come somewhat closer together, at least, for you know the public, but this is definitely going to be a big area.

00:32:45.360 –> 00:32:55.200
Julie Thompson: They are hiring people all over the world at high positions within these companies to be looking at SG yeah So this is the wave.

00:32:55.560 –> 00:32:57.570
Julie Thompson: maturing, it is not going to go away.

00:32:57.690 –> 00:33:04.350
Julie Thompson: anytime soon, but there are career opportunities all over the place, have you been in the financial or auditing arena, in my opinion.

00:33:05.160 –> 00:33:17.490
Jason Mefford: Well, and to kind of wrap this up, you know from from where we even started right your career was not necessarily a typical career it kind of wound you around you found this space you fell in love with it it’s something that.

00:33:18.030 –> 00:33:22.740
Jason Mefford: You know, obviously, everybody that’s listening, you can see that julie’s passionate about some of this stuff right.

00:33:24.120 –> 00:33:32.310
Jason Mefford: And and it’s it’s it’s been a great career for you, you know as well, and so you know same thing, some of the people that are listening right now.

00:33:32.610 –> 00:33:51.900
Jason Mefford: hey if some of these things that we’ve been talking about diversity equity inclusion SG you know some of this stuff if that resonates with you there are lots of jobs in these areas and, like you said, people are trying to ramp up people are trying to ask the questions I went to a.

00:33:53.040 –> 00:34:00.000
Jason Mefford: It was a conference about two or three years ago, you know of even trying to look at how do we.

00:34:01.140 –> 00:34:09.930
Jason Mefford: How, how do we hold corporations accountable from something other than a p&l, how do we create like a.

00:34:11.040 –> 00:34:27.270
Jason Mefford: At the time, CS our accountability statement to really show is this a company that is a sock on society or somebody who actually make society better off in totality right, you might be making a lot of money.

00:34:27.930 –> 00:34:34.830
Jason Mefford: But if you’re polluting and you’re hurting and you’re doing some of these other things that like you said we’re trying to figure out how to quantify some of it.

00:34:35.460 –> 00:34:43.800
Jason Mefford: Once we figure out how to quantify it and we figure out who the net net positive people are on this worth on this earth, and who are the net negative.

00:34:44.880 –> 00:34:53.100
Jason Mefford: You hope your company’s not one of those net negatives, because I can’t imagine this going to be very good for you going forward so lots of jobs in the area as well, so.

00:34:53.460 –> 00:35:00.390
Julie Thompson: Absolutely, and you never know where you’re going to end up I don’t know if I can say anything that is more true with respect me.

00:35:00.720 –> 00:35:08.880
Julie Thompson: I certainly had no idea definitely not as a youngster because I didn’t even know such a thing existed, but even in college, I thought I was going to be on that traditional path.

00:35:10.590 –> 00:35:11.280
Julie Thompson: Here I am.

00:35:11.460 –> 00:35:23.250
Jason Mefford: Well, so did I mean I was you know again when I was in college, I was going to be a partner at Arthur Andersen That was my career track and then and run happened and we imploded and I never knew where I was going to go either.

00:35:23.460 –> 00:35:33.840
Jason Mefford: So it’s it’s that’s very, very true, and so I think it’s you know a good good reminder at the end to to let people know again if you’re thinking about your career.

00:35:35.010 –> 00:35:41.430
Jason Mefford: don’t worry too much about it plan for it, try to go where you want to go but realize there’s going to be twists and turns.

00:35:42.000 –> 00:35:47.010
Jason Mefford: All along the way, and it’s Okay, and sometimes you just have to jump and do it.

00:35:47.610 –> 00:36:02.880
Jason Mefford: But you know, like Julie was talking about, you know, have a backup plan, just in case said, if it doesn’t work out, but more times than not it works out exactly the way you’re hoping to so anyway well it’s been great talking to you Julie, thank you and.

00:36:03.810 –> 00:36:05.850
Julie Thompson: Likewise, thank you, I enjoyed it.

00:36:06.270 –> 00:36:10.080
Jason Mefford: I enjoyed it too got me up on my soapbox for a little bit now i’m gonna get back down.

00:36:10.860 –> 00:36:12.090
Jason Mefford: And we’ll get back, but.

00:36:12.420 –> 00:36:19.560
Jason Mefford: hey thanks for coming on i’m sure we’ll we’ll probably have some other things we needed to talk about in the future too, so you might have to be back on a future episode as well.

00:36:20.040 –> 00:36:23.010
Julie Thompson: I would be happy to thanks again have a great day.

00:36:23.220 –> 00:36:23.850
Jason Mefford: thanks you too.

00:36:24.510 –> 00:36:25.350
Julie Thompson: bye bye bye.

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