Dyvergent Change Makers

Episode 11: Interview with Allan Richter, Founder and President of QED Consulting

May 21, 2021 Season 2 Episode 11
Dyvergent Change Makers
Episode 11: Interview with Allan Richter, Founder and President of QED Consulting
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Dyvergent Change Makers
Episode 11: Interview with Allan Richter, Founder and President of QED Consulting
May 21, 2021 Season 2 Episode 11

In this episode I interview Allan Richter, the Founder and President of QED Consulting, LLC.  Allan has over 30 years of experience in diversity, equity, and inclusion on a global scale and was a pioneer in developing along with other experts The Global Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Benchmarks found at Centre for Global Inclusion - https://centreforglobalinclusion.org.

About Guest
Allan Richter, Founder and President
QED Consulting LLC - www.qedconsulting.com


Experienced and innovative global management consultant.

Specialties: specializing in consulting and training in the areas of Leadership, Values, Culture and Change, around the world. Creator of innovative products for leadership, diversity, culture, and ethics.

About the Host
Kerry Rosado, Founder & Principal DEI Consultant
Dyvergent Consulting Group, LLC - www.dyvergentcg.com

Kerry is a Founder and Principal Diversity Consultant for Dyvergent Consulting Group, LLC. An elected official serving as a school board trustee with 7 years of diversity and inclusion experience. A proud mother of two boys with autism and a neurodiversity advocate.  A Latina in Tech that has worked at top tech companies such as Microsoft and Amazon to advocate for diversity and inclusion to empower women and minorities.​

Former board member for People Acting in Community Together (PACT), where she empowered the community to solve social issues related to housing, immigration, education, and social justice. Led community rallies to advocate for equitable education for all. Mentored youth through Google's CS First Program and Microsoft TEALS Program, teaching computer science fundamentals. Led and won hackathons at Women Who Code Silicon Valley, a non profit dedicated to helping women excel in technology.

About Dyvergent Consulting Group, LLC

Our mission is to help leaders and organizations develop inclusive cultures where anyone can thrive, as this leads to retention, innovation, productivity, and growth. We work with organizations in various industries including tech, healthcare, and higher education within the United States. We provide the following services:

  • Strategy services for diversity and inclusion
  • Inclusive leadership training
  • D&I Workshops
  • Online courses
  • D&I Employee Training

Learn more at www.dyvergentcg.com or schedule a call at calendly.com/dyvergentcg.

Join the Podcast Facebook Group at: https://www.facebook.com/groups/podcastdyvergentchangemakers

Subscribe to Youtube Channel at
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCJmzVICfMuyp41W1_y8bi6A/featured

Join the DEIB Support Groups
https://www.facebook.com/groups/deibsupportgroup
https://www.linkedin.com/groups/13929683/

Podcast Guests
Schedule a pre-interview at calendly.com/dyvergentcg

Event: How to Get Started with D&I - June 4, 2021
https://www.eventbrite.com/e/ask-me-anything-about-how-to-get-started-with-diversity-and-inclusion-tickets-156156234501 

Show Notes Transcript

In this episode I interview Allan Richter, the Founder and President of QED Consulting, LLC.  Allan has over 30 years of experience in diversity, equity, and inclusion on a global scale and was a pioneer in developing along with other experts The Global Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Benchmarks found at Centre for Global Inclusion - https://centreforglobalinclusion.org.

About Guest
Allan Richter, Founder and President
QED Consulting LLC - www.qedconsulting.com


Experienced and innovative global management consultant.

Specialties: specializing in consulting and training in the areas of Leadership, Values, Culture and Change, around the world. Creator of innovative products for leadership, diversity, culture, and ethics.

About the Host
Kerry Rosado, Founder & Principal DEI Consultant
Dyvergent Consulting Group, LLC - www.dyvergentcg.com

Kerry is a Founder and Principal Diversity Consultant for Dyvergent Consulting Group, LLC. An elected official serving as a school board trustee with 7 years of diversity and inclusion experience. A proud mother of two boys with autism and a neurodiversity advocate.  A Latina in Tech that has worked at top tech companies such as Microsoft and Amazon to advocate for diversity and inclusion to empower women and minorities.​

Former board member for People Acting in Community Together (PACT), where she empowered the community to solve social issues related to housing, immigration, education, and social justice. Led community rallies to advocate for equitable education for all. Mentored youth through Google's CS First Program and Microsoft TEALS Program, teaching computer science fundamentals. Led and won hackathons at Women Who Code Silicon Valley, a non profit dedicated to helping women excel in technology.

About Dyvergent Consulting Group, LLC

Our mission is to help leaders and organizations develop inclusive cultures where anyone can thrive, as this leads to retention, innovation, productivity, and growth. We work with organizations in various industries including tech, healthcare, and higher education within the United States. We provide the following services:

  • Strategy services for diversity and inclusion
  • Inclusive leadership training
  • D&I Workshops
  • Online courses
  • D&I Employee Training

Learn more at www.dyvergentcg.com or schedule a call at calendly.com/dyvergentcg.

Join the Podcast Facebook Group at: https://www.facebook.com/groups/podcastdyvergentchangemakers

Subscribe to Youtube Channel at
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCJmzVICfMuyp41W1_y8bi6A/featured

Join the DEIB Support Groups
https://www.facebook.com/groups/deibsupportgroup
https://www.linkedin.com/groups/13929683/

Podcast Guests
Schedule a pre-interview at calendly.com/dyvergentcg

Event: How to Get Started with D&I - June 4, 2021
https://www.eventbrite.com/e/ask-me-anything-about-how-to-get-started-with-diversity-and-inclusion-tickets-156156234501 

Host - Kerry Rosado:

Welcome, everyone, to another episode of The Dyvergent Change Makers podcast available on Spotify, Apple podcasts and Amazon Music. I'm your host Kerry D. Rosado. I'm also the Founder of Dyvergent Consulting Group, LLC. Today, our guest is Al/an Richter and he is the Founder and President of QED Consulting. Welcome, Allan! Can you share with us a little bit more about your background and how you got started into this line of work?

Guest - Allan Richter:

happy to do that, Gary, I'm from South Africa originally grew up in Cape Town, South Africa, went to university there and then went to do my doctorate in the UK, I went to London University, and then lived in London for about a decade and taught at the Open University after my doctorate and then married an American who dragged me over to the States. And I've been in New York ever since. And I've been here a lot longer than anywhere else in my entire life. So I multicultural to the extent that even though it's all Anglo, I grew up in South Africa, UK, and now the US, I like to think of my hearts being South African. That's where my true affiliations I've been. I'm dual citizen. My hand is all English. That's my education, both in South Africa and the UK. And my hands a little American raising a family and starting a business. And all my research really has been done here in the States, passionate about diversity, equity and inclusion. Our work acuity is heavily on global leadership, ethics and integrity, diversity and inclusion. That's been our our work for the last 2530 years. And what else do you want to know?

Host - Kerry Rosado:

As a pioneer someone with so much experience in this field? What changes have you seen throughout the years? And where do you see it going? As far as it goes?

Guest - Allan Richter:

Yeah, so I mean, starting in the 80s, when I first got interested in as a consultant in diversity, and it was just diversity that we didn't even have the term inclusion or equity or anything else. Certainly was taken up with it. Our clients were looking for ways to do multicultural marketing, that sort of thing. Founded, you know, an extremely interesting area. It was a document published in 93. By the Tennessee Valley Authority called benchmarks for diversity, which looked at what were the best practices, they research best practices and diversity back in 93. And it's a very useful tool, and I use it quite a bit. But it never got updated. And over time, when I tried to use it internationally, because I was doing a lot of work in there. In the UN system, I remember going to the World Health Organization, to American just couldn't use the document. So in the early 2000s, I was part of a pioneering group of consultants called the diversity Collegium, which is really a think tank up diversity consultants, and they're actually America and myself started pondering about maybe we should create a global benchmarking tool, which we did in 2006 with the permission of TDA. Because that originally was government funded, it remains a free document. We've had four editions now. But in 2006, we started with a Global Diversity and Inclusion benchmarks. So we added Firstly, it went from diversity to Global Diversity to Global Diversity and Inclusion. And in this very recent edition, we just published the fourth 2021 edition in April. And we renamed it the Global Diversity, Equity and Inclusion benchmarks. Why because the, the, I don't want to say intrusion, but the inclusion of equity into the DNI equation is become very, very powerful. This is as a result of all of the activism around Black Lives Matter and anti racism, the me to movement, all of this. All of this work, I think is profoundly focused on how important equity is to both diversity and inclusion. So yeah, that's been the the evolution and the changes that we've seen over 20 years or so. The other big one is technology and how technology shapes everything in our lives. And right now, with the inexorable march for adoption of artificial intelligence, particularly taking over everything that the Internet of Things. So in other words, all the design that goes into creating artificial intelligence has to be fair, objective, unbiased, and that's where the tremendous danger is that biases creeping in if the program has a bias, so, and most programs are biased, so how do we how do we mitigate or counteract unconscious bias today in all the technology developments, big, big dreams? Yeah.

Host - Kerry Rosado:

Thank you for sharing all the changes you've seen throughout the years. Yeah, and thank you for creating, being part of creating those benchmarks are very handy and useful. Throughout your experience, what, what, um, what do you feel are the biggest challenges employers are facing when it comes to implementing a good DNI program and actually been successful in these initiatives? What are your thoughts in regards to that?

Guest - Allan Richter:

Well, one of the other trends I didn't mention in what's happened, of course, is the pandemic, which is huge. I mean, it's changed the way we work. And so you know, all of that, how we work remote learning, remote working, flexible worker, I mean, that's the, you know, the future, that's not a nice to have, it's a must at right. And we will have a hybrid or blended teacher. So. So again, your question was, sorry, just

Host - Kerry Rosado:

the challenges employers are facing, implementing DNI successfully. So one

Guest - Allan Richter:

of them is the virtual I mean, that's just, you know, added complications, but the challenges is really big is being able to move from a reactive mode to a proactive mode. In other words, from simply responding to what the law is telling you to do, to try to be more systemic. That's what the benchmarks are all about. It's about a systemic view of diversity, equity and inclusion, that it should be integrated with everything with the vision, the mission, the values of the organization. And therefore, it's not an afterthought. It's not an HR thing or legal thing. It finds its way throughout any organization. I've been doing work with the UN now for I don't know how many years, over 20 years, and they've got three very simple values of the UN, this is for the work, the folks inside the UN, I mean, there's human rights, that's another whole big issue. But but internally, the values are into integrity, which is all about ethics, respect for diversity, they haven't yet used the word inclusion, but it's coming. And then professionalism, which is really everything else. And I find that a very useful way of looking at any organization, because if we don't have integrity of inclusion, in the value system of any organization for profit, not for profit, business, government, education, health, it doesn't matter what if those two values are not there, we have problems. And we see this over and over and over again, failure of inclusion of failure of integrity, you know, ethical lapses, diversity lapses. So my way of thinking about this is that these are the non negotiables, they have to be part of the fabric of the culture of any organization. We have a leadership self assessment tool that may be applicable here. It's called the Global Leadership survey. And it's really developed as a sort of summary of all the wonderful research done around what are the characteristics of global leadership that cut across all cultures. And this is massive globe study. That's volumes and volumes of work, you know, it's very academic. So what we did was we sort of got to what's the heart of this thing. And a lot of this is that there are four axes, as it were, that we think are fundamental to any leadership, its values and the action ideas and people. In other words, it doesn't matter what your culture is, you've got to think about values and action. You got to think about ideas and people. And it's the diversity of those four dimensions or axes that make up good leadership. Very few people are good at all four of them, you know, yes, Mandela, yes, candy, but most people are going to start out thought leaders, that's ideas. You know, they're very good people are managers, they have people, you know, they're very ethical, you know, that's, you know, values. Are they really good at getting things done? You're not, that's the execution. But it's, what's important is if we use the four C's as a model for this, and the four C's model is conscience, courage, creativity and compassion. So conscience encourages values and action, creativity and compassion, these ideas and people. And my point here is most businesses at least focus the leadership on ideas. And I want to be thought leaders, you know, come up with a new product of users, and actually getting it done right delivering results, right. And that's great. We want to have ideas and action but without people and values. That's the danger. In other words, ethical leadership and inclusive leadership must be a part of, you know, leadership as a whole and delivering whatever results and ideas you're going to share with the world. So it's it's really it's reframing how we think about diversity, equity and inclusion as being fundamental to the existence of any organization doesn't matter what you do.

Host - Kerry Rosado:

I love our last statement, and I wish more leaders and organizations viewed DNI from that perspective. Going back to something you mentioned, that you do a lot of work with the UN, you mentioned that they still are not making use of the term inclusion. Why do you suppose

Guest - Allan Richter:

let me rephrase that. That was valued go back 20 years or something, you know, so it's not been updated, per se. But they are talking a lot more about inclusion now. And more importantly, if you look at the most important, one of the most important documents to come out of the UN, it's the Sustainable Development Goals, which was published in 2015. And it's really the strategy for the planet regardless of where you are in the world and which country you live in. All countries need to focus on their 17 Sustainable Development Goals. And when you look at the wording on the SDGs they have smartly included the word inclusion or inclusive or inclusively inclusively. In most of them, they talk about leaving no one behind, they use the phrase for all they use the word inclusive or inclusively, over and over again, healthcare must be inclusive for everybody and you guys must be inclusive, you know, leave poverty behind for all, you know, gender equality. It's clearly about including men and women in on an equal basis, etc, etc.

Host - Kerry Rosado:

say, Well, I admire all the work you're currently doing the UN and all the organizations you've worked with. I guess, what advice would you give to anyone who's looking to dive deeper into DNI whether they're an employer or a consultant, or just someone who wants to be more of an advocate or ally? What tips or suggestions would you give?

Guest - Allan Richter:

Well, I guess, for organizations, it's very clear, I mean, educate and communicate with your your employee base with your staff, very important that, you know, proactively recognizing the importance of diversity, equity inclusion, communicating that supporting that both in in Word, and indeed, so indeed means, you know, having the budget for Diversity Council diversity officers, doing training and communications and looking at policies to, you know, update them and be inclusive. So that's very clear on the organization side, on the individual side, we're finding somebody more people are interested in this field. So getting better educated about that there are conferences all over the place now running diversity and inclusion, workshops and conferences and so forth. They are, you know, books coming out. I mean, there's, there's, if you just Google diversity, inclusion and diversity, equity inclusion, it's, it's, it's pretty biased. I'm on the board of the Center for Global inclusion, which is the home of the Global Diversity, Equity and Inclusion benchmarks. And we are actually talking about providing more and more resources. So if you go to the website, center with an RFP, for global inclusion.org, there's, there's quite a bit of information there, just downloading the benchmarks themselves and reading that document, because they have 15 categories. And for each category we show what does this practice look like? So that's an eye opener. For for anybody interested in the field. We had 112 extra panelists help us do that. So this isn't just an American? Well, two of the authors, we have three authors. Once American, I'm American, and South Africa, the other one in South Africa, but the 112 expert panelists from all over the world. And the majority, we made a point of this being not from North America. So we got voices and insights from Africa, Asia, Middle East, Latin America, Europe, etc.

Host - Kerry Rosado:

Thank you for that. And yes, I do make use of those benchmarks in very handy, and I appreciate the updates have been made recently. So thank you for being part of that. It's been quite useful. Um, so I guess the next question would be, what would be the best way for someone to stay in touch with you in case they want to learn more about you and your organization and what you do? Yeah,

Guest - Allan Richter:

sure. To get in touch. I mean, have a look at our website at www dot QED consulting.com and you can write to me at QED at QED consulting.com. That's our generic email address. What else? Have a look at the Center for Global inclusion.org and website as well? Yeah, I mean, I think that's the easy way and happy to respond. If folks have got further questions about the work or about benchmarks or any of our tools?

Host - Kerry Rosado:

Well, thank you for sharing all of that. Any any last minute advice or tips for our listeners and regarding to DNI and as far as what you feel they should know about it?

Guest - Allan Richter:

Well, I think it's it's an ongoing quest, we always are learning more, you never stop learning. And that's true diversity and inclusion. I mean, it's, it's a vast field, it changes dynamically. And that's the wonderful thing. And again, looking back, you know, from affirmative action to diversity in this company to diversity and inclusion to global diversity, inclusion, Global Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. This talk right now about adding justice into the equation, accessibility is a big part as well, because that's all about accessibility for all forms of disability. And that's very much a part of who we are as human beings. So the language will continue to evolve the topics, you know, expand our understanding, even of gender and gender identity is growing. I mean, if you take something as just to take one dimension, if you take sexual orientation as a sort of dimension of diversity, which is a very important one. It's so recent in terms of us even having that conversation and looking at. I mean, I always point out from when we do work in this field, you know, it's only 20 years ago that the first country on the planet actually embraced legally embracing sex partners in a marriage. That's 20 years ago. It's not 100 years ago. So our The world is evolving, hopefully, it's evolving in the right direction. That's, it's still the jury's out still. But we hope that as more and more people get involved in diversity and inclusion, that sense of of justice and values and human rights, you know, will grow because I think there's a strong connection between the work we do and making this a better world for all.

Host - Kerry Rosado:

Yes, I highly agree with that. And thank you for highlighting accessibility. I recently last week, I was able to attend Microsoft's accessibility summit. But as a consultant myself, I find it that oftentimes organizations are more focus on racial equity, or gender equity, and other marginalized groups as disabilities are kind of being left behind. And the focus isn't quite there. Really thoughts on on unemployment?

Guest - Allan Richter:

Yeah, I mean, racial and gender equity are simple and should not be, you know, the motive in any way they are central to our lives. Disability is also Central. I mean, the UN is very strong on this, you know, pointing out that, firstly, there's a Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, I mean, this is a you know, just like this, you know, gender rights, and, you know, their rights around visibility, so we have to take as entities to be taken very seriously. And it's global, it's not one of those dimensions that we can say, well, that's a Western thing, or a southern or whatever this is, across the world. I mean, there are all kinds of disabilities, you know, both physical and mental. And just about everybody's touched by it, you know, I think one in three people have some sort of disability sometime in their life. And we all know, somebody, if it's not ourselves, we have some form of a disability, it's part of being human, you know. So it's, it's very important that it's in the diversity equation. And it typically is, I think, the non negotiables of ethnicity and race, gender, disability, generational, which is also very big, because we grow and, you know, we change generations. Sexual orientation, very fundamental to who we are. There are a lot more, you know, but those are completely Central.

Host - Kerry Rosado:

I also wanted to add, I know another area that's often overlooked, is age, I know when you get to a certain age, especially, you know, once you get into your 50s and above, it definitely becomes much more challenging to find employment, and it feels like often women feel the impact crater. What are your thoughts as far as what employers could do to better support people once they get into, you know, that older stage?

Guest - Allan Richter:

Sure, I mean, there's discrimination policies, and they should be because you shouldn't be discriminated on the basis of age. And generational diversity is very important, you know, building products or tools, or building you know, services to folks very importantly, since you serving a multi generational client base. It's so important to be able to understand the generational differences. It's it's just as important as including, you know, disability, gender or race. in how you look at look at the world. So yeah, I agree.

Host - Kerry Rosado:

Thank you so much for sharing all of your expertise. I do consider you a true pioneer in the industry. With all everything you've accomplished, and especially providing those benchmarks. It definitely gives a great guidance for any organization or even consultants supporting an organization and launching a good DNI program. So thank you for providing that resource. I highly recommend our listeners to check that out at the global center for inclusion

Guest - Allan Richter:

Center for Global inclusion.org spelled ar e the English spelling just to be a little bit more global.

Host - Kerry Rosado:

Thank you so much for that, connecting with you and learning more about your expertise. So thank you and that is that is a wrap. Thank you