AXSChat Podcast

AXSChat Podcast with Elaine Katz, Senior VP of Grants and Communications at the Kessler Foundation

May 03, 2021 Antonio Santos, Debra Ruh, Neil Milliken
AXSChat Podcast
AXSChat Podcast with Elaine Katz, Senior VP of Grants and Communications at the Kessler Foundation
Show Notes Transcript

 Elaine Katz oversees Kessler Foundation’s comprehensive grant making program and its communications department. During her tenure, the Foundation has awarded $49 million for national and community-based employment programs. Katz works with non-profit organizations in board development, fundraising, marketing, and business development. She serves on the boards of JESPY House, New Jersey Association of People Supporting Employment First, Essex/Newark Disabilities Issues Committee, and program committee of the Council of NJ Grantmakers. She is an appointed member of Empower NYC Advisory Board, Workforce Matters National Steering Committee, ReelAbilities NY Advisory & Council, ReelAbilities 2020 Selection Committee and the NJ Veterans and Community Collaborative Network (VCCN). Elaine served as a member of the Human and Children Services Transition Advisory Committee for Governor-elect Phil Murphy. Elaine received the Community Access Unlimited 2019 Humanitarian Award, 2016 GI Go Fund Jackson Drysdale Civilian of the Year Award and the 2015 Betty Pendler Award from Community Options, Inc. 


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Neil Milliken: hello, and welcome to axschat we're delighted to be joined today by Elaine Katz from the Kessler foundation it's been quite some time, since we last welcome delay in here, in fact, I think I was in the middle of the desert last time, which was quite some years ago, so.

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Neil Milliken: la welcome back for those of us that didn't catch us, then, can you tell us a little bit about yourself and and a bit about the Kessler foundation, because it does amazing work in the US, but for our audience outside of the US it'd be good for them to know all about the Foundation.

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Elaine Katz: yeah so it's great to be back on access chat i'm looking forward to our conversation today.

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Elaine Katz: Their work at Kessler foundation changing the lives of people with disabilities to rehabilitation funding.

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Elaine Katz: and also for funding employment initiatives for people with disabilities, we actually do have a lot of research collaborations throughout the world.

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Elaine Katz: In the EU, as well as you know, really all over the world, our rehabilitation research that we do.

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Elaine Katz: seeks to improve cognition and mobility for individuals with disabilities, such as stroke, spinal cord injury traumatic brain injury multiple sclerosis.

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Elaine Katz: We also look to improve daily functioning and independence by testing new interventions and gathering data that can be learned in treatment.

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Elaine Katz: I oversee our Center for grant making which, over the past 13 years has invested more than $49 million, both in New Jersey and throughout the US.

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Elaine Katz: Unemployment initiatives to increase the participation rates of people with disabilities we've done pilots, we really focused on innovation that's what we're looking to do.

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Elaine Katz: And we want to do, hopefully, our pilots will improve processes that can change policy, both in the US and elsewhere, so that's kind of a short little synopsis on what we do.

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Neil Milliken: fantastic work and i'm always interested in organizations that change policy because because that's real impact, you know.

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Neil Milliken: Quite quite often there is this chicken and egg situation where you have everyone's waiting for the law to change in order for stuff to happen, so I think it's organizations that cares that putting money into things that can catalyze that change that a really important.

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Elaine Katz: Well that's really interesting because when we talk about innovation we're not an employment we're not talking about creating something totally new that could have a patent or it's really taking what's out there to your point.

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Elaine Katz: Take and using all those pieces whether it's the laws of a particular country.

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Elaine Katz: What a company may be doing looking for those best practices that are out there that can improve employment outcomes wrapping them together and twisting them and turning them in a whole new way that can then bring it to a different level for impact.

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Neil Milliken: That makes sense.

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Neil Milliken: A lot of the lot of the time, this is really good work going on and it's, how do we bring it together, how do we synthesize the best practice, how do we connect stuff up how do.

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Neil Milliken: We bring all of this under the bigger tent to make it happen requires coordination and sometimes that fails to happen so so having organizations engaged in doing this is really important, so how did, how do Kessler foundation come about and find this role.

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Elaine Katz: that's a really interesting question, so I think it's almost pretty close to 2019 years ago we are part of a large rehabilitation hospital, if you remember from the movie Superman Christopher reeve.

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Elaine Katz: He was treated at Kessler Institute, which is very large rehab hospital in the US, based in New Jersey and.

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Elaine Katz: At that time, they decided to sell the hospital, but there was really no buyer and the assets and.

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Elaine Katz: i'll fast forward for you all became part of Kessler foundation that actually was running the hospital with a holding company at a point in time.

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Elaine Katz: And then they finally was a buyer and when there's a buyer in the US for a company that is not for profit, you cannot spend that money, it has to go into another not for profit organization.

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Elaine Katz: So we became Kessler foundation, with a large acid base and we absorbed the research arm in the hospital and at that point, I was we decided we wanted to not only do research but we wanted to support.

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Elaine Katz: The Community of disability in some way through grant making and we looked at really housing we looked at healthcare I looked in employment.

00:05:00.210 --> 00:05:07.020
Elaine Katz: And our acid base and I billions of dollars, it was only millions of dollars, and you know what can you do with millions of dollars.

00:05:07.380 --> 00:05:17.850
Elaine Katz: And really our grant making budget is only now it's about 1.5 million a year, so it fluctuates between 1,000,002 and a half million dollars depending on you know assets and.

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Elaine Katz: So the real question is what What impact do we have and we decided, with employment, we would have that impact, and I was actually charged with starting a program from scratch, which is always fun thing to do with any of you out there have been.

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Elaine Katz: starting new programs it's really great you can frame in any way you like, and we did some research on the best practices of philanthropy out there.

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Elaine Katz: And we started locally with giving out grants to Community organizations are NGOs, and then we look nationally for innovative and we expanded nationally have done grants to universities and to governments and NGOs large NGOs with our innovation projects.

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Neil Milliken: And I was smiling when he said well what, what can you do with a couple of million dollars.

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Neil Milliken: Quite alone.

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Elaine Katz: You know, but it's a drop in the bucket for these large issues.

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Elaine Katz: of money.

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Elaine Katz: But when you start to put it into some sort of initiative it gets chewed up pretty quickly.

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Neil Milliken: Oh yes, i'm excited slightly facetious I was thinking of all the toys, I could buy but.

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Neil Milliken: But yes, I know, because as soon as you start paying people salaries and so on, and these initiatives do require people to be paid or or at least you know things to be paid for yeah it the money does evaporate quite quickly so.

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Neil Milliken: But i'm glad that you're getting bang, for your buck so So what are some of the standout initiatives that have you know where you put some money in and got a really great return on that social investment.

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Elaine Katz: Well we've got some great social investment from.

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Elaine Katz: The mayor's office for that so everybody is familiar with New York City throughout the world was probably a good example.

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Elaine Katz: And we were asked to come in on a project for the mayor's office for people with disabilities.

00:07:17.130 --> 00:07:25.470
Elaine Katz: They decided as a city office for disability they had a lot of clout and they had a lot of connections to start.

00:07:25.770 --> 00:07:33.630
Elaine Katz: Massive employment program not only to work in New York City government, but also to work with companies that were based in New York.

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Elaine Katz: And that project has really just ended, but it was a three year project, there was a four or five foundations that ended up contributing to the support of that.

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Elaine Katz: And it was again to your point, Neil, it was to hire staff to work in that office to facilitate employment, whether it was training development of jobs going out and educating employers, they already had a small business.

00:08:00.540 --> 00:08:12.750
Elaine Katz: Business group of companies that worked with the city, so as to expand that group and the best inca impact that we can see on that so far is that the city picked up three positions.

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Elaine Katz: In the budget from this grand and now there are other cities in the US that are looking to this project is model and talking with New York City in order to expand that project, so I mean that would be a very large social impact project if you wanted to think about that.

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Elaine Katz: You know, we talked earlier that we're in the middle of coven.

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Elaine Katz: And I think coven has provided a lot of challenges for people with disabilities but it's provided even more challenges throughout the world for NGOs serving a population that now has growing needs.

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Elaine Katz: and resources have shrunk and what we've seen in the US, at least, is because of a lot of government concern over people local government.

00:09:01.200 --> 00:09:03.060
Elaine Katz: funneling money into people and.

00:09:03.960 --> 00:09:07.140
Elaine Katz: You know just some of the preparations they needed to do for.

00:09:07.410 --> 00:09:20.940
Elaine Katz: coded that a lot of the traditional referrals coming for government for services and then being able to build a government as reimbursement has really kind of slowed down or going to pretty much nothing in a lot in a lot of the States here.

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Elaine Katz: So last spring Kessler foundation decided to transfer all our projects and grant making that were on the table to only covert funding, so we put a million dollars into.

00:09:34.080 --> 00:09:46.890
Elaine Katz: Local covert funding and a surprisingly, most of it went to technology, we found, and this this now has has been seeing throughout a lot of reports throughout you know, the US and the world.

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Elaine Katz: Not only did people with disabilities lack technology and needed to be brought up to speed, but the organizations and agencies that.

00:09:57.210 --> 00:10:04.860
Elaine Katz: The NGOs that serve that group of people, their own staff or behind in learning technology, so it was providing.

00:10:05.370 --> 00:10:11.220
Elaine Katz: Technology that went out to the public, so to speak, but also went to staff and organizations.

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Elaine Katz: That was the bulk of what we were paying for and, in addition to protective equipment and you know emergency planning and food supplies and things like that, but.

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Elaine Katz: I think what we saw is with cove, it is the whole technical divide really got blown up, I mean everybody talked about it before that underserved populations around the world really.

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Elaine Katz: were not involved in technology and we found with everybody working remote service delivery being remote it just blew that open, and it also blew up opened.

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Elaine Katz: You know tech companies did really well over the past year and it really showed that there is a need for technologists only going to increase and what does that mean for training and people who are looking at jobs, one of the other.

00:11:05.250 --> 00:11:15.090
Elaine Katz: points that came across is that, at least in the US there's something called looking at skills now and it started before coven and really after encoded and after coded so you know it.

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Elaine Katz: Companies trying to look out what are you able to do not necessarily what level of schooling around you know, did you go to college and go to university EG have.

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Elaine Katz: Some sort of training, but.

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Elaine Katz: You know if you're in coding, and you understand coding.

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Elaine Katz: You know what's your ability and coding it doesn't matter if you've had a background in that and companies and it's been on the news here a lot two companies now are doing real world, testing, so to speak, to bring those skills up and to.

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Elaine Katz: increase their diversity and employment.

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Elaine Katz: So.

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Debra Ruh: coven really has as.

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Elaine Katz: You know, promoted a lot of change, not only in.

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Elaine Katz: workplace flexibility but.

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Debra Ruh: But really throughout.

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Debra Ruh: everyday life.

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Neil Milliken: Go bro you frozen, not a good time to freeze I think she was about to ask the question so Antonia do you want to.

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Neil Milliken: interject.

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Antonio Santos: So so and you mentioned that the Foundation was was providing technology for organizations and they were able, for them to be able to continue to work.

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Antonio Santos: And the identify that that was a gap in this little skill that everyone is talking about our do see the fact that now those organizations, at least, they have some resources some tool, they have some technology available out do you see.

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Antonio Santos: The all are the after covert awfully.

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Antonio Santos: won't take too many months for us to be in a better position than they are today i'll do see that new skills and new capacity.

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Antonio Santos: improve improving doing all the work and operate.

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Elaine Katz: I think hybrid, which is the key word is here to stay, before coven working from home or doing anything remotely for any part of your life, sometimes.

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Elaine Katz: was seen.

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Elaine Katz: As.

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Debra Ruh: accommodation, especially for people with.

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Elaine Katz: disabilities right and we did a.

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Elaine Katz: Employment survey Kessler foundation national.

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Elaine Katz: Employment survey in.

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Elaine Katz: 2017 and it talked with 3000 supervisors in the US, who supervised employees within without disabilities.

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Elaine Katz: And at that point in time, you know accommodation was nice to have, and it was seen not on everybody's radar screen.

00:13:40.920 --> 00:13:50.910
Elaine Katz: But now, if you look at it, you know accommodations has kind of level the playing field for people with disabilities, that they are able to work remotely, so I think.

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Elaine Katz: You know and we're, but we should say to that remote work isn't for everybody, but I think service delivery what's happened in.

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Elaine Katz: At least in where I am in New Jersey, if you serve one particular county or city.

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Elaine Katz: And you did that previously because you had to drive somewhere or get somebody just or somebody had to come to you to see see you for services now they're looking at a large expansive geographic area where they didn't consider service delivery before.

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Elaine Katz: You know it's not limited to where you are, you can expand your services and hopefully reimburse for your services wherever you are located, so I think hybrid services are here to stay, which also means there's greater support for technology and people working in their homes as well.

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Antonio Santos: So come to know that I think it's good that you might we might expect.

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Antonio Santos: Some improvement in terms of in terms of productivity, considering that some of the conditions were not there in the past and there they are available that will free people, or at least.

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Antonio Santos: would allow a level of flexibility that they can that would allow them to better manage their own life an experience.

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Elaine Katz: yeah I think that that's true, I mean the flexibility is key, more important important question is, is it everybody starts returning to the office.

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Elaine Katz: who's going to be allowed to work at home so right now there's been a lot of accommodations and a total flexibility.

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Elaine Katz: But I know you know where we are our CEO prefers everybody coming into the office so.

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Elaine Katz: You know, are people going to have to make and negotiate special arrangements to stay at home or is it going to be included, encompassing company policy somehow.

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Elaine Katz: That a hybrid workplace meets your needs I know Harvard Business Review magazine just had a big article on that and what they suggested is you can't make organizational decisions.

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Elaine Katz: For example, you know we think it's best every works here, you need to talk to your employees and help have them in the decision making, as to what your workplace is going to be looking at because.

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Elaine Katz: You know, during coven called company culture and was totally blown apart totally blown apart and I, because people working remotely or you were shut down.

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Elaine Katz: And as companies rebuild culture, they really need to talk and think about how are you going to include people with disabilities, how are you going to make a more inclusive culture.

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Elaine Katz: Whether it and and have the diversity of all kinds of people that maybe were excluded from your workplace previously or you didn't pay much attention to.

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Neil Milliken: Certainly, something that we were thinking about within our own organization we've got a program looking at what comes next because.

00:16:53.730 --> 00:16:55.050
Neil Milliken: Honestly, the.

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Neil Milliken: The the old normals never coming back even with all of the.

00:17:05.100 --> 00:17:16.680
Neil Milliken: inoculations and everything else we're going to be living with it in a different kind of world regardless, and then on top of that you've got the technology of course lots of is crave human to human contact.

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Neil Milliken: And lots of as once the the you know, the ability to go into the office and socialize with people and all the rest of it, but at the same time.

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Neil Milliken: yeah the likelihood is that that most people aren't going to be in the office 100% of the time, and that the expectation of maybe the managers that you mentioned that like that are going to be mismatched with the expectations of the employees as they've got used to something different.

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Neil Milliken: So I think that resetting of managerial expectations has to happen because they have to recognize that that they can't put a lid back on flexible working and nor should they.

00:18:07.620 --> 00:18:13.530
Neil Milliken: haven't but also what we've been doing isn't really that flexible it's.

00:18:14.820 --> 00:18:22.530
Neil Milliken: it's yeah it's hard work, actually we're working longer hours spending more time in front of us Greens doing stuff that's less healthy.

00:18:23.130 --> 00:18:29.190
Neil Milliken: Then, then some of the practices we had before so So what we need to find these actually.

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Neil Milliken: A new new normal a new hybrid because we don't have it right now, what we have is something pretty horrible actually I mean I work from home for years before cove ID.

00:18:43.590 --> 00:18:55.440
Neil Milliken: And it wasn't as intense as there, there were things that you could do in your time off that enabled you to decompress now essentially the only social content, most people have is through the screen at work.

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Neil Milliken: So that's intensified the sort of working relationship that people have.

00:19:00.420 --> 00:19:08.580
Neil Milliken: But it's also meant that a lot of people are burning out there is creating mental health issues we need to look at all of those kinds of team dynamics.

00:19:09.000 --> 00:19:20.760
Neil Milliken: whilst at the same time recognizing that there's an opportunity to give the flexibility that's required for people that have long term health conditions or lack of mobility to be able to do jobs that they can be before.

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Neil Milliken: upper your back, do you have Internet.

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Debra Ruh: I do sort of its I know I see you laughing it's so funny i'm about to kill the United States for the lack of quality wi fi we have but.

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Debra Ruh: i'm just shaking my head so.

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Debra Ruh: Listen.

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Antonio Santos: Sorry, so let me throw a question to overview so.

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Antonio Santos: We have been talking about topics that to lead with people within a company So who is who should be driving this you know, is this a new HR function.

00:19:59.580 --> 00:20:11.220
Antonio Santos: Do we need to completely rethink it edge are no human resources doesn't seem to be the right word for department that's a supposed to manage all this, what are your views.

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Elaine Katz: i'll tell you, so we did in our 2017 supervisors survey that I mentioned, we saw that when you talk about.

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Elaine Katz: Diversity and inclusion and had to come from the C suite it had to come from the top.

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Elaine Katz: And there's somebody named Randy Lewis, in the United States that really started the first initiative for inclusion hiring at walgreens which is now walgreens boots and.

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Elaine Katz: You know, he says that you need not only cloud, so you need to have power within the company, but you need to have a budget.

00:20:45.090 --> 00:20:57.450
Elaine Katz: And it has to come with somebody who can be it'd be a driver and it's usually an advocate family ally somebody who knows somebody with a disability, and they are able to.

00:20:57.960 --> 00:21:09.570
Elaine Katz: Put it through the company that this is what you have to do and and ran from the survey, we saw that yes, there was perhaps CEO buy in, but at the same time, the managers and supervisors.

00:21:09.840 --> 00:21:17.820
Elaine Katz: had to buy in and they bought in more actually because their performance was tied into the performance of somebody with a disability.

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Elaine Katz: But you know the overland all this is nothing's going to happen without metrics so unless there's metrics on retention and hiring perhaps return on investment if you're in marketing.

00:21:29.940 --> 00:21:38.580
Elaine Katz: Your marketing products or people disabilities that becomes when your goals, you know how are you going to have this in every level of your company.

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Elaine Katz: it's not just it may be driven and started by CEO and then sent to HR to kind of execute but unless there's buying throughout the company it's really not going to happen and that may happen just by a small group and division me talking about change, a culture take five years.

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Neil Milliken: yeah well so i'm the person responsible for that within.

00:22:04.710 --> 00:22:05.700
Neil Milliken: That section so.

00:22:06.720 --> 00:22:11.760
Neil Milliken: What can I say so, we do have executive sponsorship so so essentially we.

00:22:13.080 --> 00:22:22.830
Neil Milliken: We have a structured program now and I, you know we've we've done a lot of sort of top down bottom up sideways influencing whichever way we could to get to the point where.

00:22:23.190 --> 00:22:32.880
Neil Milliken: The CEOs really bought in the C suite or support, and in fact they've all got roles within it now so we've got a structure we've got we've given them roles that they need to carry out we've.

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Neil Milliken: Essentially we're following a similar kind of path that we were what we do for sustainability within the organization so we've got all of the different parts of the business have.

00:22:45.900 --> 00:22:50.190
Neil Milliken: different things that they can contribute to disability inclusion.

00:22:51.120 --> 00:23:02.880
Neil Milliken: And then that's all mapped out, and then we set them their targets and how we measure that and then that starts to create this sort of ground swell and also.

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Neil Milliken: Yes, the the provision of the assistive technologies and the provision of flexible working that does help people be more productive and we've got stats on you know the money that that we're spending what that saves us in terms of absence last time lost productivity.

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Neil Milliken: employ each and all of these kinds of things you know it's really money well spent, you know, the amount of money that we spend on.

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Neil Milliken: On assistive tech and making adjustments is a drop in the ocean compared to what we would spend if we're having to recruit people because they've let recruit because people have left retrain people to replace the skills that we lose through some of this so.

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Neil Milliken: I agree with you, the.

00:23:54.360 --> 00:24:03.720
Neil Milliken: executive C suite sponsorship is really important, and getting them the C suite talking amongst themselves and making that public commitment.

00:24:04.350 --> 00:24:14.880
Neil Milliken: is also extremely important, because that then makes the people that are interested, but didn't feel empowered feel comfortable coming out and a more.

00:24:19.080 --> 00:24:28.410
Debra Ruh: I would just like to make one comment, and I know I have terrible wi fi today, but I think a mistake, I, like the way you're doing it at a toast meal, I think it makes more sense.

00:24:29.250 --> 00:24:38.520
Debra Ruh: Often, a problem that we have is that in and Randy Lewis, is not a good example, but you know you have somebody like created Lewis very committed.

00:24:38.790 --> 00:24:49.890
Debra Ruh: To this and luckily once he left and retired the it continued, but sometimes when a company only has one person focused on it, and then they leave.

00:24:50.400 --> 00:24:58.200
Debra Ruh: The it goes away so it's very important in that it be embedded throughout the entire processes like you're doing at a toast but we.

00:24:58.410 --> 00:25:06.060
Debra Ruh: continue to see companies fail if they're relying just on one executive and then that executive leaves and I also do want to say, I think.

00:25:06.750 --> 00:25:17.250
Debra Ruh: You know, I have a lot of hope for what Caroline Casey is doing with valuable 500 with all the CEOs coming together, and I know you're on that board Neil, which makes me.

00:25:19.080 --> 00:25:22.260
Debra Ruh: I mean your meeting a Co signed up for the.

00:25:22.260 --> 00:25:26.880
Debra Ruh: bipolar step, I mean I think you're very early on right.

00:25:26.940 --> 00:25:28.590
Debra Ruh: you're doing it so college.

00:25:28.620 --> 00:25:30.450
Neil Milliken: board is yeah so.

00:25:31.290 --> 00:25:35.670
Elaine Katz: What I would also say Deborah to your point I wasn't talking about one person in an.

00:25:35.700 --> 00:25:36.330
organized for you.

00:25:37.950 --> 00:25:38.550
Debra Ruh: know you work.

00:25:38.610 --> 00:25:38.880
Elaine Katz: I know.

00:25:39.480 --> 00:25:40.560
Debra Ruh: I think most people do.

00:25:41.190 --> 00:25:54.330
Elaine Katz: right but i'm thinking one, there has to be a leader who starts that that's all i'm saying, and then it kind of mushrooms from there to your point that it has to be more than one person or else you know, we see that a lot of employment initiatives.

00:25:54.960 --> 00:26:01.680
Elaine Katz: A lot of organizations start things and they die why because there's not a lot of buy in and there was only one leader, and that was it.

00:26:03.390 --> 00:26:11.610
Antonio Santos: And, and sometimes the the topic we've seen this happening over or let's say over the last 10 years where diversity becomes a part of a.

00:26:12.510 --> 00:26:27.540
Antonio Santos: Of PR not and and that's it where chief diversity officer don't really have the capacity to to implement, and then we see a lot of changes in organizations will people leaving the organization because you're not able to make the change that they wanted.

00:26:28.710 --> 00:26:34.980
Elaine Katz: yeah that's really critical to so again back to our survey, because it was really interesting So this was all before coven.

00:26:35.280 --> 00:26:41.460
Elaine Katz: And you know when you ask companies if they were interested in diversity inclusion oh yeah 69% or so.

00:26:41.730 --> 00:26:50.280
Elaine Katz: And then, they said okay well you're ready to do it, that was like 58% and then, if you go down to well our people with disabilities included in that it was like 28%.

00:26:51.090 --> 00:27:06.180
Elaine Katz: So yeah to your point, Antonio when you when you actually get trying to get some commitment that's where kind of the rubber meets the road and that's the real test, so I think yeah the fact that carolyn Casey and the valuable 500 makes people look.

00:27:07.020 --> 00:27:15.450
Elaine Katz: At their from a board level that this is an initiative that people are going to participate that's taking it even higher than C suite if you will.

00:27:17.610 --> 00:27:21.660
Neil Milliken: yeah that is a really good point and actually we have to report.

00:27:22.830 --> 00:27:27.180
Neil Milliken: Our initiatives to our board, not just to the not just to the CEO.

00:27:28.530 --> 00:27:31.680
Neil Milliken: And it's it's really interesting to see.

00:27:32.910 --> 00:27:40.650
Neil Milliken: How when when you've got the the oversight also encouraging the C suite that that also.

00:27:41.130 --> 00:27:49.110
Neil Milliken: Has a reinforcing effect and i'm really excited by the work that they're doing but by bringing these business leaders together, because actually.

00:27:49.680 --> 00:28:09.720
Neil Milliken: This is a shared endeavor this isn't something that that one company or one you know someone wearing a Cape consort out this is this is absolutely something that that is a responsibility of all of us, but also, you know something that we, we can collectively all contribute to.

00:28:12.480 --> 00:28:18.900
Neil Milliken: Genuine genuinely bringing the CEOs together, bringing the companies together helps create a world.

00:28:19.860 --> 00:28:20.760
Antonio Santos: and more inclusive.

00:28:20.790 --> 00:28:24.780
Antonio Santos: And Caroline is doing that well talking at business for us.

00:28:25.830 --> 00:28:27.510
Antonio Santos: yeah we specifically important.

00:28:27.840 --> 00:28:35.790
Elaine Katz: But, but to your point earlier point Neil about covert and mental health and working at home that at least in the United States and.

00:28:36.240 --> 00:28:39.480
Elaine Katz: I don't know about worldwide but that's the number one disability.

00:28:39.810 --> 00:28:53.280
Elaine Katz: So if you're thinking about you know whether or not you're working with corporate board C suite within companies, there are lots of people with the hidden disability, of having some mental health and it.

00:28:53.760 --> 00:29:02.700
Elaine Katz: wasn't before Kovac made certainly be now because it exacerbated a lot of people who were able to function very well.

00:29:03.660 --> 00:29:12.300
Elaine Katz: You know before cove it and and to neil's point are now really having a hard time after you know this long after a year of.

00:29:12.630 --> 00:29:23.910
Elaine Katz: Being fairly isolated in most countries is very, very difficult, so you know as we enter the workforce and we've talked about this before and Deborah mention it it's a time when.

00:29:24.180 --> 00:29:35.490
Elaine Katz: You know those in the know should really start reevaluating what their companies divisions to even you know if you can't do it, I mean you may not have that influence, but certainly your own department.

00:29:36.060 --> 00:29:44.430
Elaine Katz: You may be able to look at you have openings who you're hiring how you're caring for the people how you're managing that that small group of people.

00:29:44.970 --> 00:29:59.580
Elaine Katz: If that's, the only thing that you have control over that's fine you know but, but if you spread the message of how well your team is working in you know however way you're managing and supervising you're sure to be noticed within your your own company.

00:30:01.260 --> 00:30:04.500
Neil Milliken: yeah I think that's that's really sage advice.

00:30:05.910 --> 00:30:18.630
Neil Milliken: And we've seen how actually doing stuff actually work not being afraid to actually take that first step don't ask for permission ask for forgiveness.

00:30:19.560 --> 00:30:26.550
Neil Milliken: Definitely, something I live by but but but that's also something that some of my colleagues live by as well, because all of our.

00:30:26.910 --> 00:30:39.360
Neil Milliken: sort of diversity networks grew up pretty much organically, we had we had some support from us, and it was a good idea, but then they mushroom and and that's been.

00:30:40.920 --> 00:30:52.560
Neil Milliken: Due to people's enthusiasm and people taking stuff on themselves and and really doing stuff and we actually have an allies network now, which is brilliant, because actually.

00:30:53.700 --> 00:31:01.590
Neil Milliken: It acts as the system, the binding and the glue between all of these different groups so that so that we don't end up with silos.

00:31:02.400 --> 00:31:25.800
Neil Milliken: And, and now that's been taken on by the whole of our organization, so what was people doing it within you know within their own bit of their job, then started to grow and mushroom and it spreads, so I hope that people feel empowered enough or brave enough to want to have a go.

00:31:26.880 --> 00:31:27.360
Neil Milliken: Because.

00:31:29.670 --> 00:31:30.720
Neil Milliken: For the most part.

00:31:32.850 --> 00:31:39.030
Neil Milliken: If you wait for someone to say yes you'll be waiting a long time it's, not because they don't want you to do it it's because.

00:31:40.200 --> 00:32:04.140
Neil Milliken: there's 1,000,001 other things going on, especially in in today's situation where I think you're you know you don't have those informal conversations anymore you put the half hour meeting or you've got 300 different unread emails or a slew of different messages, so I think some of that.

00:32:05.370 --> 00:32:15.510
Neil Milliken: autonomous action is really, really important, how would, as a sort of closing thought how maybe Kessler look at.

00:32:17.850 --> 00:32:35.550
Neil Milliken: Providing resources or people that want to do these things is that something that the that you would be able to teach people and encourage people that you know the next generation of leaders of these kind of initiatives is that is that.

00:32:36.570 --> 00:32:38.250
Neil Milliken: sounds a bit like the work you were doing with.

00:32:39.660 --> 00:32:41.850
Elaine Katz: Through through grant making but.

00:32:42.030 --> 00:32:43.440
Elaine Katz: Mostly, we see ourselves as.

00:32:43.440 --> 00:32:54.270
Elaine Katz: connectors so we're we're kind of in that middle space between you know, since we're the funder I like to say, since we have money to give away where everybody's best friend.

00:32:54.960 --> 00:33:01.380
Elaine Katz: So we're kind of in this space between you know, the people who can do it and and NGOs, so.

00:33:01.890 --> 00:33:09.330
Elaine Katz: We do like to connect people and provide resources, but actually at this point we don't do any consulting ourselves so.

00:33:09.990 --> 00:33:15.570
Elaine Katz: But we do get a lot of increased your point, Neil about how to do different things and we pass it along to the field.

00:33:16.200 --> 00:33:32.430
Elaine Katz: But we do bring people together through you know virtual symposiums through while we did do it in person meetings small gatherings so we see ourselves as a broker of information, I guess that would be the best way to describe it yeah.

00:33:33.000 --> 00:33:40.710
Neil Milliken: Excellent and and of course I have had the great pleasure of being part of some of those virtual symposiums.

00:33:41.340 --> 00:33:59.880
Neil Milliken: Thank you so much for for all of the insights today I need to also thank my clear text micro link and Barclays access for keeping us on air keeping us captioned and really looking forward to you joining the conversation with us on Tuesday on Twitter Thank you elaine.

00:34:00.360 --> 00:34:01.350
Elaine Katz: Thank you very much.

00:34:01.680 --> 00:34:02.850
Elaine Katz: It was a pleasure to be on.

00:34:04.200 --> 00:34:09.090
Debra Ruh: You were amazing as usual amazing we're proud of you as a leader in the US.

00:34:09.300 --> 00:34:09.900
Elaine Katz: Oh, thank.