S4 54 | Moments that Matter with Nicole Wormley

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Lean in as Nicole shares with Tara the importance of not only finding and navigating your voice in the space, but advocating for others that may not be able to.

Announcer 0:02
You’re listening to Moments That Matter, a special CXR podcast series, where leaders and telling professionals share their own experiences with varying aspects of discrimination and inequality. Hear on Moments That Matter, we are dedicated to creating connected conversations around specific moments. These are moments that matter.

Tara Amaral, Marshall McLennan 0:25
My name is Tara Amaral and I’m thrilled to be a bit to be able to introduce Nicole Wormley who’s going to be having a conversation with us about moments that mattered in her life. Nicole asked you to tell us a little bit about yourself. But she is currently the Senior Director of diversity and talent attraction, and university recruitment at Danaher Corporation. She’s had a long life in talent acquisition and HR and she does identify as a black woman. So Nicole would like to introduce yourself. Nicole, you may be unmute.

Nicole Wormley, Danaher 1:06
Thank you, Tara, for the introduction and I’m delighted to be a part of this moments that matter experience, I too, would like to take a bit of a step back when I when I reflected on the moment. And my my unapologetic way of being to your point, Tara, a black woman, I thought about my upbringing. And what I thought was okay, so I have, I was always taught respect, I was always taught, treat people the way you want to be treated. And I was empowered by a really, really strong set of parents that told me how wonderful and how awesome and how amazing I could be as a child, which was great. And I took all of that, and my, with my spunky self as a young adult, and then I graduate from college. And I go into my first recruiting organization. And while I’m not the only woman, I’m the only black woman, um, and I had the privilege of working at an office with a with a strong female who was the manager at the time. But I got to experience many big brand name companies at that time in 1994, requesting males for their assignments or for their roles, or requesting that people not come from, or candidates not be presented to them if they came from certain HBCUs because many of those schools were not accredited at the time. And I didn’t say anything. I didn’t say anything. Because while I was empowered and had all this energy from Mom and Dad, I’m the young youngest woman in the organization, and that voice just wasn’t as powerful as you start off early in your career. So I vowed that if I ever had space, if I ever had decision making power, I would make sure that that was not the case, I would make sure that women have space and opportunity and access to organizations, I would make sure that HBCUs were debunked, because they were the managers at the time, if the organization did not challenge these clients, because these were paying clients, they just let it happen. So I said on my watch, that won’t happen. So you fast forward to where I am today. And I am delighted to be able to be in a position where I get paid, and I have passion around the work that I’m doing. And whether I lead diversity attraction or not, I would be supporting diversity attraction, because it’s the right thing to do. And I remember little young Nicole that didn’t hadn’t established her voice early on in her career that now she has a voice and she has a seat. And she’s going to fight for women, and she’s going to fight for black and brown kids.

Tara Amaral, Marshall McLennan 3:37
So let me ask you, if you reflect on what happened when you first entered the workforce versus what’s happening now? Have your tactics changed about when you see or feel something that’s uncomfortable?

Nicole Wormley, Danaher 3:52
Yes, the tactics and I would say the stakeholders change as well, I would say early on, it might have been clients and our customers that we’re paying. I’m now at a place where I’m working with leaders across the organization. And there has been recent conversations, where in some cases, members of my team or earlier career professionals that in their organization might not feel psychologically safe. And we know this from having lived and learned over the course of our times that you can see the signs you watch for body language. And oftentimes folks that aren’t as comfortable having a voice, we have to have a responsibility to help them discover that voice or in some cases be a voice on their behalf. So I would say what is different now is I know how to navigate the voice. I know how to shift the voice volume up and down based upon who I am talking to to make an impact not only for the body of work, but also for the women coming behind me.

Tara Amaral, Marshall McLennan 4:47
One last question. I was a CVO at another firm and I remember seeing the CHRO Monday night and I said to look you’re going to get a call. I know I was poking the fire on some tough topics. He said, Don’t worry, I’ll be I’d be disappointed if you weren’t poking the fire on some of the harder conversations. How do you let senior leaders know that these are not easy conversations?

Nicole Wormley, Danaher 5:15
Well, first of all, that in itself isn’t easy at all. And based upon the leaders willingness to receive that feedback, based upon the leaders level of agreement and or comfort with the conversation, all of that changes, any all of all of us even that, even when it’s our job, it doesn’t make it easy. So we have to take a step back and assess Who are we speaking with, if we know where they are on their journey of adoption and our ally ship and our action, and you make it facts, you make a fact base here is the situation curious how it is making a positive and they’re not so positive impact, here’s how it was received by me. And then you give them the opportunity to confirmed and or conversate, about what you heard and how it made you feel. And then we go into solutioning. So rather than show up to say, here’s what I thought you should know, here’s what I heard. Here’s how it made me feel. Here’s what I think the business impact is, and here’s what I think we should do to solution against this.

Tara Amaral, Marshall McLennan 6:17
That’s fantastic. Thanks so much, Nicole.

Nicole Wormley, Danaher 6:19
Thank you, Tara.

Announcer 6:20
You’re listening to Moments That Matter, a special CXR podcast series, where leaders and telling professionals share their own experiences with varying aspects of discrimination and inequality. Hear on Moments That Matter, we are dedicated to creating connected conversations around specific moments. These are moments that matter.

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