Supply Chain Now Episode 411
“Diversity isn’t good enough. Organizations have to prioritize inclusivity.”
-Dyci Sfregola, Stand Up & Sound Off Panelist
The Supply Chain Now team was pleased to continue our “Stand Up & Sound Off” series, where we facilitate the sometimes difficult conversations that must be had in order for things to change. One other driving factor in this particular series is to create a global forum where our audience can actively participate & share their thoughts, insights & perspective.
On July 15th, we were pleased to feature several guest panelists that shared their insights and perspective on some of the challenges that we face, both here in the U.S. and across the international community. As we all approach these challenges from different angles & from different levels of understanding, and as we work to solve these problems together – – it’s important to continue the dialogue and gain insights from others. Our primary objective with this event is to do just that: serve as facilitators for helpful dialogue and discourse.
Amanda Luton (00:00:05):
It’s time for supply chain. Now broadcasting live from the supply chain capital of the country. Atlanta, Georgia heard around the world supply chain. Now spotlights the best in all things, supply chain, the people, the technologies, the best practices and the critical issues of the day. And now here are your hosts.
Scott Luton (00:00:28):
Hey, good afternoon, Scott Luton and Greg white with you here at supply chain now, uh, thanks for joining us here today, Greg, how are you doing? I’m doing well. I’m looking actually looking forward to this. This is the, like we’ve got the right group in place to help us discuss and even resolve some of this and learn, do a lot of learning, uh, today’s program to our audience. We’re going to be continuing our standup and sound off theories. Um, and today’s topic. It’s a very challenging topic, very timely topic, race and industry, you know, kind of where we are and where we’re going. We have a couple of outstanding panelists and really friends of the show, uh, are going to be sharing their perspective and their experiences. And then to our audience, we want to hear from you, you know, this, this whole program, this, this standup and sound off series was really built to hear from our audience as much as, as, as the program hears from us and our panelists.
Scott Luton (00:01:22):
So we want it to be really interactive. We want to make this really a powerful learning opportunity and really make it a information and idea exchange. So that that’s kind of our aim, right, Greg? Yeah. I think, you know, the key here is to get everyone together and put it all on the table and talk it through. Yeah. All right. We need to do more of that anyway. Uh, well said as usual. Uh, so I’m looking forward to today, uh, selfishly really looking forward to based conversation to quick program. That’s where we get started here today. So first off, big thanks to our sponsor that helps make this type of programming happening source connect fact, their generosity has allowed us to provide a micro grant to Morgan state universities, their APEC student chapter. They’ve got an outstanding supply chain program, uh, on the move that Morgan state and our sponsor has allowed us to help support that programming and Greg, as we’ve talked about, as, as we’re excited about, we’ve got a team member Genoa Smith who is the president of the apex student chapter at the university.
Scott Luton (00:02:25):
Uh, we got to share with her father and with her, we shared it with a father first that Kevin and, and David and the group at source connect, we’re sharing this grant with the apex chapter at Morgan state. And she was really excited. We were to write it. It’s the, it’s a good way to make a young woman cry. I think so. Well, I mean, you could see the wheels spinning and you know, they know what to do with these funds to improve their programs, which are already very strong. Yup. Okay. So at the of today’s session, we’re going to hear from Kevin L. Jackson COO over at source connect, uh, for a couple of minutes, uh, we’ll learn more, a lot more about what they’re doing. They’re really innovating part of the business world. Secondly, if you enjoy our webinar today, if you enjoy the discussion and learn from discussion, we’d invite you to check out our podcast wherever you get your podcasts from.
Scott Luton (00:03:19):
Okay. So let’s tackle Greg the ground rules before we introduce our outstanding speakers here today. So if we could flip to that second slide there. So, um, it’s pretty simple. All attendees are going to be on mute. As we’re looking to optimize the audio experience, we are recording this session, but the video and audio we’ll be publishing that after the fact, but we want to make it without all that said, we want to make it as interactive as possible. So join in the conversation. You can do that two ways. So we’ll have dedicated pause in the conversation to welcome our audience comments, their questions, their observations, you name it. So when we hit those 15, 20 minute segments, you can either shoot your question or your comment in via the text box, be a GoTo webinar that toolbox, or if you’ve got a great microphone or even a good microphone and a steady internet connection, you can click on, raise your hand and we’ll try to recognize you and unmute you so you can share or ask your question, you know, contribute verbally.
Scott Luton (00:04:21):
So it gets a little bit tricky there, but really our aim is to really just help facilitate. What’s going to be, I think, a really compelling conversation here today and let folks engage however they can engage. So, as I mentioned there, that third ground rule, the recording, the session will be made available to all the red strips and then we’ll publish it publicly in the days that followed Greg any, uh, is all that clear as mud. Maybe I think these are the same rules that people probably been living by since March 13th is my guess. So we’re in a GoTo world or a zoom world, depending on where you land, right? That’s right on that note, Hey, you never know what will take place on a live event like this, as we’re all broadcasting from our home offices. So undoubtedly the discussion and the audio exchange is going to be, uh, an exceptional experience here today.
Scott Luton (00:05:12):
So with that said, one quick, uh, we also should mention, before we introduce our speakers, Tandra, Bellamy, who was going to be the third panelist here today, you may have seen that in some of our promotion of today’s conversation, she’s got a family member that will be attending college and they’re, they’re a remote several hours, long orientation session was moved to today. And of course, as we all would as parents, we gotta be there for that. So she, unfortunately won’t be a part of the event today, but you’ll see her again really soon on supply chain. Now she’s always a wonderful, uh, contributor. Okay. So Greg, why don’t you lead off and introduce our first speaker? So our first panelist is a DC [inaudible] DC has there she is, Hey DC. She has embraced a variety of roles over the last 10 years. Uh, but she considers one of her most important to be a problem solver.
Scott Luton (00:06:06):
The status quo is not the status with DC. I can assure you of that. So she’s really found her calling in process improvement and in an area where we both have some passion sales and operations planning, inventory management, change management, and user adoption of the digital tools and collaboration environments that, that really make that happen. She’s lived and worked around the world as she was finishing her Spanish degree. Uh, she was recognized as B ETS, black girls rock as a mad girl that is making the difference, right. I’ve never seen DC mad, but I’m pretty sure something
Dyci Sfregola (00:06:46):
I’ll have Joseph record next time, if you want to see,
Scott Luton (00:06:50):
Yes, you wouldn’t want to see me when I’m angry, right? We’ve seen DC making changes happen ever since she hit our radar, making a difference, especially sharing her experience and her expertise with the community, with her family who we’ve already met. And she joined us for a live stream about a month ago, right? Where we talked about digital and business transformation. And it was, I don’t know. All I know is that Scott took about 15 pages of notes. He holds a master’s degree in engineering management from Kennesaw state university and serves as an Anaplan plan consultant for Akili, a leading business management and technology consulting firm firm. Welcome DC. Good afternoon here where we are. So
Dyci Sfregola (00:07:38):
Yes, I’m excited to be here. Um, I think I always say that super excited, but I am,
Scott Luton (00:07:45):
We are too. And I’m so glad to hear that’s right. And you’re joined in as super fans. We are of DC. We’re also super fans of our, of our second panelist. That’s here with us here today and I’m gonna, I’m going introduce, uh, David Burton, president and founder of the diverse manufacturing and supply chain Alliance, commonly referred to you’ll. You might hear us call it dims com, which is a great way of, as you’re talking about a powerful organization. So you don’t have to say all the words each and every time, but Dempsey is an outstanding organization. We’ll talk more about that here momentarily. David is a native of Columbia, South Carolina, a graduate of Morgan state university. He is a decorated Vietnam veteran. Having served as an officer in the U S army. David sits on a variety of boards he’s regularly sought after for his expertise and his experience, uh, in his, in his opinion, in a variety of business topics.
Scott Luton (00:08:39):
He serves as an adjunct professor at Howard university and was recognized not too long ago as the Frank E. Parker client of the year for his courage and perseverance and anyone that knows David Burton, I’ve had the pleasure of at least known him for six months. You know, that he’s got those qualities in spades. And in fact, I was introduced to David by a good friend of the show, Daniel Stanton, and I was able to attend. We were in some way, shape or form able to attend a dense event in Arizona. In February. I was a newbie at the event. Most was my first desk event and it was outstanding. We had probably 11 or 12 really incredible interviews with a lot of the participants and the keynotes and quickly we became big fans. So if you want to check out the organization, [inaudible] dot us, check it out and with no further ado.
Scott Luton (00:09:32):
Good afternoon, David, how you doing? Thank you, Scott. Great to be back with you. Absolutely great to have you back. We enjoyed your, your interview with us. I also probably three or four weeks ago out in Arizona. David was, was he’s like the governor out there. So we couldn’t steal an hour of his time out there. We had to wait till we, we all got back home and really enjoyed that. All right. So Greg, before DC shares some of her perspective, let’s kind of share the format with today’s audience. How’s that? Yep. Let’s do it. Alright. So again, our aim is very simple. We want to help provide for an outstanding learning opportunity. Um, a compelling discussion, you know, we’re all looking hopefully with open minds and open eyes and open ears, you know, ways that we can fill in some of the gaps we have in our perspective here today.
Scott Luton (00:10:24):
So think about the format for what should be a really interactive event. Up first, we’re going to hear both from DC and David, as they both share their perspective and it probably will be varied. They may touch on some of their journeys, some of their experiences there. And they may also touch on some of the, some of the change that leaders need to be aware of and ways that we can help. We’re going to follow each of their segments, Greg, with an opportunity and really let’s call it an expectation for our audience to chime in. And whether you want to ask a question of DC or David or anyone, or if you want to share an observation, please do it. That’s what we, uh, have come to expect that we’ve got a very engaged audience, very sharp, smart audience. And we’re looking forward to not only hearing from DC and David Bell, also our audience. So Greg, is that a pretty fair assessment or did I screw something up? No, that’s pretty good. I think you’ve outlined it pretty well. So let’s let him sound off. Absolutely. So with that said, DC, we’d love for you to kind of start things off for us.
Dyci Sfregola (00:11:33):
Yes, absolutely. I am going to do my best, not to ramble, to be succinct and to stay within my 15 minute time limit. I can see all of your guys’ screen. So if you have a little note, you know, one minute 30 seconds cut it off. Um, I’ll definitely be watching it kind of watching the time also, but I’m, I’m very glad that you guys have set this up and you know, Greg and Scott, we talked a little bit before also just preparing for this and it’s kind of kismet at the time that this conversation was actually scheduled to happen on this day. Cause I think that back weeks ago when, um, you guys first, first scheduled everything there hadn’t yet been this big push of diversity and the black lives matter protests and things like that. Um, to where we were seeing so many companies talking about diversity inclusion measures and things like that.
Dyci Sfregola (00:12:37):
Um, of course it’s, it’s been on the radar for a couple of years now, the diversity and inclusion, affinity groups and things like that at different organizations. But I think now in the recent more recent weeks is where we really seeing this push to have a candid conversation, a real conversation, and not just superficial measures of, you know, all right, let’s hire, we’ve got a team and now we’ve got a person from this ethnic background, a person from this gender and a person’s in this ethnic background and we’re good to go. So this is a very timely conversation. Um, I will do my best not to kind of be the face of the race or the face of the gender, of course. And the interactive platform that we have here, I think will also contribute to that. So if anyone does not agree, anything that I’m saying, you guys have already said it, but I’m also hoping that, you know, we can have a, a safe space for disagreement.
Dyci Sfregola (00:13:40):
I think that, you know, part of the reason why we don’t have as much diversity inclusion as we should or can is because we don’t want to have these uncomfortable conversations. It, especially in professional business environments where we want to save face, save face, or we want to, you know, come off as being very confident and not always being right. Some people do have that desire, you know, to always be right, but having a Larry summit I’m connected with on LinkedIn, I read yesterday, or maybe the day before that we need to look for the misfits more than the fits, you know, that cultural fit. And I use that to say that I hope that people will engage in healthy conflict and healthy disagreement so that we can continue to move forward. My experience, I think, has been a mix of what other women of color have experienced, um, in the supply chain space, especially being in the tech space.
Dyci Sfregola (00:14:44):
So I don’t think you guys mentioned, uh, in the original introduction that you did, that you did Greg. So I am have been the digital transformation cloud based technology text-based as far as it relates to SNOP and supply chain, my passion and kind of, you know, really soft spot for process management and people management grew out of being in the tech space and seeing these technology implementations and things like that. So not only is supply chain, very white, male dominated, but tech in general is also very white male dominated. So walking into a room to where I am, the only woman or the only person of color is not new. So it’s definitely really a weird position to be in. And it is not something that I just kind of, you know, I don’t really know how we say it in English and Italian, if it translates to you just kind of feel it on your skin, I guess maybe like a gut feeling that something is kind of weird here, but there’s actually, um, like sociological and psychological studies on the idea of intersectionality.
Dyci Sfregola (00:16:01):
A lot of companies are, and I’ve been hearing a lot lately, um, in terms of diversity is that, Oh yeah, well, we’ve got 30% women on our board or in senior leadership, or we’ve got ethnic diversity of whatever percentage versus last year, which is, you know, this new, we’ve seen a 4% increase of 5% increase. So we’re doing great nine diversity numbers. And even when it comes to studies from like McKinsey or SWE, which I’m so glad they’re doing the studies, there’s still this I’m kind of very surface level review of where do women of color sick. So the intersection of gender and rights. So as of 2015, there were studies that found that no company was really excelling at gender and racial diversity. So that then leaves women of color in a very weird spot, what some people may or may not. And that was back in the seventies, there was a discrimination lawsuit against general motors and the plaintiffs were women of color.
Dyci Sfregola (00:17:08):
And the court found in favor of general, general motors because there was no evidence of discrimination against women. And there was no evidence of discrimination against black males. So since there was no evidence on either side, then the court found, well, it’s not possible discrimination against women of color because it’s not women or men of color, but it’s a very different experience. And the biases that are the subconscious biases that we all have come to know about. And I think, and I would hope that people at point we can all agree. We know that diversity is important. We all know that there are subconscious biases, there are hiring biases or resume bias, all know it’s there. What we’re doing lean about them is one thing. But I would really hope at this point that no one is saying, no, there’s no reason why DC doesn’t put lard DCF on our resume.
Dyci Sfregola (00:18:15):
There’s no reason why he wakes up every morning before the first day of a new job and think, Oh my goodness, is this hairstyle okay? You know, or if I walk into a meeting or if I have a feedback of review or if I have, you know, a conversation and I recognize, and everyone recognizes that I am resilient, I show up, I do what I need to do. Clients love me. So if the only excuse that or the justification, I shouldn’t call it and see the justification that I get for not getting a promotion or not getting a raise, is that what other people would be upset? So at that point, you’re always having the self reflection of, with that conversation, give this thing if I were not even a white man, if I were a white woman, if I were not a black woman, or even if I were a black man, would that conversation be different?
Dyci Sfregola (00:19:18):
So it’s a very weird position to be in as a woman of color. And it is something that we definitely need to be more cognizant about. Um, I have started to see companies and I’m hoping that, you know, we’re at 2020 in 2022, 2024, or, um, you know, maybe over the next few years, there are more companies that will you start to really follow. So the, um, different recommendations, um, I’ve read some Harvard business review articles. Project include is a great organization. That’s working with companies to create a framework and kind of roadmap for their diversity inclusion efforts, but, uh, really dis-aggregating, you know, pay data or dis-aggregating data in general and seeing where those experiences of that intersection of women of color really sit what their sentiments are. Um, because kind of going back to those numbers of, Oh, is that 30% women, and we’ve got, you know, 40% not white.
Dyci Sfregola (00:20:32):
So whether it’s Latin or Asian or, um, you know, black, African American, whatever, you know, that ethnic diversity is well, even going a step further, what are your inclusion efforts looking like, see what I am seeing a lot of right now, that’s making me very hopeful for a future is that when I completed my masters, when I was studying industrial engineering, I don’t know if it was, you know, the particular school I went to, you know, it’s very possible that different universities attract a different type of student, but in my courses, there were a few courses where, you know, I was the only girl or I was the only person of color, but for the most part, I would say overall, in the degree, if I take all of the courses that I took, that word engineering related or supply chain related, I was very surprised to see based off of all the statistic that I seen, the number of women of color that were in these courses.
Dyci Sfregola (00:21:39):
So I say that to say that if we look at the leadership makeup, when it comes to supply chain, or it comes to STEM in general, it’s not because there is a lack of interest. So at some point we get people of color, women of color, specifically into STEM studies. We might even get them into internships and then just slowly but surely we see that they start, you know, the presence starts to decline. So as we get into leadership and things like that, um, so a lot of studies have found that is because, you know, women miss that first critical manager promotion and they don’t get the opportunity then to go from managers, senior managers, your manager, to director, et cetera, et cetera. So I don’t want to spend time going through all statistics and findings. You know, that is something that is related directly, I think, to inclusion.
Dyci Sfregola (00:22:41):
So you hire the person, but then what did you do within your company once they were on the team to make them feel included and to make them feel like they belonged? So what I think a lot of us might be feeling as women of color is this again, kind of superficial approach to diversity efforts. So companies are doing it for the sake of numbers and not for the sake of truly changing their culture. Because again, that is uncomfortable. That then means that my day to day in a meeting in likely going to be, you know, DC, if she does agree with me, great. But if she doesn’t agree with me, I know she’s going to vocalize it. And I know I’m going to then have my ideas challenged, which is good. It’s good to have ideas challenge, but it’s uncomfortable and nobody wants to be uncomfortable.
Dyci Sfregola (00:23:44):
You have to make it a conscious effort to put yourself in uncomfortable positions. And that that’s just human nature. That’s nothing that we are faulting. I don’t personally fault people for it. I don’t, you know, say that people are racist or they’re prejudice or they’re biased because they want to be around people that look like them. It’s literally human nature. So I applaud the companies recently that have put out their statements of what they are going to do. I have seen a couple of companies post diversity and inclusion officer roles. So that’s the first step, but I really like to see again in a couple of years, what those statistics look like, how many companies actually follow through with it. Um, and, and that’s because, and I liken it to, you know, that digital transformation business transformation. It’s not just like, okay, we have a diversity inclusion officer.
Dyci Sfregola (00:24:46):
We’re good to go. Yay. It really takes a transformation from the top down. And it really takes senior leaders. And I say, face C suite leaders to the mission and values the organization code of conduct. What are we going to do as a company to ensure all employees feel included and to ensure that we are going to achieve, you know, exceptional financial performance, because we are open to healthy conflict and open to healthy disagreement, because that’s how we know the best ideas are going to grow out of that. And I’m trying to watch the clock. And I did not expect to talk that long or they’re right. There’s a lot there. And I try, you know, like I don’t want to be a talking head and like talk specific things like that. Companies are putting out the statistics all the time. We know it’s there.
Dyci Sfregola (00:25:48):
So at this point, you know, what’s the gap and the gap is really from diversity to inclusion and then getting that dis-aggregation of data and getting more research and that intersectionality of race and gender and not just, okay, here’s the gender diversity has emerged with diversity because it really leaves, you know, Asian women, Latino women, black women. It really leaves us in this kind of, you don’t even, it’s always, it’s almost weird to speak up because you know, someone’s, Oh, we’ve got so much diversity, you’ve got 30% women and like no black women. So if we’re going back to representation matters as a black woman, you don’t see someone that looks like you. So it really makes you question. Is this a field where I will be able to be successful? Whereas if I see black women excelling in other fields, I might choose, maybe I’ll, I’ll go elsewhere. So I cannot think of off the top of my head, more than three black women in senior leadership roles in supply chain,
Scott Luton (00:27:04):
That’s got to change. As we all know here, we’ve got to figure out what are the one thing, if I can just weigh in here, cause we want to open it up for this first Q and a session to our audience, a quick heads up, we welcome your comments, your questions here momentarily, but really quick, w again, I’m a big note taker, DCI. He shared so much and you know, 17 minutes time. But one of the things I heard you say that I think it’s really important is there’s enough first steps we need to be seeing second and third and fourth and advanced steps, right? A lot of companies are saying, Hey, we’re doing this as that first step, but we’ve got to see more results. And, and that’s, that’s why these conversations that for some of us, and I’m pointing to myself, it’s tough to work through because you’re watching syllables, watching everything we say, because we don’t want to say the wrong thing, but we’ve got to have him. We gotta be uncomfortable. That’s another thing you said there, DC. Well, enough of my thoughts let’s hear from the audience. Great.
Scott Luton (00:28:02):
That’s right. Well, uh, DC, uh, what, uh, what a great lead off hitter. I mean, you’re, you’re, you’re setting a high bar and I can say that because I know David, uh, David’s up for the challenge. He’s a great cleanup hitter. Yes. Okay. I know we’re supposed to facilitate the DC, a couple of things. You said a lot there, but a couple things really stood out at me. And one is that companies need to think past the threshold. They need to think past getting diversity groups in to an on the roster, right? They need to figure out what position they play and how to advance and enable them to be comfortable and Excel in that environment. And the other thing that you said is that starts at the C level. That is an absolutely critical, that sort of thing has to start with the recognition that you also identified.
Scott Luton (00:28:55):
And to me, you have reached the threshold as an organization when you value diversity for the value that it, that diversity groups and people can bring, rather than doing it, as you said, just to check the box, right? You really have to live a value that says everyone is valuable. And more of those voices as you’re talking about yep. Are valuable to us and we’re valuable to them. Okay. So we’ve got a couple submittals here and y’all bear with me. And again, audience, you can click, raise your hand if you could, if you’ve got a good internet connection, a good microphone, and we can hear you share your observation. So Elba prayer, Gallagher is part of our audience here today. We’d love not only Elvin our perspective, but also her nonprofit show, fifty.org. So Elba loved your comment. Look for misfits. And I think DCU, you referenced Larry, uh, yeah.
Scott Luton (00:29:50):
Leon, but regardless love that. And Elvin did too. Also Elba shares that. So she’s stealing that look for miss misfits, by the way, companies really need to start being the barrier breakers and really aim to be disruptive leaders in addressing issues of diversity. I think if public pressure is the only factor that pushes companies to change their inclusive culture, then there’s definitely a lot wrong with their strategies. I’m attributing this to the wrong person. This is memory Mathenia my apologies. Elba says, she’s stealing. I’d love your misfits memory is talking about how these are some wrong strategies. She continues to say we’re places are still the most unsafe environment to voice one’s opinion about matters of inclusion. It’s classified as being confrontational, as opposed to enabling people, to take those uncomfortable discussions as opportunities for personal growth.
Dyci Sfregola (00:30:52):
I’d like to pipe in there and memory, and I talk kind of regularly. So I’m sure we’ll, we’ll, we’ll continue this conversation of also later, but as kind of, just as a point for, you know, women of color that are watching and who will watch later, you know, as it’s it, I have lived in that confrontational space. So, you know what memory was saying, there is still this view that in the workplace, if you don’t agree, it’s confrontation. And I say, be confrontational. I am sure that I can think about, I could think of a couple of men right now that think I am confrontational. But one thing that I have decided is that if the companies don’t want to do it, that doesn’t mean that I’m not going to fight for it. I take up space. I don’t take BS. If you have something to say to me, that is ridiculous.
Dyci Sfregola (00:31:54):
I will tell you it’s ridiculous. And I’m not going to say thank you very much. And then behind your back, you know, talk, no I’m going to tell you that doesn’t make sense. What you’re saying is ridiculous. And I don’t agree with it. We don’t have to be friends, right? We have to be professional. We have to be cordial. You know, my mother raised me and I had expectations set from very early on that everyone will not like either. It’s nothing you can do to make every single person you meet like you. Right. And I am 100% okay with that. I think that women want to be likable because they want to have the bossy stereotype or again, the confrontational stereotype, especially as a black woman, there’s the angry black woman stereotype. And I am encouraging other women and even Latino women. There’s a feisty Latina.
Dyci Sfregola (00:32:55):
I encourage men to be aware of that bias. I encourage women to be aware of that bias when you’re talking to women of color or when you’re interacting with women of color. But I also encourage black women and Latino women. If that’s what it takes. If you have to come off as the angry black woman or the feisty Latina, take up this space seat at the table and maintain your seat at the table. And I, again, there, I’m sure a couple of that. I can literally make a list right now that I know I am an angry black woman, or I am confrontational because I did not allow them to say something about me or to me or around me, that was unacceptable
Scott Luton (00:33:42):
So much to dive into. Let’s move to Nicole Williams. Nicole, we’re going to try having you weigh in. I think you’re unmuted now. So Nicole, are you there? I am. Can you hear me? We sure can that the floor is yours.
Dyci Sfregola (00:33:54):
So I can relate to so much that you’re saying DC. It’s like, I, you are me in another life. So here’s my question. I am in an organization where it’s supply chain and it’s predominantly African Americans that are the workers. However, these senior leaders are white males. So there are positions that come available when it’s an opportunity for the senior leaders to hire an African American female or male, they choose to hire a, another person that looks like them. So I’m like you, I don’t bite my tongue much. I’m pretty open and say kind of how I feel about things. And I’m saying to them, you need to put somebody else at the table that can bring a different perspective. Not just somebody that looks like you and the answers are gonna always be the same, especially considering the fact that 90% of the workers are African-Americans.
Dyci Sfregola (00:34:54):
So I basically was told, this is kind of how it is, and you probably should find another job. I did apply for the senior leader position. I didn’t get the same leader position that was given to another white male. And then I was told that I got great leadership experience, which senior leaders probably should be leading, but not enough technical experience, which I was a technical warrant officer. So I have a lot of technical experience. So I think the bottom line is I’m too angry, black woman quote, quote, unquote for them because I speak my mind and I don’t go with what’s wrong. I just go with what’s right. So should I take device and move to a different organization or should I continue to stay there? And I guess hopefully one day they’ll see my point and I’ll be allowed to move up to a higher position.
David Burton (00:35:46):
Excellent question, Nicole. Thanks so much for participating. All right. So DC and David, uh, if you could give very succinct lightening round, I hate to not give it justice, but we’re going to dive into David’s seven here momentarily. Give a 32nd or less answer to Nicole’s question. If you wouldn’t decent to start with you and then David will move into your segment.
Dyci Sfregola (00:36:07):
You can definitely be quick. Nicole. I say lead girl, leave by, but we can definitely talk about it offline. Find me on LinkedIn. Um, I am definitely a proponent of leaving a company. If they do not value you, you do not have to fight for someone to recognize that you are brilliant and that you’re worth it. It obviously right now, it’s a strange time. You of course, have to time everything out. You have to think about more at home life, your salary, paying your bills, et cetera. But if you are in a position to leave, I say leave, they’ve already told you. You’ve already tried. You gave them a chance who me once shame on you, fool me twice, you know, et cetera, um, connect with me and we’ll talk through it
David Burton (00:36:53):
Outstanding and what we will be publishing the LinkedIn profiles, uh, for, for both DC and David, we encourage all to reach out and just make some connections here. Okay. Uh, really quick before we move to David big, thanks to Elba memory for, for weighing in Stephan, Christina, Sylvia, and Kevin, we’ll get, I’ll be sharing your contributions in the second Q and a we’ll lead off of that. And David David Burton, we’re going to dive into your segment headfirst here, if you would weigh in really quick on the coals question from your perspective, and then please share, uh, and enlighten us with the rest of your experiences and insights here. Well, to that question, I would just say economics, your own ceiling. You know, I agree. I see. Leave long, you stay there. You are acknowledging your own ceiling that you did. Great. All right. So, uh, the floor is yours.
David Burton (00:37:43):
Okay. Uh, this is interesting. Uh, I see, I enjoy what you said because I hear a lot of what I’m going to say, external, because I took the route a long time ago of having a hundred percent HR on diversity inclusion by hiring myself. I got there secure to say, I want to talk a little bit about that because I think all of my life has taken me to where I am now. And let me say that, because I believe in Morgan state university, I went to university, Pennsylvania got my degree. There is a state and regional planning and came back from Vietnam, taught at Howard, but I got involved there and the DC area after resigning my commission, I was like second, 24 year old, regular army major. That’s kind of fast because, um, I was, uh, kind of on that regular track to be something bigger and army, but I, I had a calling that was inside and that to do something that was in the community.
David Burton (00:38:38):
I started out working with new channels. I got asked by control data corporation back in the day when they were building small, distinct debaters in depressed urban areas. And I was one of those guys to add real estate experience and everything that they were looking for in a minority to help them move their agenda forward. And of course, control data’s not an economic development company was at the time a mainframe computer company at the time, the competition was just IBM crate and the Japanese, those were the three Vegas. It may be a digital debt. I got involved nation wide, helping control data, find opportunities for utilize some small business incubators to change communities that is create jobs out of incubators that hire people, immunity console. Then it was very much involved in a program back in the day called Plato’s. And it was a program that could take a person from one economic, uh, correction from one grade level to another, in a very short period of time.
David Burton (00:39:37):
And we used that to help persons in depressed community is increased them. Uh, employability skills, the big picture here is business and community. This is accumulate. What was the role of business? It happened to change came in. I started my company and I won’t go through that long story, but I started focusing on utilizing small business incubators and small business and sales become change. Agents and communities, uh, started a minority manufacturing program with the South Carolina manufac extension partnership. And that program eventually went national. I came to mashes to percentages and technology and Washington DC. The initiative there was to leverage federal resources, to help develop more of an authority mate factors across the country. Long story, short Proctor and gamble loved the model. Essentially said, if you build that, we will come. So I started my own company, but it was prior to that, I had also been a consultant to major banks in terms what happened then with their disparity studies in terms of why they were not connecting more with diverse communities.
David Burton (00:40:37):
So I have some of the major banks in the country, some of which you, you know, look at themselves. And my first line and every report to them was that they were their own worst enemies in terms of how they were operating. And you can either be, you can understand that, or you can change how you’re operating. And today with the diverse manufacturer supply chain aligns my message. It’s not that much different because these are, I love the praise. You use supply diversity and inclusion because I think supply diversity in the corporate world today has to change to supply diversity and inclusion. One is a check, the box activity, supply diversity, supplier diversity and inclusion is proactive to make it change. And that’s the reason why Dems go exist because what our mission is, is trying to help diverse suppliers become engaged and strategically source supply chains.
David Burton (00:41:35):
Now, today I see three big trends that puts minority manufacturers in double jeopardy. And let me explain why I was saying that we got in business. We Dem SCO organization, our corporate members and out suppliers. And let me give a shout out to some of our big corporate members like Johnson and Johnson, the Intel and Abbott McCormick comments and others. But our objective there is to help suppliers become engaged in their supply chains. But the challenge that we have is recognizing today, briefings that again, we’ll put diverse suppliers in double jeopardy. Our initial challenge was hard enough, but that is to develop suppliers and to be performance driven and performance manage to have suppliers not compete as diverse suppliers, but as suppliers that you happen to be diverse and we’re the best in their class because they understand man manufacturing, they understood supply chains. Now I see great things happening that will impact everybody.
David Burton (00:42:39):
I say double Japanese. So the first week of course is what we were doing essentially through the universe manufacturer splotch and Hawaiian type of suppliers to develop their strategists, to get involved in supply chains. But here are the three big things. Some wine as large corporations are just, I used to use it who are post COVID environment, but it could be just a COVID-19 environment because we don’t know how I’m Solise, but resiliency is going to be their main business objective to develop a supply base that is resilient and would not be as disruptive in the future as COVID-19, as in their current supply chain, in terms of all the distribution lines and things that have been disrupted in the supply chain network. The second big trend here is this is what Coby my team has done. Who’s their business agenda. And that is to accelerate their digitization because digitization is a way of venting being caught short again, in terms of not being resilient.
David Burton (00:43:36):
So large corporations who themselves are not yet there, they would be moving expeditiously to digitize their supply chains. Joyce Floyd, black lives matter. You hear it everyday. Social organization want to do something about social justice, but from my perspective, the best way to do that is to go back to the roots of what manufacturing is all about in the first place. And that is to create jobs the best way to pay tribute to George Flor and others. In the context of the social justice movement is to empower minority communities through economic development in terms of leveraging the power of the manufacturing to create jobs in those communities and to leverage diverse suppliers as agents of that. Because after all, let’s look at this way, 80% of the supply chain value is in the supply chain network. AKA suppliers, the on suppliers should be to leverage them as change agents in diverse communities to create jobs, you know, to, um, help develop the economic base and wealth in that community.
David Burton (00:44:45):
The Dem school supply development foundation, which is a sister organization of the [inaudible] universe supply chain Alliance is it’s a fabric going to see three foundations, weekly focus, maybe suppliers to implement strategies, just to do that very thing. And let me put this in some context are require suppliers to have five strategists and one very unique supply chain strategy. Shouldn’t you understand that you are in a supply chain and did you, and you can manage and be managed in that supply chain. Number two table, stakes that across the enterprise maturity, ISO quality, financial management, all the stuff you can’t leave home without number three, you gotta have your carbon footprint because everybody wants to know how you are impacting the environment. And if you don’t know that that corporations were less, but you, because you are insensitive to something that’s more than yeah. More important to them.
David Burton (00:45:37):
The last two strategies, Dempster doesn’t do technology enablement and talent acquisition and workforce training solution is to accelerate the digitalization of the yeah. Suppliers, because if their customers are now going to accelerate their digitization at a time when B on that in the supply chain and another way to ship me anyway, what’s going to happen to them. If their supply customers now become more digitized, that’s the double jeopardy I’m talking about. So the solution now is to accelerate that digitization and to help them suppliers become more digitized, and that’s going to require investment of resources. And if you’re really interested in supplier diversity and inclusion, you’ve got to be serious about helping diverse suppliers become more digitized because I tell suppliers every day in every corporation someone’s waking up on Monday morning to fire you and you, and you better be the best of your supplier type.
David Burton (00:46:38):
If you’re trying to get it into supply chain, your competition theater recipe, unless you have some unique innovation it’s already in a supply chain. So what is your business case for asking the customer to find we are a legacy supplier and how are you? If it has to be something about barrier, it cannot be, should not be about you, your gender or your race, because that would get you a conversation, but he won’t keep it in a supply chain. That’s why we’re so driven to work with diverse suppliers that are certified, certainly, but can bring value to their customer. And I think today that value is going to be more and more driven, but a suppliers and digitalization at a time when the customers are accelerating their digitalization, which means that if you work towards this realization at normal speed, you be around very long.
Scott Luton (00:47:30):
And that’s my message that I would like to get across. Thank you, David. All right. So both DC and David, they are like, magnets are bringing a ton of comments and interaction from the audience. So let’s get to some of these comments from a we’ll start with Christina and Christina was speaking more towards the earlier part of the conversation, but we’re going to work down through, we’ve got a lot, a lot of passionate contributions here. So cause Christina says black women have so much power and leadership to offer companies. The position of diversity and inclusion is usually held by black women who at times still have their leadership and strength, hands tied to the instituted bias measures and ways of thinking. This must change for the advancement of black women in general. Excellent commentary from Christina, give DC and David a really quick chance to respond to that really, really quick so we can get the others that they see.
Dyci Sfregola (00:48:31):
Yeah. I definitely agree with that. And I see that, um, that the diversity and inclusion role, I see it very often is a black person and that is another kind of box checker because it’s it, it’s also the idea that, okay, we’ve got a black person. Well, what about Latinos? What about Asians? What about everyone else that isn’t white? And then too, you know, Christina’s point, it’s a figurehead. It’s just to say that we did it and that person had very little real power and that power is sometimes just tied to, okay. What do the numbers look like as opposed to, you know, really driving that cultural change and that business change? We don’t have anything to say. I agree,
Scott Luton (00:49:17):
DC, a quick comment from you, David, on Christina’s point basis. Point ditto. All right. I’m going to, uh, good stuff there. Uh, David, I’m gonna read one more comment, Greg. I want to come back to you after I share this next comment because of big thrusts that Dave was talking about earlier was digitization. And that covers so much, but we’ve talked earlier. Yeah, let’s do that. I was thinking about how that ties DCU and David together. Yes. And in particular, we’ve talked about AI and some of the threat that poses to minorities progressing and advancing. So, all right. So bear with me one second before we get to that. So Kevin Thomas, uh, has got, what, what programs are companies putting in place to train diverse candidates and give them the experience needed to fill these higher level roles. Companies use experience as a gauge for promotion, but rarely provide an Avenue to gain that needed experience.
Scott Luton (00:50:21):
Good stuff from Kevin. All right. So Greg weigh in on that, uh, the AI conversation we’re having and then real quick with DC and David and circle back to the comments from the audience. You have to have diversity in, in training and programming AI to begin with. Otherwise we’ve seen scenarios where AI gets trained to think only men’s shoes are shoes because all they showed as men’s shoes or that only white men can be doctors, right? Or only females can be real estate agents or whatever you have to have these diverse points of view. Look, I think of this. I don’t think about this as programs. I think about this as principals, I think about it as core values. And I think what the programs, if that’s what we have to call them is programs. They need to reflect core value among white leadership of trying to recognize everyone as having the same potential, regardless of their nationality, race, color, creed, sexual orientation, any of those things, right. That’s really, really hard to accomplish, but I feel like we have an advantage because we’re in this great generational trends, transition where the people who are aware and the people who want to take action will remain and hopefully enact some change will set there all. So you want to weigh in as well.
Dyci Sfregola (00:51:51):
Yes. In terms of what David was talking about with the digitalization efforts and the fact that customers are doing it. So if you want to be a supplier for that customer, if you want that customer to be your customer, then you have to be up to date with technology and digitalization and you have to have an it infrastructure and architecture that is ready to be integrated with whatever that customer is doing and what, what we have been seeing. Well, I shouldn’t say we, what I’ve seen a lot of in previous years was the idea that we’ll just do whatever digital transformation and digitalization efforts that we’re going to implement on our side within the enterprise. And I would always ask them, well, what about your suppliers? But what about your trading partners? Oh, we’ll just get a spreadsheet. We’ll just get an email. And this disruption has showed us that those days are gone.
Dyci Sfregola (00:52:47):
Companies are going to be looking to have systems integrated so that, that near real time, real time, whatever the cadence is, that that data that they can see their supplier suppliers or fourth tier suppliers that is going to be a really big effort and push over the next couple of years. So suppliers that are not also upgrading their it infrastructure are going to get left behind. Now, what does that mean? I would like to see larger companies that, you know, David mentioned that are part of the Alliance already, that they will take the time to develop these strategic partnerships and alliances with diversifiers and not just write them off, but propose opportunities to do these digital transformation efforts together. So, you know, kind of textbook supply chain strategic Alliance is that we share the risk. We share the rewards. So as a customer, and as you, my strategic Alliance partner, I value you as a diverse partner.
Dyci Sfregola (00:53:53):
I want you to continue to be able to support whatever my needs are, but if I am on my side and you know, going to do a multimillion dollar multi-year transformation, if you can’t keep up, then I only just write you off. Let’s figure out together how I can help you keep up. So I do think that it’s, you know, kind of twofold. So the supplier has to recognize that they are lacking in that infrastructure and they have to have the willingness to move forward. But the big corporations who have the, who are the decision makers to choose which suppliers remain, where suppliers are replaced, which new suppliers come on board, that they will be patient with those diverse suppliers for the point of what David said, really economic development back into these diverse communities, creating jobs, et cetera.
Scott Luton (00:54:48):
Right? Yep. Okay. So really quick, Sylvia, Judy, going back to Nicole’s call question for lack of a better phrase, Sylvia agreed with all the sentiment here and she says, Hey, if the culture is exclusive and not inclusive, move on their loss. Sylvia also goes on to say that she admires her, uh, South Carolina, Senator Tim Scott for fostering apprenticeship programs in South Carolina modeled after the German apprenticeship program, it allows all individuals from the most diverse social economic backgrounds to learn a trade and become an expert in their craft, creating jobs and manufacturing with a skilled and able workforce is the way to prosperity for all. So good stuff there from seen that firsthand in South Carolina, too, that their focus on supply chain and their focus on manufacturing is really, really strong. And it goes all the way to their junior college program or technical colleges as well. And that creates such an inclusive environment by training everyone to have those skills that are put into play in South Carolina. Yup. Good stuff there. And David being hailing from Columbia, South Carolina, you might want to weigh in really quick, or maybe what you’ve seen in that state. What I think is important to know that South Carolina had some triangle, a lot of foreign industry and the way they won the battle in terms of getting the BMWs evolve,
David Burton (00:56:24):
Those and others, is that going back to Greg’s point, they wanted to being the training leader in the country for technical jobs because the technical college center, there is a model for the rest of the country. And so I think we as a country, have to step back and look at the value of education again, and the value of future jobs. Because if you look at the digital supply chains, most of these supply chains and the smart factories within those supply chains will be driven by people with technical skills. So we have to really reassess or competitiveness release. And to your point, Greg, I think so South Carolina has been a thought leader in that vein. And of course, I think it’s impacted the way I looked at Dempster also in the future in terms of leveraging training now to step beyond what we’ve been doing and now through the foundation to get corporations, to come engage in digital transformation as they themselves struggle with it, because a big secret out there is they, a lot of them really don’t know what that really means yet.
Scott Luton (00:57:36):
Good point. Okay. And again, to our audience, we’ve got about 10 minutes or so left of Q and a feel free to text your comments in. If you’ve got a great connection, raise your hand and we can recognize you Elba prey, Gallagher weighs in on this next year. I really wish elbow is here with us. She’s uh, she’s very, I love her sharp, passionate commentary. And here Elvis says that she disagrees around some of those earlier priorities and focuses. If she says, if we don’t dismantle the institutional bias, things will never trickle down. It’s like the concept of trickle down economics, look at the economic disparity. Now we just fixed the institutional biases to enable equal access. So when digitization and more prosperity happens, everyone has an equal shot, good stuff there from Elba. And, uh, so Neyha who was part of our lab last couple of weeks, also weighs in here.
Scott Luton (00:58:37):
Uh, she’s interested to know how do we audit the bias introduced in AI as in, how do we keep a check on this? Is any, any of our panel Greg DC, David want to weigh in on snail’s questionnaire? Yeah. Well, I mean, we’ll need to have evaluation measures. There are actually people training a I to test for bias in AI. So in the absence of that, you’ll have to have effectively a diverse panel who, and this happens. People continue to interact with AI because look, let’s identify AI for what it is. It is a really, really strong computer learning, not decision-making a strong computer learning mechanism. So we need people overseeing that to rationalize and, and root out those kinds of biases. Even AI needs people as crazy as that sounds you’re right. DC. David, any comments on, uh, no. Keep dropping. Okay. All right.
Scott Luton (00:59:42):
Yeah, that’s right. That’s right. Let me go back to what, uh, say Christine has shared that this is a must for companies to analyze. So companies really it’s really important for them to analyze their supplier data for relationships, accountability, and increases, I guess, for their competitiveness is what Christina’s Sharon and Christina. You’re probably referencing an early point earlier point in the conversation and I am a little bit behind you there. All right. So if I can’t, we’ll circle back on something here, all of y’all have touched on this. Uh, and, and DC and David and you’re in, you’re not prepared remarks, but your dedicated segments, you both touched on this and that is you can’t just have diversity is not enough the inclusivity, you know, if you’re not, if you’re not embracing and making folks, if you’re not including everybody, you’re still failing. Can you both address that for a minute or two DC? Let’s start with you.
Dyci Sfregola (01:00:37):
Yeah, definitely. So, um, I, I would address that in terms of what does that inclusion look like? So I experience, um, so I worked at a company, great company. I love the people there, but I definitely always, it wasn’t, uh, it wasn’t thing that they were, they weren’t trying to exclude me, but every activity that the company did kind of happy hour, it all around the main group, what they like to do, where they liked to go. Um, so it was one of those things to where, alright, well, either you are going to do this activity that we all like, or you’re not, you know, there, there was not this idea of, Oh, well, we’ll try this. And we’ll also have this activity also have this activity. So we are providing different opportunities for interaction for other types of info. I don’t know if they texted employees, but other employees that might not want to also do this thing.
Dyci Sfregola (01:01:57):
So what, what we know is that relationships matter. So it’s not enough to just show up to work and do a good job and to be really great at your job. You have to also rub elbows, rub, shoulders, interact with know when so-and-so’s, birthday’s coming up. No. When so, and so’s kid is graduating from college and when do these conversations happen? They happen at these happy hours. They happen at the outside of work events. But if these outside of work events are only again, themed around things that certain groups enjoy, then you either have to bite the bullet and spend two hours of your time doing something you absolutely hate for the sake of advancing your career, or you don’t go. And you miss out on the opportunity to know what positions are coming down the pipeline, or to know what projects are coming up so that you can raise your hand and throw your name in the hat before they happen.
Dyci Sfregola (01:02:57):
I think of inclusion outside of that. And if someone mentioned training, training is definitely a thing. Project include, has a whole framework around training, um, for diversity and inclusion. But just from my personal experience, I have always bit the bullet and like cringe for the hours that I was there. But that is a very concrete way. And I think it can be a takeaway for companies from this conversation because it is something that’s very subconscious and is not something that I think people do on purpose. I think it also sometimes a matter of convenience, what is close to the office or, you know, there’s a vote, okay, well, if there’s a vote and like 70% of the company looks the same, then what does that do for the other 30%? So those, those kind of outside of work activity, I think can definitely be improved to be more inclusive.
Scott Luton (01:03:58):
Oh, I love that. I can tell you just from personal experience and just my mindset that what you just shared in the last five minutes really fills in a gap. And then, and to your point, it’s not an intentional gap. It’s just what you’re not thinking about. And that unfortunately hurts others and holds them back. So thank you so much for sharing David weigh in on really, you know, the need to really get it right all the way, not just diversity, but also inclusivity. Well, let me underscore Dems goes not a supply diversity organization. We already supplied the development organization, works with corporations that have diverse interests and that diverse interests can not just be in supply diversity and generating spin. That’s great. That means the firms are getting work. The bigger question is the sustainability of this fast moving supply chain. We get it ready to go into five G supply chains. A digitizing supply chains are moving faster and faster and faster. Suppliers have got to be faster than the fastest in order to. So if Ben is the objective, it doesn’t work in the longterm. It
David Burton (01:05:18):
Might give the corporations, clothes and accolades and a big banquet and a plaque at one event. But the question is all those suppliers on whose backs you got those recognitions, are they still in the supply chain? Can they grow spin? Are they able to sustain their presence in supply chains and other suppliers in the process? So my measure of supply versus success is a little bit different than that of corporate America, because so many of them are looking for one off successes, one big event, one recognition for being spending dollars. But the real crux of issue here is what are you doing to help develop those suppliers? Are you committing your time and resources to cause change supply development is change management change management is hard supplier. It’s an organization that has both corporate members and supplier members for a reason, that reason is they both have to go through a change management experience to really understand the value of what we’re doing.
David Burton (01:06:29):
And that that change has to take place from the top, the corporation’s value chain and the suppliers. And we have to bring that together through a strategic relationship that can last forever. We’ll put out here screaming in those comments there, David, I hear it screaming in my ears. It’s gotta be sustainable. We gotta, we gotta gain. And then build on those gains. Greg economic sustainability is it’s something. I mean, you hate to confess it, but it’s something that you have to acknowledge. If we want any kind of change to happen, it has to be economically sustainable, right? I mean, we’ve just seen it over and over and over again. Agreed. All right. So I got about one 15 our time. We’re going to kind of start to move into the final phase here. I hate to do it because there’s some comments and some questions we couldn’t get to a, there’s a lot more we, we can learn and talk with, with both DC and David and Greg, but we want to protect your bias, Tom DC, before we wrap up here. And when we’re going to hear a few comments from Kevin Jackson in the second, but do you see how can folks connect with you? And then I’m going to ask you the same question.
Dyci Sfregola (01:07:36):
The easiest way to connect with me is definitely only Dan [inaudible] and mans is easier than sprang a lot and my internet. And I’m sure I’m the only one. And Speigel, you also see, shoot me a message, um, connect with me, follow me, whatever you’re comfortable with. And I look forward to connecting with you.
David Burton (01:07:57):
Thanks so much for your time. Don’t go anywhere just yet, but thanks so much really enjoyed this conversation and, and David, same question for you, sir. How, how can folks connect with you and Devco of course, a deep burden that DMS CA that us deepBurton@dnsca.us or LinkedIn, I will respond
Scott Luton (01:08:16):
Expeditiously outstanding. And y’all got some upcoming events that folks could learn a lot more about it. danska.us DC and David, thanks so much, uh, really have enjoyed it. Greg, I’ll tell you, before we bring Kevin L. Jackson on quick commentary from your, and your quick hot take, it’s going to be hot. I got to tell you DC was too kind to say it, but what she said is a lot of the activities, a lot of the initiatives in companies are too white. They don’t consider an anyone else. And it is, I believe, as DC said, it’s, it’s an oversight, not an intention. I’d love for us to have the discussion at some point about how far we have progressed from David, probably when you were coming in the work world where exclusion was intentional. Now I’m hopeful. And I’m just hopeful. The ills that we have today are based on negligence, not intent at the very worst, because that’s so much easier to overcome.
Scott Luton (01:09:18):
I feel it. I feel like it’s true. I know that in organizations I’ve worked with or I’ve run, it’s exactly the opposite. I mean, we are intentional about being inclusive. I’d love to give anybody who is a white leader, any kind of guidance that you would like to have on how to be actively inclusive. And you know, the other is, and David just said it, and that is that the economics have to make sense and you have to see that it makes economic sense. Your company for you personally, I do a lot of recruiting for philanthropies and I don’t care why you give, just give, eventually your heart will turn the right direction if you give. And I think this that is true for organizations. If you give and you include, and you do it the right way, not just checking the box, not just managing statistics, but you do it the right way.
Scott Luton (01:10:12):
Then eventually you will see the light and that’s what we need to have happen. Excellent point to finish up on a big, thanks again for turn over and start to wrap up big things to DC mans spray, Gullah and David Burton. Really an honor to have you both share. And we look forward to reconnecting with both of you very soon, what a conversation and to our audience really enjoyed. We have got such a incredibly talented audience and group of participants in these types of events. And I really wish we could get all of them. Uh, we’re going to have to break down and have a full day webinar or so at some point to get to everybody because there were a lot of good questions and comments we couldn’t get to, but, but as we wrap up here, Greg, we enjoyed earlier this week, having Kevin L. Jackson, joining us for a few minutes on the supply chain buds, which takes place every Monday via live stream. And he, and the source connect team, which, which are supporting today’s event, they’re doing some really innovative things. And I’m hoping that Kevin L. Jackson is still kind of in the green here on our virtual studio. If he is Kevin, can you join us? There we go. There he is. Good afternoon, sir. How are you doing?
David Burton (01:11:23):
Oh, I am doing awesome. I’ll tell you that was some, uh, that was a great session. I learned a lot from, uh, the viewpoint and especially our audience. Yeah,
Scott Luton (01:11:36):
Agreed. We did. We did two. I’ve got, again, the proverbial 17 pages of notes, I think today. And that’s okay. That was, that was my selfish intent coming in. Cause I wanted to just soak it up. But Kevin, as we start to wrap up today’s session again, Greg and I and the whole supply chain. Now team appreciate a source, you and source connect support. If you could just take a minute or two, tell us more about source connect and how folks can plug in.
David Burton (01:12:01):
Yeah, absolutely. So, so soft connect is an online B to B marketplace that digitizes the discovery and engagement between global scale enterprise buyers and thoroughly vetted diverse suppliers. So we accomplished this by curating and building a global ecosystem of trusted business entities. You know, trust is really based on data. Companies do business with companies that they know and that, and that they have built trust with, but in today’s world, everything is virtual and we’re not used to building trust through these advanced technologies used to being in the room with the people we want to do business with. So, so now we have to be lie on data and we provide data that has been verified by independent third parties. And this data is stored in the trust, your supplier, blockchain enabled information repository. And before we go, I want to say, no. We are very proud to sponsor this conversation about race and industry, but our society gains future value.
David Burton (01:13:28):
Only if we take action and we drive this conversation forward towards collaboration and cross industry action. So I would like to also express our gratitude to supply chain now for partnering with source connect as our media partner, they will also be joining us during the national virtual small business expo on August 4th and fifth. That event is presented by a T and T business and it features see NBC as it’s needy or partner. So please visit [inaudible] connect online at [inaudible] dot com or you can reach directly to me on LinkedIn or via email@example.com. So thank you. Thank you very much.
Scott Luton (01:14:27):
Thank you, Kevin L. Jackson, as he signed off on Monday, Google him. He’s everywhere. Kidding aside, Kevin really appreciate your leadership. I love the innovative things you’re doing over at source connect. We look forward to next steps as we work together, and again, appreciate all of your support for helping us make this commerce, helping us really facilitate an uncomfortable conversation for many folks. Uh, but that’s the only way to your point. We can, we can make progress and take action yet. Cross industry action at is so critical. So thanks so much, Greg. Goodness gracious. It’s only Wednesday feels like a Sunday evening. Just about right after the week we’ve had thus far, but, um, before we went on earlier today, I kind of use this analogy that probably not a lot of folks could, could relate to unless you’ve ever warned them. But, uh, in the air force, back in tech school tech school, students would do a lot of stuff, including cut the grass around the dormitories.
Scott Luton (01:15:25):
And we would because you, you have, you have to take every single safety precautions and all the regs in the military we’d wear these metal shoes that fit over our boots. So if you’re clumsy like me, naturally, you try to walk around. And these clod hoppers is what they called and you can’t do anything gracefully. And as we were kind of prep, or at least as I was prepping for this conversation, you know, I had to embrace that in my own way. It’s going to be really clunky to try to get around and, and hopefully help facilitate the conversation that we want to help with. I won’t have all the right things to say at the right time, but we’re going to take our best hack at it. And that’s kinda what, just on my end, what today felt like. So it felt like a very productive conversation.
Scott Luton (01:16:11):
Again, I learned a lot of things, especially what David and DC shared and some of these comments from the audience were just what I expected. Some of my blind spots that to your point, aren’t intentional, but we’ve got to, we’ve got to change those things too. Well. What was some of your, before we wrap up here, some of your final thoughts? Yeah. I think our panelists were remarkably gracious. I mean, DC acknowledged that everybody has those blind spots, even though that’s not the topic of this conversation, but it is. I think it is important for everyone to acknowledge that you have a distinct point of view. You have a perspective, you have prejudices and biases. It’s just a fact, as she said, it’s just part of human nature to have an affinity for people who are like you and that’s okay, it’s okay to have that.
Scott Luton (01:16:56):
But in addition, you have to have the openness maturity to recognize that people who aren’t like you are very valuable to, you know, one of my co founders of blue Ridge is black. He’s the only of the co of the founders at the company now. And, and the perspective that we got from him and the perspective and the value that he brought it wasn’t, it wasn’t intentional. He was our friend. He was, we recognized his value and he was part of the founding team. I mean, he, wasn’t the black guy on the founding team, but you have to acknowledge. And if you’re not in position to have those kinds of relationships, reach out and create those kinds of relationships. We’re talking about this on tequila, sunrise, inclusive investing. If you think the numbers are bad in corporate America, generally look at, in, in, in the investing environment, it can get worse, even worse, even worse.
Scott Luton (01:17:53):
And it’s not intentional. It’s just you, you hang with who, you know. Right. And, but now what I see and this, you know, this is an initiative that I’ve seen in the investment world is they are intentionally going out and trying to expand there. The investors are trying to expand their network to include people that don’t look like them. And I think that’s a fantastic initiative and is as David and Kevin have said, we have to have action. Not just words, as you say all the time, deeds over words. Yeah, definitely. Definitely. And you know, we’re trying to fall, we’re trying to do just that with, with what we can give and what we can give from. And, and we’re gonna have a lot more of these types of conversations via this, you know, stand up and sound off or via a lot of our other, uh, aspects of our platform.
Scott Luton (01:18:41):
So I’m, I’m glad you added that wrinkle when it comes to inclusive investing, because I can tell you that’s a blind spot for me. Uh, and it’s good that it’s good that you’re evangelizing some of those opportunities in that portion of the business world. So Greg, thanks so much for closeness session with me. Big thanks again to our panelists, DC mans for galas, regular, regular, my apologies and David Burton. And of course, Kevin L. Jackson, best wishes to Tandra Bellamy. We’re gonna catch you next time, all the best of your son as he starts his, his college collegiate journey and to our audience. As I scroll down and look at the folks that could make it today, there’s so many people I wish we could reach out and set up a cup of coffee or lunch with thanks so much for joining us your, I mean, y’all delivered as always audience delivered and we couldn’t even get to everything. So on that note, I wish you all the best with challenge our audience. Just like we challenge ourselves. Hey, do good gift forward. Be the change that’s needed to take that action that you heard from DC and David and Kevin, and all the comments say, take that action. And we’ll see you next time here on supply chain. Now.
Would you rather watch the show in action? Watch as Scott and Greg welcome David Burton and Dyci Sfregola to Supply Chain Now through our YouTube channel.
David Burton is the President and Founder of DMSCA. He is a native of Columbia SC. He received his bachelor’s degree from Morgan State College and later completed his master’s degree at the University of Pennsylvania. David is a U.S. Regular Army Captain and decorated Vietnam Veteran specializing in military intelligence. He is a professor at Howard University and a member of the Earl Graves School of Business and Management Advisory Board for the Department of Information Science and Systems. His experience includes extensive small business, community planning, and economic development experience. David has written numerous articles and white papers on manufacturing supplier development in supply chains. He is the recipient of the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, Frank E. Parker Client of the Year Award for “Courage and Perseverance.” David is a life member of the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc.
Dyci Sfregola is a software consultant and self-proclaimed Connected Planning evangelist. Before making the career transition to supply chain, she was a digital and experiential marketing consultant in the United States and Italy. She currently helps companies achieve supply chain planning and management excellence by improving the S&OP process, external partner communication and leveraging cloud-based planning tools to improve visibility and collaboration. She believes in process and people before technology, the importance of clean data, and breaking down silos.
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