Women in the Workplace//

Uber’s Chief Brand Officer Bozoma Saint John Has an Important Message for White People

“Hire somebody who doesn’t look like you.”

On the most recent episode of The Thrive Global Podcast with iHeart Radio and Sleep Number, Thrive Global founder and CEO Arianna Huffington, an Uber board member, sat down with Bozoma Saint John, the Chief Brand Officer at Uber. In a wide-ranging conversation, Huffington and Saint John spoke about everything from her relationship with sleep to overcoming loss and grief.

Saint John, who grew up in Ghana, explained that people often say they want diversity and inclusion at work, but don’t do anything about it. While she acknowledged that saying the “right thing” is a good first step, she challenged everyone to take action.

“I want white men to go into their offices, look around, and say, ‘You know what? There’s a lot of white people here. I feel uncomfortable in this situation. There’s too many of us around here. I think we need to change things up,’” she said.

But people don’t always need to wait for leadership to make necessary changes within the company, Saint John said. Instead, she calls on employees to take the initiative, like recommending friends who are people of color for job openings at their own companies. She urges recruiters to do the same. “If you’re a hiring manager, hire somebody who doesn’t look like you,” she said.

Most importantly, Saint John believes that the mission to create a more diverse workplace shouldn’t solely fall on women or people of color. “You can’t just put on this cloak of diversity,” she said. “I want you to study it. I want you to know it. I want you to have empathy for it.”

To hear the full conversation on iHeartRadio, click here.

You can also listen to the Thrive Global podcast internationally for free on iTunes and Stitcher.

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