SEASON 1: EPISODE 17

Virginia Clarke

The Author of “Career Mapping” On Hiring In The New World

How are hiring practices evolving, given the public health crisis, shift to a more remote workforce, and protests about racial injustice?

In this episode of the Breaking the Bias podcast, Consciously Unbiased founder Ashish Kaushal sat down with Virginia “Ginny” Clarke,  Director, Leadership Staffing at Google & author of “Career Mapping,” to find the answer to this question.

Ginny has been a college recruiter, executive recruiter and a woman who broke through to the executive ranks in two male-dominated industries. In this unplugged conversation, they touch upon everything from what needs to happen when hiring to help build true equity; why it’s okay if your career path is not linear; how to overcome imposter syndrome; how to talk about race in the workplace, and much more.

Listen to the full episode here, and read on for some of the key takeaways from Ginny.


 

ON ADVICE FOR HER YOUNGER SELF…

“[I’d tell my younger self], ‘Don’t be intimidated.’ As a woman, as an African American woman, as a 6’ tall African American woman, you experience microaggressions working in male-dominated industries. Some of them like you and support you. Some of them feel competitive. Some of them don’t think you should even be there. I would tell myself, ‘Just stand stronger, speak louder. Really know and love yourself and know what you’re worth, because if you don’t know it, you will be subject to the subtle messaging that suggests that maybe you’re not as good.’ I think that is what’s pervasive now when I hear the term ‘imposter syndrome. Just be committed, and don’t let anybody tell you that you’re not good.”

 

ON OVERCOMING IMPOSTER SYNDROME…

Imposter syndrome, the whole notion of assimilation; it’s pervasive, it’s chronic, it’s subtle, it’s insidious. When you’re in it, oftentimes we’re just happy to be there. We don’t necessarily realize that this [workplace] wasn’t really made for you, in terms of some of the ethos and the standards and what’s not said that is keeping you out. In the last 10 years, we’ve talked about diversity and about how to assimilate diverse people into your organizations. I think it’s actually the organization that’s learning how to assimilate to diverse people. That’s the whole point.”

 

ON WHAT COMPANY CULTURE REALLY IS…

“Let’s call culture what it is: an amalgam of individual’s behaviors. I think people kind of hide behind ‘our culture is this’ and ‘our culture is that.’ That sounds nice on a website, but at the end of the day, it’s about the people who are making the leadership decisions and what they are modeling to their employees. That trickles all the way down.”

 

ON LOOKING FOR DIVERSE TALENT…

“Frankly, it’s a little irritating—and even borders on offensive—that all of a sudden, everybody wants to hire Black people. I’m overstating for dramatic effect. But I’m seeing it. I’ve gotten more calls in recent weeks than I’ve received in awhile. I’m literally getting calls from friends and hiring managers who are saying, ‘Can you give me advice? Do you know any consultants?’ Everybody’s trying to figure this out all of a sudden; I have a few concerns that they’re doing it for the wrong reasons.”

 

ON HIRING FOR COMPETENCY RATHER THAN ONLY EXPERIENCE…

“One of the things I’ve been very intentional about at Google is making sure that we are assessing on the basis of competencies. That should be the criteria against which everyone is assessed—not just experience, or what schools you went to. Not which companies you have worked for. Those things might be common elements, probably because that’s what people are comfortable with. Hiring managers use that as an excuse, thinking, ‘Well, if they went to this school, then they’re really smart.’ None of that has ever been proven to be correlated to one’s success in a role. Rather, competencies predict success. That’s why we’ve created rubrics. Otherwise, you’re back to getting feedback from hiring managers and teams that aren’t competency-based, but hunch based. Hunches can be biased.”

 

For more on breaking the bias, check out:

Author of “The Fix” Explains Why It’s Not You, It’s Your Workplace

How Neurodiversity Makes The Workplace Better

Special PRIDE Episode: Stories of Belonging