147: Blended Episode 1: What’s In A Word

Welcome to Blended! This is a brand new show for Let’s Talk Supply Chain and it’s going to be a little bit different to what you’ve heard before.

We talk a lot about the challenges facing our industry as a whole – changing technology, network complexity, surprises like COVID-19 – but what we don’t talk as much about is the people. The people that really drive our industry forward. And specifically, the under-represented people in our industry.

I’ve been flying the flag for Women In Supply Chain™ for a few years now, through the podcast and some of my other endeavors, but Blended is going to go much further than that. Because it’s not just women who are a minority – we need to be thinking about the LGBTQIA community, people of color, those with disabilities, whether they’re visible or hidden.

As minorities, we need to join together to support each other and be each other’s allies – to ensure we ALL have a seat at the table to make our industry the absolute best it can be.

Today in Episode 1, ‘What’s in a Name,’ we’re going to be talking all about the language we use when discussing minorities – what do these words mean to us, and to others; are there right or wrong words to use, and what are the subtexts of those words; and what does diversity, inclusion and identity mean to us.


[03.29] Introductions to our Blended panelists.

  • Prakash M Radhakrishnan – Courier Operations at Toll and award-winning YouTube producer with a focus on disability and mental health.
  • Holly Qualman – VP of Marketing and Client Solutions America for Apex Logistics and adopted Korean-American woman, flying the flag for multi-racial unity.
  • Matthew Hernandez – General Manger for North America at Xenata and representative of both the LatinX and LGBTQIA communities.
  • Hope White – Founder and CEO of HD White Logistics, Founder of Hope White Consulting and Logistically Speaking Online and proud black woman.
  • Greg White – Founder of Blue Ridge Global, host of Supply Chain Now and father of daughters, with native American heritage.

[11.23] The word ‘minority’ and its connotations.

“It’s time to think about the world on a global scale.” Greg.

  • Is it a beneficial or derogatory term?
  • Does it perpetuate the feeling of being ‘other’ or ‘less than,’ since its technical definition is less than half the whole?
  • How does the insistence on labelling people affect mental health and self-esteem?
  • How does being a minority affect your goals and ambitions – are they personal to you, or are they developed so you can conform to a societal norm?
  • Are we designed to keep each other at arm’s length; is the tendency towards segregation a result of evolution – how do we push the reset button on human nature?
  • Are labels necessary at all, or are we all just people?

“It’s another stage of evolution – before we develop the language for it, we need to understand how we got here.” Matthew.

[33.20] What words should we be using specifically for the disability community?

“There’s no rulebook – and the disability community feel the same.” Prakash

[36.10] The impact of upbringing.

  • Why the way that we’re raised is so vital – prejudice is learnt, or tackled, at an early age.
  • Why we need to support everyone to succeed, and make sure that those at a disadvantage get equal if not greater support.
  • The danger in not taking on board peoples experiences and viewpoints because of preconceptions.
  • How the use of incorrect labels muddies the water and creates confusion.
  • Assumption is ignorance: the importance of being able to continue to interpret and learn.

[44.12] What words should we be using specifically for the LGBTQIA community and people of color?

  • Why it’s important to take the time to listen.
  • How some words have traditionally been used to separate minorities and make them ‘an other.’
  • Why education is so important.

[55.28] The importance of identity.

“It’s not what you’re called, it’s what you answer to.” Hope

  • Why we all need to be in charge of our own identities.
  • How descriptors have changed over time and the impact that those changes have had.
  • Why it’s OK to ask, as long as you’re asking for the right reason.
  • Why we need to pay attention to the nuances of individual identities.
  • The responsibility of minorities to educate others.
  • The importance of open and honest conversations, that come from a place of empathy and understanding.

[69.09] Today’s buzzwords: diversity and inclusion.

So many of us minorities have to jump through so many hoops just to get a small slither of the pie.” Hope

  • What do these words mean to us?
  • Can you have one without the other?
  • How the meaning of diversity and inclusion can be influenced by how we’re raised, or what we’re exposed to on a long-term basis.
  • Why diversity and inclusion also need to include processes to build the foundations for education and understanding and promoting acceptance.

Often in the corporate world, we know there’s a problem, but we very seldom have the opportunity to talk about it openly.” Matthew

[80.16] Our summaries of ‘what’s in a name.’

  • Keep an open mind – Holly
  • Everyone has a story – Hope
  • Don’t be scared to ask the question – Prakash
  • Take some time to self-reflect – Matthew
  • Seek first to understand – Greg

Check out our other podcasts HERE.

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