COVID-19 has transformed life and work for millions seemingly overnight. Businesses are closed or scrambling to adapt to stay-at-home orders, and baristas and CEOs alike are now teachers in their own homes. Despite the exchange of a cubicle for a kitchen table, essential businesses must keep operating. In other cases, companies are trying to find ways to still compensate their employees though work scopes have changed. Both of these scenarios require support from human resource professionals, who find themselves busier now than ever before.
Stacey A. Gordon is the founder and CEO of Rework Work, and has always been passionate about supporting employees in difficult circumstances. She also supports the Southern California chapter of the largest HR association in the world, and says that developing and implementing creative ways for employees and management to continue work has extended her workdays far beyond the normal nine-to-five.
After earning her MBA from Pepperdine University, Stacey began her career as an HR Manager, but it was the nine years she spent as a recruiter that made her more aware of the foundational biases that fight against diversity in the workplace. It was out of that experience that Rework Work was born.
“I knew that, in most cases, the bias and prejudiced behaviors [in the hiring process] were not conscious decisions on the part of hiring executives,” says Stacey. “It wouldn’t be enough to just say, ‘you’re excluding candidates because they’re different from you.’ These behaviors are so deeply rooted that people may not realize how their decisions are being influenced.”
Rework Work’s mission is to help companies reduce bias and remove barriers to job entry for underrepresented minorities and women. Their process covers the lifecycle of an employee, starting with recruitment, with the premise that every time a decision needs to be made in regards to a candidate, there is room for bias to affect that decision and, ultimately, the course of their career. Rework Work creates customized solutions to help businesses identify and interrupt those decision-making points in order to implement practical tools to reduce the effect of bias.
Rework Work has worked with several universities in California and Oregon, as well tech companies in San Francisco and Los Angeles. Stacey and her team believe that promoting diversity and inclusion (D&I) in the workplace isn’t about optics or meeting quotas. It’s about businesses reaping the benefits of an employee collective with unique talents and life experiences.
“When we surround ourselves with people who look and think like us,” Stacey explains, “we are limiting our resources and how far our business can go. If we look outside of that box, we broaden our own group of talent and experience, as well as gain access to each person’s individual network, broadening our pool of diverse candidates all the more. It’s that diversity that sparks innovation in business.”
Stacey isn’t just passionate about D&I; she’s made it her life’s work. She’s not only taught doctoral courses on business ethics and cultural intelligence as an adjunct professor, but as a coach and a member of the Forbes Coaches Council, she empowered job seekers to see their own value and make informed decisions about their career path. She’s written numerous career and diversity-related articles, as well as authored a book titled, The Successful Interview: 99 Questions to Ask and Answer (and Some You Shouldn’t). In addition to speaking at corporate events and conferences, Stacey has also developed four LinkedIn Learning courses: Recruiting for Diversity, Unconscious Bias, Making a Career Change, and Writing a Resume.
Stacey was once asked by the Black EOE Journal about the qualities needed to be a successful business owner. She emphasized the need to be flexible, have thick-skin, and be willing to take risks. Just as important, she continued, is the need to build a team you can trust. To that end, she has carefully built a team of experts in organizational leadership and development, communications, negotiations, and pay equity. When she needs a little extra support on the business side of things, however, Stacey trusts Duran Kinst Strategies (DKS) to provide the necessary results.
“When people ask me what [DKS] does for us, I say ‘everything’,” Stacey says. “When I ask them to do something, I don’t need to follow up or even think about it again. It just gets done. I jokingly tell others that if they don’t have a David [Duran], they need to get one.”
Connect with Stacey A. Gordon at linkedin.com/in/staceygordon or learn more at reworkwork.com.
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