Winebow DEI Uncorked Podcast

DEI Uncorked Podcast S1/Ep10 – Diversity Recruiting

November 06, 2023 Winebow DEI Education & Awareness Committee Season 1 Episode 10
DEI Uncorked Podcast S1/Ep10 – Diversity Recruiting
Winebow DEI Uncorked Podcast
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Winebow DEI Uncorked Podcast
DEI Uncorked Podcast S1/Ep10 – Diversity Recruiting
Nov 06, 2023 Season 1 Episode 10
Winebow DEI Education & Awareness Committee

Listen and learn all about how Winebow is building a Diversity Recruiting program.

Email for more info

Show Notes Transcript

Listen and learn all about how Winebow is building a Diversity Recruiting program.

Email for more info

DEI Uncorked Podcast 10: Diversity Recruiting  

INTRO: Welcome to the DEI Uncorked Podcast, where we look inside the bottle and inside Winebow at its diversity, equity, and inclusion.  Let's get started. 


NISA: Hello, my name is Nisa Andersson and I'm the sales administrator in California.  I'm excited for today's uncorked podcast show as we are interviewing some of our own team members within the World of Winebow and focusing on some of our fantastic initiatives that are coming out of DEI. 

I'm here today with my cohost, Bryan Cole.  Hey, Bryan, how's it going? 

BRYAN: Nisa, hope you're doing well as always. 

NISA: Absolutely. 

BRYAN: Hello everyone.  My name is Bryan Cole.  I'm Director of Fleet Services, based out of Illinois. 

Today's Uncorked podcast is all about diversity recruiting and we are joined here today by Troy Conklin, Marissa Donnerstag and Shawna Harvey.  

Welcome Troy and Melissa to the Uncorked podcast and, Shawna, of course, welcome back.  We're happy to have everybody join us.  Why don't you tell us a little bit about yourselves, where you work in the World of Winebow and maybe why you've joined us today. Let's start off with Troy, since I said your name first. 

TROY: Yeah, thanks for having us, Brian.  Thanks Nisa.  I'm here because Shawna brought an amazing opportunity to develop the DEI space in our company and I have a real passion for developing people right.  Whether it's focusing on our recruiting efforts to hire our first class / best of class organization or whether it's mentoring up people from their current situations, that's a passion of mine. It always has been. 

I have been with Winebow, specifically Winebow Imports for over 15 years now. 

I am not the youngest nor the most charming guy in the room anymore and the time that I've spent here is sort of in a specialist role where I have the fortune to be able to work with an amazing leadership team.  I sit on the leadership team of Winebow Imports and I lead a team of people that builds enterprise partnerships with the on-premise segments with the country's hottest hotels, restaurants and we try to build our brands through that space.  So happy to be here and looking forward to the conversation. 

BRYAN: Excellent.  Thank you for the introduction, Troy, and I'm sure we'll enjoy your humor on the call today too.  Next up, Marissa, if you don't mind, introduce yourself. 

MARISSA: Thank you. I'm so excited to be here. My name is Marissa Donnerstag. I am the Senior HR generalist for the Northeast.  I support everyone that is in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut as well as our marketing global brands or MGB as we like to use acronyms for everything.  I am super excited to be here and be part of the podcast, kind of hard to follow up what Troy said.  I am super passionate about DEI and the inclusivity that DEI can bring. 

I've been with Winebow now for six years and just love the company. 

NISA:  All right, Shawna, what about you?  Do we know you? (Laughter) 

SHAWNA:  I think you do know me.  And I'm so excited to be back joining you all on this podcast. 
For those of you who this is your first time hearing my voice, which would be surprising, but for those of you who it is, I am the Senior HR Manager of the East Coast.  I do have responsibilities supporting the imports division as well, and I'm also most excitingly the program manager for the DEI initiative here at Winebow. I'm here because I love joining in conversations that focus on and brings awareness to all things DEI. 

BRYAN:  Now, Shawna, I think this is your third podcast, is that correct? 

SHAWNA:  I don't know, Brian.  I think it's a little bit more than that. 

NISA:  I think it could be her 4th. 

SHAWNA:  I do too, at least the 4th one where I'm speaking, because I participate in some where 

I'm just a fly on the wall. 

NISA:  She likes to get in here! We like her here.  We're happy to have her back.  All right.  Tell me guys, why do we have diversity recruiting strategy and why does it sit specifically in the DEI space? 

SHAWNA:  Since I'm here, I'll just go ahead and answer that. I think that's an excellent question to kick this conversation off.  And since it's a two-part question, I'll answer it in two parts.  


So why do we have a recruiting strategy?  I believe that implementing a DEI initiative has to involve a thorough examination of our processes and policies and in doing that we have to identify those that don't incorporate DEI principles, diversity.  After all, it's all about people.  And if we start there with people, it only makes sense to begin with recruiting.  The key to enhancing diversity within any organization, but specifically at Winebow is to be intentional in the individuals that we are attracting and subsequently hiring.  

To answer to part two of your question, why does it sit in the DEI space?  There are so many reasons why a recruiting strategy will sit in the DEI space. And I'll focus on what I regard personally as the three most significant reasons because there's so many reasons I'd be here until the next podcast. 

I shared all the reasons why it would sit here.  

For starters, I think we can't begin this conversation without talking about ethical responsibility.   
To begin with and to end with, it's the right thing to do, right?  We could actually start and stop right there.  But I think it's important to recognize that acknowledging our ethical responsibility reflects our commitment as an organization to fairness, equity, and social justice. 

And so it also gives us a competitive advantage by helping us to attract a broader pool of talent, including individuals from underrepresented groups who may otherwise avoid applying to companies that don't really necessarily have a strong DEI focus.  You'd be surprised how many people, when I'm interviewing them, ask that question.  You didn't hear that question years ago, but it is a question that is being asked.  What are your initiatives in the DEI space? And so it does give us a competitive advantage to be able to share that with candidates when they're applying. 


And if I had to wrap up the three reasons, I would say that it has a profound positive impact on employee engagement. I don't think anybody would dispute that there's significant research studies out there that validates that inclusive workplaces tend to have higher levels of employee satisfaction and employee engagement. 


And so with that being said, I'll sneak in a number four reason which I said I was only going to do 3, but if we have employees who are satisfied and engaged, that ultimately leads to higher productivity. 

OK, I'm done. 

NISA:  Are you sure? (Laughter) 

SHAWNA:  I'm just getting started.  (Laughter) Yeah. 

BRYAN:  Thank you, Shauna. So kind of in summary, ethical responsibility, competitive advantage and employee engagement, these are all the some of the things that make up diversity recruiting.  And if I remember correctly, when we first started up DEI recruiting was one of the things that we wanted to focus on to make sure that we incorporated that into DEI and kind of our game plan and in our strategy.  With that being said, taken into account DEI and the shift in the higher perspective, how do we start at this process. 

TROY:  I'll take that one, Brian. Thank you.  I think this really starts with intentionality, right?  It starts with the desire to go a certain direction, and tapping into a bunch of different people's passions is really a great place to start. And for me, that passion has always been about people.  

I'm in the business, I love wine, but what I really love is people.  I love wine, but what I really love is restaurants and travel and discovery. I'm really about the experience and the people.  And for me, the pathway to success for this company is the best of class organization of people, right? 


And that that really speaks to hiring the best people, putting the best people on the bus and getting the best people in the right seats. And so for me, this was about if we hire the very best people, then we're going to get an amazingly diverse organization.  And my realization that I had that all backwards was my aha moment in sort of a place where I really began to influence and start this process setting it off in in in a good direction. 


It was Marissa and it was Shauna specifically who helped me sort of turn 180 degrees and say instead of it being about hiring the best people that result in a diverse organization and it was about being intentional and hiring diverse people and the result was having a best of class organization.  And that shift in mindset has allowed me to really bring a lot of value to this conversation as well as our mentorship team. 

NISA:  That's actually really interesting in the I get where you're going with the shift in direction as far as you were hiring in this way.  But if we hire in this way, we actually end up with almost a better result if we think about it along those lines.  So how does that mindset then and that shift in mindset actually affect the recruiting approach and what is done differently now? 

MARISSA:  Well, I'll take that one. Thanks. What we're doing right now is we are being intentional. 

And as everybody's mentioned, recruiting is so important. We want to make sure that we have the right people with the right skills to do the job.  And we're taking a broad approach on what we do, where we are and where we need to go. And there's two components to that.  


There's an internal component and an external component and there's a lot of opportunity to control both of these components. Internal is what we're we've been working on the most and how we improve our conversation with ourselves. So the first thing that we did was we we redid our language in our website. So you can see that within UKG in our recruiting portal and our brand new Winebow website. We also benchmarked companies and said what are they doing in this DEI space, how are they doing it? And looked at that.  


The other thing that we did is we partnered with our communications team in our DEI space and they created hashtags. We use those hashtags if we're posting on any kind of social media or managers are posting their new jobs and they're using those hashtags in those postings.  


The other really big thing that we've done is our WHY statement. So is the purpose of execution and excellence. We have a purpose, and it leads towards intentionality. And if I could take a moment to kind of engage and read everybody the WHY statement, I think it would be super beneficial. We have it on all of our postings, so if you ever go into any of our job postings, you can see our Winebow WHY statement and I'd like to take a moment to read that if you don't mind. 


At Winebow, we are strongly committed to creating an environment that fosters diversity, equity, and inclusion. We are intentional in our efforts to ensure that every employee has a sense of value and opportunity in our company, and we work tirelessly to promote a culture of inclusion where our team feels safe, respected, and valued. We want our Winebow family to feel at home and to be empowered to bring their best selves forward. We seek talent from all backgrounds to join our organization and are dedicated to achieving a diverse workforce in all aspects of employment, including but not limited to recruiting, hiring, promotion, training, benefits, wage, and salary equity. 

TROY:  So this is just to add on to that Marissa, that that work has been exceptional, some of the most I've been most proud of. But it was so important to be able to put a flag in the ground on this because, you know, it gave us a guardrail, it gave us a goal line to work for. It gave us something to grow into and live up to.  Marissa did an amazing job crafting that that statement and now it populates, you know, our job descriptions and several other places.  And what it does is it basically states to the world what we intend to do and holds us accountable to actually do it. 

MARISSA:  Yeah, it's what we are working towards every day. It's our WHY.   


The other thing that we are doing, which is super important, is our job descriptions and we're making our job descriptions more inclusive. The old way of thinking, and if I can put it that way, is we used to and not just Winebow, but everyone, in how they recruited is thinking about matching a job to skills and the future is skills first recruiting by doing a skills first recruiting. It increases our talent. It reduces the amount of time to hire. It increases our retention and increases our career progression. It decreases turnover and we're hiring the right person, someone who aligns with our company values. They bring a strong connection to our company culture. They allow people to feel safe and included. It allows people to see themselves within the organization. 


Having an updated outlook on skills first recruiting enables us to provide an invitation to the table.  We want to invite people to the table and just to kind of give you an idea about what that means, what is that updated language?  It's very simple.  


We have our WHY statement. That's our impact. We have daily tasks, so no more than seven bullet points on what a day in the life in that position could look like. And then lastly, it's a brief, just mandatory what do you have to know, what do you need in this job to do this job? And allowing that and having that brief short fight allows us to have more inclusivity.  


For example, one of the things that allows more inclusivity is women will tend to look at a whole job description and say, well, I don't check off every single bullet, I don't meet every single criterion. Whereas men will say, oh, well, I can match, you know 5,6,7,8 of those criteria and they apply. 


TROY: this is an important point.  I actually dealt with this recently in my own home. I'm a husband of a brilliant woman that is by far better than me and the father of two daughters. I'm surrounded by sort of women's issues and my wife as recent empty nesters. My wife wanted to get back into the workforce and she was to do some part time work and she was looking at job descriptions and she was looking at opportunities and she was processing them the same way that Marissa just described. She was self-selecting out of opportunities. She was disqualifying herself before she even had a conversation in a professional manner. And we had a conversation about that because male counterparts take a different approach, like we talked about a little bit ago in regarding to mindset. They bring a different mindset typically to that kind of an activity. And they say, look, my dynamic personality, my skill set, my experience can compensate for these boxes that I can't check.  
But typically, women will disqualify themselves. And it's the work that we're doing. We're hoping to overcome some of those stats.  


SHAWNA: And if I could just say by removing that, those components and listing out the way Marissa just shared what a day in a life looks like, a person can more readily relate to that and say, oh, I can do that. Oh, I can do that, I can do that. And it removes the barrier. That will present some prevent some of the underrepresented populations from applying for a job, absolutely. 

MARISSA: So our first test will actually be in sales. And so hopefully within the next, I would say no more than a month, we're going to roll that out and test and see if that actually transpires for us.  
And then our next step is outward and what do we look like externally. So we're going to partner with diversified agencies, we're going to look at diversified recruiting, maybe look at veterans, HBC, US, look at smaller businesses, trade schools, job fairs going where the most diversified candidates are located. 

BRYAN:  That's fantastic.  Thank you for presenting out the why statement and explaining the meeting behind that.  But it's real interesting to hear kind of the, the story of, you know, how you're looking at the job descriptions and you know, focusing on the things that you know external candidates might be viewing or even internal candidates for internal promotion. I hope that eventually you might look at me coming from an operations background, eventually operations since it's pretty heavily populated with males, you know, we'd like to be able to have more females in the driver positions or in the warehouse positions. So it's kind of an interesting perspective of what you're looking at when it comes to job descriptions about how some individuals might look at a job description and already kind of self-eliminate themselves based off of what is there in the position description. 

MARISSA:  We'll get there, we'll get there.  I do see some women applying for those jobs too so and every time I'm like a big cheerleader for that, I want to see more people in in these positions so but we're going start off with sales first. 


NISA:  It's great when I go to the warehouse here in California and see we do have a couple females on the floor out there with the forklifts going to get boxes down.  So with, it's nice to see the diversity out there. 

MARISSA:  Absolutely great. 

BRYAN:  Troy what's the next giant step. 

TROY: Marissa highlighted kind of where we started and where we're aiming to go next.  You know the approach is look in the mirror and review what we do well what we have an opportunity to change and I talked a little bit about our mindset and changing that perspective a little bit which was key.  


You know the next step is doing some of the tangible stuff looking outward. But I think we have an opportunity as a company to really, really focus in on that mindset, right, and create a culture, spread that culture across all hiring managers in our organization. And just think of it this way, many times when you're looking to hire for your team, you're looking for complimentary folks, right?  

These folks are people that check tactical boxes. They complement your style of communication, they complement your style or tone of work there, Your tempo, your energy levels, things like that. It often times is about completing the team, rounding off the team with no jagged edges. And I would argue that challenging convention in this space is one of our greatest giant steps we can take specifically through the lens of DEI, where we can try to say instead of complimenting us, how can we create an environment where we're challenged?  How can we invite people to the table that don't look like us, don't talk like us, don't think like us, and don't process information in the same way as us. They bring the same respect, they bring the same operating principles, they bring the same, the same values that we have as a company.  But they don't look, talk, act, process like us. And as a result, they challenge us to be better, right.  


And I think that's our big giant step that we can take because this really then takes what we were already did pretty well, we're doing a lot better now. We're going to do a lot better. And that takes it and just sort of puts nitrogen behind it and takes it to the next level. 

MARISSA:  Yeah, there are so many times when I have. I worked with managers, and they say things like, oh, I want somebody that has the same schooling or I want somebody that has the same background as me and that won't get us to where we need to go. That kind of mindset won't get us to where we're going to have that diversified background.  

TROY: No, to go back to what I said in the beginning, right. It's about looking through that DEI lens with a very purposeful approach, a very intentional approach and that is we will get the best of class workforce, we will develop our team by being diverse as opposed to aiming to hire the best workforce and accidentally becoming diverse. 

NISA:  This has been excellent. It really makes me proud of the company to see that we're heading in the right direction, and I think this discussion has been really good. I do have one last question for you guys as we wrap this thing up, is there anything else you'd like to share with the World of Winebow? 

SHAWNA: I'll gladly take that question that closes out. So I would probably say to the  

world of Winebow to watch this space, watch us in this DEI space because we're really just getting started and the momentum that's behind this and the excitement will help guide us and lead us to become the best workforce. People will actually naturally gravitate towards Winebow and they'll want to work with us. 

NISA: I agree. 

BRYAN: You know Shawna, I love seeing the new Winebow page and I had a chance to explore some of the sub menus and it's real great to see some of the things kind of surrounding DEI be highlighted. And not only is it you know for anybody externally to be able to see of course internally as well, but it's nice to be able to see our section for DEI get recognized, acknowledged and just understand that the progress that we've made in just the short amount of time going from nothing to where we're at today, it's really amazing. 

SHAWNA:  It is and it's been a wonderful journey. I think when we started this out, I said this is a journey.  And so we have not reached the destination yet, but it has been an amazing walk and experience with so many passionate people. Thank you all for your commitment and dedication to this DEI space. 

TROY: Yeah, and it's only going to get better, right? Like we, we talked a little bit about, you know, imperfect execution of the dream, but perfect intention. Everybody working on this wants to do more, wants to do better, wants to accomplish more. And we're going to and it's just, you know, because we have the right people with the right energy. The DEI space specifically in this recruiting space, thanks to this work and the mentorship space are going to be a really special place to watch. 

NISA: Yeah. And I think the diversity recruiting is quite a large step in the DEI world,  


TROY: 100%  


MARISSA: Go big or go home. (Laughter) 

BRYAN: Troy, Marissa and Shawna, thank you very much for your time today. This is now our 10th podcast. We've really enjoyed our discussion and appreciate your dedication and commitment to ensure that we are attracting and retaining a diverse workforce. What I really love about this is certainly the positions Winebow and how they can remain competitive and truly become an employer of choice. 

Thank you so much everybody. 


NISA:  Remember Winebow, your voice matters. This is your platform for the World of Winebow.  Who do you want to hear from or what topic would you like us to discuss next? Reach out to any DEI member and let us know. This is the DEI Uncorked Podcast.  Let's continue to look inside.