Nonprofit Nation with Julia Campbell

Navigating Conversations on Sexual Harassment in Our Sector with Liz LeClair

February 16, 2022 Julia Campbell Season 1 Episode 24
Nonprofit Nation with Julia Campbell
Navigating Conversations on Sexual Harassment in Our Sector with Liz LeClair
Show Notes Transcript

According to a survey done by AFP and the Chronicle of Philanthropy, one in four women have experienced sexual harassment in their nonprofit work; 7% of men reported being sexually harassed on the job; and in 65% of the cases reported in the survey, the perpetrator of the harassment was a donor. What can we do as a sector to change the culture?

My guest this week is proud feminist and fundraiser Liz LeClair. She brings more than 15 years of experience to her role as the Director of Major Gifts at the QEII Foundation in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Liz is a director with Certified Fundraising Executive (CFRE), and is the current Chair of the AFP Women’s Impact Initiative.

In 2019, Liz published an op-ed with CBC on her experience being sexually harassed by a donor.  She is a co-founder of the National Day of Conversation, a day dedicated to raising awareness on sexual harassment of fundraisers.

In this episode, Liz shares her personal story of sexual harassment as a fundraiser, and how she is working to bring these issues out from the darkness and bring them into the conversation.

Here are some of the topics we discussed:

  • Her story of sexual harassment in the workplace and her advice for others in this situation
  • The real reason nonprofits have trouble attracting a more diverse group of volunteers 
  • How we can be more outspoken advocates and actively demonstrate solidarity and support a movement towards equity and racial justice within the sector
  • How to start having these difficult conversations with each other, and at our places of work

A Liz quotable: “When you tell me to be nice you are asking me to give up my agency, my power, my opinion. White women, when you are okay calling out misogyny and sexism, but will not (or refuse to) call out racism in our sector you are a part of the problem.”

Connect with Liz:
Twitter: https://twitter.com/liz_hallett
LinkedIn:
https://www.linkedin.com/in/liz-leclair-cfre/

Resources mentioned in this episode:
Stop telling me to be nice
Silence Is Complicity: What Is Unsaid Speaks Volumes
One woman's frustrating, futile fight for justice after being sexually harassed
Collecting Courage: Joy, Pain, Freedom, Love—Anti-Black Racism in the Charitable Sector

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About Julia Campbell, the host of the Nonprofit Nation podcast:

Named as a top thought leader by Forbes and BizTech Magazine, Julia Campbell (she/hers) is an author, coach, and speaker on a mission to make the digital world a better place.

Julia’s online courses, webinars, and talks have helped hundreds of nonprofits make the shift to digital thinking and raise more money online.

Julia's happy clients include Mastercard, GoFundMe, Facebook, Meals on Wheels America, the Make-A-Wish Foundation, and the Boys & Girls Clubs of America.

Julia Campbell:

Hello, and welcome to nonprofit Nation. I'm your host, Julia Campbell. And I'm going to sit down with nonprofit industry experts, fundraisers, marketers, and everyone in between to get real and discuss what it takes to build that movement that you've been dreaming of. I created the nonprofit nation podcast to share practical wisdom and strategies to help you confidently Find Your Voice. Definitively grow your audience and effectively build your movement. If you're a nonprofit newbie, or an experienced professional, who's looking to get more visibility, reach more people and create even more impact than you're in the right place. Let's get started. Alright, hi, everyone. Thanks again for joining me for another episode of nonprofit Nation. Today we have a special guest, Liz LeClaire Lyza. Claire is someone I've been following online for quite a while we've been connected, virtually tweeting at each other. I've been stalking her on LinkedIn. And I'm just so glad to finally have her here. proud Canadian, proud to call herself a fundraiser and a feminist. Liz brings more than 15 years of experience to her role as the director of major gifts at the qei foundation in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Liz is also a director with the CFRE. She's the current chair of the AFP women's impact initiative. And in 2019, Liz published an op ed with the CBC, on her experience being sexually harassed by a donor, which we are going to cover when we talk about today. She's also a co founder of the National Day of conversation, which is a day dedicated to raising awareness on sexual harassment of fundraisers. So welcome, Liz, thanks for coming. Thank you

Liz LeClair:

for the invite. And likewise, it's been really great to finally meet you in real life.

Julia Campbell:

I know I know. You call it that, I assume. Yes, I know. Right. So many virtual meetings. So yeah, that I really hope I get to meet in person at some point. Yeah. So let's just begin really quickly with your story how you got involved with nonprofit work?

Liz LeClair:

Sure. So I live in Halifax, Nova Scotia, which is on the east coast of Canada. And I came out here to do my undergraduate in political science and really had this this idea that I was going to go work at the United Nations. That was my big plan was something I was really passionate about really hardcore Model UN nerd when I was younger and still kind of am through this. I love that Leslie Knope. In Parks and Rec. That was my favorite episode.

Julia Campbell:

Oh my gosh, yeah. People that know me that have listened to this podcast. They know that Leslie Knope is my life goals. I love Yeah,

Liz LeClair:

exactly. So. So that was my big plan, I went and did actually an internship there and discovered that, for me, that just wasn't, it just actually wasn't a fit, I finally got to this opportunity to go work at the World World Food Program. And what I loved the most. And what I was most passionate about was not the actual machinations of what was going on behind the scenes and all the politics but I ended up as the intern managing the walk to end hunger and that hooked me. And that's where I got hooked into fundraising, I was doing a public relations degree, loved the PR side, loved the writing, but did not love sitting behind a desk or being the person behind a computer screen. I really wanted to be out meeting with people and and so that's that's the rest of history, I kind of ended up from there pursuing roles where I thought I could use my skill set to change the communities that I live in directly. And I wanted to see things really tangible happen. And so that's, that's where it's come from. Yeah, that's, that's the origin story, I guess, if you want to call it that.

Julia Campbell:

I did the walk for hunger. I think I did that in elementary school. And that was the very first time I had been fundraising to so people to sponsor me. Yeah, I love that. It's kind of like a foot in the door. Those kinds of events.

Liz LeClair:

Yeah, I mean, I think that's where, you know, when we look at fundraising, and all the different variations of it, you know, some people say about events, you know, that they're kind of dying off and I, or that they don't serve a purpose. And I think when you look at them, much like gift planning, or estates and requests, you kind of have to look at events as a long term game engagement. Like, there's so many people that get their passion when they're younger, or at some point in their life from participating in one of those. So I just think it's a really great, great way to think of it so yes, so that's where that's where I started, and then I've been in healthcare, education and some social service frontline service roles for the last few years for last 15 years. Yeah, so that's That's where I come from. And

Julia Campbell:

so, right now you're the director of major gifts. Foundation, okay. And your writing your advocacy really focuses a lot on holding donors and the entire philanthropic sector in general accountable for, you know, transgressions and abhorrent behaviors. So the very first piece that I read by you was an op ed in the CBC, where you describe in pretty vivid detail your experiences with sexual harassment and even abuse by older wealthy male donors. Why did you decide to come forward? And why did you decide to talk about this and call for what you call a nonprofit Mewtwo movement?

Liz LeClair:

So I was very fortunate, first of all, to work with a really phenomenal reporter at the Canadian Broadcasting Company, Francis Willick. So how it kind of happened is I attended Toronto Congress in the fall of 2019. Yeah, 2018 Oh, my God, now it's getting so

Julia Campbell:

linked to the article. Yeah, sorry. Now,

Liz LeClair:

I don't even remember, essentially, coming out of the height, the real height of the meaty movement. There was a lot of talk at Congress that year, there were two plenary speakers. One was Hadiya, Rodrique. She was a black lawyer on Bay Street, and she wrote a piece called black on Bay Street for the Globe and Mail. And we talked about her experience with racism. And when she was actually closing her session, one of the things she said in it was that it was the responsibility of those with privilege to speak not those who are already marginalized. And that really stuck with us. And I sat through the rest of the conference, listening to a lot of things where, you know, people were bringing up these topics around me too, and what was happening. And then we went to the closing plenary and Samla prod, who's a fundraiser out of Ottawa was our host and asked some really provocative questions in the room was just really you could tell people were like, I want to do something. But I don't know what I want to talk about this. But I don't know what how do I start? And I remember Sam asking the question, are we going to be able to change the sector. And I remember hearing a lot of hemming and hawing. And these two young women that were sitting in front of me that I knew had just started in the sector, because I'd sat with them at a couple of lunches. Were kind of looking around, and I could see I was like, this is not the kind of sector I want them to start their career. And so I came home. And I said to a friend of mine, who's a journalist, do you think if I wanted to tell this story that anyone would read it? And he said, Absolutely. And I went from there and made a decision to share my experience, the reason why we went with the really vivid descriptions up front was to essentially get the attention of the reader. Because I think a lot of people at that point, were thinking Nietzsche was all about these nuances of what harassment was. And we wanted people to know that, if, you know, if I felt comfortable sharing what had happened to me, we needed to let people know how serious this gets. So that's why and I do continue to share my story in the hopes that it will, I don't want to traumatize people or re traumatize them. And I don't expect anyone else to do it. But I know that it's a way for me to shed a light on something that is, is really toxic and very prevalent in our sector. So

Julia Campbell:

exactly, because I I read the statistics that were shared by the CDC, where they said about 70% of professional fundraisers in Canada identifies female, most of the executives are of course the same in North America, same in America, the vast majority of high net worth donors are older, influential men. And when they conducted their survey, they found that 25% of female respondents and 7% of male respondents had actually experienced sexual harassment at work. Do you think those numbers are accurate or is it

Liz LeClair:

higher? Well, no, we've been proven, it's been proven that they're much lower than, you know, the actual reality. So AFP did another survey in 2020. So it did a random sampling of half the membership, so about 15,000 people and got our response, I think just over I want to say 1700 People responded. And it actually turns out that 75% of the women that responded to the survey said at some point in their career, they'd experienced some form of sexual harassment. So we're talking three quarters of our profession, the male respondent numbers remained somewhat similar. But the other things that were asked about were things like gender based violence or other kinds of forms of discrimination. But they also, the researchers at Ohio State also looked at the intersections between race, gender identity, and also all these other factors and found that women of color and LGBTQ plus fundraisers experience more severe forms of harassment. We always suspected that 25% was actually quite low. So yeah, no, it's definitely we're talking about three quarters of the women that you meet. At some point, once the actual descriptors of what sexual harassment is, is put in front of them. They, they realize that they've actually experienced it because a lot of People will say, Well, I've he may have said something to me. But that's not really harassment, they think they think it has to be like a Harvey Harvey Weinstein situation for it to be valid. And that's not true.

Julia Campbell:

So sorry, mom, if you're listening, but I remember talking to my mom, we had a conversation about the me to movement. And she said to me, don't you just think it's a little much, it's just a little much, this doesn't really happen all the time. And it took me talking her through her own experiences, and saying, You Are you sure this has never happened to you in the workplace? Or you've never been talked to like this by a man that was in a position of power, or anyone in a position of power? And once you describe, like you just said, what harassment actually is and what it constitutes, then people's eyes open? And they say, Well, I didn't I just thought that was boys being boys or men being men or?

Liz LeClair:

Exactly, yeah, yeah. And women, I mean, this, we have to be clear about this. Women are guilty of dairy through doing it as well. But also to for me, what was really hard to get some women to understand is their role in conditioning other younger women, that this is normal, and not because they're bad people. And I think that, you know, this is something that people take really personally, they think that I'm accusing them of grooming young women. And that's not, that's not the case. But there's a socialization process we go through as we're growing up, it's handed down from generation to generation. I mean, it slowly starts to get eroded. But I mean, even just looking at the fact that we're still arguing and discussing dress codes in schools, and what girls what girls can wear. And I think, you know, we're, we're getting there, but every generation pushes back harder and defines their boundaries a little stronger. And so I think, yeah, a lot of older women in particular, especially those who grew up in the 50s, and 60s, this was what, what it was like at work, you know, and it's sort of that expectation that you will just swallow it and kind of move on, because that's how they handled it. And I think what we're trying to say here is that it doesn't have to be this way.

Julia Campbell:

Exactly. So what advice would you give to a young fundraiser just starting out, that maybe has seen something or experience something? What would be your advice? Yeah, so

Liz LeClair:

I mean, I've been doing some workshops and sessions with, you know, some organizations in Canada. And one of the things that my colleague and I always emphasize is report, report, report, report report. And the reason is, is because part of the reason why organizations don't take this seriously enough is that people are not reporting it. And it's not the onus is on the person reporting, the onus is on the organization to respond properly. But if you don't report it, then there is no pattern of behavior. And no matter what it is, no matter how small you think it is, you need to tell your supervisor, if you have a bad feeling in your stomach, always trust your gut, your gut is there for a reason. I remember speaking at Toronto, AFP, Toronto had me come speak and there was a young woman in the audience that said, you know, there's this donor that really gives me this achy feeling, but he's never done it anything. That's like, I could say, you know, I said, but you don't know what he's done to someone else. Right. So if you don't report it, there could be another person that's already told someone about it. And they will never know that there's a pattern or behavior. And a pattern or behavior is the thing that all organizations always point to is if they don't have a pattern, there's nothing that they can do. I just always encourage people to report and how your organization responds to you, I think is indicative of the kind of place it is. And I think may be a good indicator of whether or not you want to continue working for a place. That is not

Julia Campbell:

really yeah, that is not responsible. And that doesn't take any interest or show any concern for what you've gone through. Is this part of why you founded the national conversation? Can you tell us about that? It is

Liz LeClair:

yeah. So I wrote the Op Ed and a really wonderful woman out of Ontario named Wanda Duchamp contacted me. And we talked it through and talked it through and just we're trying to figure out how do we raise awareness, particularly in Canada, around this issue, you know, the US was having a real moment. But in Canada, it still felt very, as it always does. We're usually about 10 years behind the US and anything that happens. And we were thinking, how do we put this out front and center in people's faces so that they can ignore this but also to the other part of it was around providing resources. So we created a website, thanks to Cindy Wagman. Net, the good partnership, and Dave conversation.org. And we have a lot of resources there for Canadian fundraisers on where they can go to get help, what kind of information they need, and just really around yeah, there's lots of interviews and fundraising everywhere. Simon and Nicky were really generous in hosting a day Fortunately for us as well, so we've we've been really fortunate to have a lot of support from our friends in the sector. This year, we're kind of trying to reimagine what it might look like to be more inclusive events. And part of the evolution of the thinking was around Black Lives Matters and stop Asian hate. And just, we didn't want this to be a white woman's conversation. And there's a lot of nuances that we couldn't cover under the current scope of it. So it's it's kind of in a process of being looked at and reimagined. So we'll let you know when we have more information on that.

Julia Campbell:

Yes, absolutely. I love that I love to be a part of amplifying it any way that I can. And I love that you as well as I think a lot of the me to movements, movements against you know, movements against harassment in the workplace, are trying to be more inclusive and take in more diverse perspectives. Yeah, I

Liz LeClair:

think Sorry to interrupt, but um, no, it's okay. That mean, me too, was when you look at it, me, too, was founded by Toronto Burke, who was black woman. And then but no one, you know, the, the prominence in the agenda got

Julia Campbell:

taken over by Rose McGowan and prominent white celebrities.

Liz LeClair:

Exactly. So this is about taking a step back, when we talk about thinking about the rural, that white women can play in these movements. It's not about taking them over. It's about creating connections in the space in order for us to have all of these conversations and I think it's so important for us to remember where they originate from. And at the time, I was angry, that no one was listening. And I'm glad that I was able to have that opportunity to speak up. But now there's an opportunity to reshift and create more space, I was very fortunate to have someone who participated and Doc and planning, sit me down and have a conversation with me about the reason why you're not having an inclusive group of volunteers is because you're you've created a dialogue for white women. And gender discrimination is certainly one area, but there are many, many nuances to oppression. So I'm very grateful to her for sitting me down and speaking with me about that and calling me in. So I feel I feel compelled that this has to be if we're going to do it again, it has to be a bigger, bolder conversation again, about really what what our issues as a sector. So

Julia Campbell:

Exactly, yeah, thank you for that. And now a word from our sponsor. I'm here to tell you that this podcast episode is sponsored by my newest free training social media in 20 minutes per day. This is where I give you my exact framework and process to schedule and organize your time, so that social media does not take over your entire day. And to do list, watch the replay for free at social media in 20. That's to zero the numbers to zero.com. And be sure to tag me on social to let me know what you think. That's social media and twenty.com. Thanks for listening and enjoy. Another topic where you're very outspoken, I love equity and racial justice within the sector. And I loved while you've written several articles that I have loved. But I especially loved a LinkedIn piece, entitled Stop telling me to be nice. And I just want to read a couple of quotes from it, and we can discuss it. So you wrote white women, when you're okay, calling out misogyny and sexism, but will not or refuse to call out racism in our sector, you are part of the problem. When you tell me to be nice, you're asking me to give up my agency, my power and my opinion. So I think this is incredible. And I know you did get a lot of pushback. I don't want to say I don't know, pushback is the word feedback opinions. People were very defensive. Anytime you call out. White silence, people are going to take it personally. Yeah. So tell me about some of the fallout from that article. And then just tell me, you know, where do we go from here? How can we stop being silent?

Liz LeClair:

Yeah, without getting into the details. I mean, we've had a number of things happen over the last year, not just with Black Lives Matter, but with the growth of the community centric fundraising movement. Yeah. Which I respect deeply and have a lot of passion for but I'm no part of the founding. No, no part of any of that. I mean, all of that goes out to Zoo. Lay, Michelle Miri and the group out in Seattle that founded that movement, because they they saw a need, and they've been actively attacked by a number of people in our sector. You know, maybe those those people don't think that they were attacked. them, I think that's part of the problem. We have a lot of people in our sector that think that what they consider analytical, you know, emotion, like removing emotions from the conversations and really diving deep into certain things, is the way to look at things. But I think it somehow looks over the origins of why this movement exists in the first place. And also a lot of fundraisers who were trying to equate CCF with a fundraising technique which it is not, right. I which I don't know why we keep getting stuck on this, you know, I've had a lot of, especially a lot of consultants really push back at me and say, you know, like, you're not being you the way you're talking is not kind it is not, you know, whatever. And I keep reminding them that the reason why people like myself and others are frustrated is because this whole complacency way complacency we have is the problem in the first place. So the entire argument they're having with us or with me, I won't say us because I am not a person of color. I am not a fundraiser bipoc fundraiser, who's experienced any of the numerous, you know, things that we've been told about? I mean, like, and I'm sorry, I'm going off on a bit of talent here. When you look at when you look at collecting courage, the book that was written by 14 Black fundraisers, mostly women, but one men meeting as well. You know, it's not like these stories are not there. They're there for us to read. They're there for us to listen to. People in the sector, who are people of color are saying we have a massive problems. So to argue the techniques of fundraising in relation to a movement around racial justice, to me seems like you've completely missing the point. The points, I think, so I think we're completely

Julia Campbell:

being told enough.

Liz LeClair:

Well, it's, it's like someone yelling at you, your house is on fire, your house is on fire, and we're all going to burn, and a person running up with a small teaspoon of water and saying, but what about handwritten cards and throwing it, I'm fixing this, it's just, I just the response is inadequate. To me. Anyways, that's how I feel, I feel like we were watching our sector burn to the ground, in some ways, because we will we refuse to move faster. And what I what I think is gonna happen is that we are either doomed to become irrelevant as a profession, and something else will replace us. Or we are going to just see a massive continued friction between those who are calling us out to do better and those who want to remain the same. And Rachel D'Souza, who's a consultant with gladiator fundraising out of Baltimore, she believe it's Baltimore. Yeah, she put her St. Louis sorry, she posted a thing around white backlash. And there's always been white backlash resistance to change, because it doesn't serve us change doesn't serve the white majority in it in any profession, or any part of the world. What serves the white majority is the same status quo, because it's comfortable for us. So I think what's getting people's backs up is the realization, unfortunately, that they've been participating in something that's been harmful for a very long time. And I understand that concern, I have that concern. And I'm not happy about it. But I'm also not going to sit by and let it continue to fester. And I mean, that's how I That's how sexual harassment happens is that people don't want to address the elephant in the room. 75% of people in our sector, or women in our sector have said they've been sexually harassed. But it is not in the interest of the majority of men in the C suite or executive or in boards to address this because they know who the people are, or they're friends with them. Or saying no to a donut brings

Julia Campbell:

up uncomfortable conversations about maybe their own behavior.

Liz LeClair:

Exactly. So the lens by which I've come into this has been a gender oppression lens. But what it has done is expanded my perspective significantly on what we are not doing to be inclusive or protect our people. And I've been accused, somebody said to me a while back via Twitter that I have a trauma shield I throw up every time I enter these conversations that I use sexual harassment as a way to fend off criticism. And I don't think of it that way. What I think of it is, this is my way to relate to what other people are going through. I will I will never know what racism feels like. But I know what it feels like to tell people that you've been sexually harassed and people to tell you that no, and they start gaslighting. You know, it's not the same, but it's part of the same umbrella. So I can't stand around and talk about one issue without talking about the rest. And, you know, I realize some people feel that my role with AFP, the women's impact initiative that I have a position of responsibility to bring people into the fold, but I personally haven't seen being nice. And saying it in a nice way. Is not moving us forward.

Julia Campbell:

Nope. Nope. So and the There's so many quotes, you know, Brene Brown talks about when you are having these uncomfortable conversations, the fact that you can avoid these conversations means you're coming from a place of privilege and privilege. So when people say we don't want to talk about it, or this is making us uncomfortable, or oh, this is too political, why don't we just keep fundraising. So when I did the keynote for the classy collaborative in 2020, the week after George Floyd was murdered, I changed my entire keynote at the very last minute. Also, I am a fan of classy, I think they were not, they were not exploring as diverse a speaker panel as they probably could have. And we were calling them out on that as well. And they definitely listened. But people didn't want to hear what I had to say. I mean, people said, this is a fundraising conference, why are we talking about racial equity, racial justice? Why are we talking about these hard issues that you know, things like how COVID relates to that, and how it's sort of all intertwined, and with the work that we do, so I appreciate anyone, especially using the privilege that you and I have to really amplify and shed light on these issues and encourage other white people to come forward? You know? Yeah,

Liz LeClair:

I think a lot of people often say to that they're scared, you know, that they feel

Julia Campbell:

going through the wrong thing, that I get a lot. How do I, how do I start, I'm worried I'm going to trip over my words, I'm worried I'm going to look foolish. And I'm worried I'm going to make things worse, because I don't know the words to use. So yeah. What is your advice?

Liz LeClair:

I always say to people, there's it's kind of chicken and egg, I think there's a lot of reading, you can do. You know, like there's a lot of it's not like there isn't information out there. I think one of the things that always I think people get reminded often is that don't ask your black or bipoc any black indigenous or people of color in your life to explain to you what this what this is, I mean, how to be anti racist by Abraham Kennedy is there in Canada, we have a great book called the skin we're in, where Desmond Cole writes about what it's like to be a black person in Canada. You know, we have collecting courage, which you can purchase, which is an amazing book. And very, you know, it's not a long book, it's an easy read. And by lots of fundraisers in our sector, there's anti racism workshops, you can take, you know, just spend some time reading and reflecting and really ask yourself, what are the things that I am doing in my life to either create space for or to lift up people of color, black indigenous people in our sector? Who deserve to have the same, if not more opportunity to speak because we have so much to learn? Why do we have to keep listening is to me, I think this is part of an evolution of our sector. I mean, I think techniques and fundraising techniques are certainly there's value in that. I mean, I sit on the board of CFRE. I understand, you know, the value and understanding the fundamentals, but I also questioned the fundamentals. You know, I think that's part of the work we're doing at CR furry and and which the board we've been having very in depth discussions around what constitutes professionalism? What does it mean to be a professional? You know, what constitutes best practice? How do you know that that's going to work outside of a very white dominant, very fundraising specific organization? And what about all of those community groups and people who've been fundraising for years as part of their culture? I mean, I think your Villanova talks about that a lot in the law as well. Yeah. And and then any, go into any black community anywhere. And they've been doing this this work for a long time, but not being paid for it. And the origins of how so many white women and ended up in our profession is something we need to look at. You know, I think the origins of it, how we ended up here, how the power dynamics of you know, gender dynamics continue to play out around leadership versus other positions. I think white women, we've spent a lot of time building this profession into an image that we wanted, and now that it's being pulled apart, it's almost people's entire identities are being torn up. And you know, I think Fleur Larson, who's a dei trainer in the US says it best she was interviewed by Michelle Murray for her podcast, the ethical Rainmaker, which is that white women come to fundraising with a deep sense of martyrdom, that we're giving up a lot to be here. So when someone takes a look at you and says you're doing harm, it's fundamentally tearing apart the core of of some people's being and I think that's where we get stuck. Identity. I think it's people's identities are wrapped up in this so

Julia Campbell:

absolutely. And we could talk for hours about profit sector mitered him.

Liz LeClair:

Yes, yeah, sure we could. That that is

Julia Campbell:

a really incredible, that's a really incredible point. Because it is our identity. It is. Well, unlike any other profession, I think. I mean, there are a lot of professions where your identity is like a teacher and your identity is who you are, you know, there's lots of different professions. But in the sector, I do think we tend to say, Oh, you no one understands the work that we do. And no one understands how hard it is.

Liz LeClair:

Well, I think also too, I would just put this out there. And again, this might be a controversial statement. And there's always exceptions to the rules. I understand that. But when you look at how people come to the profession, most of the white women I've met, say, Well, I fell into it, it's something I just or you know, it was something that they were passionate about. A lot of the women I meet who are coming from communities of color, will say that I was doing this because our community needed this. And this is my that's how my career evolved. So there's a very big difference between falling into something because it feels good and doing it because your community needs you. And more often than not, that's the paradigm I'm seeing. So I think the origins with which white women come to the sector, not all but a lot. And I will absolutely say the caveat that there are, you know, you get into this argument around Black Lives Matters. A lot of white people would say, Well, what about white people, too, we also suffer discrimination and poverty, and but you're looking at systems, how our systems developed and built to keep certain people out. And I don't think white women have built a sector that is inclusive to way women, but we have not done a good job of being inclusive to everybody else. So whether we mean to or not. And I'm part of that. And I think that's one thing, too, I get criticized a lot is like people are like, well, you're you're a white woman, too. I'm like, Oh, my God, I look put my hand up. I have been a part of the problem for a long time. Yeah, I know that I'm not. This is not Liz is absconded from everything. And perfect. This is me saying, let's look at ourselves. You know, and I can do that. Because you sent me the

Julia Campbell:

courage to start, which I think a lot of people I hope will be inspired by this conversation inspired by writing, thank you say, you know, imperfect action is better than no action and

Liz LeClair:

criticism. Yeah. And expect criticism. But don't. Don't let it stop you. Because it's a learning opportunity.

Julia Campbell:

Right? and tag us on Twitter, because we're probably getting some kind of criticism from someone, somewhere.

Liz LeClair:

Oh, always. And along with that. I'm okay with that. And I will not do everything right. I will not do things perfectly. But yes, imperfect action is better than none at all. And when people call you in or call you out, listen, and listen to it. But take away from it. What you feel is really valuable. I mean, there's there's criticism that's valuable. And then there's criticism for the sake of criticism. And you know, but I said, once you know, you put things on the internet, you're going to get feedback, not all of it positive. That's kind of how it works. Once Okay. All right. Well, thank

Julia Campbell:

you so much for being here. This is this has really been pretty eye opening. Very just meaningful conversation. I hope that it's been thought provoking for people listening. So tell us how we can follow along with your work with your thoughts. Well, I

Liz LeClair:

am yeah, I am on Twitter at at Liz underscore halat H A LL. E TT, which is my maiden name. I know it was really funny. I was talking to Paul Nazareth. And he called me Liz Hallett. And I was like, oh, gosh, I haven't heard that in a while. So that I'm on there. I'm pretty active on their LinkedIn. You can find me there as well was LeClaire. And then I will be stepping down. This is my last few months as chair of the women's impact initiatives. So there will be a new chair coming in. But really excited to be involved with some new projects coming up this fall, which I'm not allowed to talk about yet, because they're No, no, it's all good. This,

Julia Campbell:

this might come out after the fall, so maybe you could talk about them.

Liz LeClair:

Oh, okay. Well, I don't know if you can edit this out. So I'll be joining. I'll be joining the board of the African American Development Officers. Yeah, so I'm joining that, which is pretty exciting. Birgit has been doing that for almost 40 years, I believe. And it's now officially becoming a nonprofit. She'll be the new executive director, and I'm joining the first board for that. So that group, I am absolutely excited to learn from listen to and help support growth. And then I'm going to be working on another project with a few other fundraisers around trying to write something around work. What can wait women do to make this sector better? So hoping, hoping that we can put something together that's a value I mean, again, seeking out information and resources from a lot of other people Because I don't know everything, but we don't we do know a lot of people to talk to and try to create a way a space where women can come together and do something meaningful instead of just talking about it. And I think people like you, Julia, who asked these questions and are willing to share this are a really important part of that dialogue. So thank you and grateful. Yeah.

Julia Campbell:

So I'm grateful to your work, too. I can't wait to see what's in store. And just thanks again for coming in and sharing your personal story, your advice, and just being open and honest and real with the listener. So thank you. It's been an absolute pleasure. Well, hey there, I wanted to say thank you for tuning into my show, and for listening all the way to the end. If you really enjoyed today's conversation, make sure to subscribe to the show in your favorite podcast app, and you'll get new episodes downloaded as soon as they come out. I would love if you left me a rating or review because this tells other people that my podcast is worth listening to. And then me and my guests can reach even more earbuds and create even more impact. So that's pretty much it. I'll be back soon with a brand new episode. But until then, you can find me on Instagram at Julia Campbell seven, seven. Keep changing the world. Nonprofit unicorn