Podcasts

Interview with Francisco “Disco” Morales – Talent Acquisition, Canva

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Francisco J. Morales

In this episode, we hear from Francisco “Disco” Morales, Talent Acquisition Lead for Technology and Security at Canva, about his flexible working experience after the birth of his first child.

Francisco Morales is a recruitment leader at Canva, a Sydney-based software company that creates simple and accessible graphic design software across web and mobile.   His current role has him building out Canva’s leadership layer within the Software Engineering group.  He joined the company in 2016 when it was a startup with about 60 people.  Since then, he has helped them grow into a highly-profitable global technology powerhouse, with a USD $40 million valuation, and over 2300 employees in multiple offices around the world.
He’s always been heavily involved in the technology domain. Previously, he worked in an executive search capacity at Harvey Nash, placing CEOs, CTOs, etc – into large publicly traded companies as well as high-growth early-stage technology ventures.  Prior to that, he received his law degree from Case Western Reserve University in the US, with a focus on commercial and intellectual property law within the online space.
Francisco is a strong believer in workplace equality, flexibility, and the importance of mental health – happy employees can do more with less.  He has been involved in many of Canva’s initiatives around diversity & inclusion.  He and his wife welcomed their first child in December 2019 and he will be rolling back his hours to part-time in 2022, so he can spend more time with the little kiddo!

https://www.buzzsprout.com/1517650/9421276-interview-with-francisco-disco-morales-talent-acquisition-canva-breaking-dad-podcast-series.mp3?download=true

 

Transcript

Hilary Lamb: My name is Hilary Lamb, and this is the 100% Project podcast series. In this series, we’re talking about psychological safety for men, specifically when requesting flexible working conditions or extended leave so that they can share in home and family responsibilities. Our new research, “Breaking Dad” has found that men don’t always get a good reception from employers and colleagues when requesting this flexibility. So we’re exploring the personal stories of men who have firsthand experience of this exact situation.

Today I’m talking with Francisco Morales, also known as Disco. He is the talent acquisition lead for engineering and security at Canva. Welcome Disco.

Disco Morales: Oh, thanks Hillary. It’s good to be here.

Hilary Lamb: Can you tell us a bit about yourself?

Disco Morales: Sure. You can tell from the accent I’m not from around these parts. I originally grew up in the United States in Pennsylvania, but I moved to Sydney, Australia in 2010.

It was supposed to be just sort of a six month engagement and sure enough sort of somehow fell into recruitment, and here I am 11 years later still doing it. So I’ve been with Canva for a little bit over five years now. In a variety of different roles, all recruitment focussed, getting new teams off the ground, getting a really good sort of engineering talents from some of the likes of the bigger companies, you know, your Microsofts, your Googles, et cetera. And really just building out the team to ensure the company can continue to grow and build a product that everybody loves.

Hilary Lamb: I’m an immigrant as well from the UK. It’s just a beautiful place to live and to bring up a family which moves us onto the next point – that you had a child, not that long ago and you decided to alter your working arrangements when you had your child. Can you just explain what you did and the reasons behind it.

Disco Morales: Absolutely. So, yeah, I’ve got a seven month old daughter. You know, she doesn’t sleep, but she’s still amazing, so I’ll take her. Um, cause I work in tech, and I’m very fortunate to be in that position, I wanted to take advantage of the various different leave mechanisms that the company offers because I wanted to spend time with my child. I wanted to spend time with my wife. You know, we have parental leave, we’ve got annual leave, we’ve got flex leave, we’ve got carer’s leave and they’re all very generous across the board.

I was in the middle of a few sort of serious projects and I didn’t want to just vanish. They allowed me to actually stretch out my parental leave instead of taking it in one block. Which allowed me to then work a couple days a week, so I could have some days dedicated home, some days I would be at work.

It actually worked out incredibly well because I felt like there was a nice balance between the two. On one hand, I was getting to know my daughter, on the other hand, I wasn’t dropping the ball at work.

I’m a bit of a stress head with respect to that. So it was nice because it allowed me to sort of remain sane, if that makes sense.

Hilary Lamb: Yes, absolutely. So Disco, can you tell me what the structure of your leave was?

Disco Morales: At Canva, they give you the ability to break the leave off. What I did was I took the first month off. I just said, “Okay, my baby was born from this day, I’m gone.” Um, then what I did is I took the remainder of that balance and I just took a day off every week. So for the first sort of four weeks I was off and then when I went back to work, I took every Wednesday off until I exhausted that leave. And it was nice because it allowed me to ease back into work. But I knew that Wednesday, that was the sacred family day and I could spend time with my wife, my child and, nobody would be sending me text messages or emails or anything. They knew that I was out. So it was really nice to be able to break it up like that because it did help address some of the anxieties I had about going back. It allowed me to keep one foot at work just to make sure things were ticking along and we were hitting our goals. Um, and then at the same time, it allowed me to have that breathing room to spend time with my family and really enjoy being a new dad.

Hilary Lamb: And it seemed from that perspective, it doesn’t have to be an all or nothing. You spent time to begin with, which is important, really creating that relationship and then continuing that to take some time off, to, to have some special family time for an extended period.

Disco Morales: That’s the beauty of the flexible leave, which I think is better than a take it or leave it or an all-in-one because lives are very complicated these days, right. We leave much more complicated lives than the last generation. Um, and there’s a lot of distractions and stressors. So being able to work around that and have the company be as flexible as you need to be comfortable and happy, I think is really important.

Hilary Lamb: We talk about a lot of men not getting a good reception when they ask for flexible working arrangements, because society expects that women are going to do the child caring, look after aged parents, et cetera. Did you go into that request with any trepidation?

Disco Morales: No. Only because there are many that have taken it before me, they’ve either taken it in one go, they’ve either stretched it out, or broken it up.

So we have the flexibility built into the leave policy. So I knew I would get it because I’m contractually entitled to it. Any trepidation would have been of my own doing. And that’s just, you know, it was my first child, I’ve never taken extended leave, like I’m a bit of a workaholic. I was afraid that if I took too much time off, I would come back and my job would be completely different, there’d be all these new faces and I wouldn’t have anything to do. So it was all sort of self-trepidation, I guess I was more afraid of something going wrong. But from the company perspective, it was as easy as booking the request into the system, waiting a day, and then having my manager approve it.

Hilary Lamb: I think one of the forward-looking companies that understand that men want to take the time off as well as women and I’m assuming that your policies are gender neutral and having those policies set in place really do facilitate the process. You hear a lot of people actually not wanting to even broach the topic because of the response. So congratulations to Canva to understand that both parents want to be involved in their children.

But I was interested in you saying maybe the trepidation was within yourself and potentially looking at the risk of taking extended leave – out of sight, out of mind. I know that’s the fear of a lot of women, and it’s the experience of a lot of women, that they get passed over for a promotion. Did that ever enter your mind? I mean, you said there was a bit of trepidation. But did you seriously consider if they would have an impact at all on, on your career?

Disco Morales: I did, and maybe because I know that that has happened. I mean, I work in the recruitment, in the HR space, right? So by the very nature of just being in that position, I’m aware of the trends good and bad in the market.

My LinkedIn feed is literally stories about people that got passed over or companies that are doing bad things or companies that are doing good things with respect to their benefits and compensation and things like that. So, I mean, I did have that fear cause I’ve seen it before. In the back of my mind, I’m like, “Oh, well, I’m in the middle of this really big project and I can hand it over, but what if something goes wrong? Is that going to fall on me?” And to be honest, it was silly that I was thinking that way, because that’s just not how the company works. It’s a very values-driven company. We do have this no-blame approach to things, like people will make mistakes and things will fall between the cracks. It’s not so much about pointing the finger as it is about coming together and solving it. It’s like, “Okay, we have this problem we acknowledge, we have this problem let’s attack the problem”. So it was a bit of an unfounded fear.

Hilary Lamb: Did that make you feel an obligation to stay connected? Was there not really the opportunity to switch off when you were at home with your daughter or spending time with your wife?

Disco Morales: It was funny. The first couple days were kind of like, “Oh, let me just check in and make sure this is happening”. You know, at which point, my manager, Rick, who’s is just a great guy, would just send me a text – it’d be like log off! Because he can tell when I’m on the chat thing, he can tell when I’m signed in and he’s like, “Go play with your kid. Go away”. Uh, so in the initial days, yeah, it was, there was that sort of anxiety, I would say, around passing the reigns over for a little while. And then once I got into it, it was fantastic, just to not have to worry about it, and be able to really focus on spending time with my wife who gave birth via C-section. So it was definitely me running around the house for a couple of weeks doing everything. But it was nice that I didn’t feel any pressure to have to sign back in. Once my manager gave me the okay to go away, I went away.

Hilary Lamb: That’s a great thing to have, isn’t it? If you’ve got a manager who’s telling you “No, back off, you don’t need to be involved and we know you’re there”, it gives you that comfort that you can focus on what your priorities are at that particular point in time.

Disco Morales: A hundred percent.

Hilary Lamb: Our research found that a lot of colleagues, although seemingly supportive, you’re often on the receiving end of maybe some of those passive aggressive or comments that maybe indicate that they’re maybe a bit judgmental or unsupportive. Did you experience any of that with your colleagues at all?

Disco Morales: Oh, no, quite the opposite. I was encouraged to take the time off. They threw a, a small going away gathering for me. A gift pack that they sent to me and my wife, and it was very thoughtful. Uh, they gave us an Uber Eats voucher. They gave us gold class movie tickets for a date night. It was a really warm and amazing sendoff.

So no, absolutely not. Everyone was absolutely thrilled. I got a message from the founders. It was like, “Hey, congratulations. Enjoy your time off. We’ll see when you’re back”. Um, yeah.

Hilary Lamb: It sounds like a perfect experience, doesn’t it? But do you have any knowledge of how the women were treated if they were going on maternity leave? Were you treated the same or do men get a little bit of a special treatment because they are doing things that traditionally men wouldn’t be doing?

Disco Morales: No, I would say absolutely the same. I mean, my colleague just had her daughter a few weeks back and you know, same thing. We all did the same thing, we’ve all chipped in. So I only have my experience, but I know that when my colleagues have gone away on leave, we’ve always been supportive. We always make sure that we acknowledge the fact that they’re making a big life achievement and their life will be changing forever. And, yeah, we celebrate that.

Hilary Lamb: It sounds like it’s a wonderful experience. It sounds as though Canva made the experience even more positive by encouraging you to do that, to spend time with her. Did you talk outside of work with family and friends?

Disco Morales: I did! Generally older folks. Like in my family. Like my parents. You know, they grew up in the seventies, their professional lives were the eighties, nineties, and two thousands primarily, and that didn’t exist – for men or women right? They were both in the medical profession.

And my mum was like, “Oh, I used to work hundred-hour weeks while you were a newborn”. So for her to process the fact that I get time off, I get flexible time off, if I need more time off, I have different mechanisms of leave that I can leverage, the fact that even when I came back, I shifted my work hours just because the baby gets up really early. So what I did is, well, if she’s up at five, I’ll start working at seven and I’ll finish around 3.30-4pm and it was fine, you know? So I think that blew my mum’s mind in particular.

So I think when I do speak outside to friends and family, you get a mix of responses. But I generally found there was more surprise that I was able to do it so nonchalantly. Whereas quite a few of my other friends and acquaintances have had a bit more of a negative experience when they’ve had to do it, right? In terms of whether it was just not enough time, whether it was the way that they were treated on the way out, or the way they were treated on the way in, right? And I just didn’t have that experience so I feel very fortunate.

Hilary Lamb: You mentioned about, you know, your parents obviously didn’t have those opportunities when you were born. Do you think that generations are approaching this issue in different ways?

Disco Morales: Well, absolutely. I mean, my parents grew up in Puerto Rico. They were living in New York city in the eighties, which was not a great place to live. And even though I grew up in a

very beautiful farm town in the middle of central Pennsylvania, my dad said, “You gotta be tough. You can’t let them see you upset and you gotta be macho”.

And I’m just like, “Alright, its probably healthier for men to be open about how they feel”. And to be fair, it’s probably healthier for everyone to be more open about how we feel about things, right? I mean, mental health is a serious issue, whereas I think back in the day, you just put your head down and got on with it.

Hilary Lamb: I do agree that it is been talked about more now. I guess that’s why we’re talking about this topic, the psychological safety for men. Can they bring their whole selves to work? Can they be open about their feelings, about what they want out of life? And I think the more we talk about this, the more we talk about what some of the solutions are, we know what the challenges are, and we have to open up and discuss them. Hearing from yourself and your positive experiences and the way that you and the organization actually manage process is really going to support a whole lot of other men saying “This is possible. It can be done. It just really needs to have some of the policies in place”.

Um, I guess just going back to yourself and your experience. You had some time away. We talked about the fact that there was a little bit of trepidation about being ‘out of sight, out of mind’. Were there any emotions about when you returned to work?

Disco Morales: Absolutely. But it was funny because the anxiety went the other way. I wasn’t so much nervous about going back. Because my boss gave me a call the Friday before the Monday, just to say, “Hey, this is what you missed. Not as much as you thought. Told you it’d be fine”.

It was more, my wife cause she was going to stay at home for a few months longer before she went back. At this point my kid is a little bit over a month old and I was kinda like, “Are you going to be fine? Are you going to be okay? What happens if she doesn’t let you sleep? I can take more time off”. You know, I went through that whole thing where I was now worried about them and making sure that they were going to be all right. And look, she’s a pediatrician. She knows everything, she understands this stuff, but still there was that sense of like, “Oh, what if I’m not there to help?” You know? And I think that was what made me anxious. So work-wise, no. At home, total panic.

Hilary Lamb: Well, that’s an interesting perspective. I hadn’t thought about that thought of it before. And we talk about the benefits for the parents in sharing the parenting responsibilities. What about the benefits for the child? Do you think that it’s important for the men to be involved with their children at an early age, maybe at the expense of time at work?

Disco Morales: 100%. I’ve seen it through close friends and family. You know, what it’s like to have an absent father. My parents worked really hard, so I didn’t really start building a relationship with my father until I was like 11 years old.

I was the oldest. We now had two younger siblings. So there were three of us. My mother stepped back so he was kind of the sole breadwinner for the family. And I think that put a lot of pressure on him to make sure that he’s making good money and working hard and progressing so that we’re looked after.

I loved the guy, but he wasn’t around and did that impact me? Yeah, I’d say it did. My primary motivations to being a father is to be around because, you know, I know he was doing it for the best and I know that’s often the case but 11 year old me still wished he was around more, right? So I want to make sure that, at least it’s my turn now and that I can be present. So, yeah. I think it does have an impact. I’ve seen it. I’ve felt it. And I think maybe that’s why I’ve chosen the approach that I’ve taken, where I want to max that leave out and be around as much as I can.

Hilary Lamb: And do you think your daughter, or other children of fathers who are more involved, do you think in their approach to gender equality, they will have a different view if they have had more of both parents involved in their upbringing?

Disco Morales: I think so. And again, I can only really speak from my own viewpoint, but I did grow up being like “Dad works, Mum home”. That was my view of the world. 11 year old self. But that’s obviously not the case. You know, both of my parents are doctors, right? Like my mother had an amazing career before she decided to step aside and take care of us. My wife’s a doctor. She has a career. She has goals. Professional goals. I have all of these professional goals I want to achieve. Like I’m not done by any means, right? You know, I think that having both parents around will hopefully give my daughter a bit more realistic view of what life is actually like in terms of gender roles. So I mean, I don’t know. We’ll find out when she’s 11. I hope she grows up with a different perspective than I did because you want your child to be able to achieve anything. And I want her to have that sort of mindset that you can achieve anything, and these gender roles – it’s nonsense. You can do whatever you want. And that’s what I hope for. So fingers crossed.

Hilary Lamb: Yeah, absolutely. Great messages. Is there anything that you would change in hindsight? So having gone through this experience again, if you were to coach somebody else or if and when you extend family, would you do anything differently?

Disco Morales: Oh, that’s a good question. That’s a really good question.

Probably. I think you have to be more open to various possibilities, like when it comes to sort of what your child prefers, their behaviors, their sort of personality ticks. And for us, we got a non-sleeper and I think if I would have known that ahead of time, I would have probably taken more time off. You know, I was out for maybe eight weeks and my wife took five months. And if we would’ve known our kid wasn’t going to sleep, we would have both taken, you know, just a straight six. Give yourself a bit more flexibility. I think you just have to listen to your child and just be open to taking more leave if you have to.

Hilary Lamb: That’s good advice. Because of the trepidation of taking the time, I think sometimes we prioritise the fact that we’ve got to get back to work so minimise that time rather than saying, “This is my one and only time to spend that precious time with a newborn or a very young child”. So we still tend to prioritise the work. And I think that is a mental approach that we have to change.

Disco Morales: You look at the modern world, right? You’ve got rent or a mortgage. You have utility bills, subscription bills, you have your car, you have insurances. You have this kid in your first thought is “Well, this is going to be expensive”.

There was just that little nagging “What if”, in the back of my mind and I was eager to get back, but I wasn’t eager to get back, but I felt this nag to get back in case something happens and, you know, “Oh no, we’re gonna lose the house”. It’s, you know, it’s catastrophising, right? And I think that’s pretty common.

Hilary Lamb: As a leader within your organisation and no doubt and an industry influencer as well. Are there any insights that you’ve taken from this experience that you will use to benefit men and women?

Disco Morales: Absolutely. I’m of the opinion that I think a lot of companies are lagging behind in terms of what they offer. For parental leave and other sort of related benefits. There’s no reason why companies can’t extend the benefits. Aside from it impacts the bottom line. I’ve always been an advocate for a good work-life balance, but I think now specifically there are certain things that companies could be doing with respect to leave entitlements and flexibility around hours and stuff like that that are no-brainers and they still aren’t doing it.

I do work with some external vendors that partner with Canva to help us shape our policies and potentially maybe spending a bit of time with them, you know, maybe making recommendations towards other companies, um, to try to sort of level the playing field a bit. Because here’s, what’s going to happen. If those companies hold out, people are going to leave. You know, people have choice. And this is going to sound terrible. I have disassembled entire teams at other companies and brought them over to where I work, or to one of my clients before I worked for Canva, purely based on benefits. So if they’re going to keep playing that old school game, they’re gonna lose. And they’re gonna lose their top talent. So if they want to survive, they have to get on board.

Hilary Lamb: You know, for the bottom line, giving men and women the opportunity to spend time with their families, it’s not only the right thing to do, but in relation to the bottom line, you’re going to probably attract the better candidates in the long run once they understand what the benefits are.

Disco Morales: Absolutely. I see it all the time. They’re just not really thinking about the demographics and clearly diversity and inclusion really aren’t top of the list. The way I see it, it’s an advantage to us – we’ll get the best people, we’ll win the race.

Hilary Lamb: In that regard, do you think change is going to be led by corporates rather than government?

Disco Morales: You know, that’s a really hard question for me to answer. I think the innovation, the first movers, they won’t be big corporates. They will be your small-to-medium sized businesses that rely on their key people remaining.

For context, I joined Canva five years ago when we were about 60 people, right? Proper startup. If you lose one top performer, the impact on the business is huge. If Google loses one of their top engineers, Google’s going to keep on Googling. Canva always had phenomenal work-life balance and a great mentality to that, even as a startup, and I think that’s why we were able to pull some really good people in in the early days. I think, where there’s less bureaucracy, you’ll see more speed. But I think eventually, if big corporates and governments want to compete, they’re going to have to move eventually.

Hilary Lamb: So research tells us that the majority of men, or at least a large percentage of men want to spend more time with their family. What is it that’s stopping them? You have had a good experience yourself, but it’s still a very small percentage of men who do take time off when their children are born, although they want to do it. So where is that disconnect?

Disco Morales: I can’t speak for every man, obviously, but I think it’s probably a combination of a few things. Corporate blockers. It could be personal circumstances, like maybe they are concerned about whether there’s enough money in the bank for them to step away for a while and if they don’t feel there is then maybe that stops it. There’s obviously the fear and anxiety that comes with being a first-time father, but, like all things in life, I suspect it’s a combination of internal factors and external factors that would lead to that sort of trepidation.

Hilary Lamb: One point that’s just sprung to mind – do you actively promote the pleasure that you’ve got from taking that time off to spend with your daughter?

Disco Morales: Absolutely. And I didn’t think I would prior to having her. You know, I just thought, “Okay, well, you know, the house is going to be a lot louder and there’s going to be a lot of crying and a lot of bottles”. I just didn’t know what to expect and now that I’ve wrapped my head around it and I’m in it, it’s great. I’m in a fortunate position where my employer values me, and therefore when I do need to step away and put family first, they don’t ask any questions. They’re just like, “Go, make sure you message so-and-so and let them know you’ll be out. Make sure you send this before you go and mate do what you gotta do”. And I think that really allows me to live my life. You know, I don’t feel a slave to my employer. I don’t feel a slave to my small human. I still feel like I have my life. And I think that I do try to share that as much as I can.

You gotta be careful, you don’t want it to come off as like a humble brag or, you know, ” My company lets me get away with everything”. That’s not it at all, but I think, when people say, “Hey, did you find value in this?” The answer is yes. And I do know a lot of other startup co-founders, it’s a small world, they’ll ask me like, “Hey, you know, this is really expensive. Is it worth it?” And I’ll say, “Yes, it’s expensive to the business, but you’re going to have happy employees, happy employees are more productive, happy employees stay. You know what’s more expensive? Replacing a good employee”. I think when you sort of frame it like that, it resonates.

Hilary Lamb: Because of the position that you’re in with talent acquisition, would you have advocated this to your clients before you’d actually experienced it yourself?

Disco Morales: Even while working with, with various different clients – and I did, I worked with a bunch of banks and a bunch of smaller technology companies – I would call it out, I’d say, “Hey look, you want someone from Google, but you’re not paying Google money and you don’t have Google benefits. Explain how that’s going to work”. And you just see them, just the wheels turning. You know, the little squeaky wheel in the back of their mind and nothing coming out. And I would say, “Look like, obviously, you’re a giant enterprise bank, that’s owned by another bank so you might not have direct control over this, but this is what your competitors are doing. This is why they’re winning. This is why people are choosing to work there despite the fact that you might pay more here”.

And that’s the thing that I think people really struggle with, especially in my industry. They’re like, “Why would you join a little company that’s paying less than the big one?” You can actually pull up

surveys. Money is usually in the top five, but it’s not number one. It’s not why people move. You know, there’s that saying: people don’t leave their job, they leave their manager. It’s the softer aspects, right? And whether it’s work-life balance, whether it’s the benefits, whether it’s the feel and that psychological safety of an environment, that’s more important. You know, because when we were a small little dinky startup, we couldn’t pay what the big companies paid.

I took a massive pay cut going from executive search to a technology company. But I did it because I was interested in the mission. I wanted to work with some really smart people. I wanted a better work life balance. I was sick of living and dying by the client and living and dying by the quarter. To me, money was on the lower end of the priorities and there’s a lot of people like that. So I think people need to be more in tune with that.

Hilary Lamb: One of the unforeseen outcomes of the pandemic has been remote working, and re-engaging a bit more with the family. So do you think this reconnection with family will encourage people to try and retain or seek more balance in their lives? And just relating to what you’ve said, do you think workers, women and men, will be prepared to give up money for time?

Disco Morales: I would say it’s trending towards a yes. Ever since we’ve gone remote work, we’ve been sending out a lot of surveys, we’ve been sending out a lot of questionnaires to all of the staff and all the employees about how it’s going, what’s working, what’s not. And one of the things that has come back is that people are really enjoying that time reconnecting with their family. People are enjoying the ability yeah to take a lunch break and go for a walk together at lunch. You know, when previously they couldn’t. So I would say yes, I think both men and women are starting to see the benefits of it.

I love being able to just step out the door, pick up my kid, run around the hallway for a bit, you know, have a sandwich with my wife at lunch and get back to it. So I think there is definitely that. I do have a few friends and acquaintances that have two kids in a very tiny apartment and when that locked down hits, it’s not good.

Because they’re stressed, right. They can’t get out, they can’t get work done, the child needs to be homeschooled on top of work, and again, with Canva, if you’re in that situation, you just take the time off. But I think not everybody has that luxury.

I hope things do move in that direction. I think we’re in a fortunate position where it’s an employee driven market right now. If you’re not happy with your working situation, you’re not happy with your wage or your flexibility, you just quit and get a job somewhere else because everybody’s hiring. And there are certain businesses that can’t get people through the door because people don’t want to work for them because of that. Cause they have options. People are starting to reconnect with families and I’d like to see more of that. Because I think that will change the landscape from a policy perspective.

Hilary Lamb: Mm, most definitely. And do you think your experience has come from a position of psychological safety when you didn’t feel as though you’d be embarrassed or ridiculed by making these requests? If that’s how you feel, how can we normalise this more? Is it by talking about it? Is it by sharing the positive experiences?

Disco Morales: All of the above, right? At the end of the day, the companies that are most resistant to change, they’re not going to change until they see the data. “Oh, hey, our attrition rate has doubled” or until they can see that, “Hey, all these companies are growing” or, “Hey, our competitors are cutting our grass”. Until they feel the hurt, I feel like a lot of these bigger, more traditional industries and companies will be resistant to that change.

So I think it’s all of the above, but also being able to actually collect that data, which you’re doing very well, and being able to present that to organisations . And say, “Hey, this is, this is a risk to your business”. At that point, the analysist’s ears perk up and say “What?” and you start the conversation.

Hilary Lamb: But I’m hearing from many sources is that the pandemic has been detrimental for working women, especially those with children, homeschooling, et cetera. Do you agree that maybe now it’s an opportunity to put gender back into the conversation? And that’s from all perspectives – from working women, homeschooling, from fathers reconnecting through remote working. You know, gender has always been there, but that maybe it’s time to put gender into the center of a lot of the conversations that we’re having right now.

Disco Morales: Yeah. That’s what I was going to say. I was like, “Wow, inject it back into the conversation? I’d be more concerned if it left the conversation!”

I think it needs to be more front and center, right. And I think the discussions that need to be had are uncomfortable, but if you don’t have them, nothing changes. I was on a call with one of my colleagues, Andy, who is trying to talk to me while at the same time, trying to like teach his child French, you know? And it’s actually adorable to see that. Again, 5- 10 years ago, Andy would have been in the office and it would have been his wife’s problem. So it’s good to see the shift, but I think we need to keep pushing that.

Hilary Lamb: Well, Disco,it’s been such a pleasure talking to you today. Thank you so much for sharing your personal experience and also your thoughts on how we can improve the psychological safety for men, and that they can maybe have a little bit more involvement in their families, especially with the children. So thank you so much. I’ve really enjoyed our conversation.

Disco Morales: Thank you very much. Thanks for having me. That was a lot of fun!

Hilary Lamb: If you’d like to find out more about our research and our podcasts, please visit our website for more information: the100percentproject.com.au

Thank you for listening today.