In episode 161, Erik and Kerel talk with Maria Morukian, CEO at MSM Global Consulting, a company offering a unique approach to organizational culture change by empowering organizations to achieve greater success through embracing equity, diversity and inclusivity. They talk about Maria’s multicultural upbringing, how that has inspired and impacted her work in the DEI space today, lessons and stories from her life and work, the premise of MSM Global Consulting and how they partner and collaborate with clients to do the real work, not the performative DEI work.
Maria shares so many powerful stories and examples of the work and challenges that come up in DEI. Stories ranging from people practicing expansion, companies not understanding the actual work they need to do rather than surface level, pointing at leadership to blame, and how all of us “coming to the table” isn’t the inclusive act many think it is. She also tells us what keeps her up at night, what she’s grateful for right now, and what’s made her laugh lately - questions asked from her idea of Compassionate Leadership.
“So I think just having friendships with people who are willing to do that, give you the hard truth, sometimes with all of the kindness and support and also always invite you to do the same. That level of vulnerability is really incredible.”
We want to welcome all of our listeners to another episode of MRP Minority Report Podcast with Erik and Kerel, and we're coming to you from Hispanic Heritage Month. Each episode, we talk with real operators and leaders in media, tech and business. And today joining us is Maria Morukian, who is the Founder and CEO at MSM Global Consulting. Let's jump in and get to know Maria. Maria, welcome. How are you?
Maria Morukian 00:31
I'm doing well Erik, thank you so much for having me on.
Awesome. We're thrilled you're here with us. So much great stuff to talk to you about, ask you about, maybe you can share with us some, maybe sage advice and experience and knowledge over a 20 year span of working with leadership and with organizations, and especially around diversity, equity and inclusion. First, I want to ask you a little bit about you. Where were you born? Where are you originally from? Tell us a little bit about that because I know you're in the Washington DC area. We'll get to that later. But tell us where you started.
Maria Morukian 01:10
Yes, well born and bred in Detroit, Michigan. And I like to tell people I lived a very prototypical sort of white middle class Catholic life in my small suburb of Detroit. Yet at the same time, there was always an undercurrent of difference. And much of that was related to, you know, my family was multilingual, multicultural, my father's side of the family were refugees. And my mother's side of the family, although she was fourth generation American, she grew up in this tiny little farming village of 300 people where everybody spoke Polish as their first language. My father's family had to flee Istanbul, Turkey, during the Armenian Genocide, which it's actually kind of crazy now, when we look at what's happening in Armenia, and seeing history repeat itself again. But at the time, the US had closed its borders to anyone who has not considered Western European immigrants. And so my family actually went to Cuba. And my dad was born and raised in Cuba. So it's great when you were mentioning Hispanic Heritage Month, because even though my last name is Armenian, and I probably look more polish than I do my other heritage, I also have a deep connection to the Caribbean and to Cuba. I grew up speaking Spanish in the household. And so just this really sort of eclectic, interesting kind of upbringing. But one of the things that was really core, and just implicitly and explicitly shared in my family, not only with my parents, but just with all of you know, the aunties and uncles and everybody who was a part of the family was this idea of being a voice for those whose voices are so often silenced. And it's kind of interesting, too, because growing up in the outskirts of Detroit, my parents were public school teachers in Detroit public schools, but we definitely lived in a very lily white suburb. So I saw sort of the racial segregation firsthand. I didn't really understand it as a young child, but I think that was also something that became very prominent in my life as I started to study and explore it more and realize just the, the deep, complex history of racism and institutionalized inequality that existed in our country. So, that's a whole lot, but I think there's so much that you can learn from exploring these stories in more detail rather than just making assumptions about people based on what they look like. That self work is something I'm continuing to do.
I wanted to ask you about maybe that continuation or even kind of how it started. I mean, when you take, you know, Cuba, Istanbul, multilingual, eclectic, Caribbean, all of these things together, how do you think that kind of influenced the work that you do today? And ultimately sort of getting started maybe on your journey and beginning work into DEI?
Maria Morukian 04:19
Yeah. Personally, I think I was always drawn to stories of people who did have those complex backgrounds. And I've always been interested in exploring the sometimes very nuanced ways in which we are different based on these different identity dimensions. And I was always interested in trying to understand, what does it take to enact social justice? And then professionally, I had an amazing opportunity early in my career to work with an organization that had facilitators who had spent their careers doing just that. Bringing people together to have these connecting dialogues to explore honestly, and with compassion, and curiosity, you know, just the deep differences that exist and exploring inequity and what it takes to build inclusive environments. And so, for me, being exposed to that early in my career and having people who were willing to take a risk with me and take me under their wing, but also shove me out there and say, "Alright, go do it." And it was humbling, especially because I didn't know what I was getting myself into early in my career in terms of facilitating these kinds of conversations and learned a lot from my mistakes. We all have blind spots. And you know, exploring privilege, as somebody who looks like me is not something that you do overnight. So I definitely took a lot of kind of hits on the chin, from people who were doing it with love and support, but also letting me know where my own racist ideas were showing. And so that's been something that I think has been really prominent in my career, as I've been doing this work over the last couple of decades, is constantly revisiting and reflecting on what am I bringing with me into every conversation, into every word that I write that goes out into the public, but also suspending judgment of others and giving space for people to do their own work, recognizing that it sometimes takes time for those synapses to change, right, for us to have certain realizations that help wake us up to what's going on in the world around us.
Maria, is that, as you've been doing this work, your biggest lesson learned, is that sometimes it just takes time? Or is it something else?
Maria Morukian 06:48
Definitely one of the biggest lessons learned. And I think it's part of the paradox of doing this work, because at the same time that we need to have that willingness to have some patience, and some grace for people to take the steps that they need to progress on this journey, we also can't let ourselves or others become complacent. And I think that's where we often fall into these significant challenges in making progress because many of my colleagues, I think, struggle with that balance, and I do as well, right. So we either fall into these, you know, false dichotomies of scorched earth or slowing things down to make them comfortable. And I think the tension is finding that balance somewhere in the middle, and it's never going to be perfect. Sometimes we do have to scorch some earth, burn some of that, those dead trees out of the way. And sometimes we have to give a little bit of space and grace, right, for people to maybe become defensive and become frustrated and fall into "what about-ing" and then take it to the next step where they realize, "Oh, I have a lot to learn."
Gotcha. Yeah. And, like, how do you balance that, though, right, as someone who does this type of work on a daily basis, right, you know, with your consulting company? How do you balance that? Because I would assume, you know, you could have, you know, a handful of different clients, and all of them are in different stages of the journey, how do you balance that from, you know, client to client or project to project?
Maria Morukian 08:29
It's tricky. (laughs) I'll be really honest Kerel. I think there are the clients that, very early on, I can get a sense now that become a little bit more attuned to those clients that may be talking the talk, but it's mostly performative, or there's a willingness to do something, but the fear, and the inability to manage the discomfort of true change is just, it's gonna get in the way. And then there are those organizations, and those leaders in particular, the individuals that are a part of those organizations that say, "I'm ready, we are ready. And we want to do more than just the proverbial window dressing." And they really mean it. And so I think that when I come into contact with organizations that may be walking- or talking the talk, but not walking the walk, right? I don't want to close the door on them, but I'm not going to put a whole lot of time and energy into it until they are ready. And I will be very upfront and honest with them, again, in a very compassionate way and just let them know, "I don't think either that I'm the right consultant for you at this given point in time, or that you all collectively, are in a place where you can really embrace this in the way that it needs to be done to make true progress, so let me know when you want to have that conversation."
Gotcha. Okay. I want to go a little bit deeper into the consulting world and the work that you're doing, but before we get there, tell us more about MSM Global Consulting.
Maria Morukian 10:02
So MSM global consulting, I founded it almost 10 years ago. And it's a small business focused specifically on organizational culture transformation, leadership development, always with a center piece of diversity, equity, inclusion, justice, and intercultural competence. And really the premise is, if we want to build thriving organizations that are truly effective, and also seen as employers of choice, we can't not address DEI, in very real and tangible ways. That those two things are not mutually exclusive, they have to go together. So we take a very integrated approach and we really see ourselves as partners and collaborators with our clients. Because as you mentioned earlier, every client, every organization is unique in its culture, in its level of readiness to do sort of the hard work that's required to make true lasting systemic change happen. So a lot of our upfront work is assessment, we want to do data gathering, and I can talk a little bit more about what that looks like and also where sometimes we find some battles that we have to fight with leaders when we present that data. But that is really critical to help these organizations identify what their strategy should be moving forward. And so often, what I see is organizations that don't do the assessment work, and just kind of go with "Well, what are these other organizations doing? Oh, okay, well, we'll do an employee resource group, or we'll do a training on unconscious bias, because that's what our competitors are doing, or that's what my friend in this other organization did." And then they don't see results. And then a lot of this work gets defunded because they don't see results. So if you don't have a strong base of information about where the pain points are, it's really hard to figure out what the solution should be.
Gotcha. And once you have a solution, how do you measure that? You know, Erik and I spend a lot of time talking to others in our industries and one of the challenges that we come across a lot is folks struggle with how to measure and report on the results of DEI initiatives.
Maria Morukian 12:29
Yeah, I think there are sometimes the more tangible metrics, which often that falls in representation of underserved identity groups or minoritized identity groups. And that's actually really important, because what we've seen in the assessments that we've done is that consistently, some of the lowest scores in the surveys that we conduct are related to representation of diversity at every level of the organization. So representation matters and I think the biggest challenge that organizations face is holding themselves accountable for the numbers that they need and want to see. So it's not about quotas, but it is about creating practices and policies that are going to center equity and work to effectively mitigate bias at every stage of the employee lifecycle. And so one of the things, for example, I'll give a quick story. I was doing some work with a fairly large federal government entity. And they had a lot of conversations among leadership about "Gosh, we've put so much time and energy and effort into recruitment and we've really been trying to ensure that we're advertising to HBCUs and TCUs and getting the word out there and working with other organizations and professional associations to try to increase representation of diversity in our agency. But we're just not seeing the increase in the numbers." And so the story that they had in their minds was that there just aren't enough people from underrepresented identity groups that are interested or have the qualifications to be a part of this government entity. So here's what we did. We parsed out throughout the cycle from where you post the jobs to who gets hired. Let's look at representation at each inflection point. And when we did that, what we found was that it wasn't that they weren't getting enough people to apply for the positions. It wasn't even that they weren't getting enough qualified people to apply for the positions because there was a significant increase in minoritized identity groups that were getting through that first stage of the resume review and the call for interviews. It was after the interviews when it came to selection of the final candidates to go forth, that you saw a significant drop off in representation of minoritized individuals. And so what that helped us to do was say, Oh, the problem is not necessarily that people are disinterested or don't have the qualifications. The problem is that there's some bias happening in the interview and the selection process. And so that sounds so simple for many of us. And yet, it was groundbreaking, because leaders all of a sudden realize "We've been focusing, and telling ourselves the wrong story, focusing on the wrong thing and telling ourselves the wrong story." So I think when it comes to looking at data, and identifying metrics, first and foremost, you have to know, you have to get to that next level of granularity and have the tough conversations about where are the gaps really taking place? And the second piece is, you know, I hear so often from organizations, "Well, how do you measure inclusion? How do you measure something that is so you know, ambiguous?" And my answer is, it's not ambiguous, every single one of us knows what it feels like, to have that sense of belonging, to feel like I can show up as my authentic self, I know that there will be opportunities afforded to me that my boss in my senior leadership, cares about me as a human being. There are ways in which we can measure belonging and inclusion, it just requires some data gathering.
A lot of times a lot of that focus tends to be with DEI, right, which is great, but then the importance of belonging. Can you talk about that just for a second about why belonging is also really, really important?
Maria Morukian 16:43
Yeah, absolutely. And I was just having a conversation with a colleague about this, because organizations can't create belonging, right? Belonging is something that is so deeply intrinsic to us as individuals, right? They can create organizational cultures, where people can thrive, and feel that sense of belonging, because they know that they can show up more fully, without having to constantly be wondering, "How will I be perceived as the "other" in this particular situation?" And all of us as human beings want that sense of belonging, right? So the practices that organizations can engage in to cultivate that culture of inclusion that leads to people feeling that sense of belonging is deeply rooted in essentially, I mean, a lot of it is just humanistic skills, leadership skills. And yeah, I think it's one of the things that I have found very challenging is when I present the data to senior leaders and say, here's where people are not grading you so well on your organizational culture. And they're kind of pointing the finger up. They don't want to hear that. And so that's where we start to see some deflections and discounting of the data. And any data, not just a survey, Likert scale, but the stories that people are sharing, whether it's in one on one conversations or exit interviews, that's data too. I think a lot of times that data gets discounted, even though those stories are sometimes the most powerful indicators of whether people feel that sense of belonging, whether they feel like they can show up, and just focus on being a great employee and not constantly be thinking about "What is going to happen to me today that's going to make me feel devalued in some way?"
Thank you. That's huge. And I was just thinking about, you mentioned about being a valued employee, I love, for those who don't know, I want to encourage everybody to spend some time, maybe a little bit with your own podcast, which is awesome. You've got a lot of great guests and great content there. And then also, it's really awesome TED talks, too. And I love how you talk about, like expansion and practicing expansion. Can you share with the audience like what that means? What it is to practice expansion?
Maria Morukian 19:10
Yeah, a few years ago, I had this sort of a wake up moment where I kept thinking about this notion of inclusion, and realizing that inclusion is not enough. And particularly the way that we often define or seek inclusion defined is very performative, right? We're going to invite everyone to the table, "Come, we welcome you to come sit at our table." There still is a power differential there, there still is an expectation that whoever is perceived as the other has to assimilate. And there's also this sort of perception that the table is what everybody wants or needs to be sitting at to feel included. And so this notion of expansion was really to, one, explore what it means for us to get out of our own comfort zone, get out out of our own sort of echo chambers about what inclusion, what an organizational culture that is inclusive looks like especially for those of us who are a part of groups that have been, you know, the dominant identities, the identities that the organizational culture that society tend to be fit for. And that means that rather than saying, "Oh, come to us and tell us what you need," I need to go to you, I need to leave my comfort zone, I need to be willing to constantly, consistently challenge my own assumptions about how things should be. And that means that I have to be willing to sort of set aside my own views of what's right. And just kind of walk out on that bridge, even if there's no guarantee that the folks on the other side of the experience or of the ideological spectrum, if we're looking at it from a, you know, kind of political view, are going to come and meet us halfway, right. But to what extent can I make myself more vulnerable, open myself up to others, hear their stories and their needs and their expectations first, before I share mine. And the other thing with expansion is that just as humans, we all tend to gravitate toward people who are like us. And so our social networks tend to be very homogeneous. And so a lot of the work that I've been doing, especially with leaders is to ask them to sort of map out their social networks, and challenge themselves to look at where they've got some over representation, over reliance, and where there are some gaps. And it's been really fascinating, because a lot of leaders who thought themselves to be so open and you know, "Oh, but I have this, like, super diverse connection and network of people," but when they actually pull it back and look at it, they start to realize where there are some echo chambers, whether that's because "Oh, everybody I work with has a graduate degree, or everyone I work with has, you know, come from at least a middle income, if not upper class background, or everyone that I work with, has served in the military. I don't know anyone who hasn't," right. So they started to make these connections, where they were just kind of reinforcing their own individual and collective beliefs because they were constantly surrounded by people who thought the same way they did.
Yeah, that's a several great examples. And, you know, I wanted to ask you, actually, to kind of take us through one I think about, as you're describing that in your TED talk, you have an example with two individuals who both are veterans, but across one topic they're incredibly divided, but yet they're incredibly connected through their service. Right? Can you take us through that example? And illustrate that? I thought it was fascinating.
Maria Morukian 22:45
Yeah, absolutely. It's such a powerful example of what happens when we practice expansion. Because it's not just about, "Oh, let me meet you and learn a little bit more of your story," but to seek out opinions and perspectives and stories that are fundamentally opposed sometimes to our own beliefs, or significantly different from our own lived experiences. And to do it with some compassion, we can still walk away, vehemently disagreeing with each other, right. And so this really happened, I was in a training, and I asked the group to look at, you know, series of statements and pick one side of the room or the other depending on which statement they believed with, or that most represented their beliefs. And the first ones were pretty safe, right? It was like cats versus dogs and coffee versus tea. And then I just totally threw them for a loop and started asking them some really deep seated and polarizing questions, including one that asked people to stand on one side of the room or the other based on these two statements. One was professional athletes should stand and salute the flag during the national anthem. And the other side was athletes should have the right to kneel during the national anthem in protest of racial inequity. And everybody got really silent, and started looking at each other, you know, kind of, like out of the corner of their eye, like, "Who's going to what side? Who are my who are my friends and who are my enemies now?" And it was so fascinating to me, because that happened in an instant, that these people who work together on a daily basis and have friendships, all of a sudden, had this moment of I don't know who I can trust anymore. And I asked them, rather than try to debate or prosecute or, you know, try to proselytize and get someone to come over to your side, I want you to just share why you chose to stand on this side, share your story. And so one older white gentleman came forward and he said, "You know, I'm a veteran. I served in active combat, I lost friends. And for me when I see these players kneel it makes me angry. And it makes me so deeply sad because I think about my friends and their families and the people who have given this ultimate sacrifice for our country. And so for me, it just feels like an act of patriotism to stand and salute the flag and show respect and honor those that have given so much." And an African American woman on the other side, stepped forward. And she said, "I'm really appreciate you sharing that story. And I can connect with that, because I'm also a veteran. And I served in active combat, and I lost friends. The reason I'm on this side is because I have a son. And I have had to have conversations with him from such a young age about how to behave in any public situation, in particular, how to ensure that if he is ever approached by anyone in law enforcement, how to ensure that he comes home to me safe that night. And so for me, when I see these players kneel, to raise awareness of what is happening across the country to people who look like me and my family, that to me feels like patriotism," and the whole room was silent. But these two individuals just took a moment and acknowledged each other. And neither one of them crossed to the other side, right, but there was this incredible, powerful moment that not only the two individuals experienced, but everybody else who witnessed it because they realize we can disagree, and still have this compassion for one another when we take the time to unpack our why.
Awesome story. Thank you for sharing that, very powerful. I want to ask you your thoughts on the future of DE&I and specifically in the workplace. You've done some, obviously, some tremendous work over your career, I mean, the story that you just told, in itself to help people understand the other side, or differences of opinions, I think is super valuable. And I'm curious to get your thoughts. Where's all this going in terms of the future of DE&I?
Maria Morukian 27:13
Yeah, this work tends to be so cyclical. We often see some kind of catalyst for this, like, igniting of interest and debate and work around this. And then it lasts for a little while, and then the kind of tide goes out, right. And so I think many of us in the fields have been asking that question and wondering, when's the tide gonna go out? And we're starting, we're starting to see that show up in a certain way, in terms of, you know, there are a number of articles and, you know, media out there saying, "DEI is dead." And, and, yes, absolutely, we do see it from, you know, representation and financial vantage point, a lot of DEI offices and organizations being shuttered. But at the same time, I think what is powerful is that what we're seeing is the people who were doing this, for performative reasons, that were focused more on maintaining comfort and the status quo, but maybe looking good, that stuff's getting knocked out of the way. The lasting change and the the hard work that is required to really make systemic change happen, lies before us. And I think there are more organizations and more leaders than I've ever seen before, who are willing to stay in that fight. Also, just from a, like societal pressure perspective, if you look at Gen Y, and, and specifically Gen Z, they're the most racially and ethnically diverse generation in the history of our country. They have significant consumer power, and not only as a generation themselves, but they have such an influence over the other generations. And Edelman has done a lot of research on this, and their deep commitment and demand for organizations and leaders to prioritize their commitment to diversity. This can't go by the wayside. And so I think leaders are struggling with that, because their biggest question is, "Well, what are we supposed to do? We did the assessment, we did the training, we did all the heritage months. Are we good now? Like, what more are you asking for?" And I think that this is really fascinating time to be part of the work because it requires us to build a future that has never existed before.
Gotcha. I want to ask one follow up question. I often talk to people that I know at other companies and who are very passionate about, you know, making change within their organization. And the number one frustration that I hear a lot is that they hit roadblocks. Either they get "yes'd" to death in the meeting and then nothing happens or everyone comes up with these grand plans, and then nothing happens. There's no follow through, so on and so forth. And it's frustrating and it's also exhausting for those people that are dealing with that. What advice would you give to those individuals about how to make breakthroughs within their organization if they can?
Maria Morukian 30:25
It is time to recruit power brokers. And what I mean by that is, you know, we talk a lot about the importance of ally ship in this work. And quite often, the responsibility, and the passion often falls on the shoulders of the people who have been oppressed and marginalized. And the folks that are trying to not only fight this good fight and make progress happen, but also care for themselves and others and heal from the incredible wounds. And it's, of course, it's exhausting. And it's killing people quite literally. And so we have to shift the attention to that next layer, that next level of people who maybe don't yet see themselves as part of this work, but with the right level of effort, again, expanding out our networks to that next ring, and especially tacking on to the people who have power, not just positional authority, but people who have influence, people who have information, people who will care if they see themselves reflected in this work. And so I think there's a lot of work we need to do to bring in and give opportunities for those who have not done this before. And again, accept where they are on that continuum of learning, but keep the fire burning with them. Like you need to be a part of this too. We can't just keep it in our own little small enclaves and affinity groups, because we're just going, it's going to die on the vine, then.
That's great advice. Lots of great advice, Maria, especially in Compassionate Leadership, I want to ask you a little bit about that. I was fascinated, I'm learning a lot more about micro messages and so for who's listening, please go seek that out and learn about what that means. Regarding Compassionate Leadership, I want to have a little bit of fun and I want to ask you a couple of questions that are not questions but more like how to check in, how to be a compassionate leader and I thought you had some great ways to do that. So I want to ask you, Maria, what's one thing that's made you laugh recently?
Maria Morukian 32:43
Didn't see that one coming, right?
Maria Morukian 32:46
Oh my gosh, what's one thing that's made me laugh recently? I mean, pretty much everything that my daughters do makes me laugh. They're endlessly comical. They recently created a whole haunted house in our basement because we're coming up on Halloween, it's a month away, they were ready like a month ago. And so, my eldest daughter, and my youngest are, they're 11 and eight, put on all of these like crazy gothic costumes and masks and like, decorated the whole basement and then had me come down. And the minute I walked downstairs, like strobe lights going and they're like "Welcome to the the chasm of gloom" and walking me through. And it was just so silly and hysterical, but it reminded me that sometimes just giving space, open ended space for play and imagination and having fun is really important, because this work is so serious, and sometimes we just can't, we got to take ourselves a little less serious.
You're right. I think about it all the time when I'm cleaning up my unfinished [inaudible] Yeah, like they really had fun with this place. Another one, what are you grateful for today?
Maria Morukian 33:57
Hmm. I am grateful, in particular today, for friendships with colleagues who will check in on me, but also check me when I'm showing up in ways that are not compassionate. Because I think sometimes when our vessels empty it's hard for us to be compassionate. And so that just happened to me today, I had a colleague reach out and we had a really thoughtful, honest conversation where this colleague kind of told me some things that I needed to hear, gave me some honest feedback that was really helpful, and then just kind of held me in a very loving space as I processed that. So I think just having friendships with people who are willing to do that, give you the hard truth, sometimes with all of the kindness and support and also always invite you to do the same. That level of vulnerability is really incredible.
What's keeping you up at night?
Maria Morukian 34:57
So much, I mean, every- 3am, I'm just like, "bing!" and the hamster wheel is going.
Maria Morukian 35:06
What is keeping me up at night, I think the most prevalent is that our society, not just in the United States, but everywhere increasingly has become so polarized. And we've all been feeling it, obviously for the last several years, but there's also research that shows that the level of polarization that exists now, because our political views are so entwined with our identities and our beliefs about who we are, that we can't separate them out, it just makes it harder and harder for us to, to find that common ground, to come together and humanize and have that beautiful awakening moment that, you know, really like the story I shared earlier. And that erodes democracy. And that's keeping me up at night because I don't know that I can work fast enough or reach enough people and give them the tools to be able to have those beautiful dialogues that I want everyone on Earth to have. And I think that we're entering into a tipping point, where if we don't find ways to come back together, across our differences, we're going to be in very dire straits.
I 100% agree with that.
Maria Morukian 36:23
Can we end with a hopeful question, though? (laughs) I don't want to end with your listeners hearing my [inaudible] and gloomy story.
(laughs) We're not ending there.
(laughs) Yeah. Not ending there. No, but I do agree with you on the point that you just made. We're at this point where we need to, we need to make it positive change quickly here as a country. What advice would Maria today give Maria 20 years ago?
Maria Morukian 36:51
Hmm. A couple of things. Trust yourself. And always be open and receptive to those who are sharing their wisdom with you. And don't give up hope.
Gotcha. Love that. Love that. Love it. Alright, we will end on a fun question. We'll end on a fun question, a little bit of a different question. Tell us what's in your music rotation right now.
Maria Morukian 37:20
Oh, well, let's see Janelle Monae because I just saw her in concert. And she is fan-freakin-tastic. So I've been just listening to her on repeat. And then everything else is this [inaudible] of everything from like, disco, because it's just one of my favorites. Salsa, I've been throwing in a little Bad Bunny here and there. Little reggaeton. Yeah, and 90s Hip Hop always a go to.
Alright, what's in that 90s Hip Hop?
Maria Morukian 37:55
(laughs) Oh my gosh. I mean, I always have to leave room for like, Salt and Peppa, TLC, Wu Tang. I mix it up.
Excellent. Yeah, I was just catching up on season three on the plane the other day of Wu Tang, and actually my friend saw Salt and Peppa just performed at a private party.
Maria Morukian 38:15
Maria Morukian 38:17
I saw TLC perform a couple of weeks ago.
Maria Morukian 38:21
Yes. And it was at a conference. It was in Atlanta. It's where they're from. And they performed and it was like, I felt like I was back in high school. That was, you know, I knew all the songs. I knew all the songs, all the words, it was great.
Well, Maria, it's been great hanging out with you. And thanks for sharing some of your time with us. There's so much to continue to learn and sort of talk about. Our audience loves to stay in touch and reach out and sort of follow you. So tell us a little bit about how they can reach out to you. And also, can you please share with the audience a little bit about your book and your podcast?
Maria Morukian 38:54
Yes, absolutely. So you can find me on socials Maria Morukian on Instagram and LinkedIn, as well as MSM Global, we've got presence on Instagram and LinkedIn, and our website, MSMglobalconsulting.com, which also has links to our podcast, our blogs. So the podcast is called Culture Stew. And we're in our fifth season actually right now. And you can find it on iTunes and Stitcher and Spotify and pretty much any place where you access podcasts. And then the book is Diversity, Equity and Inclusion for Trainers: Fostering DEI in the Workplace. And you can find it on Amazon. It's published by ATD Press. And the book was really intended to be the guide that I wish I had when I first started doing this work. But what's been really powerful is how many people have reached out who said I know you wrote this for training and talent development professionals but even though that's not part of my career or my job description, I have found so much value just being able to help you engage with people and lead conversations and be one of those advocates for change in my organization in a informal way. So that's been really gratifying to know that it's got some some power to help shift those perspectives and hopefully you again, bring some of those power brokers in to help be a part of the change.
Fantastic. Thank you, Maria. I really appreciate it. And also thanks everyone for listening to another episode with Kerel and I. You can find many more episodes wherever you find all of your audio and video and just search for the logo and find all kinds of great episodes. Thanks everyone and thank you Maria.