Brendon Hernandez remembers clearly when he realized his privilege of being a male, of being treated preferentially over the strong and capable women in his life. An Agile coach in business agility transformations today at Accenture | SolutionsIQ, Hernandez is a passionate ally for diversity and inclusion because of his personal experience.
In this episode, our own Leslie Morse guides the discussion through hard topics like privilege and guilt as well as diversity, inclusion and allyship. The quotes give a keen perspective of the struggle women face daily – and the opportunities before us to make the world a better place for everyone:
- (Referencing Accenture’s Truly Human initiative) “Diversity is everybody is invited to the dance, but inclusion is being asked to dance once you’re there.”
- “As a gay male, I rely on heterosexual women to be an ally in the LGBT space, and in return I am an ally to women, because I have the privilege of being male.”
- “Privilege is power that is given to you without you earning it, just because of who you are.”
- (Considering that “guys” and “you guys” are used categorically even when women are being addressed.) “If I’m going to show up to a space that is supporting women… I can be called a ‘lady.’ I can start to understand what it’s like to be uncomfortable, to feel like I’m the only person in a room who doesn’t belong. Because that’s how a lot of women feel every day.”
Accenture | SolutionsIQ’s Leslie Morse hosts.
Read the full transcript
LESLIE MORSE: Welcome to another edition of Agile Amped. I’m your host Leslie Morse and today my guest is Brendon Hernandez. He is an Agile Coach that helps organizations focus on their business agility transformations and is also a passionate ally in various diversity and inclusion movements sort of in today’s society. Brendon, thank you so much for joining us today. I’m really excited to have this conversation not only in general around allyship but especially through the lens of women in Agile. So thanks for joining us.
BRENDON HERNANDEZ: Thank you for having me.
LESLIE MORSE: Let’s see, how do we wanna get started? I think it’s actually kind of interesting how we met. Given that you’re a male and our first meeting was last summer at the Women In Agile event in Agile2018 in San Diego. What sponsored … or what inspired you to show up there? Not only kind of at an Agile conference but also at a Women In Agile event?
BRENDON HERNANDEZ: Yeah, so to kind of talk about my journey to discovering Agile, I … my undergrad is in software engineering and so we had a class that introduced us to concepts of Agile and Agile mindsets. So it was kind of my first introduction and from there I took a journey into a little bit of education, a little bit of coaching, and also through social justice education, but eventually found my way back into the technology Agile space.
So at the time, and preparing to go to this conference, I was working for a company that was doing Agile transformation and so in order to help prepare us and equip us with the best of the best we were gifted the opportunity to go to Agile2018. And talking with some of my co-workers I had some female co-workers who were also going and they said, “Hey, there’s this Women In Agile thing that is the day before.” And I was really interested in going and we were talking about it and some of the men that were in our team were like, “Well, that’s Women In Agile, you’re not a woman.” And I was like, well that doesn’t matter, you know there’s still space to be an ally and to help and I would love to hear stories and learn more about what women are facing in Agile and how I can help. So I got it approved and I signed up and that’s how I wound up in the room that day at the conference.
LESLIE MORSE: And I was so glad ’cause we were at the same table together and I was really inspired by a lot of the vulnerability and the courage you brought into a lot of the conversations and sort of the way you helped frame it, I think, in many ways you’re kind of an exemplary model for what we would want as an ally within this Women In Agile community. But before we dig in to really that specific spot, let’s talk about just diversity and inclusion in general. ‘Cause women … is just one piece of it, right? Male versus female and the Agile angle is just one other lens to it but what draws you to this passion for right equality across all of these different dimensions?
BRENDON HERNANDEZ: Yeah, I think that ever since I was little one of the biggest passions that I’ve had is to make a difference. I remember recently we were at the gathering for SolutionsIQ and Accenture and I stopped at one of the town hall desks and the question was, “What gets you up in the morning?” And my answer was the opportunity to make a difference. Not that I would make a difference every day but just the opportunity to make a difference. So when I think about diversity and inclusion, I think about all of the different aspects of humanity that make us great. All of the different relationships, all of the different backgrounds and cultures, and there’s so much richness there. And I really do think that it strengthens us as a community, as a society, and I think that in the spirit of Agile we want to continuously progress towards relentless improvement.
And I think part of that improvement is understanding how we can accept each other exactly the way that we are. How can we take the best things of who we are as humans, and combine them into even something greater? So I think that when we talk about diversity and inclusion, I like to learn about each persons individuality, the inner sections of all of their various identities you know being a woman, being a man, being non-binary, being trans-gender, those are only a few aspects. Then you bring in ethnicultures, and you bring in familiar cultures and societies, smaller social groups, and all of those things make each individual unique. And so the part of diversity and inclusion that I love so much is being able to spread that knowledge so that its infectious nature can help spur on greater collaboration and change within the communities I’m a part of.
LESLIE MORSE: Yeah and I actually think there’s another lens to this that hadn’t necessarily really occurred to me around diversity and inclusion as even how we form Agile teams, right. Cross-functional teams like oh, I’ve always been a tester. Oh, I’ve always been a developer, or a this or a that. And the same sort of things that we think about, for more societal diversity inclusion angles, we also need to apply those skills in that same level. What I’m really hearing and sensing from you is this there’s a curiosity that’s really key in allyship. Right, that applies in forming new Agile teams as well. So this isn’t just a society sort of kind of diversity inclusion thing but it extends into a lot of aspects of Agile.
BRENDON HERNANDEZ: Yeah, I think one of the biggest things about Agile for me, that makes me so passionate about it that bleeds into allyship and bleeds into diversity and inclusion is that it is present in every single realm or sphere of our lives. I mean even in personal relationships so even our friendship together, I wouldn’t want you to change things about yourself because those are the things that make you unique and so like you said even with cross-functional teams, even in personal relationships, you know, do we want to try to assimilate to all be the same or do we want to help protect identities and the other people that we’re relating with and celebrate those differences?
I am not going to know what it’s like to be a woman but I would never want you to be less woman in our relationship. So I think that you’re right it does extend into the Agile teams that we coach. It extends into our personal relationships. It extends into our mentor-mentee relationships and even some managerial and leadership relationships as well.
LESLIE MORSE: Yeah, absolutely ’cause I mean your bias comes into a lot of this, and the things that we assume to be true about different lenses of diversity and things. Before we dig into allyship specifically, I wanna talk just a little bit more about diversity inclusion in general. It’s a topic everybody’s talking about in many different ways. And if you think about corporate structures it’s like, “Oh and we’ve got a diversity and inclusion program.” Which could easily be just a bunch of corporate propaganda like, “Yes, and we’ve got this, and we’re going to make sure our HR metrics tell us that we have this many of these different types of profiles and once we put a check in all those boxes then we’ve done diversity.”
But going through, it was a course called Truly Human, and I’ve actually heard it a couple times since then. There’s a difference: Diversity is everybody’s invited to the dance, but Inclusion is being asked to dance with once you’re there. So I think there’s a difference in checking all the boxes that we have diversity but inclusion is really the step that we need to take this from just something people talk about doing to something that’s actually real and impacts the way we show up in the world. Any comments kind of on that thought?
BRENDON HERNANDEZ: Yeah, so what comes to mind is this whole thing that where we used to be in society was campaigning for tolerance. And I think that is a lot of what diversity is. It’s education, it’s awareness, it’s this is who I am and that’s not gonna change. And a lot of that is tolerance. People don’t like it, they don’t need to like it I guess. But inclusion is that step further. It’s the implementation, it’s the active celebration of people’s identities and the metaphor of being invited to the dance and being asked to dance is two different things. I’ve definitely been part of institutions and companies where it was propaganda. It’s something that they wanted to check a box and even if not because a lot of the times I like to believe in the balance potential of human beings and if their heart is still in the right place they might not know.
And there’s a lot of fear related to diversity education and accepting others the way that they are which we can get into later. But I think that diversity inclusion is something you are approaching the topic that has so many aspects to it and how do you interact with it? And you have an educational piece to understand these things but then how do you implement those things. And I think that’s where the inclusion piece comes in and the companies I’ve been part of or the groups … one thing that I also did is I used to hold a leadership camp, I guess. It was five days and four nights where we would do experiential learning around social justice and diversity. And that helped move it from just diversity to inclusion because it gave people tangible learning experiences that they could take back with them and I think that’s how companies, or institutions, or even people, navigate and kind of move the topic from just diversity to full on inclusion.
LESLIE MORSE: That’s great and so when you think about kind of putting it into action ’cause that’s really kind of where you’re taking it. It’s what do we do with this and how do we be this way? I imagine that if you had to kind of outline some of the pillars of doing inclusion well allyship is a big piece of that. And we could do-
BRENDON HERNANDEZ: It’s huge.
LESLIE MORSE: -other conversations around what the other pillars might be. Lets just define allyship from your perspective, what does that look like?
BRENDON HERNANDEZ: I think that, in my lens, allyship is about being present in a community that’s not your own. It’s understanding that you have a privilege that a community does not have, and you are giving up power to be more equitable or to create a more equitable space where someone else’s identity can be celebrated. So one of the things that I talked about when we first met, and this is sometimes controversial even amongst people that I talk to, is that in order to be an ally to a specific community you need to not be a part of that community and you also need to have privilege. It’s very specific to different identity groups and there’s, like I mentioned before there’s intersectional identities, so one of the examples that I give is that a woman does not have the privilege of being a man in this society but she could have the privilege of being heterosexual.
So for myself as a gay man I rely on heterosexual women to be an ally in my LGBTQ space and in return I am an ally to women because I have the privilege of being male. So there’s different aspects of allyship that we could engage in and there’s others we cannot. ‘Cause I think that ultimately around social constricts of power and systematic injustice around identity, you need to start engaging in the conversation of privilege versus less privilege, represented versus underrepresented and that’s where allyship really comes in.
LESLIE MORSE: I’m making up that there’s this strong sense of self-awareness that’s really critical as a foundation for stepping into allyship in a whole meaningful way. Because not only do you have to be aware of what your own privilege is but have enough sort of self … what we think of as kind of vertical development on the adult education spectrum to be able to check that ego at the door that goes along with that privilege and, to use your words right, set aside that power and figure out how to leverage that in a way with this non-privileged community whatever it may be. So what was that journey like for you because not everybody can just step into that in a whole way right now, right? People may need to kind of search internally so what was it that led you to a place where you felt like you could have this perspective and serve well?
BRENDON HERNANDEZ: I think when I think back to my own personal journey it’s a lot more powerful for me. I think sometimes, I tend to think about how I witness other people on their journey. But I’m glad that you ask about my personal journey with it because it makes it more powerful to me. I think at first one of the things that I dealt with was guilt. In the realm of being an ally to women there’s a lot of different things that I had to deal with and I started dealing with it at a young age these feelings of guilt. But it wasn’t until probably during college when I went to a social justice retreat for the first time that I’d learned what I could do with that. Just a little bit of background about me is I was raised by my mom, and my sister was really prevalent in my life, and so I didn’t have the best relationship with a lot of the men in my life. Women were always there to support me.
And yet I would see that these women that I loved would be treated differently than I was. And that made me feel weird. I would be treated with more respect. I would be listened to more and I felt guilty about that and I think that that’s one of the biggest things that you start to encounter when you start to encounter your own privileges is this guilt. Because privilege really is, at its essence, power that is given to you without you earning it. Just because of who you are. And in order to start to even have that self-awareness, I think the first thing I encountered was the guilt. What do I do with this guilt? Am I just going to stay there and be paralyzed that I have this power that I don’t want? Or am I going to learn what I can do with that?
And then through those conversations I had with people is what can I do? What do you experience that I can step in? Is it a meeting where I can redirect eye contact back to you because all the men in the room will look at me. Is it correcting people when I restate your statement and they say, “Oh Brendon, that’s a good idea.” And I say, “Actually, no, that was Leslie’s idea. But thank you for attributing that to her.” Something like that where I slowly learned but it wasn’t until I dealt with the guilt that I had of having that power that I was able to start stepping in to these allyship spaces.
LESLIE MORSE: I love that, this is interesting ’cause I’ve not heard this part of your story before. So there’s so much more I wanna dig into but you gave some really good examples here at the end of that around just simple reframing of eye contact and making sure that ideas are attributed to the right people. When those sort of things kind of aren’t done in a workplace or in any sort of community setting and someone’s holding this identity, whichever identity they may have, how does that impact the teams that we work on kind of when you’re an individual contributor like you know I’m sitting and I’m a single human on a team and this team may not be good at this inclusion piece. What really kind of perpetuates to some of those team dynamics that we need to be looking for to know that maybe allyship might not be present?
BRENDON HERNANDEZ: Yeah, that’s a good question. I also want to bring in something and it’s a caveat because before I get too deep into some of these examples is that the only reason why I was able to give those examples or to understand even in a team setting what is missing is that I listened first.
LESLIE MORSE: It was ’cause it brings back that curiosity, as well.
BRENDON HERNANDEZ: I listened to women to know … exactly. Because there’s also a lot of fake allies. There are people are self proclaimed allies. Oh I’m an ally I do-
LESLIE MORSE: Corporate propaganda ally.
BRENDON HERNANDEZ: Exactly. And I would never consider myself an ally to a community if I was not recognized as one from within that community. There are communities that I support. There are communities that I adore. But until someone within that community identifies me as an ally, I would not claim myself as an ally. There’s still a lot of work that I need to do. There’s still a lot of learning that I need to do. And so going back to your question about allyship within teams or looking at, as an individual contributor, these systematic issues that we face. How does that affect us?
I’ve talked with many women who have shared stories about frustration. I think that currently I’m working on a team where that’s happening. I’ve had it in previous experiences and I struggle because I don’t want to share other people’s stories that’s really important to me is to let them share their own story but I know that women sometimes have to make men think that their idea is a man’s idea so that it gets implemented. And so women have told me that there’s a struggle. Do I give up my ownership of this idea so that it can actually benefit other people on the team? Or do I die on this sword and possibly get labeled as someone who is difficult to work with because I am a woman?
And so it brings me back to psychological safety and Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs and some of those topics that I really adore is that when someone is so afraid of what their actions are bringing they’re not free to be creative. They’re not free to show up in that space with their best self. So whether it’s being African-American in a predominately white society or being a woman in a male dominated society or even being gay in a heterosexual society.
That fear that you experience on a day to day basis it hinders you and so I think that when you’re looking at an environment, you’re looking at a team or if you’re a leader looking at how you can make anything better. A coach trying to help an enterprise transform. Look for that fear. Look for the people who are not being the best that they can be and start being curious. Ask questions: what is it that’s frustrating you? What are the obstacles that you have? And if you start to hear things like, “Well, I don’t feel like I’m heard.” Or, “I feel like my ideas are never mine.” Things like that as you probe you can start to uncover the possible opportunities for allyship in those spaces.
LESLIE MORSE: And as you uncover them and you kind of start getting that mental model developed, what do you do with it? How do you actually start working in ways that are more inclusive? So you kind of go from … I’m almost thinking of this model where it’s like, “Oh I might be a supporter of this group but I don’t become an ally ’til I actually start doing something and then recognized in that way.” So what’s some of the first steps? And then I wanna get to the Women In Agile lens of it after we kinda take a generic view of this.
BRENDON HERNANDEZ: Yeah, I think it’s almost like Agile. You start with small cycles. You start with these small experiments of conversations. So if I am new to the Women In Agile movement and I hear one of my co-workers say, “This is really difficult to me.” Honest questions. What do you think that I could do in that setting? How could I best support you as someone in the meeting who’s being talked over? Would it make you uncomfortable if I speak up? Would it make it uncomfortable if I say, “Hey, I’m not presenting redirect your eye contact to the person who’s presenting.” And I think that you just start there because each community is also different. There’s subcultures, there’s things like that. So to say that I know what it’s like to be an ally for women I still am learning.
I know what it’s like to be an ally to certain women in my life, but as I go to new organizations I have to learn their culture and I have to ask questions because what I’ve learned as an ally is not gonna be transferable everywhere. So that’s how you start. You start to ask what is it that you’re encountering? How can I help? I have privilege and I wanna help, I want to help your voice be heard. And you start with small cycles, these hypotheses and you just reflect on them. You do little retros. What could I have done better? What can we do next time? And in that partnership you improve your allyship and you also improve the dynamics of diversity and inclusion in that space.
LESLIE MORSE: So with that enlightenment that you have, right, I’m gonna say that Agile still is predominately a technology focus thing, as much as we’re pushing into more aspects of business agility, lots and lots of people when we think of Agile just think core technology sort of change. So technology dominated by men, thus sort of as it cascades down into Agile, tends to be dominated by men so you’re operating from that power of or position of privilege in sort of both of those realms. So what is it that you see, both in technology and this larger Agile community, that’s working kind of against the idea of diversity inclusion as it pertains to women being in leadership and not only just positional leadership roles maybe but even thought leadership roles kind of within these sectors?
BRENDON HERNANDEZ: Yeah, I think it’s something that I started to witness a lot in college. I think there was probably close to 60-70 software developers in my graduating class through college. We had three women and I knew all three of them. I worked very closely with all of them and I adored them. I think that it starts there. It starts in education, it starts in these places where we learn to be a contributor to the fields that we’re going into. And by not having that diversity in the first place it creates this echo chamber. And I don’t think that people mean bad.
I think they mean well but it’s something that they grow up and they start to see that well, women start taking the testing stories or they start taking these supportive stories because there’s so many men that are taking charge and they’re being more dominant and aggressive and that’s supported by just societal standards and viewpoints of what masculinity is. And then femininity you’re supposed to be you know gentle and polite and all of these things and so as that translates to technology, and you have these spaces in education where women are supposed to be present, they’re still supposed to be present in their femininity, in being polite, and helping.
And so I saw that a lot, in college and even going into some of my first Scrum Master positions and product manager positions, is that a lot of the women either weren’t present at all, or if they were present, they were doing test cases or they were doing story writing. But they weren’t really trusted or allowed the opportunity to take something on, to lead it. And I think that’s kind of where I see a huge miss within women in Agile in technology is that the dominance of men in the field along with these identities of what it means to be a woman, what it means to be a man, contributes to really what women feel comfortable doing and what men feel comfortable letting women do, because I think that you encounter those two things.
You have maybe women who would like to take lead but don’t feel like they’re ready. They don’t feel like they are gonna be as successful as some of their male counterparts. But you also have women who say, “No, I am ready. I can do this.” And then you have maybe male leadership who says, “Mmm, I’m gonna give it to your male counterpart over here.” So I think that both of those things happen in the Agile community.
LESLIE MORSE: So with that, let’s get kind of- think you are a Scrum Master Coach and you’re working with a team, what are some things you could do with practically, in the way that you’re coaching and you’re helping support your team that could create the opportunities for more of what you’re talking about?
BRENDON HERNANDEZ: So I think that any good Agilist, any good coach, you look for the people who aren’t being present, who are not participating. And we try to encourage those people to participate and I think that, in this instance, if you’re a Scrum Master and you have women on your team or even if you have women who are on another team but that environment isn’t as willing to step into allyship and you are, try to provide that space. Try to have those conversations in one on ones or with the team and say, “Hey, these things are happening.” I think one of the biggest things that people don’t do is just to have transparency and call it out.
LESLIE MORSE: Yeah, it’s almost like normalizing things and just naming it. And once it’s named and recognized then we can figure out what to do about it.
BRENDON HERNANDEZ: Exactly, because I think that as a leader you can create that space. But without having transparency and calling it out you could have resistance and fear from some of the other people in the group. So if I’m a Scrum Master and there’s a female developer on my team and there’s other male developers on my team and I start giving her more opportunities, now the male developers are gonna say, “Well, you’re creating these opportunities for her just because she’s a woman. And you’re not really at our skillset. You’re not looking at these other things.” Which can create a lot of issues with team dynamics. So I think that having that trans-
LESLIE MORSE: It’s like you can’t-
BRENDON HERNANDEZ: You can go.
LESLIE MORSE: You can’t do this in isolation. Right, it’s like if your … ‘Cause then it almost is manipulation and not allyship. I would think.
BRENDON HERNANDEZ: Yep, ’cause then I could be creating an unsafe environment for that female developer because now she has to deal with the consequences from her peers for being elevated or be given an opportunity that they were not. And that can be dangerous as well. Those are sadly things that I’ve learned through those small cycles of trying things. I’ve learned that I can’t just do that without talking to people because now you’re in a position where you have to deal with things that I’ve never had to deal with.
And so one of the ways I have found, as a leader, to engage in those spaces is to have transparency and say, “I understand that it may look like I’m giving this person opportunities just based off of their identity, but within our team we want us to be the best that we can be. And I need you to understand and recognize that people are going to look at her differently than they look at you. And she’s going to have to work twice as hard to get her ideas heard then you are or to be recognized for her success. So as a team how can we help support her and her endeavors and if you’re feeling like you’re not having a lot of support that’s a different conversation. How can we find some spaces for you as well but don’t push her down to elevate yourself. Elevate her-”
LESLIE MORSE: Increasing everyone’s awareness.
BRENDON HERNANDEZ: Exactly, ’cause you can engage in those conversations and then that’s also how you create more allies. Because then they start to understand that this person that I care about, this person who is on my team is struggling and how can I support them? Because allyship also is not just one person. It’s trying to make more allies and that’s where real change comes in.
LESLIE MORSE: Listening to you talk, I’m thinking about how important it is to just show up and have conversations like this. And the hard aspects of it when we start thinking on the female dynamic and women coming together, and the balance of men being allies here and as men enter these communities. You and I were in a really unique situation a couple weeks ago on the large Women In Agile call where we were debating a slogan or a tag line to put on a sticker that we could put on our water bottles or on our laptops, and we started having conversations like, “Oh well, but we don’t want to be dismissive to the men that are part of our group.” Because even though it is a Women In Agile group we want to be inclusive as Women In Agile, we don’t want to be exclusive to other people and other gender identities as it pertains to our network.
So, you kind of spoke up and you said something that I thought was really, really courageous around as a man showing up in a women led community. I would love for you to share that thought with our listeners today.
BRENDON HERNANDEZ: Yeah, I would love to. This is something that I love sharing because I also love calling out fellow males on this as well. I remember this conversation and I remember basically after I heard that my heart sank a little bit because I felt like just by being present on that call people saw my name on that list and said, “Oh well, now we have to … I need to change what I’m doing. I need to change what I’m saying. I need to change how I’m acting in order to make this male feel more comfortable.” And what I basically brought up was that absolutely not, don’t do that. This space is a space where women can be women, and where they can actually have a supportive environment where they’re not being questioned because of their emotions. Or they’re not being seen as someone who is not as capable or not as successful. And if I’m gonna be present in your space, I need to find a way to be present without detracting from that goal.
And so I think specifically relating to the stickers and things I think it was Women Supporting Women or Ladies Supporting Ladies, something like that. And my comment was basically call me a lady. Every single day, I’m pretty sure right now a woman is called a guy. “Hey guys.” “Hey dude.” It is sometimes in jest, sometimes men don’t mean it that way but society has built up these unconscious biases that it’s guys, it’s men, it’s centric to the male identity and masculine identity and it’s not to women. So if I’m gonna show up in a space that is supporting women I can take off that hat of being the privileged one and I can be called a lady.
I can start to understand what it’s like to be uncomfortable. To feel like I’m the only person in a room who doesn’t belong. Because really that’s how a lot of women feel every day. And if a male is going to show up in a woman’s space I think it’s important to feel that uncomfortability, because it starts to give you perspective on how to best show up for them when the roles are reversed. So next time you hear someone say, “Hey guys.” You can actually, “No, there’s a lady in the room. Can we just acknowledge that.” And sometimes it’s laughing and sometimes it’s in jest, but by putting yourself in the position where you’re the minority, you don’t get many opportunities to do that. And I think that’s what’s really important about the comment I made in that call is to let people know that it’s okay.
Its okay to be a little bit exclusive because you’re required to be pandering in all other aspects of your life. And I think it’s important to have spaces where you can just be yourself.
LESLIE MORSE: I couldn’t actually think of a better way to kind of wrap up this conversation. I think that’s such an important, important lens for us to land on. So Brendon, kind of forwarding that idea to wrap us up today, if you had some recommendations for men that are looking to really step in to actions and behaviors so that the Women In Agile movement would call them an ally, what are just your one or two top recommendations on how they’d get started?
BRENDON HERNANDEZ: I would definitely figure out in your space, in your environment whether it’s a corporate environment or community environment, where are there communities centered around women in blank. Women in technology, women in Agile, women in my community. How can you show up and say, “Hey, I’m really interested in helping be an ally more. Am I welcome in this space? Am I able to come and participate?” Most groups will say yes. But it’s also important to ask that because there’s also still a lot of dynamics that can be unsafe.
So if there’s women who are experiencing physical violence from men it’s important to ask that question and not just show up because then you’re coming in with the, “I deserve to be here ’cause I’m a man.” And it kind of defeats the whole purpose, so engaging in a partnership and saying, “Am I allowed to come to an event? I just wanna learn. I just wanna observe. I want to understand how I can best support you.” And from there you can start to be inquisitive and start asking those questions of, “What do you deal with? What are the difficulties that you face in meetings or in your day to day life? What would make you feel more supported and what would that look like?”
And really give the power to women or even if people are listening and they want to be an ally to other communities, listen. Ask questions, be inquisitive, learn how you can support someone and make it easier for them. Because really I think the biggest part of allyship is using the privilege, using your resources to better impact the world around you and to help support and lift up people to be the best people that they can be.
LESLIE MORSE: Perfect. I love that. I absolutely love it.
BRENDON HERNANDEZ: Thank you.
LESLIE MORSE: Brendon, thank you so much for making some time in your busy travel schedule and delighting clients to talk about this, I think, really critical topic and helping contribute to the Women In Agile podcast series here with Agile Amped. Greatly, greatly appreciate your time. Thanks for being with us.
BRENDON HERNANDEZ: Thank you so much.
LESLIE MORSE: Yeah, and thank you guys for listening to this edition of Agile Amped. If you learned something new please tell a friend, co-worker, or client about this podcast. We love to have more listeners here engaging in our inspiring conversations. So thanks for listening, and we’ll see you next time.