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    Unlocking Peace, Power, and Impact by Owning Your Identity at Work, with Amazon Best-Selling Author Tricia Montalvo Timm

    This is how Tricia Montalvo Timm started a LinkedIn Post that would change her life: “My mom is from El Salvador. My dad is from Ecuador. I am Latina.” It was the first time she had ever posted anything publicly about her heritage. That post was actually the early midpoint in a journey of years that completely changed the way she showed up to herself, in her family and personal relationships, and her career. Which dramatically changed the impact she would have on the people and the companies she worked with. She has captured that journey and the tools and insights that came out of it in her book entitled Embrace the Power of You: Owning Your Identity at Work.  In it, she inspires and arms the reader to take that brave journey to showing up authentically and changing the circles they live and work in. Tricia joined the podcast to share some highlights from her stunning new book. 


    Our transcripts are generated by AI. Please excuse any typos and if you have any specific questions please email

    Peter Crosby (00:00):

    Welcome to unpacking the Digital Shelf where we explore brand manufacturing in the digital age.


    Hey everyone. Peter Crosby here from the Digital Shelf Institute. This is how Tricia Montalvo, Tim started a LinkedIn post that would change her life. My mom is from El Salvador. My dad is from Ecuador. I am Latina. It was the first time she had ever posted anything publicly about her heritage, and that post was actually the early midpoint in a journey of years that completely changed the way she showed up to herself, to her family and in personal relationships and her career, which dramatically changed the impact she would have on the people and the company she worked with. She has captured that journey and the tools and insights that came out of it in her book entitled Embrace the Power of You Owning Your Identity At Work. In It, she inspires and arms the reader to take that brave journey to showing up authentically and changing the circles they live and work in. Trisha joined Lauren Levit Gilbert and me to share some highlights from her stunning new book. Tricia, thank you so much for being here with us today. We are so excited to have you on your show and talk about your book.

    Tricia Timm (01:27):

    I am so excited to be here. Thank you for having me.

    Peter Crosby (01:31):

    First of all, I do want to congratulate you on Embrace the power of you owning your identity at work. It's just so moving and helpful and it really dives into what it is like to feel like you have to hide who you truly are. You talk about how often we code switch to fit in at work and in our personal lives, and how much impact it can have personally, professionally, when we live fully as our authentic selves. It's really a tremendous piece of work.

    Tricia Timm (02:01):

    Oh, thank you. You just said the thing that I was hoping the book would deliver, so I appreciate that, Peter.

    Peter Crosby (02:10):

    Well, certainly myself as a gay man who began my career closeted, and now I serve as the executive sponsor of Salsify's Pride plus ERG. I mean that journey. There are so many experiences and themes that resonated so deeply with me, and particularly the power that can be unleashed in our lives and in the organizations we work for when we are able to show up authentically to bring our whole self to work. And that was your journey.

    Tricia Timm (02:38):

    Yes. Yes, it was. And it is a journey, I think that's the right word. It doesn't happen overnight, particularly if you are or feel like you are an other in the room for whatever otherness might look like for you. It is challenging to bring all of those, bring your full self into the workplace.

    Peter Crosby (03:03):

    And maybe just for context to start with just you describing your professional journey and what brought you to this place where you felt like, oh, okay, I've learned something I should share. Go ahead. Yeah.

    Tricia Timm (03:17):

    Yeah. So my professional journey, I'm a corporate lawyer. I've worked in Silicon Valley for 25 years working with startups, mid-stage companies, large multinational corporations. But I think the more interesting part is my personal journey. So to give you a little bit of background on myself, I'm a first generation Latina. My mother is from El Salvador, and my father is from Ecuador. And I grew up in Los Angeles. And my parents, they wanted the American dream for us, and they valued education. So early on, they moved us out of the city into the accompanying suburbs where I suddenly found myself as one of the few Latino families in a predominantly white community. And that's where my journey began of that feeling of otherness. And as middle school kids will be, it's definitely difficult to belong, but it's also difficult to sit in spaces where you came from your heritage or you're hearing discriminatory comments, derogatory comments and the like.


    So I think that's when I started to downplay my ethnicity and my parents, they wanted a better life for me. And that generation or many in that generation believed that assimilation was the path to success here in America. And so I, unlike them, did not have an accent. And they thought the more you can blend in, the more you can be American, the better it will be for you, the easier the path will be. That's the journey that I started my education on and my career. And I was fortunate enough to start in a very large corporate national law firm, and I was the first, there was no women, there were few women in leadership there. I don't remember any women of color and certainly no Latinas in leadership. And so in my space of enterprise software, I was either the first or the few or the only in the room for most of my 25 year career and still am frankly.


    And that takes a toll on you, on how can you show up? Your lived experience is different, your culture is different, your things like your food, your music, your values, your mannerisms, your physical appearance, all of these things are not what you see. And so there are fears that you've internalized that you won't be accepted, that you'll be judged, or that you'll just be kicked out of the club. And so how do you get to the place where you can put aside those fears and show up authentically because really the room actually needs you in it.

    Peter Crosby (06:23):

    And Trisha, one of the things that really crystallized it for me was your phrase, scan, evaluate and adapt and the energy that it takes to do that. Can you just talk about that a little bit? Because to me, I mean I certainly felt that the energy that you take, every room you walk into, every room you walk into when you are adjusting who you are to not ruffle or to get ahead, you do these verbs. And can you just talk about that a little bit?

    Tricia Timm (06:55):

    Yes. As I was going through my journey and unpacking it, I realized that I did this and I sort of named it, which just scan and valued and adapt. And so for example, as a young female in the corporate room, I would walk in and depending on who I was talking to, I would adapt what I would say, how I would speak, how would I hold myself. So if I was talking to an older gentleman in the industry, I would stand up as tall as I can, stand up, I'm five two Peter, and talk about the stock market or some fancy industry terms. I wouldn't certainly bring in anything about my kids at home, for example. But on the flip side, if I was talking to a woman, I would try to then instead or espouse, let's say, I would try to then instead change the things I would bring up or how I would speak to them. And so I'm constantly changing. And if there were people of color, then it's like, oh, we can bond. We can just be ourselves. It takes a lot of energy. And I actually didn't realize it until my husband's a white man and I recognized and saw him move through the room exactly as he is with every single person. He didn't change who he was. He would talk about the football team with the women and the kids with the men and had no shame around either of it. And I just realized how much energy I spent trying to adapt who I was to try to be perceived as accepted by them.

    Lauren Livak Gilbert (08:47):

    And there's a level of fear that goes into making that switch, right? From being like, okay, I can be my authentic self in the room and I can have these conversations. And for anyone who's listening who might find themselves in those types of situations, what are the things that helped you to maybe baby steps to get past that or think about those situations differently? To feel more comfortable, to be your authentic self?

    Tricia Timm (09:16):

    It takes a number of things depending on where you are in the journey. I think for some folks that may find themselves as an other underrepresented group or identity, it doesn't, not everyone feels othered in the sense of that if they've had agency, if they have been in a environment where they were valued for who they are, they might have better tools and grounded in who they are walking into that room, but others may not. And I was one of those people. And for those that are trying to get a sense of self-acceptance and really believing who they are is needed, valued and worthy, it's baby steps. It's surrounding yourself with people that see that value in you, whether that's a friend, a partner, a therapist, a community, an employee resource group, a mentor. There are so many people out there that see the value in you, see the accomplishments, see what you bring to the table.


    And oftentimes those of us that question whether we belong in the room, forget, forget that. And so we need to be reminded. And so I really believe in the value of surrounding ourselves with those people. And once you get those tools and that sense of that, there's people to come to. If you're feeling struggling on a particular day, then you just give yourself grace. I think oftentimes we're pressured to be everything be perfect. And the one thing that most people don't know is that if you are the first or the few in the room, you have an added pressure to be perfect. You know that you are going to be held to a higher standard. You also know that you have an opportunity to either perpetuate a stereotype or dispel a stereotype. And so you certainly, at least I did, wanted to dispel any myths or stereotypes. And you also have the weight of the generations behind you depending on how you are going to show up. There's this added weight. And so that's another load that we carry and we have to recognize when we have to give ourselves grace and that we can't do it every time and our mental health matters.

    Lauren Livak Gilbert (11:53):

    And Tricia, one of the things I loved about your books, your book was how you broke down each of the scenarios. So you'd give an example and then you'd also have reflection questions or exercises. And that resonated so much with me. And there were so many aha moments where I went through one of the exercises and I was like, oh, wow, this is a lot. Or Wow, I am doing this. And so can you talk a bit about your decision to write the book, how you kind of formatted it in that way and what really kind of brought you to bringing it to life? Yeah.

    Tricia Timm (12:25):

    Well, I think the idea of telling my story occurred at my last company where we had, as part of our DEIB program, we had a story. It was called the Storyteller Program. And whether it was a cultural awareness event or other, we would tell our stories of different identities. And the company had asked me to tell my story during Hispanic Heritage Month, I have fears. I was the first time I was going to tell my personal story in front of hundreds of employees, and I had some fear and trepidation going into that because of, again, all the things of how it's going to be received, will I be treated differently? And all the intern internalized beliefs that we may have. But it was the result and the impact of that story that made a difference. When I finished telling my story, I had a number of the Latino employees in my organization come up to me many in tears and in hug hugging me, just saying first they had never seen someone like them in leadership telling their story so openly.


    And they also had said, my story is your story, and it just feels so welcoming to know that others struggle in the same way. And in that moment I realized that by not telling my service what a disservice that was for others in the organization. And the thing that I most wanted as a young Latina starting in corporate law was to see someone like me to hear my story somewhere. And by not being visible, by not telling my story, then that wasn't helping the others in the room. So that's where I decided not in that moment that I would write a book, but that I needed to be more visible and I needed to get the story out there. And then I decided to write the book during Covid and he had extra time. So what else is there to do? And you're stuck at home.


    And as I was writing and really also healing, I had to unpack a lot of things in my own journey. My editor calls the first draft, the healing draft because you have to go back and relive some of those experiences. And so I did that. But as I was unpacking and thinking what would serve my reader the best, I realized that some of these questions that I asked myself during the journey would also help my reader. And that's where some of the self-reflection moments, because the core message of my book is Belonging begins with Self-acceptance. And so the journey for the reader to the book is to get to self-acceptance. And that only happens by self-reflection. We have to really reflect on are we bringing our true selves to the workplace? If we're not, then why? And there's a lot of questions that help and hold your hand as you walk through that journey to get to the other side of your fears.

    Peter Crosby (15:41):

    And Tricia, you talked earlier about the company. I think that you did the Hispanic Heritage Month talk at was Looker. Is that correct? Yes. And one of the things, and I don't know if you could, I'm sort of springing this on you, but I'd love for you to read a little passage on page 26. You talked about when you arrived at Looker, your first day you learned something. The paragraph begins in those first few hours, I learned everything I needed to learn about belonging. Could you just read that paragraph? Because to me that encapsulates as managers and as people what we want to strive for. Do you

    Tricia Timm (16:25):

    Mind? Yeah, I would love to thank you. In those first few hours, I learned everything I needed to learn about belonging. When employees can show up as their authentic selves, they come to work with excitement and purpose. When they feel seen and heard, they don't have to waste time or energy in changing their appearance, mannerisms or language or fabricate an excuse for leaving early if they want to go watch their kids' events. All of that energy wasted on hiding can instead be harnessed into producing high quality work. And the extra time can be devoted to participating in life. While no company is perfect, this one had put value in belonging and was striving to create a place where people felt seen and heard.

    Peter Crosby (17:12):

    That just hit me. I know what that feels like. Speaking personally, Salsify has felt that way for me. Like I said, I'm leading the ERG, this is the first company in my career I have had that has a pride, ERG for our community and others. And so to, at this point in my career, arrive at a place where that is possible and where it's celebrated. The inspiration that has provided me as a manager is to sort of give that gift back. And I feel like that feels like what the decision that you made through that is what that unlocked is something like your gift in sharing that with everyone else, I think is extraordinary.

    Tricia Timm (18:00):

    Yeah. Well, and to touch on what you just said, I have a chapter towards the end of the book of called Your Role Model. And what I talk about there, and one of the interviews that I had was with a gay black man, and he was in higher ed, and one of the aha moments he had was he came in as his full self everywhere he went and he went to go interview to be, I think a teaching assistant at a higher education institution. And he showed up and he said, I'm a gay black man. At the end of the interview, the interviewer said, I just can't believe you just did that. And he said, did what? He said that you just said it like nothing. I'm a gay black man. And he's like, I can never do it. I've walked the halls of this institution for 30 years hiding, and for you to just show up so authentically you and just say it has empowered me to now go say it. And so just being ourselves empowers others, others who are afraid. Seeing you step into that role and seeing me step into that role empowers others to do it as well. And that's huge. It's huge.

    Peter Crosby (19:30):

    So talk a little bit about that process. It doesn't happen overnight. You don't just go, I'm going to be authentic, damn it.

    Tricia Timm (19:38):

    No, it does not. It's

    Peter Crosby (19:40):


    Tricia Timm (19:41):

    Yes. Wouldn't that

    Peter Crosby (19:43):

    Be nice? You talk about in your book of the process that one can sort of use to literally step through that. Can you talk about that?

    Tricia Timm (19:56):

    Yeah. I think the first step is just recognizing how we view ourselves. What beliefs have we internalized? There are so many messages out there in the workplace, in media, family members, friends that are unwittingly telling us, you don't belong here, you don't fit in. And whether we hear it or we see it, we've internalized that belief. Many of us have. And so the first step, and that's where the self-reflection happens, is what have you internalized? What are the belief systems that you unconsciously may believe? And how do we unpack that? How do we forgive ourselves for that? How do we release the shame from that? And that's part of the journey. The second part of that is surrounding ourselves, as I mentioned earlier, with people that will tell us back the achievements, the success, the value that we're bringing in the room, because oftentimes we may not see it ourselves. And so surrounding yourselves in people, organizations, groups that will recognize that value.


    And at the end, once you're ready, it's to take small steps of revealing little parts about yourself. And it doesn't happen all at once. Like you said, Peter. It might take one step at a time. It's one step at a time. And for me, for example, I downplayed my ethnicity as a Latina in the workplace. I was born Patricia Montalvo. After I got married, I became Tricia Tim. And if you went to my LinkedIn 10 years ago, there is nothing about that LinkedIn profile that would identify me as Latina. My name felt very American or white it, my hair was straight. I had straightened it for 20 years. I did not identify any of my organizations that I was part of that were like the Latino Corporate Directors Association or the Hispanic National Bar. And I didn't put that. I was bilingual. So the first step was I just started to reveal myself slowly there.


    My maiden name is now my middle name, which is Montalvo. I added my name back in. I identified the organizations, the Latino organizations that I was part of. I talked about being bilingual. I stopped straightening my hair and I'm wearing my hoops. And so I'm sort of reclaiming that part of who I am and slowly revealing it, not only in small things like a LinkedIn profile, but also in the spaces that I walk through, the people that I talk to and the conversations that I'm having. I think it's you start in safe places where you feel that you'll be accepted with friends, family, community, and then build up the courage to continue into other spaces.

    Lauren Livak Gilbert (23:17):

    And one of the sayings from your book that I love the most was small steps repeated often. And I think that embodies so much of what you were just talking about. And a lot of times we look at it as, oh wow, these are all the things I need to do. I need to tackle them all at once. And it can become really overwhelming. But I love that saying because really just those small pieces all add up over time. And then it also gives you the time to reflect, to figure out how you feel about each of changes, to slowly go through it so that you can really truly show up the way you want rather than just try to do everything at once and be completely overwhelmed.

    Tricia Timm (23:54):

    Yeah, it's too much. And I think any habit, and we've learned that through lots of research, that anything takes time and it's taking a small step and repeating it, small step and repeating it. And with each step you'll get a little bit closer.

    Lauren Livak Gilbert (24:08):

    And one of the things in your book, you talked about a lot of situations where you may have overheard someone talking or been in a conversation with someone and they maybe said something derogatory or something that was just not appropriate to your background. And for anyone who might be listening who might be in one of those situations, whether it's professional or personal, if they hear something and they don't know what to do or what to say, what would be your coaching to them or what was your process of going through staying silent versus speaking up?

    Tricia Timm (24:41):

    I think it depends on where you are on this journey. To be honest. I think that, I'm not going to lie. When it was hard and back earlier in my career when I didn't feel like I had either people or the support within the organization, I didn't handle it well, I stayed silent. I sort of just took it. And what that does is that it creates trauma because first of all, you're not interrupting that bias. And so it continues and so you keep hearing it. And so you're kind of re-traumatized every time, and they don't feel large in the moment. I think one of the things that for those from underrepresented identities will say is you've just created so much armor and you just think, I can get through it. We'll just move on. And so over and over again, we keep thinking we can handle all of that, but over time, as we've learned, microaggressions really take a toll.


    And so I think that really recognizing that you need support, you need spaces. I think that's why the employee resource groups, as Peter said, having the pride group, having a place where you can say, this just happened to me. Has this happened to anyone else? Because oftentimes people that haven't felt that bias or that microaggression may not empathize or recognize what it might feel like and may dismiss it, and that dismissal, that gaslighting, it's even worse, right? Then you think, well, am I crazy? Am I being too sensitive? Maybe it didn't happen, but just being validated, just being said, yes, that's happened to me. I know how you feel. I'm sorry. That is incredible. And I just really want to say, find your people. Find that person or community that has the shared lived experience that knows exactly how you may be feeling because just feeling seen and heard makes a difference.

    Lauren Livak Gilbert (26:58):

    And I also wonder if there's an element of, and I'd love to hear your thoughts on this, is giving yourself grace in the moment. I know there was this one time where I was in a meeting and it was all males, and I was the presenter and I had to come in and I had to pitch a specific topic, and everybody was just staring at me as I was presenting it. At the end of the presentation, one of the males stood up and said, wow, that was better than I thought it would be. And I remember standing there and in my head being like, did this just happen? And I didn't say anything because first of all, I was just taken aback by the fact that he said that in front of the room full of all those people. I then, afterwards, when I walked away and didn't say anything, I felt terrible because I was like, I didn't stand up for myself. What should I have done in that situation? And someone said to me, give yourself some grace. That shouldn't have happened, but don't put it on you that it's your fault that you didn't speak up. So I'd also love to hear your thoughts on how you should think through those situations if you don't stand up because it's hard.

    Tricia Timm (28:01):

    Yeah, it's really hard. And I still struggle with it partly because the muscle I had developed was to stay silent. So I'm developing a new muscle to step in to it interrupted. And one phrase I like to use a lot when that happens is just the simple, tell me more. That's it. Just tell me more. And when people have to pause and think about what they just said and explain to you what they meant by that they recognize, right? You don't have to go and say, I don't like this because X, Y, and Z. It's just Tell me more.

    Lauren Livak Gilbert (28:38):

    I love that. Oh my

    Peter Crosby (28:39):

    Gosh. I'm just imagining how that would've gone, Lauren, if you had said in that room full of people said, oh, tell me

    Lauren Livak Gilbert (28:46):

    More. Tell me more. Oh, tell me more. Tell me more.

    Peter Crosby (28:49):

    God, I love that. I

    Lauren Livak Gilbert (28:50):

    Thought it's fantastic. I'm going to write that down, remember? That's so true. Because he would've had to have been like, oh, well, and you can't verbalize that. Wow. That is excellent, Trisha. Thank you for that.

    Tricia Timm (29:04):


    Peter Crosby (29:05):

    And this is a great transition to so much of what you talk about in the book. Tricia's not only empowering individuals to realize how to help this journey along, but the role of managers in that accountability both up, down and across the organization. And so I'd love for you to call out so many of our listeners are managers of teams and also play these extra roles in the organization of being leaders of innovation and driving change. And so I'd love you to share some of the kind of management principles that you talk about in the book, because we do know how much power is unlocked in an organization when this kind of environment that you found at Looker and we found at Salsify is encouraged. So yeah, what are some that you would think about?

    Tricia Timm (30:13):

    Oh, it's such an incredibly important topic. Managers and leaders have so much power and influence in dictating what the culture is going to be like. And no matter what level of management you are, I think that managers, as an employee, the person that you work with on a daily basis is your manager. So even if an organization has a diversity statement, has done all the things, but if your manager isn't living those on a day-to-day basis, it's going to impact you. So managers are incredibly important, and I think I'm a big Brene Brown fan, and it starts with vulnerability. As managers, one of the first steps you can take is being vulnerable no matter where you came from. We've all had difficult and difficult things that have happened to us. There've been challenges that have happened to us. And when you start showing some of that vulnerability as a manager, when things are hard, when things are challenging, whether at home, personally, professionally, that gives space to others of not having to live up to this standard of perfection.


    So vulnerability, I think creates an invitation for others to show their vulnerability and to humanize yourself as a manager. I think showing our, we're multidimensional people. I think that one of the great things about Looker was we didn't have to hide any parts of ourselves. And this isn't just race or gender, ethnicity. I mean, this was, I'm leaving at four o'clock, go to a football game or my kids' dance recital or take my yoga class, or it was showing that we are multidimensional people, which allows others to bring those things to the workplace, which provides human connection. And once we're connected as humans, that's where psychological safety begins. Our brains are wired since back in the days of hunter and gathering to create this fight or flight instinct. And so when things are different, we have this unconscious desire like, oh, it's different. I must be on guard. I must be afraid. And so all of this work around learning about unconscious bias and recognizing what we may unintentionally be doing is to combat that. And so just noticing differences and having empathy, I think that's a huge, huge thing to do.

    Peter Crosby (33:06):

    Yeah, one of the smaller ones, but I think so important is noticing who is not speaking during a meeting and making opportunities for those people to voice whatever they're thinking about what's going on.

    Tricia Timm (33:21):

    Yeah. I think one of the things that we've heard a lot from people is corporations were quick to diversify the workplace, but then when those people were bringing diverse opinions, everyone said, well, why can't you just get along and agree with everybody? Well, there's a reason you brought a diverse voice in the room, which means they going to have a different opinion. And so one of the strategies that I provide in the book, because at the end of each chapter of the book, I also have the secondary reader, which is for the manager or the leader. I have manager strategies to help create this place of empathy for and a culture of belonging for folks. One of them is when you notice that not everyone is speaking in the room instead of calling on that person because that person may feel uncomfortable is, and you notice the group going down, kind of the group, think everyone agreeing with what's being recommended, challenge the group as a whole and ask them, okay, we're going down this path. What does the opposite look like? Give me a different path. I want to see what that might look like. And so now the entire group is challenged to provide a different or unique perspective. And so that person that's not speaking up and that may have spoken up a number of times and kind of been squashed, will now just be one of everybody giving a diverse opinion rather than the only giving a diverse opinion.

    Peter Crosby (34:55):

    There's one that you mentioned that I struggle with every day, particularly now, don't ignore what's happening in the outside world. That is such a tough balance to find, especially, I mean, we are so fraught right now and so polarized and everyone's very emotional about it and what's happening in the Middle East, the oh my God. So has your feeling about that sentence changed since you wrote the book? Or how do you work this into the day? Some companies are saying when you're at work, you leave that stuff at home just too disruptive to the, I just love your thoughts on that.

    Tricia Timm (35:43):

    I would not change my mind about what I wrote. I think that what's happening in the outside world impacts us as individuals and as humans and in different ways. And for example, the Middle East, there are members in the Jewish community, they're impacted in a certain way, and members of the Palestinian and Muslim community, they're impacted in another way. And I think that they can't bring all of themselves to work if they can't say, just say, I'm hurting right now,


    And we don't have to solve it. We don't have to take a side. We can just say, I can see that you're hurting right now. It's a really hard time and it is a really hard time. I think that people at the end of the day just want to be able to have the freedom to say, I may need a little space today because something happened, whether this violence, whether whatever it may be, I've heard this time and again, when you see murders happening or violence or all of these really difficult things that are happening in the world, and when managers expect a person from that identity to show up with a smile on their face with a perfect report as if nothing happened, that is a really hard thing to do because you as that employee have to just shove it all down, pretend that nothing's happening, even though in your heart and soul, something really hard is happening. And so I don't think that we have to solve it, but we have to just say, I recognize this happened. Do you need some more space today? Maybe we can move that deadline if that's possible. And that I think will be appreciated by everybody

    Lauren Livak Gilbert (37:43):

    Just feeling seen and heard. A hundred percent agree. And I know that the Salsify does an excellent job of doing that, and we've always had the space to talk through it and acknowledge that. And I'm grateful that the places I've worked in the past have done the same. And I'm hoping that that is continuing to be a priority as these things happen in the world. And as people are more aware of needing to give people space to think about these things and feel their feelings that when someone said to me, feel your feelings. And that resonated so much with me because we do sometimes push them down in order to do what we have to do.

    Peter Crosby (38:19):

    And Lauren, I have to say, we're talking about, we're mentioning Salsify way more than we ever have on this program, so we usually try to keep these things separate, but it's hard to, in a conversation like this, I would say that Salsify made an enormous shift into culture of acknowledgement and empathy in the moment of Covid and George Floyd and other things that really caused our leadership team and the whole company to sort of go, wow, how those walls, those separations are so much harder to keep now when you're on Zoom at home and your kids are running around or your people are impacted so deeply. And so that's one of the things I appreciate is that that's the journey for companies too, which are made up of people. But to see a leadership team make those shifts and therefore allow the rest of the organization to make that shift together is part of where that happened. It wasn't that way in the beginning.

    Tricia Timm (39:26):

    And I can see that, and I think a lot of organizations did go through that transformation during Covid because we did have all of a sudden a window into everyone's lives, which we never had before.

    Lauren Livak Gilbert (39:39):


    Tricia Timm (39:40):

    Literally. And so we created more empathy amongst each other.

    Lauren Livak Gilbert (39:48):

    And Tricia, as we close out of the conversation, I want to bring it to brands for a second because there's a huge opportunity to make sure that brands are showing up to consumers in an authentic way and having the right people at the table to have those conversations, make those decisions and coach them in the right way. Have you seen any examples of that that really resonated with you that you can share?

    Tricia Timm (40:17):

    Oh my gosh. Brands have incredible power and influence, and if done well, they can use authenticity, multicultural advertising to their advantage, to open up new economic opportunities. A couple of things I've seen lately. One was Nike launched a performance hijab for Muslim female athletes, and that unlocked huge revenue opportunities that they didn't have before. So that was one example of just thinking about how can we create new product lines? I think, I don't know, for the football fans, I remember from last Super Bowl, the NFL ran this commercial with a woman who was the flag football athlete. I think she had won or some flag football, but she was talking about her journey and through overcoming all the barriers and she was speaking to her mom in Spanish and it had English subtitles, this appealed to a huge Latino market. And for me, and I saw in the Latino community, it brought tears to our eyes because it was telling our story a super commercial. And so there's just that connection, that authenticity created a larger market. It connected with an audience in a way that it hadn't before, but it can go sideways if you don't do it well. That's why one of the things I really advocate is having diverse perspectives in the room. We don't know what our blind spots are. We are all well-intentioned. I really don't think people intend to create harm. It's the impact that we don't recognize and that it's a result of our blind spots.

    Peter Crosby (42:08):

    Patricia, just to close out, you wrote this book, you put it out into the world, and then you will go on book tours and you talk to people and you get feedback. And I was just wondering quickly, what have you discovered out in the world that, do you have more hope? Are you saddened by the level of openness? What have you discovered now that it's actually hit the world? A couple of takeaways that you can leave our listeners with.

    Tricia Timm (42:46):

    I would say, I would say I have more hope, but at the same time, there's so much work to do. Still, my hope comes from there are so many more people in leadership that are wanting to have this conversation that didn't happen before. And so I think that I have a lot of hope that as we have these conversations, that it'll empower more people as they come up through the ranks to continue to have the conversations to create these spaces of belonging. I think that it's unlocking some of that power for a lot of people as I talk to and actually what my hope comes from. Also, the young people.


    When I first wrote the book, because I am a little older, I wrote it, I think for people my age just to almost say you'll be okay, but generation that in their twenties and early thirties that are in the workplace, they're just reading the book saying, oh my God, I was struggling with this and you have just empowered me to show up. And that in my gut, that's what I wanted to do, and now I know it can be done. And so they give me tremendous amount of hope because they want this message and are getting empowered to show up differently in the workplace, which is fantastic. But what saddens me sometimes though, Peter, is when I have conversations with people who are still hiding, who are still afraid, I've talked to some organizations where people will come afterwards and say, I can't show up like that. There, I'll be pushed out. And so that still exists and that breaks my heart.

    Peter Crosby (44:41):

    Yes. And I mean there's so many pieces of advice and things to try in your book, even for people in that situation. You give so much thoughtfulness about where someone is at in their journey and say, well then at least find your people somewhere. At least get your outlet, at least work on yourself so that you're investing in your journey. And then not everyone has the power to, alright, I'm going to leave this company. I'll go find. We can't expect that of people, but what we can expect and hope for is that people embark on their own journey, as you said, with whatever circle they're comfortable doing that with, and then be surprised how that reverberates over time. Exactly. Well, Tricia, so embrace the power of you owning your identity at work available at Amazon. Of course, you can also go to tricia tim t, has all sorts of information and resources there, and we are so grateful that you wrote the book, so grateful that this message can be at the beginning of 2024, so that maybe the folks who listen will start to, will read it and take some of the power that they have in the organizations and themselves to spread this out into the world.


    So thank you, Trisha Timm. Yeah,

    Tricia Timm (46:10):

    You're welcome. And maybe they do that one small step at a time. Yes.

    Lauren Livak Gilbert (46:14):

    Thank you so much, Trisha, truly for writing it and for writing it in a way that enables people to really reflect and make a change. It's hard to do that, and you did an excellent job. So truly, thank you.

    Tricia Timm (46:27):

    Thank you. Thank you so much for having me on the podcast.

    Peter Crosby (46:31):

    Thanks again to Tricia for sharing her journey and her learnings with the world and with us. We hope the DSI Community is one where you can show up and find your people, and we invite you to do so at the upcoming Digital Shelf Summit in Nashville in April. More Thanks for being part of our community.