My continuing conversation with a member volunteer of the American Society of Safety Professionals (ASSP), Bill Stettiner about the need to address true barriers to inclusion in safety careers.
[00:00:01] spk_1: Mhm. This episode is powered by safety FM. Welcome
[00:00:10] spk_0: to the safety consultant podcast. I'm your host, Sheldon Prime. Is is it a show where I teach you the business of being a safety consultant. And this week we are going to continue our conversation with Uncle Bill Stettner. Uh first episode we started talking about the relationship between A S S P and B C S E C S P. And then also we started talking about how safety we should be doing things where we change and not just block things in. Uh, we also talked about the C E O S and the requirements and a few other things. Continuing our conversation though, we start talking a bit about inclusion and how these practices that has been done has been excluding people. And the criteria is really hard for some people to truly get their certifications or the designations and why is that? And then just a few other stuff as we had a little brain dump. So go ahead and finish up this conversation with Bill. And it was wonderful you guys hopefully you had a wonderful time listening to him and just learning a little bit about this, this process and I hope it's gonna affect some change. So like before I'm actually going to say by nil and just tell you to please, like I guess it's more like subscribe to this podcast where if you listen to me uh, and share it please. That's gonna help the Agra algorithms if you share it with someone and I wanna thank you for being listeners. Okay? Just thank you. All right? And next week we're actually gonna have fill the Duke. So stick around next week we're going to talk to fill the Duke. Talk to him about some of the movie issues that are happening because he is a safety expert for the movie field with the whole tragedy with alec Baldwin in just a few things related to his safety on the field. And then also we talked a lot about his books, a few other things. So this week you got the finishing episode with with Uncle Bill. And then next week you guys are gonna have filled the Duke. So stay tuned,
[00:02:24] spk_2: go down. But
[00:02:37] spk_0: you're crux of the question could be flawed. Just just the whole thing is do you want to do? And uh truly, you know, like you said, a whole bunch there. And part of it is the plight of inclusion. Like you just ended up your conversation is and that inclusion goes to if, you know, B. S. C. P. And the P. C. S. P. They have their own program and everything else. But the criteria where it takes to get the quintessential or the thing that everyone thinks as being the top safety certificate out there to CSP. And just by nature of it being inclusive enough that you have to get your bachelor's that in itself throws everybody way out of whack. Where you can't even qualify for this thing If you can't get, you know, your foot in the door, which is their prerogative. But inclusion, if let's say, you know, you want to take it out of B. C. S. P. And moving into A. S. S. P. Which should be, you know, an inclusive organization. Uh And in the cases they are uh what you're you're also going to be thinking of is that individual, How now are they going to meet the criteria to get in there if they're never even given the opportunity to get the college degree or anything similar to that? So your your whole premise is exactly what the diversity conversation is, is why can't you look at my experience? Why can't you look at the things I was available to have and use this as equivalent criteria of growth. So it's kind of like OSHA's definition for a qualified person. You know, you don't have to have a degree as long as you can demonstrate that you are an expert in this project or at this task. So why don't we have that in the system?
[00:04:31] spk_1: Okay, so a competent person doesn't have to have a degree. A qualified person has to have some form of education but they recognize that that education can take many forms. Sorry.
[00:04:45] spk_0: Yeah, now that's the wording is it's basically
[00:04:47] spk_1: person is every time somebody says something you have to correct?
[00:04:50] spk_0: Yeah. No, but with the with the qualified it's really it's really tricky because you don't need a degree, you don't need to recognize anything. What you need to know is according to the definition is you have to be able to have what is the the equivalent of being an sme his subject matter expert. And then you must be able to demonstrate that's the crux of that, of that definition. So if you can't get it, then yeah. And I think this is the same thing. It's like you got to be able to demonstrate it, you know, know. Exactly. And if you can, then why don't you expect it? I don't have the degree. But look, I'm showing you I can do this. And
[00:05:30] spk_1: if you look at graduation rates, uh, either based on race, age, gender, sexual orientation disabilities, there are definite uh, stratification, right? If you are a caucasian female from a middle class family, Oh, yeah, I forgot economic, economic background. If you're caucasian female from a middle class family, you are probably a college graduate, right? However, if if you're a woman of color, who is a single mother and possibly disabled, you most probably are not just based on the numbers that come from the various colleges and accreditation bureaus. Right. So who are we excluding? Are we excluding the people who aren't competent or we just excluding people who didn't have the ability to go college.
[00:06:41] spk_0: And that's that's the that's the whole thing right there. And I think it's they wanted to and it was, it's a calculated thing because it's in the bylaws or I should say it's in the rule books, so that means that we they wanted to. So that in my case that or my thinking is yeah, if you wanted to make that as an exclusion, then now that we're changing and you started saying, you know, we're still working on a dinosaur system, you know, the system needs to update too. So, you know, exactly what you're talking about there are if you're making exceptions for any type of degree, then why are we even talking degree? Let's go ahead and talk about everything else that people are doing that should be equivalent. I I hear that, man, that that's so good. So,
[00:07:34] spk_1: so we've got, like you said, we've got all these problems with our system and we want to make some changes. But the change we're concentrating on has nothing to do with all our problems. Right? This whole removing uh, the house of delegates uh, from a voting position where they get to approve the actions of the board of directors, doesn't solve any of these other problems. You know, let's solve some of these other problems first, right? We've got a diversity and inclusion problem. We've got an equity problem. We've we've got a perception problem both inside and outside of our profession, right? You can't swing a dead cat without hitting something that's wrong. So let's let's fix some of these things,
[00:08:35] spk_0: right? It's the incentive there to fix it. Uh, You know, I mean, it's like usually when you, when you're looking for incentives you're looking for, especially in businesses, does the dollars say that that this is something we should be doing? I know that's callous to say, but
[00:08:52] spk_1: if the lights aren't on, you're not helping it, okay. And once it's a movie
[00:08:58] spk_0: theater.
[00:08:58] spk_1: So, but here's the thing, did anyone ever say to you do the right thing and successful follow? Yes. Okay. At any time before you were nine years old, did you believe that?
[00:09:20] spk_0: Oh yeah,
[00:09:22] spk_1: okay. Now I want to throw an idea actually and it's gonna sound crazy, but we as a safety profession are constantly saying to our direct customers, the companies that hire us as consultants or employees or what have that. If we do the right thing, we will be ahead in the long run. So if that's true then why don't we prove it by doing the right thing and watch how much money comes in? Because think about it, if we can rebuild the perception of the safety professional and the safety profession, Ben you and I as safety professionals, we're going to make more money that's going to make us happy. Yeah, we're going to have an easier time doing our jobs because when we say things, people won't say that's the safety guy again, uh you won't believe what he just said, Okay, more people will want to be members of the safety profession, right? Which will not only continue the profession but also continue dues and things like that, right? And your education system will still be valid, but instead of people paying for see you, they're paying for knowledge. And then you've got a minor problem in that if they don't receive any knowledge, they're gonna want their money back. So hard work generally leads to more hard work.
[00:11:10] spk_0: Well, you're also looking at two different entities to if you're thinking of certificate because you know, off hand, no one really knows that. And I had to look it up myself and I'm literally looking at the website right now, but no one really knows that there are three certifications that the SSP has now that I'm looking at our program certification programs, the safety management, the leadership and Safety management, Global Safety management, but the counterpart of their partner, B. C. S. P. Uh is a marketing jargon. Uh So if now you you take away the gravitas key if you will of any of their signature credentialing to start doing something fair as a S. S. P. As an entity, you now have a direct competition if you will between that organization unless they change their structure. I
[00:12:06] spk_1: want to throw an idea. I think I think I probably misrepresented something. But right now there is direct competition between B. C. S. P. And S. S. P. For uh members and dollars. Okay, we're not the SSP isn't saying we're not going to accept any of these other certificates that you have, right? We're just saying we're saying these are this is what a professional is and this is how a professional should be judged because we are the society of the safety professionals. And we have the ultimate say and what that is. So that doesn't detract from the B. C. S. P. Having
[00:12:52] spk_0: however many there is still an influence because go right now and try to become a member of the A. S. S. P. Site. They don't even have all the designations. I can't put in my CS, my cost them. I can only do my costs. And you know how long it took me to even do that because it wasn't even listed there. So even by omission, they're taking sides, they're taking sides of this competitor has a little bit more of an advantage than everyone else is doing designations. So S SPS, they got their hand in it too. Now. No,
[00:13:24] spk_1: no, no, no. I totally understand. What I'm saying is we need to move away from that. Okay, Because here's the thing, if we are, if we the SSP are constantly telling people you need to go to B. C. S. P. And get certified. Mhm. Well then we're handing B. C. S. P. Money. Yes. And we're also handing them the reigns of our profession because they are the only game in town then they define what a professional is by default because we have abdicated.
[00:14:01] spk_0: That's that ship has sailed, that ship has sailed like years and years and years ago because you can't go to a job application and the only thing that HR will recognize as a CSP. So therefore that means the money for advertising is going into HR manuals and going into HR groups and everything else saying, you know, put this certification in your anything that has to do with safety, put it in as a qualification. And now only the people who are hiring for these positions. They're only aware of a handful of certifications because of a juggernaut making sure that it is in the criteria for hiring. So that means everyone's gonna have to go and get their designation and then they're gonna have to keep renewing, keep renew and keep renewing. That ship has so far sailed. That how can we put that genie in the bottle when it's making them so much money and house A. S. S. P. Uh it's just the technicals go out.
[00:15:02] spk_1: So here's the thing. Either. Either we can roll over and just cease to exist right or we can take the first step right? The first step is decide on a valid definition of what a professional is. Okay not using anyone else's criteria, right? It's marvelous that we say oh you have to have a degree in something. But now we're saying someone else decides what a professional in our profession is. Okay. We the society of safety professionals and I won't even, I won't even put the a in because we're worldwide Mhm. Shouldn't we? The society set the bar for what a professional is.
[00:15:56] spk_0: Yeah, Yeah. And that goes to, you know, the anti document? What is the uh 5 20? Uh Z 5 20 I believe it is right. I can't remember. The numbers are all over.
[00:16:09] spk_1: Yes. There is an anti document that people can pay for to get.
[00:16:15] spk_0: I'm in. There you go. Okay,
[00:16:19] spk_1: now, uh, that anti document a greased with um, I'm sure you're familiar with the Singapore chords. Yeah. Okay, so that anti document agrees with the Singapore chords and the Singapore cords were a bunch of safety folks got together in Singapore, believe it or not. And they weren't driving Hondas, they just, you know, they sat at a table and called it the Singapore chords.
[00:16:42] spk_0: Yeah.
[00:16:43] spk_1: And they said that the difference between a safety professional and a safety practitioner is a college education. They did not say in anything in particular. They just said a college education. Yeah, that's ridiculous and indefensible. Okay, be taken seriously as a profession. We should define skills and abilities that a professional must have not. They've been granted a degree by someone somewhere for something. Yeah. Right. So, so we wrote an anti document or we were uh instrumental in the writing of a nancy document that says what a safety professional is. Is it written in stone. Mm hmm.
[00:17:42] spk_0: Yeah. And it needs to be updated from time to time. Right? So it shouldn't, it's gotta, it's gotta be a living document, Right?
[00:17:50] spk_1: But you know, all, all safety rules need to be living rules. All safety documentation needs to be living documents, right? Because conditions change, environments change. Whenever we see that we're not getting the desired results, we need to update. Now. That update doesn't have to be more strict. In some cases, it can be less strict, Right? Um, for years and years and years, if you wanted to be a pilot in the military, you have to have 2020 vision because starting in World War I, they decided that the ability to see the other airplane before it sees you is important, right? This is a survival, right? This is a good thing Back in 1990 I think it was the Air Force, the Navy and the Marine Corps which have fixed wing pilots, fixed wing combat pilots did a study and they found that a majority of the people they were sending to pilot training, we're leaving after their initial enlistment. Okay,
[00:19:11] spk_0: classes.
[00:19:13] spk_1: Right. And the people that they had as uh backseat aviators, right? People doing avionics, people being radar intercept officers, people being communications officers, things like that. We're staying in the military for an entire career. Right? So, so these, these generals got together and they started thinking and they said maybe Maybe 2020 uncorrected vision isn't the best criteria for ensuring that we train a pilot and that pilot stakes around. Yeah. Right. So they changed it. They said, Hey, if you have 2050 vision correctable to 2020, right? And they didn't have, you wear glasses under your uh, flight helmet? They ground the adviser in the flight helmet into a prescription. Right? So it's a lot cheaper than training new pilots every six years. Yeah. Right. Um, and the weapons systems on these aircraft go further than human eyesight does.
[00:20:33] spk_0: So now maybe let them take over. Right. Right. So maybe
[00:20:37] spk_1: now it's not, it's not so important to be able to see that little speck before that little speck sees you. Right? So they changed the criteria because they weren't getting the results they wanted. Yeah. So if if the safety profession hypothetically has a problem with the fact that there are some safety professionals that possibly are not as knowledgeable as we would, like, maybe we should increase the standards and then if we're finding that some safety professionals that are very good aren't able to achieve the highest ranks for or purchase within our association or profession or industry, maybe we need to look at those qualifications and adjust them. Right? Yeah. So maybe the college degree isn't as important as the the ability to understand ethics or the ability to uh, create a humble inquiry, the ability to communicate effectively
[00:21:56] spk_0: with people soft
[00:21:58] spk_1: skills well and, and I hate that term,
[00:22:02] spk_0: right? I know, but it's
[00:22:04] spk_1: easy,
[00:22:06] spk_0: we just like that. Yeah. Right.
[00:22:09] spk_1: So I'd like to call them
[00:22:10] spk_0: hard skills. Yeah, I do like that because truly they are called soft skills. But it's really hard to develop those. Yeah, like that nice bill. But
[00:22:20] spk_1: it's hard, it's hard to test for them on a multiple guest test. So people that have other skill sets just assume that they come along and they don't, you're not, you're not issued integrity when you, when you flip your tassel from one side to the other, you're issued integrity when you earn it and you might earn it in many places. Most people start learning about integrity from their parents in the home or parent or parent figure, right? The people that mentor them,
[00:23:01] spk_0: right?
[00:23:03] spk_1: And then there are other places to pick that up. You can pick that up uh in a work environment, you can pick that up from a mentor in a work environment, whether it's an official mentor or an unofficial mentor, right?
[00:23:18] spk_0: There's just so many things, even, you know, if you're down, uh so many safety and health books out there right now is just amazing podcasts have been really good in, you know, just bringing some good information videos such as Youtube channels and everything else has been blowing up where people are learning things. Uh I'm not a big fan on the testing and getting a certificate for everything because as being the only criteria because for me uh I personally and I can tell you this story because I've mentioned it before on the podcast but I personally taught a student for the designation class I teach and it's through the alliance safety council costs like everyone who listens the cost program. I'm instructor for it full disclosure and cost them both of them. But um I had a student that had her CSP. She got her degree from, she was a real estate agent, she had another degree but went into real estate for a while. She knew she had a degree. She wanted to get into safety. So she found out that all she needed to do was to test to get a CSP. She grabbed the book uh for the prep book. She's really good at testing and she passed I didn't know anything about safety nothing. So she came to the cost class to learn about safety with an active CSP. There's something wrong with that. No I agree
[00:24:50] spk_1: wholeheartedly. And you know the B. C. S. P. Doesn't have any interest in. Uh yeah being held accountable for your issues or my issues right. They just say hey you know what we're going to have an election every year or four years or whenever they have their elections and uh we're gonna have a board of directors and the board of directors is going to do what we think needs to be done and if you don't like it bottoms out.
[00:25:28] spk_0: Yeah, there's no incentive,
[00:25:31] spk_1: right? And the A. S. S. P. Wants to move to that model, right? They want to move to a model where the members have, say when they vote for Mhm. Directors and president and things like that. But when you look at uh you know, the the ballot that comes out right, you will hear, yeah all the certifications and degrees that someone has and you'll hear, you know how long they've been a member of SSP and how long they've been doing safety. But you never hear here's what they stand for here. Here's their platform, right? Therefore uh local uh local chapters to have more of the same things, or therefore local chapters to have less of the same things or therefore uh looking at new ways of bringing in revenue or therefore increasing the number of members or decreasing the, you know what I'm saying? So we're voting on people based on, you know, their hair color and what these two paragraphs say about them, but none of it has to do with what where they think the organization should go, whereas Mhm. At the local level, at the chapter level, you see these people on a more regular basis and if you don't like what they're doing, you vote them out.
[00:27:18] spk_0: Mhm. Yeah.
[00:27:20] spk_1: Right? And you can communicate with them directly, you have their phone number, you have their email address, there's not 8000 other people trying to get ahold
[00:27:31] spk_0: of them? Is that accountability here? Talking about there? Is that its ability? Well, there's just so much that's that's left to chance. So whenever I hear that, we'll let our members or we'll let the constituents have their voice with the vote. Yes, that is definitely, you know, the core of what we should do. However, then now that goes into who has been voting. How, what are kind of your voting patterns? Are you getting a high percentage of voting? That is coming in, meaning 50 60% of your members are voting? What, what is the participation? And then how are you reaching all these members? Are you doing in a, in a way where they are aware of this whenever the vote is. And then also, why don't we do videos? Why can't you literally have these people do a video, put it on the site and you can see and hear and do their experience right there. Like you do commercials,
[00:28:35] spk_1: technology for that. Could we, could we do
[00:28:38] spk_0: that? You guys may not have enough money for that. Uh, you know, you guys are still growing. The
[00:28:46] spk_1: thing is, uh, You know, whether you have 1% of the membership voting or 10% or 30% or 50%, but you probably don't have 100%. Don't know what percentage we have, but more importantly, I'd be interested in. What are the demographics of our members? How many of them are professional members? How many of them are regular members? And what can we do to bolster this, right? If we don't like the numbers that we see now, I'm not saying, you know, we have to start kicking out people who fit certain profiles right to even things up. I'm saying, how do we become more desirable to the people that are underrepresented in our own organization,
[00:29:44] spk_0: Right. Yeah, that makes sense.
[00:29:45] spk_1: So if we're going to say that the only value in being an A. S. S. P. Is if you're a college graduate, then we're going to get mostly college graduates. Yeah. If we're going to say that the only value in being in S. S. P. Is if you have a B. C. S. P. Certification, then we're gonna get mostly people with the CSP certifications. Mhm. But is that what we want? Is that good for our industry? Is that good for our overall customers? And is that good for you and me? It's not. Yeah. So I don't know. I'm sorry. I've been a little uh disjointed because I'm finishing up my refinancing my house
[00:30:31] spk_0: today. Yeah. That that will get into the psyche, wasn't it? Well, it's like
[00:30:37] spk_1: banks and well, if we don't get this document from your current lender by the end of today? We're going to have to extend the rate lock? And it's like, what are you even talking about, extend the rate,
[00:30:46] spk_0: lock the gibberish.
[00:30:50] spk_1: It's like six days isn't gonna buy us anything. These people have been a pain in the butt for four years. They're going to continue to be a pain in the butt when you need 60
[00:30:58] spk_0: days. That's great. Oh man. Well, I gotta run but go ahead and tell everybody how to get a hold of you and if you have any final thoughts, so those final thoughts and how to get ahold of you, those two things
[00:31:10] spk_1: so you can, you can reach me at bill at safety malcontent dot com. You know? And of course I'm on linked in uh I'm relatively approachable and linkedin unless you're, you know, uh selling currency or
[00:31:28] spk_0: Cryptocurrency, I probably won't constant, isn't it? It's linkedin is getting ridiculous as soon as you hit the friend and then all of a sudden the connection request is your email just like, like I
[00:31:46] spk_1: I will connect with anyone if they send me a connection request and I'm going to go look at your profile and if you've never posted anything, I'm not going to connect with you if you've only posted things about uh selling for tex and Bitcoin and whatever else. I'm not going to connect with you. If you've posted things that you believe in and that means something to you. I'll connect, I don't care what what your background is or how much education you have or if you're in safety or not, I will connect with anyone so long as they're not just a great white shark cruising around linkedin looking for numbers. Oh, sorry.
[00:32:28] spk_0: No, no. And I say truly it does, the sales cycle doesn't work like that. You honestly have to know someone, you have to begin to like them, trust them and then you give them the money. It's not like, hey, give me a cash. That's a robbery. If I,
[00:32:45] spk_1: If I send out 8000 Invite today, then 1% of those people will accept the invites. And then if I send those 80 people a prospect letter, then 1% of those will respond. Right? So it's all numbers and it's like, no, no, you're an idiot. Work, work harder. Right? I used to, uh, when I was doing knowledge management, uh, there was a guy at my company who was a, uh, I guess they call them, you know, a sales associate, right? So a cold call And he literally used to hang up if people answered what he wanted was their voice man. So he could speak his little blurb and hang up because then he could more calls in a day than anyone else. And that would ensure that he got the bonus. And it's like, you're kidding me, right? You literally hang up on them if they answer.
[00:33:53] spk_0: Yeah, yeah, don't get me started on quotas. You're gonna trigger me, You know,
[00:33:59] spk_1: I'm actually thinking we should redo this at some point when I'm jointed.
[00:34:04] spk_0: Yeah. No, don't worry about it. We got getting up and I cut anything and edit it if I need to. So we'll do some magic. Pretty soon. I'm talking about Margaret Thatcher. Alright man. Well, thank you. Those those wonderful.
[00:34:18] spk_1: Have a good one.
[00:34:23] spk_2: This episode has
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[00:34:31] spk_2: views and opinions expressed on this podcast or broadcast. Are those of the hosting its guests and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the company. Examples of analysis discussed within the past hour are only examples. They should not be utilized in the real world as the only solution available as they are based on very limited and dated. Open source information, assumptions made within this analysis are not reflective of the position of the company. No part of this podcast or broadcast may be reproduced stored within a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means mechanical, electronic recording or otherwise, without prior written permission of the creator of the podcast or broadcast. Sheldon grimace. Mm hmm.