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  • Writer's pictureBen Kettle

Good To Know: August 2021 🧑‍💻

Updated: Jan 3, 2022

A monthly round-up of things happening in hiring, D&I, and humanity.

Hey Everyone,

Welcome to Good to Know! If you just signed up, I publish Good to Know on the last Tuesday of every month. Unlike most posts, Good to Know is a round-up of things going on in hiring, D&I, and humanity with some of my comments. Its purpose is to showcase some of the great work that others are doing and learn from them. We’ll be back to our normal posting schedule next week with a post about the NFL.

Let’s get to it!


First Things First: I Need A Little Help🤰

If you have or know someone who has experienced maternity leave, please fill out this survey or pass it along to them. It only takes 2 minutes, and I’ll keep all responses completely anonymous.

Here’s why:

I’ve had several interesting conversations this summer about maternity leave. All of these have pushed me to think about all employee benefits, especially maternity leave, through the lens of a product rather than an employee benefit. This survey is my first step to understand how reframing employee benefits might make for a more equitable work culture.


Cry Me A River 😭

Now that he’s paying for his grandkids’ education, Al Lord, the former CEO of student-loan powerhouse Sallie Mae, thinks college tuition is out of control. Maybe, just maybe, his old company had something to do with it?

The entire WSJ piece is great, but the following really stood out:

A year into retirement, Mr. Lord joined the board of his alma mater, Penn State. That is when, he said, he had an epiphany: Colleges were incredibly inefficient businesses, and the student-loan program enabled them.

Have fun writing those checks, Al. You earned it.


Flipping the Script on Job References 👩‍💼

This is a pretty great idea.¹


Want a New Gig? You Better Be Vaccinated 💉 (kinda)

According to Indeed, job postings requiring vaccination are up 90% in the past month. Though, as a percentage of all postings, they’re still lower than where I’d expect them to be.


🚨Hiring A.I. is Still Biased🚨

Oldie but goody from one of my favorite A.I. thought leaders.


Life’s Too Short 😵

The most clicked link on any post I’ve written, by far, was in “Do We Use General Cognitive Ability Assessments Intelligently?”

What was it? A piece Ben Horowitz wrote for Wired called “How to Deal With the Brilliant Jerks You Work With.”

Life’s too short to stress the jerks - if you need to get out of a gig with a bad culture, hit me up.


A Podcast Worth Listening To 👂

Recently The Argument, a podcast from The New York Times hosted by Jane Coaston, discussed the effectiveness of workplace diversity programs with Dr. Sonia Kang and Lily Zheng. Both Kang and Zheng are true leaders in the D&I space, and their conversation is worth listening to.

My takeaway? What most people think of as D.E.I programs don’t work well. But there’s hope - these pieces of training are getting better all the time.


And Finally📈…

I have the goal to get to 1,000 subscribers by the end of the year. Why? Because I want everyone to hire more thoughtfully, and the bigger the audience, the better.

Three things you can do to help:

  1. If you haven’t subscribed and you find this newsletter helpful, please subscribe.

  2. If you find the posts valuable, please share Lying to Ourselves with a friend or colleague.

  3. If you think this content is terrible, wrong, or could use a little improvement, please let me know why and how.

That’s it for me. We’ll be back next week. Thanks again for reading!


1 Many thanks to Josh for passing this along.

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