#185 - A story about executing bold vision - one about reimagining the way the world works for the benefit of employees.

An interview with Maria Colacurcio, CEO of Syndio

This podcast interview focuses on product innovation that has the power to transform our workplace into a fair workplace – starting with fair pay. My guest is Maria Colacurcio, CEO of Syndio

Maria is a tech veteran – she previously co-founded Smartsheet, which went public in 2018. She spent three years at Starbucks, one of the first Fortune 50 companies to go public with pay equity results. Having started her career working on congressional campaigns, she has a long history of mission-driven work, and a compassionate and competitive attitude to spur change.

She serves on the board of the nonprofit Fair Pay Workplace and has been named by Goldman Sachs Builders + Innovators Summit one of this year’s 100 most intriguing entrepreneurs.

As a CEO and a mom of 7, Maria is walking the walk on eradicating workplace inequities. Today Maria is the CEO at Syndio, a SaaS startup helping companies around the world create an equitable workplace for all employees, regardless of gender, race, or ethnicity. 

That inspired me, and hence I invited Maria to my podcast. We explore what’s broken in today’s workplace when it comes to valuing people for the contribution they bring and paying them fairly independent of who they are. 

We discuss the pivot and what it took to change course. We discuss the effects the Pandemic introduced, and what was critical to not only bounce back, but actually come out stronger. And last but not least we address the role of the CEO in creating a business that people love talking about. 

Here are some of her quotes:

If we get it right we quite literally transform society. I think the gender and race pay gaps resulted in lifetime wages that are often hundreds of 1000s of dollars less for women and people of color. 

So I think when you think about the wealth gap, and how we just compound over time, that’s where we have a tremendous opportunity to transform society. And for companies, it’s just as big because, if we get it right, it means they move away from this cycle of annual one and done remediation. And they actually get to stay on top of this proactively overtime on both sides.

We really believe that workplace equity is a combination of two things. We started with pay equity, and now we’re moving over to more broad workplace equity to look at promotions and when you can get to both. That’s when you have a company that Really has an enduring ability to create value and to measure how they’re valuing their employees not just for who they are, but the contributions they bring.

During this interview, you will learn four things:

  1. That the odds of success and surviving any crisis starts with having a solution that’s perceived as mission-critical, and not a nice to have.
  2. How to prioritize your roadmap by focusing on the smallest ingredient that driving the biggest impact for your ideal customers
  3. That your ideal customers are not the ones that have the biggest budgets, but the ones where you align on world-views and show the courage to stick to it no matter what
  4. How to focus your leadership team on looking at a problem and brainstorming a solution collaboratively without blaming and fingerpointing

For more information about the guest from this week:


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