Signing Contract

Women in Business

Full Transcript - Episode 16

 

Zombie therapy, mystery meat, a president under friendly fire and the world's longest song plus... 

Women in Business - Rafaela Leitão, Viviane Ângelo and Sandra Gioffi talk about what it takes to be a leader, and how it's different for girls.

G: Hello and welcome to another episode of the...the...The Samba Buzz!! Alright. Shall I try that again?

J: Ok. Let’s try that again!


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J: Welcome! Welcome everybody to The Samba Buzz.

G: We are back, once again, with another hot episode.

J: Well, I don’t know how hot it is. I’m definitely hot right now.

G: So, how are you doing, anyway? How are you holding up in the Coronavirus? Cos it’s been, what, six months now.

J: It’s been a very long time. I’m...

G: And have you had it, yet?

J: Well, to my knowledge, I haven’t had Coronavirus. In the beginning, when it first hit Brazil, there was a period of about two weeks where I suspected that I had something but I don’t know if that was stress or panic or it was actually something.

G: I...I went to see the doctor cos I had a stomach ache, and he says to me – “Well you got a virus,” he says, you know.

J: Y...you didn’t have Peyronie’s disease by any...?

G: I didn’t. Well, I hope not! I had no pain in my knee or other parts of the lower regions. Anyhow, I went to do the test and, my goodness me, you would not believe how painful that bloody test is. It’s incredible.

J: This is the test for Coronavirus or something else?

G: The Coronavirus. It’s a drive through. You park your car and they come with those probes that they stick right up your nose. And I had a bit of inflammation. I had a bit of a fever and it was...it was really, really painful. I’m screaming like Homer Simpson.

J: My goodness, so they jabbed it basically up to your brain, and then...er...it doesn’t sound pleasant at all.

G: And it cost me R$400, because I went to Fleury, and then I went away on holiday, cos... and would you believe I never got the results of my test!

J: So, here they charge you R$400, and thank you very much.

G: So, I had all that pain and suffering. It cost me 400 and I still don’t know whether I had it or not, one month later.

J: Let’s talk a little bit about what’s coming up. We...we have...er...guests coming in, talking about their experiences, working in the male-dominated workplace; how is it possible to be a leader; what does it mean to be a leader with...with teams; and the challenges that they face.

G: That sounds very interesting.


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G: So, Jay, what caught your eye this week?

J: Well, my first article comes all the way from across the Pacific.

G: From far away.

J: From far away – from Japan.

G: Ok. That’s far away.

J: Yeah, very, very far away. And, Japan – they always seem to find creative ways to deal with life in general. So, with the Covid-19 pandemic, one group is trying to change people’s minds or take people’s minds off of their daily problems, by putting them in coffins surrounded by chainsaw wielding Zombies.

G: Hang on. Do they...do they close the coffin or do they leave the coffin open or...?

J: Well, what the...the coffins are closed but then, of course, the participants need to be able to see everything that’s going on around them, so they have a glass case that they can see out of. But they’re basically in a coffin.

G: Ok, and where do they find the Zombies? That’s what I’d like to know.

J: Well, these...these are actors. These are paid actors. The Zombies are out running around somewhere and...

G: They are all Trump supporters, aren’t they? That’s where they get them.

J: Well, I wouldn’t go quite that far but they could be. Anyway, customers in Tokyo, they can lie in a two-meter box. They listen to horror stories and watch actors perform and they also get poked with fake hands and squirted with water. It’s all kind of a, let’s say, a stress relief program – Japanese style.

G: Stress relief?!

J: No...no...this...this is the exact quote from one of the...er...organizers. They say, er – “The pandemic is stressful and we hope people can get a bit of relief by having a good scream.” And that’s according to Kenta Iwana, who is coordinator of production company...er... Kowagatersa*...oh my God, I don’t know if I’m going to say this right. Or meaning...I guess the literal meaning is ‘Scare Squad’ in English.

G: So, the idea then is that you will be so scared and stressed by the experience that it will put your other stresses into perspective, I guess?

J: Exactly. It’s...for me, I guess it’s kind of a bizarre treatment because, let’s say, you’re...you’re scared, so their therapy is to scare you even more so you forget about that you were originally scared. Or...or maybe they should go to Doctor Hyena in...er...maybe he would be a good cure?

G: Doctor Hyena would be a lot cheaper, I suspect.

J: So, Gee, what...what do you have for us?

G: Well, I got something from today’s news actually. Our dear president, Jair Bolsonaro, um, is visiting Mato Grosso.

J: Ok, why?

G: Um, he’s going to give a speech, or I think he gave a speech, actually. He gave a speech to the local farming...er...industrial community...um...about, you know, the importance of farming and the importance of deforestation and the importance of burning the land, so people...

J: I...I imagine he didn’t plan to talk to any bombeiros while he was there, right?

G: Probably not. Any...anyway, he was...he was coming in to land to give this speech and the plane actually had to abort.

J: Abort?

G: Why...why do you think it had to abort the landing?

J: Er...because of the fires, I guess?

G: Because the smoke from the fires was so thick that the pilot couldn’t actually see the runway! So they had to...had to abort the landing, take off again and go round and circle back...

J: Oh, my goodness.

G: ...and try again.

J: This is such a sad situation. I...I really, I really feel bad for the animals and the plants and everything.

G: Um, so do you know how many forest fires there were in the Pantanal, in September – in the first two weeks of September?

J: I don’t know but I’m going to guess 2000?

G: 5603.

J: Oh my goodness. I wasn’t even close!

G: And that is a new record. The previous record was from 2007, when there were four...5498, but that was for the whole month.

J: My goodness.

G: So, in the first two weeks of this September, we have broken the previous record for a whole month.

J: So, Brazil in flames and we...we’ve gone bonkers.

G: And now, of course, the...the smoke’s heading our way. It’s coming towards São Paulo, apparently, so...um...we’re going to get some extra pollution over the next few days, which is always welcome.

J: Oh, of course. I...I’m all for more pollution!

G: Erm...anyway, I thought it was quite ironic really that they couldn’t land the plane...

J: Because of the fires.

G: ...because of the fires that he was so happy about. What else do you have for us today?

J: Well, I have another article from Brazil. You...you touched on Bolsonaro. Mine is a little bit different because I’m focusing on JBS, the meat-packing company. The world’s largest meat producer, JBS, they vowed, when Coronavirus came, to keep the world f...filled, or at least fed, with meat during the pandemic. So, they hired more than 15,000 new workers in Brazil alone, for export, because the...the dollar is very high and the Brazil Real is very low. So, it’s good business for them.

G: Ok. And these people are going to be packing meat, then, presumably?

J: Exactly. Anyway, for JBS, in the second quarter, profit alone was US$629 million, which was double analysts expectations. Er, however, more than 4000 JBS employees in Brazil alone have tested positive for the Coronavirus, and at least six have died.

G: That’s not good.

J: And this is according to local health authorities and three company unions investigating the company. Now, I will say this...this article comes to us from Reuters, so this in not something I am inventing. I am simply passing on what Reuters has already stated – so I don’t get into any legal problems here!

G: Ok. Allegedly.

J: Um...allegedly, yeah. Outbreaks have struck in seven states, and 23 plants in Brazil.

G: Well, that’s actually a trend, isn’t it? Cos in the United States the...the whole meat packing and butchery business has been very rife with Coronavirus.

J: Exactly, and JBS owns a...a large portion of that in the United States. In fact, two plants...er...were temporarily suspended – one in my home state of Colorado, and the other one in Minnesota.

G: And I actually believe, our friend, Mr Trump – he...um...he introduced an executive order to order some of these plants to stay open, didn’t he? Because they were trying to close because of the Coronavirus...

J: Right.

G: ...and he considered these meat producers an essential service...

J: Well, the...

G: ...and he says – “You will stay open. I don’t care if your workers are dying.”

J: This whole link between Trump and JBS has always been a little bit strange, for me, because Bolsonaro visited US, and what was he exactly talking about with Trump? Er...but let...let’s come back to Brazil. In Brazil, there are 18 current lawsuits pending – mainly from employee unions – or government authorities. Er, JBS has responded by saying – “The Government has not obliged the meat-packing industry to conduct systemic personnel safety tests for Covid-19.”

G: Wow.

J: So, instead of taking the initiative and saying – “Ok, we’re going to take the lead in this and...er...take care of our workers,” they’ve actually gone in the opposite direction and put their tail behind...between their legs and run.

G: Yes. So, that’s not good. So, we can’t trust the mystery meat, either, with all those people dying in the meat-packing factory, no?

J: The mystery meat? Yeah. You just don’t know. So, er, ‘be careful with your beef’. That’s my message.

G: And go unions!

J: So, er, I think you have more story for us, Gee?

G: I have another story, I do. Um...what’s the longest song that you know? Or the longest piece of music that you know?

J: Um...I don’t know. I’ll say Mozart’s symphony? I don’t know.

G: And how long would you say that is, more or less?

J: Um, eighteen minutes? I don’t know.

G: I think there’s music longer than that. I...I know rock music that’s got longer songs than that one.

J: Erm, ok. I don’t know. I have no idea.

G: Erm...anyhow, I have news about the world’s longest song, composed by a...an American composer actually – one of your compatriots, a guy called John Gage. Have you ever heard of John Gage?

J: I do not know him. No.

G: Well, he composed a piece of music that lasts for...how long would you guess?

J: Five hours?

G: Hm, try again.

J: One day?

G: Try again.

J: Oh my goodness. Er, two weeks?

G: Try again.

J: Oh, one year!

G: 639 years!

J: Do...don’t even ask me what the refrain is on this particular thing. I have no idea.

G: Imagine sticking that one on your jukebox, eh?

J: My goodness. “It...it’s just a little song. Just one song.”

G: So, anyhow...um...it began 19 years ago, apparently. Um, it’s being played in a church in Halberstadt, which I think is in Germany, and it began 19 years ago with a pause that lasted for 18 months.

J: But...but...huh?

G: And then the last ch...

J: So...so wait a minute. He made a song of 639 years but it starts with a pause of 18 months?

G: Yes. And then there was a change of the note. The previous change to the note, to the song, was in 2013. And the news is that the next note has just been loaded up! Because the next note in the song has been...um... just been introduced. And a lot of people went to watch it happen.

J: There’s a song of 639 years.

G: Yes.

J: It has a pause of 18 months.

G: Well, that was just the beginning.

J: And it has two notes?

G: No, no, no. It’s...it’s got 8 pages of music. It’s...it’s 8 pages long this song.

J: But...tha...that...

G: But it’s just meant to be played very mellow – very, very, slowly. Some 600 years worth of slowly!

J: My god. 600 years of music. My god.

G: He...he did another piece. His most famous piece, actually, was a work called...

J: Oh, that...that wasn’t his most famous piece?

G: No, his most famous piece was a work called 4 Minutes 33 Seconds, which he wrote in 1952.

J: 1952. And it was 4 minutes 33 seconds?

G: And it’s a three mo...three movement composition, where you can use any instrument you wish and the performers are instructed not to play their instruments during the song. So, essentially, you get 4 minutes and 33 seconds of ambient noise, which you’re supposed to listen to and take in and enjoy!

J: This...this guy went off his rocker, didn’t he?

G: He’s a bit...a bit eccentric, I think you could say.

J: My goodness!

G: I don’t know which part of the States he came from. Maybe he was from Denver, you never know.

J: I don’t know. I’d s...I don’t know.

G: Anyway, that was John Gage. I don’t believe he is still alive, but...um...

J: I hope not!

G: H...his masterpiece has just changed a chord, and there we go. That caught my eye.

J: Well, that’s...er...I...I...I don’t even know what to say. You...you’ve really got me at a loss for words, for that.

                                                                                         

                                                            End of Part 1


* The actual name of the company is Kowagarasetai. 

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R: Hello, I’m Rafaella. Er...I’ve been working at Accenture for almost 11 years. I’m a change management practitioner and...um...I’m a manager...erm...of strategy and consulting.

V: So, my name is Viviane. I am 44 years old. Ah...I am a lawyer. And I am working in a labor law firm. I have two kids.

S: I am Sandra Gioffi. Er, I am GSC HR Director and I am a CONARH – er, Human Resource National Congress Director also, and I have two kids and a lot of friends!

J: If I were to ask – approximately what percentage of your company’s decision-makers are female?

R: Um, for sure less than 50%.

V: For example, in the law firm that I work today, we have 5 partners that are responsible for the biggest decisions, and one of them are (sic) a female.

S: The CEO is (a) woman and the...and she...how can I say? Is a found...a founder of this company. We have more woman in the company in a leader position, and a decision position than the men. And my...my boss...my CEO asked – “Please, bring more men because we need to have a balance here!” We have...we have a reason for this. The most part of the nurse (sic) is women, which in Brazil is culture, no?

R: My practice is a female practice, because we are focused on talent and organization projects. That means we are focused on HR transformation, Change Management and...and I think in this environment...um...most...um...mostly...um...are female...um...professionals.

V: My perception is that we live in a society where men prevails (sic). I think that the men are more well evaluated than the women, in general. I believe that men, most of the time, earns (sic) more money than women doing the same activities. But in my market...in the lawyer market, I’m sure about it.

S: Why we need the woman (sic)? The same reason that we need the black guy, the same reason that you need the LGBT, because if you have different mindsets you can think in the client. The client is different, the cli...the client represent the diversity. Why or how can I gave a product or think in a product if I am a woman...er...er...white, married with...with children? If you don’t have...if you are a woman...if you are a man if you...if you are not like me, I can’t think in a product to you, to offer you because I am not living your reality. We need women in the company for this...for this reason, because you need to have diversity to be competitive in the market. But, er, some leaders don’t...don’t...I don’t know – don’t think or don’t believe in this.

R: I think we take care more about people stuff. We are more sensitive and that’s it. This is not...I’m not trying to...to...to define what we are but I think if...if you get the numbers, we have more women – this is a fact...

J: In HR?

R: But I don’t know the real reason. Yes.

J: Have you ever been in a situation where you believed that...er...a client or a customer might have reacted differently to you because you were...er...a female? Maybe they didn’t accept your advice or maybe they questioned you more or...or...

R: Yes. Yes.

J: Describe those situations. How did you overcome that situation?

R: For example, I...I will describe one situation I...that...that has happened, I think, um, 5 years...4 or 5 years ago. And I was in a meeting...um...and I was trying to defend an idea or trying to share...um...a specific strategy and I...I shared my point of view and bah-bah-bah and then the...the big guys from the client, they looked at me and said – “Ok” and like they were not listening to what I was saying, and then my...my...my partner, my peer...um...of the client...he was a man, and he started talking the same thing that I was trying to defend and they started...er...listening him (sic) and saying – “Ok, that makes sense, bah-bah-bah.” And I was like – “No, but I’m saying the same thing!” Er, that happened no once. That happened a lot of times.

V: I had some experience that I live but in all my working life...er...but I think it’s better now than it was before and, as we talked before – today I am older and I am more mature.

S: I...I have never lived this experience, but I heard about – the client asking to the company – “I don’t want a black guy. Please don’t send me a consultant black. And I believe that women also.

R: In the beginning of my...my career, I think I heard some jokes or some talks...

J: Like...like sexist jokes, you mean?

R: Exactly. And...and in my view it was something common, something normal. Nowadays, I think we have...er...a better perception – what is right and what is wrong.

J: What is a good leader, for you? What...what does it mean to be a good leader?

R: I think a good leader is someone, actually, who knows and...and someone who shares – who shares the expectation of... wh...what they are expecting from the employees. You know? I think this kind of communication, I think is someone who really knows how to...to be transparent with their employees... er...someone who...who shares their expectations...and someone who...who...who guides their team in a simple way.

V: So, to be a leader is a very diff...a very difficult task because you have to deal with your own monsters and devils and the person that you are and you have to deal with the monsters and devils of the people that we are working with. So, it’s difficult to balance all of that. Er...you have to take care of your inner side and take care not to...er...show your monsters and devils and all the time be...um...aware of your actions, words and taking care of people and the way that you talk with people and deal with their feelings.

S: Today, I think that the leader is the person that works to (sic) your team – to support your team, to provide resources, to give guidance to your team. This is, for me, this is the leader.

J: Ok, so I have one more question that I’d like to ask. Have you made decisions as a manager that you regret – that you think you...you should have done differently? And then I’m actually thinking more specifically about gender related decisions.

R: Erm...no, because I...I...I...no! No, no, no, definitely not.

V: No, I never took a decision thinking about gender – to promote or not promote because it’s a man or it’s a woman.

S: In the past, I have one...one story to share with you. In the past I didn’t promote one person...one woman in my team because I...I told – “oh, she is pregnant, and she needs focus in her personal life.” In my...my mind, she didn’t need this type of concern, this type of stress. She’s not – how can I say? – nee...She...she didn’t need this promotion now and she didn’t and she didn’t worry about. But I made a mistake. But my mindset was the same mindset that everybody in the company. You need to change the mindset, especially the leaders. And it was my first experience as leader, and I was leading the situation, discussing her...her performance...um...the...my team performance and I put her in other place. With the time, I...how can I say? I...I got more experience, I thought different (sic) and today I know that I made a mistake.

R: The dynamic of work has changed.

V: How people become totally crazy during the quarantine! “What happened?” “Oh, I can’t stand anymore! I can’t be at home anymore! I have to go out!” I have to change my way of doing things, to not pressure and to try not to be crazy because I have an impact in my results. So, breathe!

                                                                          

                                                            End of Part 2

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G: So, I guess we’re up to Guru! You’re up, Jay.

J: Guru yes, so this Guru I would like to do a little bit differently, erm, inasmuch, as normally one of us presents some questions or a test for the other, and this I would like to ask specifically because I always have students and everybody always asks – ‘Well, what is present perfect? Or any...any of the perfect tenses because that’s...it is just a very different concept from what you have in...in...in Portuguese. What I would like to ask is how do you typically try to explain this to...to your students?

G: So, you’re doing the Guru and I’m doing the Guru? Erm, so, you want me to...to talk to you about the Present Perfect? Well, that’s...that’s fine. So, basically, the first situation we use it is for a past action where we don’t give the time of the action. So, if you’re using the Simple Past, you must give the time. You are going to say something like ‘last week, on Monday, in June, but if you’re going to use the Present Perfect you just say, “I have eaten that apple.” And, you don’t say when you ate the apple. So, therefore, because you don’t give the time, you would use the Present Perfect.

J: Ok.

G: You might use a word like lately or just or ever or never, which gives an indication of the time but it is very context dependent, because if I say to you ‘I’ve just spoken to my wife’, you’re going to understand the action happened when?

J: Recently.

G: Within the last five minutes, probably.

J: Well, yeah, recently, I...

G: Whereas, if I say to you ‘I’ve just returned from a trip around the world’, you are gonna understand...

J: Well, it’s probably not in the last five minutes.

G: Probably within the last the two-three days, or maybe even in the last week, so...

J: Time is a bit relevant, yes.

G: So, these words are more about...um...the context, really.

J:  Yeah, I...I would typically...for me the...the present or, let’s say, the perfect tenses, I try to explain them in...let’s say...a little bit more mathematical terms. So, if you think about...er...the simple, simple tenses...so, Present Simple, Past Simple, Future Simple, those are all, let’s say, finite points in...on a timeline – if you think about an...an infinite timeline. Er, continuous actions, you can think about, let’s say, positive numbers. So, numbers going forward – 1, 2, 3, 4...so, from here, if you are assuming that ‘Now’ is, let’s say, zero, going forward, whereas the...the...the perfect tenses are typically, let’s say, the negative numbers, so you’re...erm, you are kind of looking at things that have happened up until...up or around...er...until now.

G: Ok.

J: Erm, so I...I kind of try to make that differentiation. Sometimes that helps. Sometimes it makes it more confusing! It really depends on the student. And...

G: Well...well the reason it’s confusing is ...erm...I gave one situation in which we use the Present Perfect...

J: Right.

G: ...but there is...er...there are others. And one...one in particular is when an action is started in the past, it’s continued to the present and is still true. For example, ‘I have lived in São Paulo for twenty years.’

J: Yeah, you’re still living.

G: And, I’m still living here. That’s the idea.

J: Yeah...and...and that...I will say, for...for many students that idea is a little confusing. It’s hard...it’s hard to kind of get that into your head if you are not used to it.

G: Sure. Absolutely. It’s very different to Portuguese.

J: Yeah...um...so that’s...that’s one challenge that I think...I think...er...both of us have. Erm...so, to get around that or, let’s say, to help to explain, I typically will say that the perfect tenses, and I do make a distinction between British English and American English. So...er...let’s say, in American English we’re typically a little bit more informal.

G: Yes.

J: And we do not use the perfect tenses as much as the English do.

G: This is true. On an informal basis, that’s definitely true. However, one exception – one important exception is for those people studying the GMAT, which is an American test, where they do test the Present Perfect...

J: Yeah.

G: ...in a formal setting.

J: Yeah.

G: Informally – absolutely. They frequently use the Simple Past when the...er...British might use the Present Perfect.

J: Yup. So, there...there are some cultural differences as well as...er...grammatical.

G: True.

J: So, well, I hope...I hope that helps!

G: Good discussion!

J: So, that...that’s the Guru for this week.

G: Thank you very much.


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J: So, that pretty much wraps up another Samba Buzz!

G: Yes it does. One more Samba Buzz.

J: If anybody has any questions or comments about any of the pods, please write to us at...

G: Um...

J: ...www.

G: No, that’s the...er...email...that’s the email add... That’s the web address.

J: Oh. Ok.

G: Um, it’s mailbox@thesambabuzz.com

J: Right. And please visit our website. That’s www.thesambabuzz.com. We have the entire transcript for all of our pods...

G: Erm.

J: At least, most of our pods.

G: Most of them, yes. We’re getting there. And if you want to make any suggestions about future topics, um, there’s also on our website a form you can fill out. Um, simplifies things, and you can just put your suggestion in there or your comments, or your abuse or whatever it happens to be and we’ll be very happy to receive it.

J: Yes, erm, even if it is abuse, we’ll consider it constructive criticism!

G: Exactly.

J: So, thank you very much!

G: Thank you. We’ll see you next time.

J: And be careful with the forest fire.

G: And the Covid. And everything else.


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The End