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The Legendary Leaders Podcast

Dec 23, 2022

Do you want equity, diversity, and inclusion to become the tapestry you need to move forward? Are you willing to step out of the box as a Leader to evaluate what you’re doing? Prioritizing equity, diversity, and inclusion as a Leader and organization, is beneficial for your Human Capital, and an opportunity for progress and gain.     

In this Episode 105 of the Legendary Leaders Podcast, we have Joann Wortham, Author of ‘EDI is the New Black’, an experienced RN, MSN, JD, certified in Patient Safety, Quality and Risk management (CPPS, CPHQ, CPHRM). She’s also a seasoned International Thought Leader who uses insight from lived experiences, along with her background in Education, Healthcare, Business, and Risk management to create novel approaches to today’s most critical workplace concerns. She has over twenty years of experience, a Master of Science in Nursing Education, and a Juris Doctorate.  

Listen in to learn why organizations paying attention to equity, diversity, and inclusion are the ones that will experience success. You will also learn how organizations can address discriminatory conduct events, to eliminate discrimination and hostile work environments.  



This podcast is sponsored by InnerProfessional online training programs. With courses geared specifically for Legendary Leaders, InnerProfessional provides an extraordinary catalog of leadership and professional development programs unlike any online training you’ve experienced before.  

Key Takeaways: 

  • How to be a learning organization in EDI work – how it helps your employees and company. 
  • Why we need to be brave to step out of the narrative that some roles belong to some genders.  
  • How to pay attention to diversity by looking for the positive core in your organization and spreading it.  
  • Why equity should come before diversity because everyone needs equal resources for competition to be on the same level.  
  • How to lead with diversity and inclusion and build a community that follows your example.  

Episode timeline: 

  • [1:13] Intro 
  • [5:37] How Joann got into equity, diversity, and inclusion work and the power of EDI work in organizations.  
  • [12:21] Social redlining – how it impacts the workplace, and why we need to change that narrative.  
  • [16:50] The importance of measuring EDI and building a diverse community that care for everyone. 
  • [23:11] How to let go of saneness and comfort and embrace leading with diversity conversations.  
  • [30:40] How she was conditioned to keep quiet and her experience carrying that conditioning to the workplace.  
  • [36:19] She shares her discriminatory experiences and how they inspired her passion for diversity in organizations. 
  • [45:43] The role organizations can play in addressing discriminatory conduct events to eliminate discrimination.  
  • [53:57] She explains why she puts equity first, followed by diversity and inclusion.  
  • [1:01:11] Joann on what it means for her to feel included and be allowed to show up authentically at work.  
  • [1:11:21] The difference between equity and equality and why we need to rethink what we call fair.  
  • [1:17:29] Why organizations need to shift their hiring practices to avoid people hiring themselves multiple times.  
  • [1:21:11] Understand that equity, diversity, and inclusion is not a problem to be solved but an opportunity for gain.  


  • “When you bring women into a boardroom, it is a proven fact that you make better decisions.”- Joann Wortham [9:22]  
  • “If you want to move ahead, you’re going to have to lean towards diversity.”- Joann Wortham [26:33] 
  • “As more organizations lean toward addressing discriminatory conduct events, the less it will be.”- Joann Wortham [49:12] 
  • “Just because we work in the same team, we have a similar role doesn’t mean we have the same path to get there.”- Cathleen Merkel [1:10:36] 


Find | Joann Wortham 

Business Website:  
On LinkedIn:  
Book: EDI is the New Black  
Bio: Joann Wortham is a seasoned International Thought Leader who uses insight from lived experiences along with her background in Education, Healthcare, Business, and Risk Management to create novel approaches to today’s most critical workplace concerns. With over twenty years of experience, as well as a Master’s of Science in Nursing Education and a Juris Doctorate, Ms. Wortham has presented and consulted for such prestigious groups as the Institute of Healthcare Improvement and Yale Health. She was also a consultant and contributor for the American Society of Healthcare Risk Management (ASHRM) Human Capital Playbook.Her new book is entitled EDI is the New Black:Lead the Market with Diverse Teams 

About Cathleen Merkel:   

As a Thought Leader in the Mindset & (Self-) Leadership space, Cathleen supports high achieving, worn-out women create a more content & balanced life without sacrificing their hard-earned success. Following a simple 6 step framework, Cathleen helps you not only reconnect with your inner feminine side; but also supports you to rediscover your REAL YOU!  
Cathleen focuses on women who have lost their sense of purpose, who feel they are ‘running in a hamster wheel’, trying to please everyone but themselves. She helps you to turn your careers, your social connections and personal life around so that you will start feeling fulfilled and excited again about the days to come.  At the end of the process, Cathleen's clients will feel healthier, happier, energised and clear about their future.   

With over 15 years of Leadership experience in Retail, Media & Broadcasting, Engineering and Property Investment, Cathleen has not only experienced the challenges and opportunities of a Female Leader herself; she has also been leading and supporting various Leadership Development initiatives within large, complex, multinational matrix organisations.  

Only by deeply experiencing her very own personal life challenges – ‘hitting a wall experiences’ –was Cathleen able to redefine her own purpose, deciding to bring ease and content to as many women as possible on the planet! 


Find | Cathleen Merkel 
On Instagram: @CathleenMerkel 
On Facebook: @CathleenMerkelCoaching 
On LinkedIn: @CathleenMerkel 


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