At the end of this conversation, you’ll know why I was excited to speak to Operations Director, Kay Epps, after Michael Goldberg made the introduction.
Kay talks about ‘loving the bricks’, working in a white male-dominated industry, and the resilience it took to secure the career she loves – a great lesson for today’s new grads! Plus why it’s important to have a coach & support network.
We went into depth about the impact of the social justice events of 2020 & why this time it is creating the difficult conversations & investment that is needed in DEI. And belonging!
She recommended Motivation by Daniel Pink and praised Atlassian for ‘getting’ motivation and the impact of Aubrey Blanche. She shared what it was like to receive an apology from her Executive, and why he was initially inactive; totally inspiring! We also chatted about shared responsibility and that we must get comfortable with uncomfortable conversations.
And as for Kay’s tips for hiring leaders & recruiters, grab a pen! ✍🏻
Full Podcast Transcript with Kay Epps
Hello, I am Katrina Collier, and as part of my mission to inspire all the people, that recruit people, to treat people better, I bring you The Hiring Partner Perspective (Unedited) podcast. Here you will hear from those Hiring Leaders who create true partnerships with Recruiters, HR and Talent Acquisition, because they know that it delivers a better result for the business and a better human experience. May this podcast inspire other Hiring Leaders to create better partnerships with their Recruiters and HR, and may it inspire Recruiters to create true and valuable partnerships with their Hiring Leaders. Because people make businesses succeed, and people matter. So let us begin.
Kay Epps, welcome to The Hiring Partner Perspective podcast proudly supported by the wonderful people at WORQDRIVE. Welcome.
Kay Epps 0:57
Thank you so very much. It’s a pleasure to be here.
Katrina Collier 1:00
So excited to have you. Particularly because we’ve had a pre-chat, I don’t always have a pre-chat with the guests, and say like ooo I know all this stuff, which we’re not going to share all of it, we’re going to share the really good stuff, though. So, your current role is Operation Director. But of course, you’re in the Property and Facilities Management industry, which sort of fascinated me, what drew you to that? Because it sounds quite male dominated, if I’m honest. But what drew you to that industry? And what do you love about it and your role, of course?
Kay Epps 1:28
So, Real Estate is very male, very white, male driven. Right. But I think that in the future, we’re going to see some significant changes, but I don’t think we’re there yet, and I think there’s still work to be done. But the good news is, is that I think that there has been a recognition of that throughout the industry. So that makes me happy. Having said that, I think I fell in love with the bricks from the very beginning. So much so that I spent every dollar that I had getting an undergraduate degree in Real Estate.
Katrina Collier 2:08
That’s very cool.
Kay Epps 2:09
Yeah, the difference is, though, that when I came out, when I finished my undergraduate program, I had all these great expectations. I thought I was gonna take the world by storm. I think that was, I thought that I was gonna grab the world by the tail. Look out here I come. I planned on being a Real Estate Development Banker. Unfortunately, regardless of what plans I had, the economy had different plans. And frankly, the economy did not co-operate with me. So I couldn’t get job. So was that 2008/9 that particular economy. Don’t make me date myself. Let’s go there.
No, no let’s not.
Katrina Collier 2:47
That’s ok, all my listeners know how ancient I am.
Kay Epps 2:51
Well, okay, so I’ll give your listeners.
Katrina Collier 2:52
That’s not that long ago, that’s like 12 years ago,
what are you talking about?
Kay Epps 2:55
I will give your listeners a hint. Think you could be in your thirties. I used to have a Hotmail account, if that gives them any idea?
Katrina Collier 3:02
Oh yeah, we did have a laugh over that didn’t we. Do you know, I just, I find the whole age thing really peculiar, because I’m hitting the big O this year, and not one of the 30 or 40 ones. And I’m just, I feel 30 I feel really indignant that people like “Yeah, but you’re 50 like you’re old.” I’m like, “No I am not, no I am not.” But anyway, this is about you not about that. So but yeah, but I assume you do mean that crash, because the current, currently things aren’t great, either. So what did you do at that time, as you were trying, I mean, that was a really tough time to be in your industry.
Kay Epps 3:33
So here’s the thing, I would go to these interviews as a newly minted bachelor recipient. And I’d be competing in all instances against people that had advanced degrees, including, you know, the odd PhD. That’s how bad the economy was. But not only did they have advanced degrees, they had experience. And I did not have an advanced degree, nor did I have experience, but what I did have was resiliency. Yeah. So I redirected, I had all the undergraduate coursework in Accounting. So I went back to school. I got a Master’s of Business Administration in Accounting, and I refocused my career. So I spent the first half of my career in a variety of progressively responsible accounting and finance roles. And then about 15 years ago, I made a pivot. Yeah. I had an opportunity to revisit some things that I’d always wanted to accomplish professionally. Yeah. And Real Estate was one of them. And that is how I ended up in Real Estate. It was, it was not a straight line. It was more of a triangle. It was from left to right, and then up to get to where I want it to be.
Katrina Collier 4:50
I love that though, and I think there’s a lesson in there for a lot of people. I mean, I was actually speaking to some graduates this week, or they about to be graduates, and it’s a really tough time as it was in 2008. Actually, when I left and went into the world of work was also recession, which was even earlier, you’re worried about aging yourself? It is that like to have that resilience and to try different areas. You know, one of the guys who’s like, “I want to go for Ascencia.” Every graduate wants to go to Ascensia. Why don’t you start in SMV, why don’t you start somewhere else and get that different training. But I think the word I heard there was resilience. And I think that’s so important, isn’t it? If you really want to get there, you will get there. Yes. Big lesson. And I also saw in your, that you are the Diversity and Inclusion Executive Appointee for the division sounds very, very important. How did that come about? And what would you love it to achieve?
Kay Epps 5:45
So I think there are a couple things. In the middle of last year, in this country, we, you know, it was a very difficult time very trying, because a number of events that occurred from a social justice perspectives. And, you know, we’ve had some really tough conversations, both within the confines of our professional workspaces, as well as in our personal lives, with friends, family, neighbors, etc. And the question that kept coming up is why now, right, because this is not the first time some of these things have occurred, why now, what is different about this time, and these events, and what we identified is that the world has changed. And there’s a difference between something that you can see live, events on the internet, that you literally are watching in motion over and over and over again, versus, you know, an odd snapshot from a camera that’s in the newspaper. This still life just doesn’t compete with the moving picture, if you will.
Katrina Collier 6:58
That’s so true.
Kay Epps 7:00
But I think what it did do Is it really caused conversations, very difficult conversations that needed to be had, it brought them to the forefront. And so my company, like many companies, took a very definitive stance on all of the events that were unfolding last year. And we did a number of things, and one of those things is to really put some additional investment behind our diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives. So the good news is, is that we didn’t start our diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives as a result of last year, they were already in flight. And point of fact is, they’ve been in flight for at least four or five years before any of this started. But we were still in the building stage.
Katrina Collier 7:49
Is really reassuring, because I fear that whole tokenism of these kinds of roles, but you’re saying it was already in place.
Kay Epps 7:57
Yes. What Changed?. Now the role itself, the role itself that I hold was not in place, but the foundation for diversity, equity and inclusion and the importance of it in our company, that is not a new concept. So, as a result of the events of last year, they just, they made a stronger investment in it. And appointing a designee Diversity, Equity and Inclusion life’s employee lifecycle designee for each of the divisions in the company’s major line of business was but one way.
Katrina Collier 8:32
That’s so good. So, what does, what do you do you day to day in that role? Or it might even be day to day? Because it’s part of what you do isn’t?
Kay Epps 8:40
It is part, so I think here’s the thing. I feel very strongly that in order for an organisation to be successful, there has to be integration in that balance. And integration means moving throughout seamlessly. So, said another way, just as strongly as I feel about talent acquisition and talent development as a Hiring Manager, is as strongly as I feel about people in general, especially the diversity equity and inclusion and belonging, right. So I’m going to add the B to it. Because none of the rest of it matters or make sense without that B, and so I think it’s everyone’s responsibility, regardless of what title you hold, regardless of your position in the organisation. It just so happens that I’ve been asked to lead those efforts in my division.
Katrina Collier 9:35
So you must spend then a lot of time speaking to other, I guess people who are in either leading teams or for some reason I feel you be talking to them more I can be completely wrong. But is that what you do you speak. Yeah, so here’s what I’m currently doing. Have uncomfortable conversations I assume.
Kay Epps 9:50
I have very uncomfortable conversations. And that is probably one of the reasons.
Katrina Collier 9:53
For some reason I think you quite enjoy that.
Kay Epps 9:54
I did, very uncomfortable, because you know, the more uncomfortable the more effective because it’s a simulating thought, right. And it’s not that you’re causing anyone to necessarily change their position or their stance, but you’re, what you are causing is stimulation of thought, and to me, that’s the richness that comes out of the process. We have taken a back to basics approach. And what we have learned is that we have a great number of tools and resources available in the company, we just haven’t always done the best job as deploying those resources and tools. So we’re currently in the process of developing a resource platform to be deployed with consistency throughout the division, that are intended to support diversity, equity and inclusion in our division. So let me give you an example.
Katrina Collier 10:53
Kay Epps 10:54
Again, remember, we’re not new to this game. So several years ago, back in February of 2018, we rolled out interview guides, and our interview guides are meant to neutralise an unconscious bias and microaggressions. So we’re looking to ensure deeper penetration of that tool and that resource with consistency, built into our process, perfecting it, and then rolling it out across the entire line of business. You know, we have curated training, on unconscious bias for the entire organisation, really looking for robust ways to increase and amplify that training, as well as to really record it in a meaningful way. And then, I’m a firm believer of wickets measured gets done. So, you know, don’t just talk me to death, show me the results. And so we’re a very data driven company. And like any other major initiative, or undertaking, and we look for the data that supports it, so this is no different. So that means scorecards, and it means holding people accountable.
Katrina Collier 12:15
Yeah, because also because it’s, it’s, it’s so ingrained isn’t it, in we humans, you know, we are just flawed bias, creatures. We all have our, you know, our opinions on things. So actually, by using that data, and by showing people also that they’re progressing potentially, is also going to have a great impact, isn’t it? But shown over and over and over? And I do like the fact that like any training, isn’t it, you’ve got to use it, or it’s not gonna work, that kind of thing? I probably a really tough question. But I did give you some heads up. So hopefully, you had a thought, have you seen a company that has been truly inclusive? Because I agree with the belonging piece to me is so important, and any thoughts on why that companies is, or are they, were literally still work in progress?
Kay Epps 13:01
I mean, I will tell you my thoughts, and I’m gonna, I’m not gonna pretend to be an expert at this company, right? Because I’ve never worked for the company before. I don’t have an inside track. But it you know, I think when a name keeps coming up over and over and over again, you really have to kind of step back and say, “Hmm, what is going on over there, what are they about?”
Katrina Collier 13:26
It’s such a shame people are only hearing this podcast because you are pulling the best facial expression. Like, it’s like, I’m just sizing them up because they’re doing something right. Love it.
Kay Epps 13:38
And so there is a book called Motivation by Daniel Pink. Yeah. And in that book, one of the companies that Dan Pink mentions is a company called Atlassian. Oh, yeah. Yes, and if I recall correctly, it’s an Australian based company, if I am not mistaken. They are. And so a couple of things about that company. They get it when it comes to understanding motivation. It’s part of their culture, it’s part of their DNA. And I think that’s also what allows them to be successful, when you start thinking about who are the companies that you think are getting it right. I think they are. Yeah. And I think coincidentally, I recently did an exercise with my coach, right because no high performance athletes have coach, coaches. Executives have coaches and therefore I thought I should have a coach.
Katrina Collier 14:47
I had several, I currently have one but I have had several for all different areas of my life so important. I’m with you on that.
Kay Epps 14:55
And the name that comes up again in that space as an influencer. Is Army Blanche, and guess where she works? Atlassian. Funny.
Katrina Collier 15:07
I remember the first time I heard of them, I saw this campaign where they said, we’re coming to Europe to steal your Developers. And they literally came over, hired a buss, drove around Europe and interviewed. Yes. Like to talk about going, we have a global shortage of Developers, this is how we’re going to do it. We’re gonna get right in front of them, we’re going to come to you. No, jumping through hurdles, candidate first. Ah so cool, so cool.
Kay Epps 15:30
And here is the thing, you have to appreciate a person or a company that says what they’re gonna do, and then they do it. It was so cool. You have to appreciate that.
Katrina Collier 15:41
Yeah, yeah. God knows what the European companies thought, but I loved it. It’s very, that was actually quite Australian in humor as well. It’s like, we tend to do stuff like that, be very directive, this is what we call it.
Kay Epps 15:54
Yes, here it is. I’m gonna tell you what I’m gonna do, and then I’m gonna do it. So nobody should be surprised that I did it, because I told you I was going to do it.
Katrina Collier 16:04
Yeah. And I guess that’s exactly like what you’re doing now, isn’t it? You’re like, okay, we’re going to I’m going to make a difference here and our how I can do that as keep bringing up having the uncomfortable conversation, holding people accountable using the data. That is correct. Yeah, I love it. And I’m glad to see it. And I, you know, I say, as a white woman, I, I’ve had my eyes opened in this last 12 months as well. And I, you know, I feel like I am an ally. And I’m making a difference. And I always run very diverse events. And I think the, what happened on Capital Hill as well really opened up even more eyes. Yes. As well, so I’m but I’m also glad to hear you you don’t feel it’s tokenism because that was this constant worry of mine.
Kay Epps 16:47
Can I tell you that it’s perfect. Right? Can I tell you that we’ve nailed it? Not yet. And here you go world? Here’s our template. Here’s our playbook. Here’s our white paper. No, no. But what. Not yet. But what I can tell you is, you know, you’re on the right path. Yeah. when your Executive calls you and apologises. And here’s the funny thing. In my head. I just welled up. Yes, in my head I’m like, okay, can’t wait to hear what you’re apologising for. Have at it. And so this man whom I have a tremendous amount of professional respect for. Because, again, he tells you what it is, and if he says it is, so you can pretty much trust it’s so. And if anything changes, he is going to tell you. I thought it was so but this is what happened. And so now, here’s where we are. And I can respect that I can appreciate that on many levels. And so he says to me, “I should have called you and I didn’t.” And then he says to me, “I didn’t, because I got, I was embarrassed, and I didn’t know what to say.” He said “I was on the internet, and I was researching, and I was reading because I was trying to understand how to be appropriate in this situation, and I kept reading, that the one thing that black people were upset about, were white people that kept apologising.” He said, “So then, I overthought it and I was rendered inactive.” And he said, “That’s not acceptable, and I owe you an apology.” That is leadership. That is leadership.
Katrina Collier 18:47
It is. It is. And I think it’s just having that level of self awareness that he got to that point as well. And I know, I felt because we chatted beforehand, and I was, you know, I never want to offend and I was and we’d never met. I was also doing a similar thing. Like, am I okay to say this is that going to offend. And it’s the only way that myself as a white Australian woman now living in England can learn, and help, and but I feel it’s very much on us white people to learn. It’s not on others to teach us it’s for us to open our eyes.
Kay Epps 19:26
I disagree, I disagree. Funny, I think we should be doing more. No, I think it is a shared responsibility. And let me explain to you why I say that. Oh please. So whenever something happens whenever there is a problem, whenever something goes wrong, whenever there are expectations that are unmet, we as people and as a society are so quick to look for blame or to cast blame, right? Yeah. Well, you have to own your portion of the dysfunction, because very rarely is dysfunction unilateral. Is it possible? Sure, I guess. Is it probable? Highly unlikely. Yeah. And so if, if I, as a black woman, am asking you, as a white woman, to be more conscious, I have to be willing to meet you, wherever you are.
Katrina Collier 20:20
Kay Epps 20:21
And so on the one hand, that does not absolve you of your responsibility. No. Of being proactive, I’m not suggesting that. But it also holds me accountable for making sure that you understand. So let me give you an example.
Katrina Collier 20:34
Kay Epps 20:35
I had a conversation with someone last year. And I was offended by the conversation, because it was very clear that the person didn’t realise that they were exercising their white privilege.
Katrina Collier 20:53
Uh huh, got ya.
Kay Epps 20:55
And so I said, You know, I have to tell you that I’m offended. And then I told them why I was offended. And then we had a conversation about privilege and how it comes in many forms. It’s not about, it’s not about ethnicity, it’s not about gender. You know, it can be about finance. It can be about academics, it can be about anything, right. So while certainly, I may not have privilege when it comes to gender, or when it comes to color, I do have privilege when it comes to, you know, economics, and, you know, education. And so I have to be responsible for how I occur to people because of that privilege. Well, the same thing, the same thing is true, regardless of the privilege that you hold. Yeah. And so in that particular instance, you know, I think the person was surprised. Because I don’t know that anyone had ever been that open and honest with them before. But what I, what I close the conversation with is “White people are fond of saying what they didn’t know. So now I’m telling you, and I’m taking that off the table. I can’t tell you what to do going forward, and I can’t control with, what you do with that knowledge going forward. That’s your decision. But what you can’t say, is that nobody told you and you didn’t know, because I’m telling you.” Yeah.
Katrina Collier 22:27
I love that. And it’s so true, what you’re saying, because I’ve always felt incredibly lucky to have been a female born in Australia, and to now live in England, because I have so much freedom. Yes, so much freedom that I wouldn’t have had if I’d been a female born in some of the Middle Eastern or even Asian countries. Yeah, completely agree. I have a feeling this might be the kind of advice that you would give Hiring Managers and because obviously, you know, the point the podcast is get them to partner better with Recruiters. But some of that does come to Recruiters going, “Hello, you’re being biased here and the Hiring Leaders are not seeing it. Was that your advice you were going to give more if you got another top tip. Because I know you’re an exemplary Hiring Leader because you were referred to me by Michael Goldberg, bless his cotton socks. He is a great guy. I know you partner properly. He is wonderful, isn’t he? He actually looks like, he looks like a young version of my Dad. It’s really, really. Yeah, I should dig out an old photo of my Dad and show him.
Kay Epps 23:28
Now he’s a great guy. He’s a great guy. Here’s kind of the best advice that I would give to Talent Acquisition professionals. And then I’ll follow that up with my advice to Hiring Managers. So with Talent Acquisition professionals endeavor to understand the strategic goal and objective, because very rarely is the goal or the objective to fill a position. Yeah. Right. That’s just maybe the outcome. Totally. But it’s never, it’s never the aspirational, objective. And I think sometimes the challenge with that is volume. I can’t speak for every organisation, but here’s what I know about my own organisation. Our Talent Acquisition professionals work amazingly hard. They have a tremendous number of roles that they’re, they’re looking to partner with the business in Phil. And so that’s a challenge, you know, to really try and find that time to partner with Hiring Managers to be strategic, but it is an absolute requirement for success. And on the back end, as far as Hiring Managers are concerned, one communicate. We don’t always do the best job of communicating. We don’t communicate our strategy, we don’t communicate what we’re trying to achieve, we don’t give a good visual in terms of how this particular role fits into the bigger plan, or our vision for the organisation. Crazy isn’t it. And therefore, we don’t set our Talent Acquisition partners up to be as successful as they could be. So, for Hiring Managers, communication is key. I would say in addition.
Katrina Collier 25:18
I wonder why they resist so much giving that information. You think how much it would save them down the line if they just do. But then if Recruiters don’t ask for it.
Kay Epps 25:29
But this goes back to what we were just talking about, it’s shared responsibility. It’s not up to your, it’s not up to your Recruiter that asks you just like it’s not up to you to offer. It’s up to the two of you to partner and collaborate, and dig deep and figure out what’s going to serve the organisation best. Yeah.
Katrina Collier 25:52
Yeah. That digging deep might be the problem.
Kay Epps 25:56
I think thst is the problem.
Katrina Collier 25:57
And I do think that actually goes back a bit to the biases and, or back to the fear almost of “Oh, gosh, you know, if I bring in somebody that’s different to me, so we, you know, that defaults to try and recruit people that are the same as us, and you might need somebody exactly the opposite. Correct. And it’s, but what if that doesn’t work? There’s that fear.
Kay Epps 26:15
Nothing is promised? No. Nothing. Greatness doesn’t just happen, right? And I can’t remember the last time I was great from my closet as I hunkered down in fear.
Unknown Speaker 26:29
There is no way you have done that? I don’t remember that ever happening. No.
Kay Epps 26:36
You have got to be willing to step outside of your comfort zone? Yeah. You gotta be willing to try new things, you’ve got to be willing to take a chance. Now listen, you know, they’re calculated chances, I’m not telling you to burn the thing down by doing something crazy. But she, she’s got to be open, and I think part of that also is what I’ll call continual learning. Hmm. You know, why create, recreate the wheel, look around, see what others are doing, take the best of what other people are doing.
Katrina Collier 27:11
Absolutely, and it’s funny. I see a lot of Recruiters do that themselves, but I get very frustrated when heads of Talent Acquisition won’t give their teams time to learn.
Kay Epps 27:21
Isn’t it crazy? It’s the empitomist, it’s the empitomist of being in the people group. How does that work?
Katrina Collier 27:29
I don’t know, but they are actually proud. I’ve maxed my team out. They have no time to learn, they have no time to source. Like, and I honestly, I don’t know how I didn’t swear my head off at this particular person, because I was so angry. I was like a red flag bull. A stupidity, of how’s your team going to bring in the best people if you like, basically giving them one arm to do their work. Correct, correct. Absolutely crazy. So, what’s your plans for your role going forward? I get this feeling you’ve got like, really lofty goals? I didn’t put this on your pre-empted question. No, so. I just have to ask you.
Kay Epps 28:07
You know, it’s funny, because you touched upon something earlier about a willingness to have uncomfortable conversations. Yeah. That’s what I’m about.
Katrina Collier 28:19
Kay Epps 28:20
That’s what I’m about. Right now, in this moment. When we hang up this phone later today, I’m having a scheduled uncomfortable conversation. Oooo, I love it. Exactly.
Katrina Collier 28:34
And do they know they’re about to have an uncomfortable conversation?
Kay Epps 28:37
Oh, yeah. Oh. Yeah.
Katrina Collier 28:39
Do you think they’ll be, they’ll be nervous? No, because it’s you?
Kay Epps 28:43
Well, not because it’s me, but it because it’s them, right? It takes a willingness and a special type of leader to be willing to hear you, and be willing to say if they agree or disagree, but to stay in dialogue. That’s the key, to stay dialogue. Yeah.
Katrina Collier 29:03
It is, I think it’s that breathe, breathe, I just breathed didn’t I. It’s like that breathe before you respond. Take a moment, drop your defenses. You know, see a lot of people are very, very defensive about everything. So actually, I’ll be laying in here.
Kay Epps 29:20
But here’s the thing. Once you identify that there is a shared commitment and a shared desire, then you can say, okay, we might have a different approach to get there, but our commitment and our desire, there’s no negative implication. And that’s what you have to keep in mind as, as you know, being the most important part of the communication. We want the same thing.
Katrina Collier 29:50
Yeah. Which is the same for Recruiters and Hiring Leaders for recruitment, isn’t it ultimately. We want to bring in the best person for the job that’s going to do wonders for the company. Right. I could talk to you for hours. Oh thank you, I could do the same. I, what was I thinking restricting these to 30 minutes.I was thinking of everyone’s attention spans, but. If people would love to have an uncomfortable conversation with you? If you’re open to that of course? Where is the best place to stalk you, like LinkedIn or?
Kay Epps 30:21
I think so, LinkedIn? Here’s the thing, i’ve never. I am from North Jersey. I’m a blue collar kid from North Jersey. Yeah. I’ve never run from a difficult situation in my life, and I don’t intend to start now that I’m nearly a half century old.
Katrina Collier 30:39
She’s not. You are not, or we must be the same. Yeah.
Kay Epps 30:44
Do not let these good jeans fool you, my friend. Oh, like, it;s just yeah.
Katrina Collier 30:48
Honestly, we should have a wrinkle competition. Does that mean, so I’m so gonna ask another question. Um, does that mean you’re the first in your family to get a Degree and even extra degrees MBAs?
Kay Epps 31:01
That is a great question. I am the first grandchild on my Mother’s side of the family to get a Degree, much less than advanced Degree, and I am the second grandchild on my father’s side of the family to get a Degree.
Katrina Collier 31:17
Wow. Well done you. Any advice then? For going to University and coming out and particularly now coming out into this world for someone that they are because you didn’t have the our Mum, you went to Uni, what was that like? Have you got any? Just a quick tip? And yeah, again, I didn’t prep you for that one. Gosh I am mean.
Kay Epps 31:39
No, you know, so I think here’s the thing, in addition to being a blue collar kid, who didn’t come from a background of folks with advance education, right. So there was no model that was set in front of me. There was no roadmap that was given to me. You know, I had to figure it out. Now, I had a support, don’t get me wrong. Yeah. I have two very powerful parents, powerful. And when I say powerful, my Mother was a stay at home Mother. Yeah. She was that Mother, that every other Mother called when they could not get to their child in school. Wow. And I remember being in the fifth grade, And, you know, we were all kind of doing whatever. Some folks were listening to music, Some folks were doing a science project, some folks were reading, and all of a sudden, a quietness came across the room. Yeah. And next thing, all you hear is a bunch of fifth graders in the window going. Woah, Kay, yo Mama is here, and so I post up my head, and I don’t know who she’s here for, but it ain’t me. So it got really quiet. Even the Teacher one of the most feared Teachers in that school, got quiet. Right. And then all of a sudden, you heard the name announced on the intercom to come to the Principal’s office. Yep. My Mama wore that poor child out like she gave birth to him. So you had the a strong role model, but you also had someone to talk to, so it’s. Absolutely. Just talk, talk. I had someone to keep me on the straight and narrow, right. Yeah. So we talked earlier about high performance athletes have coaches. So as a professional, I have a coach, well growing up as a child, and in my informative years, those coaches were my parents. Yeah. So I come from a very, you know, present family. Yeah. And we didn’t necessarily, we didn’t have wealth, right? Because I come from a single income home, two parents, dual parents, but single income home. So you know, even paying for school, like there was no roadmap or plan for that. I figured it out.
Katrina Collier 34:05
Yeah, because is your middle name.
Kay Epps 34:09
That is what I would tell people. Figure it out. There’s no such thing as an obstacle other than the one you allow to get in front of you.
Katrina Collier 34:18
Yep. Which is when you talked about the comfort zone, out of the comfort zone. Yeah.
Kay Epps 34:22
Yeah. I mean, listen, are you going to get it perfect? Absolutely not, figure it out.
Katrina Collier 34:29
Yeah. But also have the support network. Correct. And your support network could be in your case your mum because I’m going to get adopted. And it could be someone else. Yeah, seriously, is she open for adoptions, right.
Kay Epps 34:41
Listen, be careful. That old lady, she stomps it out, she’s a tough old girl.
Katrina Collier 34:46
I think I’d love it. She is a tough old girl. Oh, love it. Well, on that note, I cannot thank you enough for this. And I will make sure that it’s hyperlinked your name is hyperlinked, so everyone can find you on LinkedIn with ease. Thank you again, so much for being on my podcast.
Kay Epps 35:01
Thank you I appreciate the opportunity.
Katrina Collier 35:03
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Transcribed by https://otter.ai