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INSPIRE 20 Podcast: Morag Lucey, Televerde

Linda Rosencrance Freelance writer/editor
Morag Lucy

Televerde is a company built on second chances, one that views the world through a lens of compassion and puts people first in everything it does.

The company combines leading-edge tech and the human touch to help businesses accelerate their sales pipelines with the help of Televerde's team of female sales professionals—half of whom sit behind prison walls.

Televerde provides sales training education and jobs for incarcerated women while they're in prison and after they're released, helping them find their voices and reach their potential.

As the CEO of Televerde, Morag Lucey finds fulfillment in using the leadership skills she's developed over the years, all while supporting Televerde's mission to embrace intentional hiring practices and provide career development opportunities to people who would otherwise have limited prospects for sustainable employment.

The INSPIRE 20 podcast series

Lucey is one of the executives taking part in INSPIRE 20, a new podcast series that showcases 20 executives from around the world who are making a difference in terms of inclusion and diversity in their organizations, communities, and/or in their industries.

Listen to the podcast with Morag Lucey on Apple Podcasts, SoundCloud, or Spotify. Plus: Listen to all of the INSPIRE 20 podcasts here.

Take a holistic approach

"Although we're a for-profit and we work predominantly in the tech industry, we also have a nonprofit, the Televerde Foundation, for ladies to gain the skills and knowledge they need to reenter society," Lucey said in the podcast. "We start while they're incarcerated, and we provide all of the different courses that they would need."

These include budget management, resume writing, interviewing, working on their mental health, finding a house, and dressing for success. It's a holistic approach, Lucey added.

In the podcast Lucey explained that the foundation creates a safety net to ensure that once these women reenter society, they don't engage in the same behaviors that sent them to prison in the first place.

The foundation provides a mentoring program and then courses to help participants "ensure that they're making the right choices and the right decisions," Lucey said in the podcast. "And in the 25 years that Televerde has been in existence, we've had about 3,500 women go through the program."

Change lives, hearts, and minds

Lucey cites that Televerde has a 5.4% recidivism rate, much lower than the US. average, which is between 65% and 70%.

"We think we're doing not too bad a job at providing a program that [also] changes lives, and the hearts and minds of the people that work with these ladies."
Morag Lucey

Lucey also offered some advice for leaders when it comes to driving inclusion and diversity in their organizations as well as in society as a whole. "We have to broaden the definition of [diversity and inclusion] to capture the new challenges of working," she said. "And we have to develop an approach that really focuses on solving real problems, not just maintaining appearances."

To that end, Lucey said, companies have to consciously pledge to consider and hire qualified people, regardless of candidates' backgrounds or circumstances.

"Lifting people up doesn't mean fewer opportunities; it means more. The more our company reflects the world in which we live, the more we can actually sell. So the more we sell, the more we grow, the more opportunities there are for employees. It's constantly a circle."

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