Archive for January 2011
In addition to offering my consulting services in the areas of diversity management, career mapping / skills development and organizational effectiveness, I also offer my services as a public speaker for your business, organization, network or educational function. I can speak for any length of time you require on my topics of expertise that include:
• The business case for and importance of diversity (overall or LGBT–Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender) in a corporate or non-profit setting
• The criticallity of career and skills development either at the person or corporate level
• Leadership focusing on the intersection of elements, talents, and style as well as an depth review of those areas
• On my experience as the new president of the North Carolina Council of Churches
If you want to see me in action, you can view the recordings of my recent television interview on Byline with Donn Ansell broadcast January 23, 2011 on CBS-WILM Channel 10 in Wilmington, North Carolina. The recordings come in three segments. They are available on YouTube.
SEGMENT 1: Introduction to the North Carolina Council of Churches and the newsworthiness of my election.
SEGMENT 2: More on my election and long time involvement with the Council, my own faith and coming out journey, my role at IBM and its diversity practices, and discussion of the military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy.
SEGMENT 3: Discussing gay bullying, my agenda for the Council, the gay marriage issue, me as a role model, my new consulting practice and my vocational center in Africa with Global Roots.
Thank you for watching. I look forward to you contacting me.
In October, there was an unfortunate incident at a local shopping center in Raleigh when a security officer asked two lesbians who were sharing a brief kiss to leave, citing their “inappropriate behavior.” These two brave women spoke out publicly about the incident, and the shopping center management apologized and committed to assuring that the security staff received appropriate sensitivity and diversity training.
In November, I was hired to provide this training to 32 security officers. Instead of “going through the motions” and scheduling the training to only to appease others, the management team was truly committed to providing meaningful and relevant training for the staff. The senior manager worked throughout the day to assure that all 32 officers attended one of the training sessions, and he personally kicked off each with how important it is for his team to pay close attention and participate so they can grow their skills as security officers in dealing with the diverse people they interact with.
In all three sessions, which had between 10-12 officers, each participant was engaged and participated in the sessions, exhibiting sincere desire to learn from this unfortunate incident and gain stronger skills to improve interaction. In the evaluation, all participants stated that the diversity training material would be helpful to them in better performing their jobs.
Lessons I feel we can all learn from this experience:
• People who speak out when they feel their rights have been violated help us all move forward. We owe them a big “Thank You!”
• When there is inappropriate action based on a lack of understanding around diversity, people can be sincerely open and can be trained to improve interactions with the diverse people of our community. We need to be slower to judge others and more open to educating others.
• Good can come from unfortunate situations when people work together to address them.
• It is important for leaders (in this case the senior manager of the security team) to set the tone by emphasizing the importance of diversity.
Take my GLBT (Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender) Diversity Test and see how strong your enterprise is in this area. Perhaps some LGBT specific or general diversity training can benefit your enterprise. Diversity Test Link.