Posts Tagged ‘NGLCC’

Investing in 2014 – Part 2 of 2 – Opening Up a New Market!

In Part 1 of this series, Investing in Organizational and Personal Career (link) I explored the need to focus on career development both within your organizations for all your people as well as for your own personal growth. In addition I introduced a new affiliate relationship and featured links to two interesting articles on the web – on why people hate their jobs and career and financial advice for young professionals. Link to last week’s blog to get caught up on this topic. Now looking ahead to 2014, part 2 of this series is about opening up new markets in 2014, and I want to propose a focus on one of the fastest growing and most dynamic segments, the LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender) market.

Are you prepared to serve this two lesbian customers with dignity and respect?

Are you prepared to serve this two lesbian customers with dignity and respect?

Just looking within the United States alone, many diversity market place studies place the LGBT disposable income at between $700 – $800B! Even though the number of LGBT people may be smaller than numbers of Asians, Blacks or Hispanics in the US, the disposable income is in the same range. The primary reason is that at least for now, a smaller percentage of LGBT people are raising children (which costs a whole lot of money), which provides more money available for other purchasing decisions. Maybe you should plan to expand into this market in 2014!

One other very important point about the LGBT marketplace is that it is frequently more “brand-loyal” to companies that reach out to them and treat them with respect, and more “brand-punishing” to those companies that do very little to recognize the LGBT community or that even treat them negatively. It seems that on a monthly basis, there is some company that is highly publicized for a misstep with the LGBT community, or one that has done something very special to support the community.

But it goes beyond just the end-consumer! This LGBT market discussion is also important to consider in B2B (or business to business) interactions. Companies that primarily sell to other companies need to be acutely aware that key decision makers they are calling on could be LGBT or strong supporters. Plus an increasing number of very large firms look at potential suppliers’ diversity policies as part of their buying criteria. And many include LGBT-owned businesses as part of their supplier diversity mix and are corporate partners of the NLGCC (National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce.)

I am now an affiliate partner of LGBT Marketing and Communications expert Jenn T. Grace, offering "How to Authentically Market to the Gay Community"

I am now an affiliate partner of LGBT Marketing and Communications expert Jenn T. Grace, offering “How to Authentically Market to the Gay Community”


Through my consulting practice, I can assist you in your LGBT corporate diversity strategy and training; take a look at my services (link) and also take my 13-question GLBT Diversity quiz to see how your organization rates as LGBT-inclusive.

And now through an affiliate partnership with Jenn T. Grace – you can gain the marketing and communications expertise via the “How to Authentically Market to the Gay Community.” Check out the details on my affiliates web page (link) or to start now, link to Jenn’s free introductory video series.

I am hoping to see the economy to continue to improve in 2014, but in addition to growing with that wave, don’t you want to grow faster than the market? Consider a special effort to court and win LGBT business in 2014!

Reflections from the Triangle Business Journal Leaders in Diversity Awards

I received a “Leader in Diversity – Role Model” award from TBJ publisher Bryan M. Hamilton and PNC Bank Regional President Paula K. Fryland. (Photography courtesy of Triangle Business Journal | Dathan Kazsuk)

I received a “Leader in Diversity – Role Model” award from TBJ publisher Bryan M. Hamilton and PNC Bank Regional President Paula K. Fryland. (Photography courtesy of Triangle Business Journal | Dathan Kazsuk)


On Thursday, September 12, I was honored along with several other awardees at a luncheon held by the Triangle (NC) Business Journal for their inaugural “Leaders in Diversity” Awards. I received the “role model”and was cited specifically for my leadership for LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender) Diversity work during my 31-year career at IBM, now as the President and Founder of Total Engagement Consulting by Kimer and in various community activities. Other honorees included small, medium and large companies as well as individuals from corporate and non-profit settings. And the winners themselves were quite diverse: women and men, older and younger, various racial and cultural backgrounds, even a woman from Iran who formed a construction engineering firm. (Link to list of all winners.) Additional link: my own award interview.

I feel this kind of recognition is very important. Not only does it encourage those doing the often difficult diversity work to stay diligent, it also signals to the larger community that rigorously pursuing diversity is very critical to economic growth and success in our communities.

The lifetime achievement award was given to retired University of North Carolina basketball Coach Dean Smith. What is special about Coach Smith is that he strongly supported diversity without a lot of fanfare simply as a core value of his life and coaching philosophy. He was a leader in college sports for racial integration of college teams, and was known for individually focusing on every single player he coached to help them maximize their growth both as an athlete and a person. Assisting others to reach their full potential, particularly within a difficult environment, is a key facet of diversity and inclusion.

I also commend PNC Bank for stepping up as the lead sponsor for these awards. The PNC senior leader for all of Eastern North Carolina, Regional President Paula K. Fryland, was present to help hand out the awards as well as deliver a brief keynote address. Paula succinctly articulated the importance of diversity and inclusion as a core value of PNC and the tie to business success. She mentioned the importance and pursuing diversity with clients, employees, supplier and the community, and highlighted four PNC initiatives:
• Their 34 employee resources groups with over 6000 participants for engaging their workforce.
• Education efforts across all levels of PNC so that everyone understands the compelling business rationale for diversity and inclusion initiatives
• Recognizing the various diversity constituency months throughout the year to further engage employees and the community
• Investing financially in philanthropic such as their recent significant investments in North Carolina for early childhood education.

Even within the LGBT community, PNC Bank does follow through with their strategy; they are a corporate sponsor of the National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC), which promotes business development of LGBT-owned business in the US and globally.

PNC Bank and Triangle Business Journal – well done!

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