Posts Tagged ‘NGLCC’
Three recent events at federal USA and state of North Carolina governmental level starkly highlight a major divide in how the country and my state executive branch governments understand and value diversity.
• On Monday, June 16, President Obama announced that he soon plans to sign an executive order giving workplace protections based on sexual orientation and gender identity (that address LGBT – lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people) for federal contractors. Link to article.
• At the end of June, U.S. National Security Advisor Susan Rice announced a new partnership between the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and the National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC) to encourage and support LGBT business owners and entrepreneurs in developing countries. Link to details.
Second, follow these national items with an executive order issued by North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory on June 30th. In his statewide executive order #55 (link), Governor McCrory addressed equal opportunity for employees in the state government regardless of “race, religion, color, national origin, sex, age, disability, genetic information.” One glaring omission – nothing referencing sexual orientation or gender identity! It would appear that for NC State Government jobs, treating people unfairly is perfectly OK if they are gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender.
What most of our country’s Fortune 500 companies and the federal government understand is that all people must be treated fairly in the workplace for all to work at peak capacity and to achieve the best results. Still too often in the United States, LGBT people are looked down upon, scorned, demonized or even bullied, and if any group needs workplace protection, it is this segment.
Sadly enough, many political leaders often speak of providing a business-friendly environment to help stimulate economic growth, but then at the same time fail to protect and empower all in the workplace. Three large employers in the state of North Carolina have already told me in my role as a diversity consultant and trainer, that they are having serious issues recruiting the best talent to their locations in North Carolina because of our lack of progression on LGBT equality and protections at the state level.
It is time for all people across all states in our country to advocate for the equal and fair treatment of all Americans in the workplace, both in the private and public sector, so that all can work at their very best and help grow our country’s economy and deliver government services more effectively and efficiently.
On March 11-14th, I traveled to Mexico City to be part of the 2014 National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce’s Trade Mission and LGBT Summit of the Americas. It was an exciting combination of attending and presenting workshops with business leaders from across Latin America, meeting with prospective large Mexican clients, reuniting with old friends, and even a little sightseeing. In addition to this excellent overview (link) of the trip from the NGLCC, I wanted to briefly share some of my personal experience along three areas.
1) LGBT Economic Empowerment. It was exciting to see first hand how the movement for growing economic equality for LGBT-owned businesses is expanding beyond the USA to be truly global. As it enters into its second decade, the NGLCC is expanding across North and South America and empowering LGBT-owned businesses to grow. In addition to the 20 delegates from the US, there were approximately 80 government officials, business owners, executives and chamber leaders from Mexico and several other Latin American countries. The opening plenary included the historic signing of a cooperative agreement between the NGLCC and Mexico’s Council to Eliminate and Prevent Discrimination (COPRED) (link to COPRED website – in Spanish)
2) My own business development. One day was dedicated to meetings set up by the US Commercial Service, part of the US Department of Commerce. The mission of this team is to spur US economic growth through the exporting of US products and services to trading partners outside the US. I was very pleased to meet with 3 large well qualified Mexican companies that had a real need for my innovative Total Engagement Career Mapping offering, as well as the Executive President of Mexico’s largest association of human resources professionals (link to my March 7th blog about my conversation with Pedro Borda Hartmann … our discussion about the top HR challenges facing Mexico.)
3) Sharing in the workshops and panels. Finally, I was privileged to both give a presentation titled “Leadership for the New Diverse Global Economy: Effectively Leading an International Team,” a critical topic since expanding businesses globally is so much more a reality given the global web and increasing multicultural mix of people in any locale; and to serve on panel with four other people discussing expanding LGBT diversity programs globally. I was proud to speak of how my former employer IBM expanded our LGBT initiatives from the US to be worldwide continually from around year 2000 up through the current time.
And then the icing on the cake was reuniting with several old IBM and NGLCC friends and two half-days of sightseeing in and around beautiful Mexico City.