Posts Tagged ‘NGLCC’
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.
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.
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.)
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!